Professional Development (PD). What connotations, associations, and memories does this term call up for you in your life as a working person? In K-12 schooling, many educators in our experience believe, first, that growth and continuous learning are vitally important and that too often, professional development is not focused on the immediate needs of educators and their students. Instead, it takes a “one size fits all” approach mandated by those outside the classroom, and ultimately, often doesn’t help educators get better at teaching students. Micro-credentials may be transformative in professional development for teachers.
Believing in the value of PD but being regularly disappointed is a hard cycle to break. Certainly, at times, teachers engage in learning experiences that move their practice forward, but what if PD could focus on meaningful, evidenced-based practices that honor the intellectual and practical challenges of teaching children and resulted in teachers gaining useful skills and knowledge? And what if that learning had evidence to certify its value in advancing student learning?