By: Marc A. Johnson, Education Program Director, Colorado Council for Economic Education
Professional development (PD) for teachers has sometimes been characterized as unappreciated and ineffective. Those of us who have taught long enough can certainly recall mandated PD experiences that were less than engaging, uninspiring and downright tedious.
But it’s unfair to apply that broad brush to all PD. In our experience, both as recipients and deliverers of workshops and seminars from our respective state councils for economic education, PD can be stimulating and rewarding for teachers and have a strong chance of leading to greater student achievement.
Among the deliverers of PD in economics and/or personal finance, state councils and centers seem to be best suited to provide the best opportunities for teachers. The model varies from state to state, but there are commonalities. Most can boast a stable of credible academics whose guidance can be relied on by teachers – they can take this stuff back into their classrooms with great confidence in the integrity of the message. Second, most workshops help teachers with the pedagogy. Classes/workshops are generally infused with exemplary demonstrations of methods – often by mentor teachers who show us the best ways to teach this stuff to kids. Finally, most PD from state councils and centers includes excellent resources, often provided from the vast library of carefully developed and well-vetted lessons from the national Council for Economic Education.
It’s this three-tiered construction of PD – expertise, pedagogy and resources – that make targeted, customized PD by centers and councils for economic education well worth their while. Individual teachers, departments, schools and school districts would be well-advised to seek out their state councils/centers and explore the possibilities of participating in high quality, efficacious PD in economics and/or personal finance.
To learn more about your local state councils/centers visit: http://councilforeconed.org/resources/local-affiliates.