CSU, Chico News

Professional Development Grant Will Serve Teachers in 33 Inland Counties

Date: 08-16-2010

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Michael Kotar

Teacher PD-INC, a collaborative professional development project, recently funded through the California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC) for $1,010,000 will serve 120 teachers in the inland California region. Lead partners are Yuba City Unified School District and California State University, Chico. The three-year project is part of CPEC’s Improving Teacher Quality Program.

Teacher PD-INC is designed to assist teams of teachers, primarily from high-need schools, obtain professional development that will address a particular question or problem directly related to the teacher team’s classroom practice. The goal is to help the participating teachers make significant educational reforms that will increase student achievement in their classrooms and schools. Teacher teams will be recruited across grade levels and subject areas.

Project co-directors are Michael Kotar, Education; Julie Monet, Science Education and Geological and Environmental Sciences; and Karen Hackett Villalobos, director of the Tri-County Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) Program. Additional partners are CSU, Fresno; CSU, San Bernardino; and CSU, Bakersfield, as well as BTSA programs near those CSU campuses.

Research into the effectiveness of teacher-driven professional development will be conducted simultaneously in collaboration with similarly funded projects at UC Davis/Humboldt State University, UCLA and UC Riverside.

“Teachers PD-INC and the entire Teacher Based Reform Initiative (T-BAR) is an exciting California-originated professional development approach,” said Kotar. “It recognizes teachers as professionals capable of making creative, data-supported choices to improve their practice and the overall education of their students. This grant has given us, and our partners, an opportunity to participate in a type of teacher professional development that we have long wanted to institute.”

“Often missing in more traditional models of professional development are tools for helping teachers to transfer their learning to their classroom practice,” said Monet. “T-BAR fellows will model the role of teacher as researcher, while they conduct action research on their proposed reform. The goal is to provide teachers with the tools to successfully continue modeling the learning experiences of the professional development long after the funding has ended.”

The inland region of California covers 33 counties from San Bernardino to Modoc and Siskiyou Counties.