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2005 National Training Institute


  • Options for Connecting Professional Development Research to State Policy, November 10, 2005.  To view the full agenda, click here!

  • Professional Development Policy to Practice:  Options for Expanding and Enhancing Your Professional Development System, November 11, 2005.  To view the full agenda, click here!



Options for Connecting Professional Development Research to State Policy

(November 10, 2005)

Improvement on your performance indicators is grounded in teachers getting better at helping learners organize, carry out, and evaluate learning.  So, what can a state do to support teachers in improving those skills?  This two part series begins this afternoon with a review of the research on which to build and justify foundational PD policy decisions.  Tomorrow, the session will explore a professional development framework that can help you expand and enhance your system and determine additional policy needs. 

Part I:  NCSALL’s research on “How Teachers Change” (Smith, 2004) identifies program and professional development factors that support teacher change.  As states begin to closely examine their professional development systems in preparation for new state plans, this research can help to guide future policy decisions.  In addition, AALPD, the Association of Adult Literacy Professional Developers, has identified factors that positively impact professional development.   

This session will begin with a presentation by Cristine Smith, the author of “How Teachers Change” who will review the research findings, including state policy implications.  States who have developed such policies will share their experiences in implementing those policies into practice.  You will leave this session with a variety of sample professional development and program policies that you can adapt to your state’s needs.


 November 10, 2005

1:30-1:45 PM Overview Linda Warner, Chair, Professional Development Committee
1:45-2:00 PM Setting the Stage
Lennox McLendon, NAEPDC Executive Director
2:00-3:00 PM How Teachers Change: (Tab 3: PowerPoint)
The Professional Development Study examined how practitioners change after participating in one of three professional development models: multi-session workshops, mentor-teacher groups, or practitioner research groups.  The study also investigated the most important professional development and program factors that influenced the type and amount of teacher change.  Cris will provide an overview of the research findings and discuss the state policy recommendations developed by the Association of Adult Literacy Professional Developers (AALPD) as a result of the research.

Cristine Smith, Deputy Director, Policy Implications from NCSALL, A Study of Professional Development in Adult Education

3:15-3:25 PM

Framing a Discussion for  Connecting PD Research to
Foundational Policy, Expectations and Guidance 

Tab 4 AALPD Policy Recommendations


Connecting the key research findings to state policy and guidance can form the foundation for clearer expectations for professional development in your state.  Whether you have the authority to institute policy requirements or whether your agency can only provide guidance, the research findings can be used as a guide.  This afternoon we’ll examine five of AALPD’s policy recommendations that can serve as a foundation for your PD system.  Tomorrow we’ll explore additional policies as they relate to various components of your PD system. 

  •         Forming foundational policies

  •         Involving teachers in decision making

  •         Paid professional development time

  •         Expectations for participation in PD

  •         Individual professional development plans

  •         Quality of professional development

  •         Tab 5:  Recommended Policies by Category


Lennox McLendon, Executive Director, NAEPDC

3:25-4:25 PM

A Look at How States are Connecting PD Research to Policy


Selected states will share their policies and practices related to the research factors and will provide information on (1) how the policy originated, (2) what support (e.g., training, dollars) accompanied the policy, (3) how it is communicated to the field, (3) how compliance with the policy is monitored, and (4) how they measure the impact of its benefits. 



Examining Your State’s Foundational PD Policies

(Tab 11)

What types of foundational professional development policies does your state have?  Did you get any good ideas from the previous presentations?  During this segment you will (1) complete a foundational policy matrix to assess where you stand right now and where you’d like to go in the future, and (2) share your thoughts and plans with your table partners.


4:45-5:00 PM

Examining One Model for Organizing Your Professional Development Framework (Tab 12)


Tab 13:    Adult Education Teacher and Tutor Training System Adult Education Local Program Director Training System


                                Review of Part II agenda


As a pre-organizer for tomorrow morning’s session, you will be introduced to a framework that can help organize your professional development system with a structure and process for incorporating policy recommendations.



Lennox McLendon, Executive Director, NAEPDC



Professional Development Policy to Practice: 

Options for Expanding and Enhancing Your Professional Development System 

(November 11, 2005)

Part II:  With performance indicators, it is all about program improvement.  Your local program practitioners look to you for guidance on how to get better at what they do.  Improving professional development policy and structure reinforces your program improvement vision.  Therein, you provide clear guidance, the resources, and the expectation that enable teachers and program directors to regularly assess their capabilities and practice adult learning for themselves.


Thus the state director’s task is to provide clear policy guidance, supportive structures, and resources.  By doing so, you (1) create the expectations that each practitioner is expected to get better at what she/he does and (2) enable all practitioners to do so.


This session will focus on helping states take a closer look at the structure of their professional development system by examining a framework in which to organize it.  Within that framework, a number of factors will be explored including practitioner standards, various components of professional development, and the policy decisions that need to be addressed to ensure clear expectations to the field. You will learn about the structure and policies that a variety of states have adopted related to professional development content, access, incentives, and fulfillment issues.  By the end of this session, you will have varied professional development options that you can adapt to your state’s capacity and needs.



 November 11, 2005

8:30-9:00 AM

Taking a Closer Look at a Professional Development  Framework                                                                                                               

The majority of adult educators enter this profession “sideways” with little or no undergraduate training in adult education.  Helping them gain the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for high performance, therefore, demands a professional development system that is responsive to their diverse needs.  By organizing your professional development efforts into a structure or a framework that can address the needs of both new and veteran practitioners, you will be better able to identify gaps and policy issues that need to be addressed.  The framework presented during this segment will help you to examine your own professional development system more closely. 


  •           Practitioner Standards

  •           Components

  •           Orientation Training

  •           Core Training

  •           Responsive Training and Resources

  •           Program Expansion

  •           Policy Decisions

  •           Content

  •           Access

  •           Incentives

  •           Fulfillment


Lennox McLendon, Executive Director, NAEPDC and

Kathi Polis,  Professional Development  Consultant, NAEPDC

9:00-9:20 AM

Reaction Discussions on the PD Framework


Discuss the structure of the framework with your table partners to (1) share how your current professional development efforts relate to its format, (2)determine if such a framework would be a good way to organize your professional development delivery, and (3) identify ways in which it could be adapted to fit your state’s needs.


Lennox McLendon, Executive Director, NAEPDC and

Kathi Polis,  Professional Development  Consultant, NAEPDC

9:20-10:00 AM

A Tour of State Options


The Tour of State Options will give you  an opportunity to hear about various options for delivering professional development in addition to the policy decisions these states have made related to content, access, incentives, and fulfillment. Be prepared to receive lots of ideas on how it might work in your state. After each component, you’ll have a chance to share your thoughts with your table partners.  This tour will give you ideas for expanding options your professional development system when you return home.


·         Practitioner Standards (Tab 16)

o        Pam Smith, Colorado




Discussion Point #1:  Table discussions on:

  • Do you currently have standards/competencies for teachers, local directors, or other adult education staff in your state?

  • If yes -- how were they developed, and how are they used?

If no – In what ways do you think practitioner standards could enhance the quality of your professional development efforts?



Orientation Training:  Content, Access, Incentives, and Fulfillment Policies (Tab 17)


Reecie Stagnolia, Kentucky State Director of Adult Education


Discussion Point #2:  Table discussions on:

  • What is the structure of your current orientation process for new local staff?

  • How do participants access the orientation?

  • Is participation required? Are they paid to attend?



10:15-11:30 AM

Core Training:  Content, Access, Incentives, and Fulfillment Policies (Tab 18)


Cathy Shank, West Virginia


Discussion Point #3:  Table discussions on:

  • Are you currently offering training related to accountability issues, including assessment, NRS, data collection, and using data for program improvement?  Is this training mandatory or “strongly encouraged”?

  • In addition to accountability, are there other trainings that local staff are required to attend?

  • How do participants access the training (e.g., face-to-face, online)?

  • Are you providing incentives to promote participation?

What do you expect as a result of the training, and how are you measuring it?



Responsive Training and Resources; Content, Access, Incentives, and Fulfillment Policies (Tab 19)


Joanie Rethlake, Texas Adult Education State Director


Discussion Point #4:  Table discussions on:

  • What process does your state use to help practitioners identify their individual professional development needs?

  • In addition to face-to-face training, does your state provide alternative methods for professional growth (e.g., study circles, technology-based options, inquiry-based projects, teacher exchange programs)?

  • What type of incentives do you offer to encourage participation?

What are participants expected to do after the training?  How do you measure it?



Program Expansion:  Content, Access, Incentives, and Fulfillment Policies (Tab 20)

o        Preparing Cyber Teachers


Ron Jewell, Missouri Adult Education State Director


Discussion Point #5:  Table discussions on:

  • Do you have specific teacher and/or director training for program expansion areas such as workplace education, distance learning, family literacy, correctional education?  If so, what does it entail?

Are there any particular challenges in providing this specialized professional development?  If so, how do you deal with them?


11:30-11:40 AM

Sequencing Your Development Work 


Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are professional development systems.  The key is to determine your priorities; decide which ones need to happen first, second, third, etc.; and set a structure and process in place to make it happen. We’ll share with you how a few states are tackling this issue.




11:40 AM-Noon

The Wisdom of the Crowd:  An Open Forum on Professional Development Policy and Practice Issues


The book” The Wisdom of Crowds:  Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few” by James Surowiecki, states that a group of knowledgeable people makes far better decisions than a few experts. This closing segment will provide you, the knowledgeable folks, with an opportunity to bring professional development issues to the floor for discussion and possible resolution.  For those questions or problems that you’ve always wondered how other states were dealing with them, this is your chance to gain the “wisdom of the crowd.”






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Dr. Lennox McLendon, Executive Director; 444 North Capitol Street, NW; Suite 422; Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-624-5250; Fax: 202-624-1497; Email: