About Teachers' PL-INC

Teachers' Professional Learning Inland California

PL-INC LogoTeachers’ PD INC offers California K-12 teachers grants to design their own professional development that will address a particular question or problem directly related to their practice and aimed at making a significant educational reform in their classrooms and schools.

Many California teachers have innovative and entrepreneurial ideas for educational change. T-BAR grants recognize teachers as professionals capable of making creative, data-supported choices to improve teaching and learning. Teachers’ PD INC invites applications from teams of teachers, generally three to five teachers, for funding to put these ideas into practice. Teachers responding to the application will describe a professional development and implementation plan that will lead to a classroom or school improvement.

More traditional models of professional development often lack practical steps for helping teachers transfer their learning experiences to their classroom practice. School-based action research provides a set of tools for sustainable professional growth driven by the needs of the learners and informed by research. Teachers will conduct action research on their proposed reform and learn to successfully continue the effect of professional development long after the funding has ended.

Teachers’ PD INC stands for Teacher’s Professional Development for Inland California. It has been funded for a second two-year cycle through the Improving Teacher Quality Program. The project is co-directed by Dr. Michael Kotar, School of Education, Dr. Julie Monet, College of Natural Sciences and Dr. Karen Villalobos, Superintendent of the East Nicholas High School District. Teachers’ PD INC supports “teacher-driven” professional development to address questions or problems directly related to teachers’ classroom practice. Over two school years participating teachers select professional development, create interventions, and conduct action research to assess the impact of their interventions. Teachers’ PD INC is currently supporting sustained professional development for 52 teams of teachers from San Bernardino to Weed, CA and is serving approximately 250 teachers.

The co-directors are conducting research into the effectiveness of teacher-driven, job-embedded professional development that recognizes teachers as professionals capable of making creative, data-supported choices to improve their practice and the overall education of their students.

Mike Kotar

Mike Kotar

CSU Chico School of Education 

Michael Kotar is Professor of Education at California State University, Chico. He earned the M.S. in Elementary Education and Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Illinois State University, and the A.B. in Pre-Medicine from Augustana College. His K-university teaching experience was in Illinois, South Dakota, and California. Dr. Kotar has served as a middle school teacher, an elementary school principal, and a professor of education and a university department chair. He is an experienced project director and educational program designer, and has been involved in many efforts to improve teacher education from national and state accreditation to serving for many years as field editor of the Teaching Teachers column in Science and Children. Dr. Kotar is a constructivist educator who tries to apply and promote active learning through which learners construct understanding. Dr. Kotar’s research interests are in science education, K-12 assessment, and teacher professional development.
Julie Monet

Julie Monet

CSU Chico Geological and Environmental Sciences and Science Education

Julie Monet is Associate Professor of Science Education at California State University, Chico where she has a joint appointment in the Science Education and Geological and Environmental Sciences Department. Dr. Monet earned an Ed.D. in science education at Rutgers University, M.S. in Applied Geosciences at San Francisco State University, and B.S. in Geology from Sonoma State University.  She has served as the director for the Master’s in Science Teaching Program, and is highly regarded in her efforts to promote science learning in informal learning environments through her collaboration with the Gateway Science Museum. Dr. Monet’s research interests are in the development of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) for future earth science teachers, teacher-driven professional development and metacognition.