A Study of Professional Learning amongst South Carolina Instructional Leaders in Comparison to the Learning Forward Standards
Teachers and administrators are expected to advance their expertise in learning theory, pedagogy, curriculum, and leadership. With the current shift from schools developed to meet the needs of the Industrial Age to more modern schools designed for the ever-changing Informational Age there is a dire need for effective professional learning. Zepeda states that “effective is used to describe practices that are research based, tied to standards, and present a coherent structure for teachers who work in an environment in which the work of teaching is rooted in learning. To this end, professional development is not an add-on, and professional development is not a series of discreet activities” (2008).
Through survey this study investigated how instructional leaders in South Carolina perceived professional learning and practices in their school districts compared to the Learning Forward, previously National Staff Development Council’s (NSDC), standards for staff development. With the shifting instructional paradigm offered by new standards, changing assessments, and accountability models this study will illustrate the perceived alignment of district practices with effective professional learning as outlined in Learning Forward standards.