High-Quality Professional Learning
Delaware aligns to the Every Student Succeeds Act definition of professional learning.
The term ‘professional learning’ means activities that are an integral part of school and local educational agency strategies for providing educators with knowledge and skills necessary to enable students to succeed in a well-rounded education, meeting the challenging State academic standards; and are sustained, intensive, collaborative, job-embedded, data-driven, and classroom-focused.
Delaware has adopted the Learning Forward Professional Learning Standards to establish clear expectations that districts, school, and other educational agencies implement high-quality professional learning.
Research indicates that high-quality instructional materials (HQIM) improve outcomes for students in substantial, cost-effective, and scalable ways. However, implementing HQIM effectively requires a shift in how teachers teach. Therefore, teachers and leaders need high-quality professional learning (HQPL) that demonstrates how to use HQIM to meet the learning needs of every student.
The Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) defines HQPL as:
- Specific: It deepens educators’ understanding of what to teach and how to teach it.
- Relevant: It’s connected to the instructional materials teachers are expected to use in their classrooms rather than isolated teaching strategies that are unrelated to what students are learning. HQPL should also be relevant to a teacher's subject area and grade-level as much as possible.
- Equitable: It helps teachers make smart, deliberate adaptations to their instructional materials so that all students have the appropriate support they need and also takes into consideration educators’ own learning needs and provides them with the appropriate support.
- Ongoing: It’s provided regularly and often throughout the year to ensure educators receive the support they deserve.
- Engaging: It creates an engaging space in which educators can ask questions, collaboratively develop and discuss ideas, practice new skills, receive feedback from others, and reflect on their learning.
The DDOE provides school systems with tools, resources, and guidance that will support them in making informed decisions about HQIM and HQIM-aligned professional learning.
- Overview of High-Quality Professional Learning: Document defining HQPL in Delaware, it’s impact on teachers and students and the state’s efforts to support their use.
- Digital DE: A free online hub for best-in-class instructional resources including tools to support district leaders in providing educators with HQPL
- Professional Learning Standards: Expectations for professional learning at the state, district, and school levels
- Reimagining Professional Learning Grants: Annual competitive grants that support the design of sustainable professional learning systems that lead to improved teacher practice and student learning.
- Delaware Online Vendor Guide: Guide to partner organizations who have the expertise and ability to provide the professional learning and coaching needed to help Delaware educators provide curriculum-aligned instruction in every classroom, every day. The guide also includes students facing services such as high dosage tutoring, an online text repository, and digital math boosters.
- Professional Development Management System (PDMS): Listing of professional development courses being offered by the DDOE and links to registration
Regulation 1598: Delaware Administrative Code, Regulation 1598 Delaware Professional Development Standards describes in detail how professional learning standards will be implemented at the state, district, and building level.