Teacher Professional Development

Contributed by:
Sharp Tutor
This paper discusses some of the key system and policy dimensions of professional development. It begins by outlining a broad and comprehensive conception of professional development and then identifies a set of principles of effective professional development systems and policies.
1. EQUIP2 State-of-the-Art Knowledge Series
EQUIP2 State-of-the-Art
Knowledge in Education
A Guide to Education Project Design
Based on a Comprehensive Literature
and Project Review
By Mark Ginsburg
Clearly, meeting the expectation that all students will learn to high standards
will require a transformation in the ways in which our education system attracts,
prepares, supports, and develops expert teachers ... An aspect of this transformation
is developing means to evaluate and recognize teacher effectiveness throughout the
career, for the purposes of licensing, hiring, and granting tenure; for providing
needed professional development ... (Darling-Hammond and Prince, 2007, p. 3)
Improving the quality of education necessarily requires improving the quality of
teaching [and] the quality of educational management … [and these] require a
major financial and political effort, … significant upgrading in the pre-service
and in-service training of teachers, radical changes in the concept of educational
management, an overhaul in supervising the delivery of the school curriculum,
a new strategy for recruiting the teachers who can be trained to raise the level of
student learning … (Carnoy, 2007, pp. 3-4)
The quotes above signal a consensus that a central element of improving the quality
of education is enhancing the capacity and commitment of educational personnel.
These quotes, however, emphasize that the task involves more than just capacity
building or “training” – as it is sometimes mislabeled – of educators. Efforts to
reform how teachers and educational leaders/managers perform their roles must also
focus on system and policy issues.
This is not to discount the importance of workshops, courses, and other activities
designed to enhance educators’ capacity. Indeed, there is evidence that capacity
building activities not only can increase educators’ knowledge and skill, but the
availability (and, likely, quality) of professional development programs may facilitate
recruitment and retention of educators (see Baker-Doyle, 2010; McKinsey, 2010;
Mulkeen et al., 2005). The point is that such activities do not occur in isolation of
– and thus their effectiveness is enabled and constrained by – the education system’s
regulations and incentive structures.
This paper discusses some of the key system and policy dimensions of professional
development. It begins by outlining a broad and comprehensive conception
of professional development and then identifies a set of principles of effective
professional development systems and policies. This is followed by a discussion of
critical steps in implementing reforms of professional development systems and
policies, and then a consideration of challenges and limitations of doing so, especially
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3. in “developing” countries. The final section lists some of the indicators of success
that might be adopted by educators, pre-service and in-service program facilitators,
government officials, civil society representatives, and international agencies to
monitor and evaluate progress in reforming professional development systems and
Where possible, the discussion in these sections is grounded in the findings of
empirical research, conducted in “developing” as well as “developed” countries.
Illustrations derived from project and other experiences in a range of societies are
also presented. In some places footnotes have been inserted to provide more details
on specific points beyond what the average reader may have an interest. Finally, a list
of references is provided for readers who may want to explore more extensively the
issues addressed in this paper.
Professional development involves the career-long processes and related system and
policies designed to enable educators (teachers, administrators, and supervisors) to
acquire, broaden, and deepen their knowledge, skill, and commitment in order to
effectively perform their work roles (Schwille and Dembélé, 2007). The stages of
professional development for teachers have been characterized as consisting of pre-
service, induction, and in-service, all of which follow a period termed “apprenticeship
of observation” – a stage when individuals are school students and before they enter
a formal pre-service preparation program (see Figure 1). A professional development
system consists of:
• Organizational providers of pre-service, induction, and in-service programs (e.g.,
universities/colleges, national/local school systems, teachers’ unions, NGOs,
private sector firms, international organizations);
• The more or less formally articulated structures and mechanisms that link these
organizations (Megahed and Ginsburg, 2008).
Professional development policies define the regulations, standards, assessment
procedures, and resources for:
• The provision of pre-service, induction, and in-service programs;
• The recruitment, retention, evaluation, and promotion of educators (Wilson,
2008; Wilson and Youngs, 2005).
Teacher Professional Development 3
4. Figure 1. Stages of Professional Development
In light of this broad conceptualization of a professional development system, this
section identifies eight principles and references some of the relevant literature which
provides evidence to support and elaborate on the principles.
1. System structures and policies should insure that professional
development programs/activities are articulated across time/stages of the
career as well as coordinated and integrated across providers.
This means, for example, that policy frameworks should be comprehensive enough
to guide both pre-service and in-service teacher education programs. Following
this principle also entails structuring how in-service programs are planned and
implemented so that what is offered by the various providers is complementary and
builds on teachers’ previous professional development experiences (Megahed and
Ginsburg, 2008).
2. System structures and policies should promote the use of a collaborative
process for identifying needs, designing and implementing programs,
identifying or creating materials, and evaluating outcomes of professional
development (Roth, 1996).
Involving educators as well as other stakeholders will help to increase the relevance
and quality of professional development programs and likely enhance the
commitment of those involved to participate and support such activities (Leu and
Ginsburg, 2011).
3. System structures and policies should encourage those providing
professional development programs to model the capacities (i.e., knowledge,
skills, and dispositions) that educators are expected to exhibit in their
professional practice.
For a discussion of three broad categories of teacher capacities, see McDiarmid and
Clevenger-Bright, 2008. For example, unless sufficient time and financial resources
are allocated to various professional development activities and providers are carefully
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5. selected, those charged with implementing may be constrained from following what
is generally understood as best practices (Leu and Ginsburg, 2011).
4. System structures and policies should promote the practice of providing
relevant and complementary learning experiences for key members of the
educators’ role set (i.e., administrators and supervisors as well as teachers)
(West et al., 1996).
If professional development activities are not organized in a coordinated manner
for the different groups of educators, teachers may either not get the supervisory
guidance and support they need to implement curricular or pedagogical reforms or,
worse, they may be discouraged or prevented from doing so by administrators or
supervisors (Barrow et al., 2007; Ginsburg, 2010).
5. Standards should form a core element of professional development
On the one hand, standards define what individuals (e.g., teachers, school
administrators, and supervisors) are expected to know and be able to do, and thus
offer a framework for decisions regarding the certification, licensing, promotion, and
remuneration of individual educational personnel. On the other hand, standards can
define what pre-service and in-service providers and programs need to have and be
able to do, and thus offer a framework for decisions about accreditation, approval,
and recognition of providers and programs (Imig et al., 2009; Roth, 1996).
It seems worthwhile to elaborate on this fifth principle, given that the standards
“revolution,” which was already underway in the United States in the 1980s and
1990s has become a global phenomenon (Shanker and Geiger, 1993). For example,
Table 1 summarizes the standards for teachers in Egypt, Pakistan, and the United
Additionally, Table 2 presents the domains of the national Professional Standards for
Teachers in Liberia which were developed with support from the USAID-funded
Liberian Teacher Training Program (LTTP), approved by the Ministry of Education
in October 2007, and used subsequently as a basis for teacher education curriculum
development. Standards can be used to define what school administrators should
know and be able to do.
Teacher Professional Development 5
6. Table 1. Standards for Teachers in the United States, Egypt, and Pakistan
Model Standards for Standards for the Educator in Egypt: Professional Standards
Beginning Teacher for Initial Preparation
Licensing, Assessment, of Teachers in Pakistan:
and Development,
1. Content Knowledge Domain 1: Planning 1. Subject matter
2. Child Development 1. Determining the educational needs of the knowledge
and Learning student. 2. Human growth and
2. Planning for greater targets not for development
3. Diverse Learning
detailed information and small objectives. 3. Knowledge of Islamic
3. Designing suitable educational activities. values
4. Instructional Domain 2: Learning Strategies & Classroom 4. Instructional planning
Strategies Management and strategies
5. Learning 1. Using learning strategies to meet students’ 5. Assessment
Environment needs. 6. Learning environment
6. Communication 2. Facilitating effective learning experience. 7. Communication
3. Involving students in solving problems 8. Collaboration and
7. Instructional
and in critical and creative thinking. partnerships
4. Providing an environment to guarantee 9. Professional
8. Assessment equity. Development &
9. Professional 5. Effective utilization of diverse motivation Code of Conduct
development and methods. 10. ICT Knowledge and
Reflection 6. Managing learning time effectively and Cognition
10. Collaboration and limiting time wasted. (Time on task)
Domain 3: Knowledge of Subject Matter Knowledge, Dispositions, and
Relationships Performance (Skills), Islamabad:
1. Being fully aware of the basis & nature of
Ministry of Education, 2009
the subject.
Interstate New Teacher Assess-
ment and Support Consortium 2. Fully knowing methods of research in the
(INTASC), Washington, DC: subject.
Council of Chief State School 3. Being able to integrate his subject with
Officers, 1992. other subjects.
4. Being able to produce knowledge
Domain 4: Evaluation
1. Self-evaluation
2. Student evaluation
3. Feedback
Domain 5: Teacher’s Professionalism
1. Ethics of the profession
2. Professional development
National Standards for Education in Egypt, Cairo:
Ministry of Education, 2003.
Source: 2011. Leu and Ginsburg
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7. Table 2. Standards for Educators in Liberia and Egypt
Professional Standards for Teachers in Domains and Standards of Educational
Liberia Leadership in Egypt
Domain 1: Knowledge Domain 1: Institutional Culture
Knowledge refers to the content knowledge, • Standard 1: Clear strategic thinking for education
the technical knowledge and practical • Standard 2: Organizational structure supporting
understanding a teacher needs in order to
human interaction
carry out his or her duties.
Domain 2: Participation
Domain 2: Teaching Skills
• Standard 1: Commitment to the values and
Teaching Skills refer to the processes,
strategies and techniques of planning and participatory principles to promote team work,
implementation of teaching and learning. and widen the scope of dialogue, debate and
Domain 3: Classroom Management exchange of information and ideas
Classroom Management refers to the • Standard 2: Effective utilization of information
strategies … used by the teacher to maintain a technology to ease the exchange and diffusion of
conducive teaching and learning environment.
information together with wise decision making
It includes classroom setting as well as all
to develop education
other arrangements to ensure proper behavior
and interactions that enhance learning. • Standard 3: Community participation.
Domain 4: Student Assessment and Domain 3: Professionalism
Evaluation • Standard 1: Excellence of knowledge
Student Assessment and Evaluation refer • Standard 2: Excellence of skills
to the process of collecting, analyzing, • Standard 3: Sustained professional development
interpreting and communicating information • Standard 4: Professional Ethics
about students’ performance … to indicate Domain 4: Management of Change and Reform
students’ levels of achievement and to
• Standard 1: Organizational climate in support of
determine and improve the effectiveness of
creativity and educational changes.
Domain 5: Professional Ethics and Behavior • Standard 2: Educational changes focusing on
Professional Ethics and Behavior refer to initiative and encouraging innovation and
teachers’ code of behavior as they carry out experimentation.
their duties. It includes good citizenship, dress • Standard 3: Adoption of scientific inputs to
code and the teacher’s ability to interact with mobilize individuals and concentrate efforts to
others and society at large.
smooth the progress of change.
Source: 2007. LTTP
Source: 2003. MOE
Table 2 also presents the domains and standards for “educational management
excellence” adopted by the Egyptian Ministry of Education – along with standards
for teachers and student learning – in 2003. Subsequently, with the support of the
USAID-funded Education Reform Program, the Egyptian Ministry of Education
developed the Management Assessment Protocol (MAP) (LeCzel and Ginsburg,
2011). MAP includes 22 evaluation items covering the four domains and associated
Teacher Professional Development 7
8. standards listed in Table 2. After pilot testing and undertaking revisions, local
supervisors began implementing the MAP in February 2006 in selected districts,
collecting data using an observation checklist, a document review checklist, and
structured interview questions for school directors, school staff, and community
members (Zohry, 2007). In addition, standards can be used to define, assess, and
help develop the quality of professional development programs. Standards can be
applied to both pre-service and in-service programs, although we focus mainly on
standards for pre-service programs, since this is where more efforts have been made
(Babcock et al., 2010). Three examples of standards for teacher education programs
are presented in Tables 3, 4 and 5. The first example concerns specific standards
for teacher educators (Dembélé and Lefoka, 2007, p. 547). Table 3 identifies the
standards for (accomplished) teacher educators, which have been promoted by the
Association for Teacher Education in the United States.
Table 3. Standards for [Accomplished] Teacher Educators
Standard 1: Teaching
Model teaching that demonstrates content and professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions
reflecting research, proficiency with technology and assessment, and accepted best practices in teacher
Standard 2: Cultural Competence
Apply cultural competence and promote social justice in teacher education.
Standard 3: Scholarship
Engage in inquiry and contribute to scholarship that expands the knowledge base related to teacher
education: discovery, integration, application, and teaching.
Standard 4: Professional Development
Inquire systematically into, reflect on, and improve their practice and demonstrate commitment to
continuous professional development.
Standard 5: Program Development
Provide leadership in developing, implementing, and evaluating teacher education programs that are
rigorous, relevant, and grounded in theory, research, and best practice.
Standard 6: Collaboration
Collaborate regularly and in significant ways with relevant stakeholders to improve teaching, research,
and student learning.
Standard 7: Public Advocacy
Serve as informed, constructive advocates for high quality education for all students.
Standard 8: Teacher Education Profession
Contribute to improving the teacher education profession.
Standard 9: Vision
Contribute to creating visions for teaching, learning, and teacher education that take into account
such issues as technology, systemic thinking, and world views.
Source: 2008. ATE
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9. The second example concerns Liberia’s National Teacher Education Program
Standards. These standards were developed with support from the USAID-funded
Liberia Teacher Training Program (LTTP). Beginning in July 2007 with a process
of institutional development at Williams V.S. Tubman Teachers College of the
University of Liberia, a working group was established to develop draft standards,
and in January 2008, the Ministry of Education formally appointed a National Task
Force. By June 2009, the Standards were approved by the MOE and the National
Council on Higher Education (AED, 2010).
Table 4. National Teacher Education Program Standards for Colleges and
Universities in Liberia
Standard 1: Knowledge, Skills, Ethics and Classroom Management
Candidates should develop competence in content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, professional
knowledge, and ethical knowledge, use of technology, visual aids and graphic presentations in getting
the subject across to students who should be the center for instruction. The candidate should be
capable of creating a conductive, active and time-conscious learning environment.
Standard 2: Evaluation
The program shall put in place an assessment system, which collects and analyzes data … [on] the
performance of the program, candidates, supervisors, faculty and staff.
Standard 3: Teacher Qualifications
Teachers shall have a minimum of master’s degree with 18 hours in content area. Teachers shall be
required to attend at least one professional development seminar or workshop in area of discipline
during the school year. … Each program shall have at least two doctoral degree holders.
Standard 4: Teaching Load
The maximum teaching load for a teacher shall be 9–12 credit hours per semester. The compensation
for overload shall be documented.
Standard 5: Diversity
Each program shall consider the diverse student population, faculty composition and program
Standard 6: Governance and Resources
Each institution shall financially sustain its program and maintain its facilities and personnel. Each
program shall have an organizational diagram that delineates the chain of command of all entities that
govern the institution.
Standard 7: Welfare
A unit must ensure that equity exists in the following areas regardless of gender, political affiliation,
religious preference, social status, sexual orientation, nationality, physical disability and ethnicity: a)
salaries, benefits and other compensations must be based on qualification, experience and the current
market value of the position; b) the implementation of curriculum must be relevant, challenging and
flexible to meet the needs of all students; c) the rewarding of students’ excellent performance in the
form of grades, promotions, scholarships and recognition must be flexible and reflect best practices;
and d) Disciplinary measures against students for violations should be in a Student Handbook.
Source: 2009. LTTP
Teacher Professional Development 9
10. The final example concerns the program or institution standards developed by the
U.S.-based National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE),
which was created in 1952. In the U.S. context there is another nongovernmental
organization, the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC), which since
1997 has been “accrediting teacher education programs based on their performance
in relation to internally derived objectives and standards” (Wilson and Youngs, 2005,
pp. 595-599).
Table 5. NCATE Standards for U.S. Teacher Education Institutions
Conceptual Framework
The conceptual framework provides direction for programs, courses, teaching, candidate perfor-
mance, scholarship, service, and unit accountability. The conceptual framework is knowledge
based, articulated, shared, coherent, consistent with the unit and institutional mission, and
continuously evaluated.
Standard 1: Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Dispositions
Candidates preparing to work in schools as teachers or other school professionals know and
demonstrate the content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge and skills, pedagogi-
cal and professional knowledge and skills, and professional dispositions necessary to help all
students learn.
Standard 2: Assessment System and Unit Evaluation
The unit has an assessment system that collects and analyzes data on applicant qualifications,
candidate and graduate performance, and unit operations to evaluate and improve the perfor-
mance of candidates, the unit, and its programs.
Standard 3: Field Experiences and Clinical Practice
The unit and its school partners design, implement, and evaluate field experiences and clinical
practice so that teacher candidates and other school professionals develop and demonstrate the
knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions necessary to help all students learn.
Standard 4: Diversity
The unit designs, implements, and evaluates curriculum and provides experiences for candi-
dates to acquire and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions necessary
to help all students learn. ... Experiences provided for candidates include working with diverse
populations, including higher education and P–12 school faculty, candidates, and students in
P–12 schools.
Standard 5: Faculty Qualifications, Performance, and Development
Faculty members are qualified and model best professional practices in scholarship, service,
and teaching ... They also collaborate with colleagues in the disciplines and schools. The unit
systematically evaluates faculty performance and facilitates professional development.
Standard 6: Unit Governance and Resources
The unit has the leadership, authority, budget, personnel, facilities, and resources, including
information technology resources, for the preparation of candidates to meet professional, state,
and institutional standards.
Source: 2008. NCATE
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11. 6. Personnel assessments (using tests, performance measures, etc.) for hiring
decisions and for career-long appraisals should be:
• Reliable, predictively valid, and cost-effective;
• Balanced with respect to the use of summative assessments for making personnel
decisions and the use of formative assessments for identifying and providing for
professional development needs (see Wilson and Youngs, 2005);
• Designed with a focus on motivating growth and performance as well as
monitoring for accountability purposes (see Imig et al., 2009; Roth 1996).
Some of the relevant issues – as well as potentially useful approaches – related to
personnel assessments are reflected in developments in the U.S. in the latter decades
of the 20th century. Porter et al. (2001) report that in 1988, the Educational Testing
Service (ETS) began efforts to revise the National Teacher Exam and develop the
Praxis Series: Professional Assessment for Beginning Teachers. “Praxis I measures
basic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics … [and] includes multiple-choice
questions and an essay question. … Praxis II includes four types of assessments: core
tests of content knowledge, in-depth tests of content knowledge, tests of teaching
knowledge, and tests of pedagogical content knowledge … [and] include multiple-
choice and constructed response questions … The Praxis III assessment, which
evaluates candidates’ teaching skills during their 1st year of teaching, … [and] is
based on 19 criteria that represent areas of practice … organized into the following
four domains: (a) organizing content knowledge for student learning, (b) creating
an environment for student learning, (c) teaching for student learning, and (d)
teacher professionalism (pp. 263-64). Porter et al. (2001) also describe the creation in
1987 of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, which administers
assessments of teachers, each of which “consists of 10 exercises, including 6 portfolio
exercises and 4 assessment center exercises” (pp. 264-65).
A third development discussed by Porter et al. (2001, pp. 287-288) involves the
development of the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS), which
“measures the effects of teacher education institutions, school districts, schools, and
teachers on “the academic performance of students in grades 3 through 8 in reading,
language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies … TVAAS uses … data
on individual students … to control for the effects of their characteristics on their
achievement.” Although a variety of researchers, educators, and other stakeholders
internationally have promoted the “value-added” approach to teacher assessment
(Gates Foundation, 2010, p. 5; Imig et al., 2009, p. 153), others have criticized
the approach on methodological and other grounds (Baker et al., 2001, pp. 1-2;
Teacher Professional Development 11
12. Hinchey, 2010, p. 16; Kane and Cantrell, 2010, p. 9; Newton et al., 2010, p. 2;
Rothstein, 2010, p. 1).
7. To encourage educators’ participation in and learning from professional
development programs, system policies, procedures, and resources for
recruitment, retention, evaluation, remuneration, and promotion of
educators should emphasize the same knowledge, skills, and dispositions.
If teachers’ promotion or remuneration is does not depend on what one learns
in professional development programs, they are likely to take the content of such
programs less seriously (see Bray and Mukundan, 2004; Carnoy, 2007; Darling-
Hammond et al., 2005; de Moura Castro and Loschpe, 2007; Porter et al., 2001).
An example of an effort in this direction is Peru’s legal framework for the public
school teacher’s career, La Carrera Publica Magisterial, which links career levels, areas
of wok, and classes of evaluation.
Table 6. La Carrera Publica Magisterial in Peru
Chapter III
Article 7: The Career Structure of Public Teaching
[It] is structured into 5 levels and 3 areas of work. The minimum time at the teaching levels is the
• First Level: 3 years
• Second Level: 5 years
• Third Level: 6 years
• Fourth Level: 6 years
• Fifth Level: until retirement.
Article 8: Areas of Work
The Public Teaching Career includes 3 areas of work:
• Pedagogical Management: Educators who exercise functions of classroom instruction and
complementary curricular activities within an educational institution and in the community.
• Institutional Management: Educators exercising direction or subdirection responsibilities,
responsible for planning, supervision, evaluation, and institutional management. One can enter
the area of institutional management at the second level of the Public Teacher Career.
• Research: Educators who design and evaluate innovation projects, conduct experiments, and carry
out educational research.
12 EQUIP2 State-of-the-Art Knowledge Series
13. Article 9: Classes of Evaluation en the Public Teaching Career
There are two classes of evaluation:
• Obligatory:
–– Evaluation to enter the Public Teaching Career.
–– Evaluation of work performance, in conformance with [criteria and procedures] identified in
articles 24 and 29 of the present Law.
• Voluntary:
–– Evaluation for movement to a higher level, in conformance with [criteria and procedures]
identified in article 24 of the present Law.
–– Evaluation to verify possession of the [knowledge], capacity, and teacher role performance that
are required to be appointed to a position in the area of institutional management or research.
Source: 2007. Law No. 29062, Government of Peru.
Another example is provided by Egypt’s Teacher’s Cadre Law (No. 155), which was
approved by the People’s Assembly in June 2007 (see also Megahed and Ginsburg,
2008; Leu and Ginsburg, 2011). This Law connects the different positions in the
field of education, pay levels, and performance and service requirements.
Table 7. Teacher’s Cadre Law in Egypt
Section 1: Teachers’ Jobs, Equivalents & Participants in the Educational Process
Article 70: The rules of this section are applicable to all teachers who are in charge of teaching,
technical inspection or school administration as well as to social workers, psychologists, technological,
press and media personnel and librarians.
Article 71: The job roll of teachers consists of the following positions:
1. Assistant teacher
2. Teacher
3. Master Teacher
4. Master Teacher (A)
5. Expert Teacher
6. Senior Teacher
Article 74: Appointment for one of the educational jobs mentioned in Article 70 of this law or
promotion to higher positions or their equivalent as mentioned in this section requires meeting the
conditions for holding them, obtaining the certificate qualifying for holding the job and passing the
training and tests conducted for this purpose.
Teacher Professional Development 13
14. Article 81: Promotion to the positions stipulated in Article 70 of this law requires meeting the
following conditions:
• Meeting the conditions for holding the job to which one is promoted as indicated its description
• Spending at least five years in practicing actual work in the immediately lower job or its equivalent
level in accordance with the rules decreed by the Minister of Education.
• Obtaining an eligibility certificate to practice the job to which one is promoted.
• Getting two performance evaluation reports ranked as at least above average in the last two years
prior to the consideration of promotion.
Section 2: Financial Treatment of Teachers
Article 85: Based on a presentation by the Minister of Education, the Prime Minister issues a decree
regarding performance, administration and academic excellence incentives for those who have obtained
post-graduate diplomas or master’s and Ph.D. degrees in the field of education, as well as the job burden
allowance system, over-time, encouragement allowances for certain jobs or areas, and the expenses
incurred by those holding teaching jobs in performing these jobs.
Article 86: Those holding the teaching jobs stipulated in this section will be paid an incentive for
excellent performance by virtue of a decree by the Prime Minister based on a report presented by the
Minister of Education. The decree specifies the amount of incentive and the conditions and rules for
granting it. The number of those who are granted this incentive every year should not exceed 10% of
those holding the aforementioned positions in each educational administration (idara).
Article 89: Those who occupy the teaching positions referred to in Article 70 of this law and who are
in service at the time this section is applied or those will be hired in the future will be paid a teacher’s
allowance estimated at 50% of the base salary. The set yearly allowance and any rise in salary granted
to the government administrative staff will be applicable to them. They will be promoted to the higher
financial degree pursuant to the rules of the public servant law. (Arab Republic of Egypt, 2007)
Source: 2007. Law No. 155, Government of Egypt.
8. Other education system policies (e.g., curriculum, examinations, school
self-assessment and improvement) should also be consistent with the
desired behaviors that professional development processes are organized to
As a counter example, curriculum and examination policies that emphasize
memorization and rote learning by students are likely to contradict teacher’s use of
active-learning pedagogies being promoted in in-service programs (Barrow et al.,
2007; Ginsburg, 2010; Kosunen and Huusko, 2002; Vavrus et al., 2002).
14 EQUIP2 State-of-the-Art Knowledge Series
This section draws on the broad conceptualization of professional development
as well as the eight principles discussed above to sketch three general steps toward
implementing reforms in professional development systems and policies.
These recommended steps in implementation provide general guidance, but as in any
endeavor, one needs to consider the context. That is, opportunities for promoting
professional development reforms may be increased depending on what other events
have occurred, though this does not mean one cannot begin implementation efforts
without these events having occurred. As Mourshed et al. (2010, p. 28) report based
on their study of 20 of the world’s “most improved” school systems: “Across our
sample systems, the impetus required to start school system reforms – what we call
ignition – resulted from one of three things: the outcome of a political or economic
crisis, the impact of a high-profile, critical report on the system’s performance, or the
energy and input of a new political or strategic [i.e., technical] leader.”
Furthermore, in pursuing these steps for implementing professional development
reform, however, one also needs to focus attention on the status of the teaching
profession. This is because recruitment and retention of high quality individuals
in the profession of education as well as educators’ commitment to engage in
continuous professional development can be elevated when societal recognition and
appreciation are enhanced (see Kim, 2009).
1. Engage relevant providers (e.g., national/local school systems,
universities/colleges, teachers’ unions, NGOs, private sector firms,
or international organizations), beneficiary groups (teachers, school
administrators, supervisors), and other stakeholders (e.g., parents, civil
society organization representatives, and business owners/managers) in a
dialogue focused on the policies, procedures, and resources related to the
career structure of teachers, school administrators and supervisors.
The purpose of such dialogue is to identify elements that encourage/discourage:
• Individuals’ decisions to become and remain a teacher, school administrator, or
• Educators’ participation in in-service programs; and
• Educators’ efforts to improve their professional practice.
Teacher Professional Development 15
16. 2. Gather input from representatives of all providers, beneficiary groups,
and other stakeholders to clarify and reach consensus on:
• Which agencies/organizations are or could be tasked with providing which
aspects of needed professional development activities;
• What, if any, policies, procedures, and resources of the professional development
system need to be strengthened in order to facilitate planning, implementing,
and evaluating programs/activities in a sustainable manner;
• What, if any, policies, procedures, and resources for recruitment, retention,
evaluation, and promotion of educators need to be reformed to better reinforce
desired behaviors that professional development processes are organized to
promote; and
• What, if any, other policies (e.g., curriculum, examination, school self-assessment
and improvement) need to be reformed to be consistent with the desired
behaviors that professional development processes are organized to promote.
3. Pilot, evaluate, revise, and then implement on a larger scale the various
policies, procedures, and resources noted above. This entails engaging
relevant providers, beneficiaries, and stakeholders in processes designed to:
• Identify alternatives that promise to be more effective and feasible;
• Seek consensus on alternatives that should at least be piloted on a small scale;
• Implement and evaluate the pilot efforts (including awareness raising and
requisite capacity building);
• Revise and seek system-wide adoption of some of the alternatives (building
political will, system personnel buy-in, and civil society support); and
• Implement and evaluate the system-wide implementation of some of the
alternative (including awareness raising and requisite capacity building).
This section lists some of the challenges and limitations that governments,
international organizations, educators, and other stakeholders may face in reforming
professional development policies and systems in the education sector.
1. The reform of (human resource, curriculum, examinations, etc.) policies is a
complex process requiring careful planning, effective mobilization of political
and financial support, phased-in implementation, and strong monitoring and
2. It is even more challenging to undertake policy and system reform in these
various areas in a coordinated and integrated manner.
16 EQUIP2 State-of-the-Art Knowledge Series
17. 3. Ideally, policy and system reform should be based on valid and reliable empirical
evidence, but the international research literature has three types of limitations:
a) the low quality of the data collected and the rigor of the designs used in
many of the studies, b) the contradictory findings across studies, and c) the
appropriateness of using findings from other societies to inform decisions in a
given context.
4. Reforms of human resource and other policies likely have cost implications,
and these need to be factored into the policy analysis and reform efforts (for
discussion of these issues in a variety of societal context, see Carnoy, 2007; Duflo
et al., 2007; de Grauwe, 2007; Hinchey, 2010; du Plessis and Muzaffar, 2010).
In reflecting on and seeking to address these challenges and limitations, one can draw
upon the conceptualization, principles, and steps presented above.
This section identifies general categories of indicators that can be used to monitor
progress in implementing reforms of professional development policies and systems.
Further details on these and other indicators of success are provided in many of the
references listed at the end of this paper, especially those which were cited in the
section on principles:
1. Increased satisfaction with the quality (content and delivery) of professional
evelopment activities (responses to questionnaires and interviews);
2. Enhanced clarity and legitimacy in the policies and procedures governing
selection, promotion, and remuneration of educators (review of previous and
current policies and procedures);
3. Improvement in educators’ knowledge, skills, and commitment (responses to
tests and questionnaires) (see above discussion of National Teacher Examination
and PRAXIS series of test);
4. Improvement in educators’ behavior in classrooms, schools, school systems, and
communities (self-reports and others’ observations) (e.g., see the Standards-Based
Classroom Observation Protocol for Egypt described in Box 10);
5. Improvement in the knowledge, skills, and attitudes/values as well as access,
attendance, and persistence/attainment of the students with whom educators
work (directly or indirectly).
Teacher Professional Development 17
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18 EQUIP2 State-of-the-Art Knowledge Series
19. Bray, M., and Mullikottu-Veettil, M. (2004). “The Decentralisation of Education
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du Plessis, J. and Muzaffar, I. (2010). Professional Learning Communities in the
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Teacher Professional Development 19
20. Gates Foundation. (2010). Working with Teachers to Develop Fair and Reliable
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Hinchey, P. (2010). Getting Teacher Assessment Right: What Policymakers Can Learn
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20 EQUIP2 State-of-the-Art Knowledge Series
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Teacher Professional Development 23
24. Measuring School Effectiveness: Ethiopia
This paper was written for EQUIP2 by Mark Ginsburg (FHI 360), 2011.
The EQUIP2 State-of-the-Art Knowledge Series: Guides to Education Project Design Based on
Comprehensive Literature and Project Reviews. Other topics in this series include:
• Decentralization
• Opportunity to Learn
• Policy Dialogue
• School Report Cards
• Secondary Education
EQUIP2: Educational Policy, Systems Development, and Management is one of three USAID-
funded Leader with Associates Cooperative Agreements under the umbrella heading Educational
Quality Improvement Program (EQUIP). As a Leader with Associates mechanism, EQUIP2
accommodates buy-in awards from USAID bureaus and missions to support the goal of building
education quality at the national, sub-national, and cross-community levels.
FHI 360 is the lead organization for the global EQUIP2 partnership of education and development
organizations, universities, and research institutions. The partnership includes fifteen major
organizations and an expanding network of regional and national associates throughout the world:
Aga Khan Foundation, American Institutes for Research, CARE, Center for Collaboration and
the Future of Schooling, East-West Center, Education Development Center, International Rescue
Committee, Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation, Michigan State University, Mississippi Consortium
for International Development, ORC Macro, Research Triangle Institute, University of Minnesota,
University of Pittsburgh Institute of International Studies in Education, Women’s Commission for
Refugee Women and Children.
For more information about EQUIP2, please contact:
Patrick Collins Audrey-marie Schuh Moore
EGAT/ED/BE, USAID Washington EQUIP2 Project Director
1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW 1825 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20532 Washington, DC 20009
Tel: 202-712-4151 Tel: 202-884-8187
Email: [email protected] Email: [email protected]
Web: www.equip123.net
This paper was made possible by the generous support of the American people through the
United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under Cooperative Agreement No.
GDG-A-00-03-00008-00. The contents are the responsibility of FHI 360 through the Educational
Quality Improvement Program 2 (EQUIP2) and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the
United States Government.