Annotated Bibliography of Resources for Educational Reform, Coherent Teaching Practice, and Improved Student Learning

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  • Sparks, D., & Hirsh, S. (1997). A new vision for staff development. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Sparks and Hirsh describe the paradigm shift in staff development. Three powerful ideas are altering the shape of schools and the staff development that occurs within them. These ideas are results-driven education, systems-thinking, and constructivism. The authors describe major shifts in staff development that are coming about as these three ideas take hold: from individual development to individual and organizational development; from fragmented, piecemeal improvement efforts to staff development driven by a clear, coherent plan; from district-focused to school-focused approaches to staff development; from a focus on adult needs and satisfaction to a focus on student needs and learning outcomes; from training conducted away from the job to multiple forms of job-embedded learning; from an orientation toward the transmission of knowledge and skills to the study by teachers of the teaching and learning process; from a focus on generic instrumental skills to a combination of generic and content-specific skills; from staff developers who function primarily as trainers to those who provide consultation, planning, and facilitation services as well; from staff development provided by one or two departments to staff development as a function of all administrators and teacher leaders; from staff development directed toward teachers to continuous improvement in the performance of all who affect student learning; and from staff development as a "frill" to staff development as indispensable. Sparks and Hirsh elaborate on each of these in this book, providing examples from around the country.

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