Teacher Professional Development and Student Achievement Gains
The achievement of students results from the work of knowledgeable, experienced, and skilled teachers. Therefore, there is a need to improve the knowledge and skills of teachers to ensure that the achievement of students is possible. Investment in education must include allocation of funds and time for professional development of teachers in elementary education. There are many options in developing the skills and knowledge of teachers. The most appropriate approaches to professional development aim at gaining high student performance. The research conducted on the professional development of teachers focus on the personal traits of teachers and classroom activities. Research helps to find the appropriate way of developing teachers so that students achieve high performance. This paper gives an analytical review of the teacher professional development, which is aim at increasing student learning and achievement.
The activities and content, which must be included in teacher professional development, include student learning, skills of the teacher and the subject matter (Jogthong & Pimolbunyong, 2009). There are two categories of studies into the professional development and student achievement. The first category mainly focuses on the traditional teaching skills of teachers. The ability of a teacher in allocating adequate time for lessons is the area of assessment so that the teacher adequately develops his or her ability to allow sufficient time for student learning (Frampton & Vaughn, 2003, p. 292). The development of the teacher therefore should focus on enabling the teacher to be able to apply critical thinking and taking all learning factors into consideration in allocating time for lessons. For example, the teacher should be able to allocate time for lessons depending on the level of education, abilities of students, and the nature of the subject he is teaching.
In teacher professional development, the ability of the teacher to provide vivid demonstrations in class is an important consideration. This will enable the development of the skills of the teacher towards ensuring that he is able to provide illustrations and demonstration in class so that the understanding is a priority. This is more important in elementary education where learners require instruction aids such as photographs as a way of enhancing leaning and student achievement (Ross & Bruce, 2007).
The content and activities, which constitute teacher professional development, also include determination of the ability of the teacher on the student comprehension or understanding during learning. For successful achievement of learning by students, learners must comprehend what the content of the lesson (Jogthong & Pimolbunyong, 2009). Assumption of the teacher that students have understood the content of the lesson may be wrong. As a result, the professional development of elementary school teachers must enhance the...