The five challenges facing teacher PD

March 5, 2021
Pam Grossman holding a paper in front of a class

“Students deserve meaningful learning experiences—ones where they explore rich questions, engage in deep discussions, and problem-solve in collaborative ways,” Penn GSE’s Zachary Herrmann and Dean Pam Grossman write in ASCD Express. Yet many teachers were never exposed to such learning opportunities in their own schooling, and formalized professional development often falls short of training teachers to bring these kinds of experiences into the classroom.

Herrmann and Grossman define five primary challenges facing teacher professional development: it lacks an ambitious vision of teaching and learning; it fails to cultivate teacher ownership; it is short, sporadic, and disconnected from the classroom; it’s one-size-fits-all; and it’s not collaborative. By addressing these challenges, Herrmann and Grossman contend, we can create better learning opportunities for teachers – and therefore, students. 

Read more of Herrmann and Grossman’s recommendations in ASCD Express.