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NHEON : Professional Development : Mentoring

NHEON > Professional Development > High Quality Definition

High Quality Professional Development:

High quality professional development may be defined by Context, Process, and Content.

“Professional Development must be job-embedded. For teachers, going to school must be as much about learning as it is about teaching. They must have time each day to learn, plan lessons, critique student work and support improvement as members of learning teams. Schools must be learning communities where staff members establish common goals for student success. Staff development cannot be something educators do only on specified days during the school calendar. It must be part of every educator’s daily work schedule.” - Stephanie Hirsh, Deputy Executive Director, National Staff Development Council


What does it look like?


Professional development that improves the learning of all students:

Organizes adults into learning communities whose goals are aligned with those of the school and district.

Learning Communities

Requires skillful school and district leaders who guide continuous instructional improvement.


Requires resources to support adult learning and collaboration.



Professional development that improves the learning of all students:
Uses disaggregated student data to determine adult learning priorities, monitor progress, and help sustain continuous improvement.
Uses multiple sources of information to guide improvement and demonstrate its impact.
Prepares educators to apply research to decision making.
Uses learning strategies appropriate to the intended goal.
Applies knowledge about human learning and change.
Provides educators with the knowledge and skills to collaborate.


Professional development that improves the learning of all students:
Prepares educators to understand and appreciate all students, create safe, orderly and supportive learning environments, and hold high expectations for their academic achievement.
Deepens educators’ content knowledge, provides them with research-based instructional strategies to assist students in meeting rigorous academic standards, and prepares them to use various types of classroom assessments appropriately.
Quality Teaching
Provides educators with knowledge and skills to involve families and other stakeholders appropriately.
Family Involvement


Last updated August 25, 2004


NHEON is a collaborative project between the New Hampshire Department of Education and educators all across the state.

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