New Education Research Describes Failure in Professional Development for U.S. Teachers and Outlines Emerging Trends for Professional Learning Tied to Student Achievement

Exclusive MDR/EdNET Insight Report  ‘The Evolution of Professional Development to Professional Learning’

September 19, 2016, Shelton, CT – MDR, an industry leader in education research, school data, and education marketing intelligence, has just released a 2016 EdNET Insight report, ‘The Evolution of Professional Development to Professional Learning.’

The comprehensive 35-page report sheds a crucial light on deficiencies of traditional professional development (PD) for K-12 teachers, the evolving $18 billion U.S. PD market, and the changing approach to effective PD requirements.

The research comes at a pivotal time in U.S. history, where teachers face enormous pressure to deliver innovative and individualized teaching and learning experiences in an era of high stakes accountability, while expected to enhance their own professional growth and capabilities.

In the report, researcher Allison Gulamhussein writes, “By and large, U.S. teachers are receiving professional development that is superficial, short-lived, and incoherent.” (Teaching the Teachers: Effective Professional Development in an Era of High Stakes Accountability)

Written and analyzed by MDR’s EdNET Insight experts, The Evolution of Professional Development to Professional Learning report outlines the failure of traditional PD for teachers, while suggesting more relevant and proven strategies that tie directly to student-centered learning and achievement. The report closely examines the latest research on spending, technology, and evidence-based learning theories that surround effective teacher PD as well as redefining PD as professional teacher learning. Emerging trends for professional teacher learning include using micro-credentials, online platforms, video modeling, and technology-assisted personalized learning.

Also in the report is synthesized research from twenty-five respected authorities in education, such as The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The New Teacher Project, the Center for Education Policy, ASCD, NEA, and others who have investigated this important topic. An overview of the report’s table of contents include:

  • PD situational analysis, trends and changes in spending
  • Why Title IIA is falling short
  • Teacher recruitment and retention costs and the impact on ROI
  • Compliance versus learning and perceptions of effective PD requirements
  • The importance of building systemic “agency”
  • Technology-enabled coaching
  • Examination of the top 3 trends—virtual communities/online platforms, micro-credentials, and video technologies
  • Standards and pursuit of efficacy and the importance of learning theory
  • Actionable steps to redefine, re-evaluate, and reinvent a professional learning understanding and framework

Annie Galvin Teich, report author writes, “Despite massive amounts of money and time spent on U.S. teacher PD—an average of $18,000 per teacher each year, and 10% of the school year (19 days of training), the report’s data clearly shows that teachers do not believe PD is preparing them for the changing nature of their jobs. (Teachers Know Best: Teachers’ Views on Professional Development) The data also shows that neither teaching skills or student outcomes are significantly improved by traditional PD.”

This report will provide strong competitive advantages for education providers and third-party vendors who want to develop new products and services that effectively enhance teaching and learning in this evolving PD market.

To order or to learn more about The Evolution of Professional Development to Professional Learning and various other MDR investigative research reports on K-12 education, visit our MDR Research Reports page or call 1-800-333-8802.

About MDR

MDR is a different kind of integrated marketing services agency with unique digital, creative, and branding capabilities. For over 46 years, MDR leads the industry in helping clients achieve their business goals by connecting with targeted audiences through research and market intelligence, a world class database and several multi-channel digital communities including WeAreTeachers, WeAreParents,, and EdNET.

About EdNET Insight

EdNET Insight is the education industry’s trusted source for information about the current state of the K-12 market and the game-changing trends that impact educators and administrators as well as the companies and organizations that serve them. EdNET Insight combines the proven power of research and analysis with recognized industry experts to deliver an insightful, comprehensive view of the trends and influences that are shaping the education market today and tomorrow.

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