Strahan, D. & Hedt, M. (2009). Teaching and Teaming More Responsively: Case Studies in Professional Growth at the Middle Level. Research in Middle Level Education (RMLE) Online, 32 (8), 1-14 [pdf]
Professional Development as a Spiral of Growth
1. Teachers begin to discuss ways to improve instruction and consider possibilities for increasing student engagement and achievement.
2. Conversations that examine professional resources and analyze student work promote trust and lead to more explicit understanding of student thinking. With the support of colleagues, teachers begin to question their beliefs
about learning, set goals more explicitly, and venture outside their "comfort zones" to try new instructional practices.
3. Teachers understand more about the types of difficulties students face with subject matter, how to tap into students' existing knowledge to make learning connections, and how to assess students’ progress.
4. More responsive instructional practices and assessments nurture classroom learning communities and encourage deeper comprehension of subject matter.
5. Teachers and students collaborate even more productively, strengthening learning communities and enhancing accomplishment.