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March 2017 | Volume 74 | Number 6
Getting Personalization Right
Jason Pasatta, Erica Hamilton and Stephanie DeDoes
A district's professional development program equips educators with the skills they need to personalize learning for students.
Sit and get, drive by, spray and pray. These are some of the terms to describe ineffective approaches to professional development. No learner—regardless of age—acquires new skills solely by absorbing the words of an expert who has dropped in for a one-time offering, or being inundated with information with the hope that something will stick. It's no wonder many teachers report feeling that professional development doesn't "prepare them for the changing nature of their jobs" (Boston Consulting Group, 2014).
In contrast, research shows that successful professional development programs typically target specific skills and knowledge and continue to support educators for an average of 49 hours over the course of six months to a year (Yoon et al., 2007).
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