About Teachers' PD INC

Teachers' Professional Development Inland California

Teachers’ 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 

Dr. Kotar is a constructivist educator interested in the idea that learning occurs when the learner is actively engaged with problems and interests, and from these experiences constructs understanding. Active engagement includes collecting and analyzing data, creating explanations, conversing and collaborating with other learners, teachers, and others, and more. His main areas of work are in science education, K-12 assessment, and research methods for educators.
Julie Monet

Julie Monet

CSU Chico Science Education

Julie Monet, EdD (Rutgers University, 2006) received her doctorate in Science Education from Rutgers University, MS in Geosciences from San Francisco State University, and her BS in Geology from Sonoma State University. Her main research interests are in the development of teachers' topic-specific pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) for teaching earth science, and the role of epistemic understanding and scientific reasoning in understanding science. Since her appointment at CSU, Chico she has served as the director for the Master’s in Science Teaching Program. She teaches graduate courses for science teachers in earth science, research methods in science education, and science teaching methods for graduate TAs. She also teaches undergraduate courses that include early science teaching experience and science teaching in informal learning environments.
Karen Villalobos

Karen Hackett-Villalobos

East Nicolaus HS School District

Dr. Villalobos is the current the Superintendent/Principal at East Nicolaus High School District in East Nicolaus, California. Prior to this position she served as the Tri-County (Sutter, Colusa and Yuba Counties) Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) Induction Program Director for 11 years. In this role, Karen worked with thousands of teachers delivering research-based professional development through an accredited licensure program.  Karen began her administrative career as a Superintendent/Principal at Lake School District in Glenn County for three years and has worked as a teacher at the primary school level since 1995.

In addition to the two current Improving Teacher Quality grants, Karen co-authored and was awarded an Improving Teacher Quality Grant that focused on job-embedded professional development for teachers in 2004.  She is currently working as adjunct faculty for Brandman University instructing aspiring administrators and master candidates in democratic education and supervision and assessment.  Karen is certified in Mindful Coaching and enjoys coaching school teams on engaging families.

Karen recently completed her doctoral studies at the University of Pacific, her dissertation was on training beginning teachers how to engage families.