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Trends in the teacher professional development market include creating more professional development opportunities and an increase in the adoption of mentorship programs.

1. Creating More Professional Development Opportunities

  • According to Education Dive, ” there’s an increasing demand for opportunities to improve teacher engagement, morale, and effectiveness.”
  • A study done by the Frontline Research & Learning Institute on 200 school districts and 27 states in five years found out that 80% of professional learning “falls short of criteria for effective professional development (PD).” This has prompted a revamp of how professional development is done.
  • The Frontline Research & Learning Institute report indicated that “only 13% of professional learning met the standard for sustained, only 9% met the definition of collaborative, 63% was job-embedded, only 8% was truly data-driven, and 85% was classroom-focused.”
  • According to Education Dive, school leaders are asking educators for solutions that work for them. Teachers are requesting opportunities that are personalized, collaborative, and relevant.
  • Learning Forward is a nonprofit organization that is at the forefront of organizations/brands driving this trend. The organization is helping in defining professional learning and influenced the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The act “includes improved definition of professional development.”

2. Increase in Adoption of Mentorship Programs

  • According to Education Dive, teacher leadership is growing in popularity and there is a need for schools to adjust their professional development models to accommodate mentorship opportunities between veteran teachers and their young peers.
  • According to Education Dive, mentorship programs are becoming a must-have for “districts hoping to retain effective teachers who may not be looking to advance into administration.”
  • The Teacher Career Pathways (TCP) program that allows model teachers to organize professional development for other teachers in the school or share with other schools, “is being held up as a model — not just for other states, but for the world.”
  • A survey on the TCP program indicated that ” 98% of TCP participants remained in their schools, compared to 89% of a comparison group. Seventy percent of the principals who responded agreed that the program helped them attract teachers, and even more (81%) said it helped with retention of the most effective educators.”
  • The Wallace Foundation’s Principal Pipeline Initiative is at the forefront of organizations/brands driving this trend. The foundation has been trying to “improve the training and retention of principals.”

3. Spend on Professional Development

  • According to an article by Education Next, $18 billion a year is spent on “professional development for teachers in the United States.”
  • According to a 2018 research, public schools spend an average of “$148,337 per year on professional development for its teachers.”
  • The estimated amount spent per teacher on professional development is $18,000 per year.

4. Funds Allocation

  • According to an article by Education Next, professional development services and products are purchased by districts and schools.
  • Teachers do not pick professional development programs. These programs are picked by districts and schools. District superintendents control spending in public schools.
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