Source: Teacher Development, Volume 16, Issue 1, 2012, pages 1-23.
This research project examined how elementary teachers in one Canadian school district were handling implementation of a new social studies curriculum over the 2009–10 school year, three to five years after they experienced a formal district-level program of professional development.
An interpretive case study method was used to uncover the successes and challenges of implementing the new curriculum and to provide insights into what the teachers felt constituted effective professional development for improving practice and student learning.
The findings suggest that effective professional development needs to be based on teachers’ needs; involve active learning, collaboration and modeling; be supported by a culture of learning in schools; and considerate of teacher resistance to change.
Furthermore, the study also highlights the need for a more intentional focus on the use of technology, and specifically digital networks, to enhance and extend the effectiveness of future curricular change initiatives.