Teacher Education Curriculum, Professional Development, History of

The history of professional development for teachers has in many ways come full circle from its early days. Professional development is a set of practices intended to change the curriculum as delivered to students in schools. Since the 1920s, teacher professional development (also known as “inservice training” or “staff development”) has exhibited elements of each of the five models proposed by Dennis Sparks: training, individually guided staff development, observation/assessment, inquiry, and involvement in a development/improvement process. Each of these models has held differently sized shares in the total “mix” of extant models in different periods.

Among the earliest eras in professional development history was the Denver Plan of the early 1920s. The Denver Plan was the work of Jesse H. Newlon, one of the country's ...

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