Toward Better Teaching: Professional Development in 1993-94 / Foreword


This report uses data collected by the (NCES) from the Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) to examine teacher professional development in 199394 in the context of current educational policy regarding professional development at the federal and state levels. It examines who determines the content of professional development programs, the format in which professional development is provided, the content and duration of professional development activities, support for professional development at the school level, and teachers' assessments of the impact of the professional development activities they have participated in on certain topics.

SASS, an integrated survey of public and private schools, school districts, principals, and teachers, is the most comprehensive survey of the school work force and teacher supply and demand ever conducted in the United States. It was first administered in 198788, and then repeated in 199091 and 199394. The next administration is planned for the school year 19992000. The 199394 SASS was the first to contain a section on participation in professional development activities.

A Teacher Followup Survey (TFS) has been conducted during the school year following SASS, sampling teachers who have left teaching and those who have continued to teach at the same or another school. The 199495 TFS included questions on teachers' instructional practices. These data were used in this study to examine the relationship between participation in professional development and instructional practices.

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