Research has shown that educator quality is one of the most important influences upon student achievement. High quality staff development for educators is essential to increase educators’ knowledge, skills, attitudes and beliefs so that they may enable all students to learn at high levels. Staff development for teachers that is most effective in improving educator practice is results-oriented, data driven and job embedded.
Quality staff development has the power to increase educators’ knowledge of academic content and teaching skills while changing what educators believe about student learning and how they interact with students. Powerful staff development can transform schools into places in which all adults and students are deeply engaged in learning and making meaning of their lives.
Teacher education, ability, and experience account for much of the variation in student achievement. Researchers Linda Darling-Hammond and Deborah Lowenberg Ball report that more 40 to 90 percent of the difference in student test scores can be attributed to teacher quality. It is vitally important that teachers pursue professional development throughout their careers so teachers can continue to improve their knowledge and skills throughout their careers.