Professional Development Challenge

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Summary

What do you feel is the biggest professional development challenge for adult educators in the next 5-10 years?

  • Lack of adequate resources to develop meaningful PD
  • Lack of a more stable workforce and ability to pay them for PD “release” time from the classroom to the PD room
  • Digital Divide -- Schools (and thus many AE programs) lack up-to-date technology for staff and students; workforce largely “not native” to using technology for professional development
  • Finding money to maintain adequate professional development
  • Funding for PD is drying up
  • Teachers will more and more need to pay for their own PD and are not paid enough to do that.
  • Helping teachers afford PD opportunities


Excerpts

  • Adequate resources to develop and deliver meaningful PD in a time of great uncertainty and limited budgets. Resources include time, money, and staffing and administrators up and down the line that value true professional development as a means to improve services to students. – Dan Wann
  • I feel that, at this moment in time, a very large challenge for adult educators is the integration of technology into the classroom…. The second impediment is that so many teachers may not have a computer with high speed Internet at home, or they don’t have access to adequate education technology (or adequate resources for learning the technology) at their school. All schools should be working toward developing up-to-date technology resources for their staff members. – Jim Lively
  • Instead of focusing our professional development on academics alone, we might look at those academics in the light of individual learners and how to best facilitate these academics in order to retain these students… For example, generational poverty is a different culture from middle or upper class cultures. Because many are accessing colleges for the first time in their lives along with auto workers who were making high incomes with only GEDs, it will be necessary to understand their paradigms in order to help facilitation, classroom relationships and other mentoring opportunities. – Charlene Lutes
  • I echo the "digital divide" as the biggest challenge of the moment, even though not all adult educators even recognize the impact of this divide (yet). I believe this divide INCLUDES many adult educators -- and as a consequence/sideline, professional development could also be called the number one -- waiting 10 years or more for "digital natives" to become adult educators is not a reasonable nor guaranteed 'cure' (since many digital natives find it difficult to train/help non-natives!). – Holly Dilatush
  • [Re: Texas] It is up to the local program administrator to determine how to compensate teachers for PD participation. Some programs do not pay teachers to attend PD activities or will provide a stipend upon completion of required hours. I view PD as work that should be compensated for like any other work activity and actually believe that programs that do not pay staff to attend PD may well be in violation of state and federal wage and hour laws. – Jon Engel
  • I think we could take some pointers from our president elect. It was reported today that Obama will pioneer web outreach as president. The PD challenge for adult educators to inform, educate and provide resources to part time educators who do not necessarily partake in institutional PD programs can be reached in very much the same way. – Barbara Jacala (Guam CC)

Full Thread


Subject: [ProfessionalDevelopment 2639] Professional Development Challenge?
From: Kathryn Land kland at student.gsu.edu
Date: Tue Nov 11 20:28:46 EST 2008

What do you feel is the biggest professional development challenge for adult educators in the next 5-10 years?

I would be interested in any opinions or thoughts on the top issues we will face.

Thanks,
Kathryn


Subject: [ProfessionalDevelopment 2639] Re: [Professional Development 2639] Professional Development Challenge?
From: Dan dlwann at comcast.net
Date: Tue Nov 11 22:57:26 EST 2008

Adequate resources to develop and deliver meaningful PD in a time of great uncertainty and limited budgets. Resources include time, money, and staffing and administrators up and down the line that value true professional development as a means to improve services to students. This goes along with the lack of trust in themselves and trust in their students on the part of many teachers and then to rely on teacher centered instruction and adherence to the mantra that expectations in and of themselves is enough to motivate students to achieve.

Dan Wann

Two Leaves Consulting, LLC

Indianapolis, IN


Subject: [ProfessionalDevelopment 2640] Re: Professional Development Challenge?
From: Lively, Jim livelyj at cochise.edu
Date: Wed Nov 12 09:38:12 EST 2008

The biggest! Wow! Okay, I feel that, at this moment in time, a very large challenge for adult educators is the integration of technology into the classroom. Based on my experiences, there are a couple of impediments here. One, many of our local teachers are very experienced and proud teachers who work for us part-time to supplement their retirement income, and did not transition into ed tech in the years before initial retirement. They have not grasped the significance of education technology. They are wonderful people, but have difficulty in this area and are resistant. However, as they leave us, they will be replaced by younger teachers who are growing up with technology and this challenge will eventually be overcome. The second impediment is that so many teachers may not have a computer with high speed Internet at home, or they don't have access to adequate education technology (or adequate resources for learning the technology) at their school. All schools should be working toward developing up-to-date technology resources for their staff members.
For the future, I believe the big challenge may be finding money to maintain adequate professional development. Pools (or even puddles) of dollars for attending conferences and training opportunities are drying up. Teachers' salaries certainly are not sufficient to foot the bill for much more than the occasional instructional webinar. I'm not knocking web study, but of those I have experienced, only the ones presented by ProLiteracy have been of value. The others seem to have been developed by people new to the field who put together clumsy webinars or were poor presenters in the media. Many of them are simply too costly. Granted, this is new and will improve in time, as almost all learning will become achieved through distance education resources. Still, most of them have to be paid for and helping teachers afford these opportunities is of major concern to me.
Jim


From: Charlene Lutes at message.nmc.edu
Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 9:05 AM
To: professionaldevelopment at nifl.gov
Subject: Re: [ProfessionalDevelopment 2639] Professional Development Challenge?

This might not be a popular answer, but here it is anyway:

With the influx of diverse students, not only ESL but also low-income, dislocated workers, etc., it is beneficial for educators to understand that many new incoming learners are dealing with external issues that impact learning. We already know this, however....

For example, generational poverty is a different culture from middle or upper class cultures. Because many are accessing colleges for the first time in their lives along with auto workers who were making high incomes with only GEDs, it will be necessary to understand their paradigms in order to help facilitation, classroom relationships and other mentoring opportunities.

This means instead of focusing our professional development on academics alone, we might look at those academics in the light of individual learners and how to best facilitate these academics in order to retain these students.

What I've found is that if they get an inkling that we are only interested in grades, assignments, etc., and have no understanding of how these classrooms things fit into their often harried lives, we will lose those learners.

Whereas when I went to school it was up to me to learn all school, my subjects, etc., now it appears it is up to us to understand all about our learners: who they are, where they come from, their talents, abilities, work, families, etc.

A great mind can hold two opposing ideas at the same time. - F. Scott Fitzgerald

Charlene A. Lutes, Ph.D.

Northwestern Michigan College
1701 E. Front Street
Traverse City, MI 49686
(231) 995-1971
(231) 995-1972 fax


Subject: [ProfessionalDevelopment 2644] Re: Professional DevelopmentChallenge?
From: bjnance at gmail.com bjnance at gmail.com
Date: Wed Nov 12 11:15:55 EST 2008

Hi
I wonder if you would be interested in what's happening 'across the water' in the UK We are currently developing the use of technology within teaching and learning in Adult learning which includes adults with literacy language and numeracy needs along with other adult learning curriulum areas, this also includes work in the prisons, workplace, voluntary sector as well as within the community .
Best wishes
Barbara


Subject: [ProfessionalDevelopment 2645] Re: [Professional Development 2639]Professional Development Challenge?
From: Jon Engel jengel at communityaction.com
Date: Wed Nov 12 13:57:08 EST 2008

From a local adult education program administrator in a state that does almost nothing to support the adult education enterprise, I would have to agree with Dan in regard to adequate resources. PD becomes a difficult budget variable when dealing with a part time workforce. Teachers need to be paid for their commitment to PD activities, but if they really get involved with PD, it becomes a cost that is unsupportable at this time-at least in Texas.

Jon Engel

Adult Education Director
Community Action Inc.
PO Box 748
San Marcos, TX 78666
Voice (512)392-1161 ext. 334
Fax (512)396-4255
Email jengel at communityaction.com
Web www.communityaction.com


Subject: [ProfessionalDevelopment 2646] Re: Professional Development Challenge?
From: Holly Dilatush holly at dilatush.com
Date: Wed Nov 12 14:29:09 EST 2008

I echo the "digital divide" as the biggest challenge of the moment, even though not all adult educators even recognize the impact of this divide (yet). I believe this divide INCLUDES many adult educators -- and as a consequence/sideline, professional development could also be called the number one -- waiting 10 years or more for "digital natives" to become adult educators is not a reasonable nor guaranteed 'cure' (since many digital natives find it difficult to train/help non-natives!).

Holly

-- Holly (Dilatush)
ABA Virtual Learning Center
Charlottesville, VA USA
holly at dilatush.com


Subject: [ProfessionalDevelopment 2647] Re: [Professional Development2639]Professional Development Challenge?
From: Tyskiewicz, Andy atyskiewicz at crec.org
Date: Wed Nov 12 15:36:20 EST 2008

Jon, How does the state use the mandated 12.5% leadership funds - is PD included? A tyskiewicz


Subject: [ProfessionalDevelopment 2648] Re: [ProfessionalDevelopment2639]Professional Development Challenge?
From: Jon Engel jengel at communityaction.com
Date: Wed Nov 12 16:44:46 EST 2008

Andy,

The state of Texas does devote a significant part, if not all, of its Leadership funds to professional development. There are eight regional professional development centers across Texas funded through the leadership funds. By and large, they offer high quality PD. However, they do not compensate local programs to pay for teachers to attend their trainings. Sometimes they will offer participant stipends and other inducements. It is up to the local program administrator to determine how to compensate teachers for PD participation. Some programs do not pay teachers to attend PD activities or will provide a stipend upon completion of required hours. I view PD as work that should be compensated for like any other work activity and actually believe that programs that do not pay staff to attend PD may well be in violation of state and federal wage and hour laws.

Jon Engel

Adult Education Director
Community Action Inc.
PO Box 748
San Marcos, TX 78666
Voice (512)392-1161 ext. 334
Fax (512)396-4255
Email jengel at communityaction.com
Web www.communityaction.com


Subject: [ProfessionalDevelopment 2649] Professional Development Challenge
From: Barbara Jacala barbara.jacala at guamcc.edu
Date: Wed Nov 12 20:25:03 EST 2008

I think we could take some pointers from our president elect. It was reported today that Obama will pioneer web outreach as president. The PD challenge for adult educators to inform, educate and provide resources to part time educators who do not necessarily partake in institutional PD programs can be reached in very much the same way. I value the links the listserv participants suggest and share it with faculty.

Barbara Jacala
Guam Community College


Subject: [ProfessionalDevelopment 2650] Re: Professional Development Challenge
From: Susan Kidd SKidd at sbctc.edu
Date: Wed Nov 12 21:19:29 EST 2008

In Washington we have been exploring a number of distance learning options for professional development.

Four or five years ago we developed an online new teacher orientation to the Washington basic skills system.

I am currently exploring ways to use Elluminate, an online meeting platform, to develop a learning community around math instruction. This is to supplement and extend face-to-face training. One thing I'm trying is to post a "problem of the month" on a wiki and follow up with an Elluminate session. So far it has been hard to get participation, but I am still hopeful.

I'd love to hear of other's experiences with extendind face-to-face training with distance learning.

Susan Kidd
ABE Professional Development Coordinator
Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges


Subject: [ProfessionalDevelopment 2651] Re: [Professional Development 2650] Re: Professional Development Challenge
From: Dan dlwann at comcast.net
Date: Wed Nov 12 22:26:27 EST 2008

Susan,

Like many others over the past 10 years or so, I have been involved with several distance learning/training projects. One activity in Indiana the Professional Development Project for Adult Education worked on was two-way interactive video conferencing. We experimented with 4 interactive synchronous sites. We also held worked in conjunction with the Central Indiana Educational Service Center to develop credit courses for teacher license renewal and CRU's.

That project was one of my favorites. The class was on an Angel Platform and we video taped segments with individuals from the Indiana Department of Education for Language and Minority Students, a Superintendent, teachers and students in the classroom. These video field trips were embedded in a lecture segment. The Angel platform provided areas for discussion boards, folders for uploading and downloading assignments.

In this class I worked with ESL Teachers, content area teachers and administrators. The teachers were more successful because the application pieces fit more with their daily work. The teachers also seemed to benefit from the discussion board threads especially when comparing how to adapt lessons for the ESL students in content area classrooms or in mixed level ESL classes.

There were five 30 minute video segments that were delivered over the Web and later burned onto a CD to be used independently. The assignments were to create lessons based on given criteria and the textbook was provided by the service center. Teachers kept a reflective journal, participated in a set number of online discussions, and created a set number of lessons plans to be used in their own classrooms.

I know some people think that CD delivery is expensive but even in web based online PD I think there is a place for video content. These field trips exposed the teacher/student to a variety of individuals and settings that would not be possible in face to face classes even with in-class guests.

I hope that I gave you enough information to get an idea of the contend and delivery without "beating a dead horse" which I am prone to do.

Dan Wann


Subject: [ProfessionalDevelopment 2652] Re: Professional Development Challenge?
From: Jackie A. Taylor jackie at jataylor.net
Date: Thu Nov 13 09:34:04 EST 2008

Kathryn,

Thank you for your question, it's certainly generated a lot of discussion!

From your perspective, what are you seeing as the biggest professional development challenge? (We might expand this topic to include bringing new teachers into the field as well as providing professional development to the existing adult literacy workforce.)

I look forward to hearing from you,

Jackie Taylor


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