Meeting Teachers' Professional Development Needs for School-to-Work Transition: Strategies for Success
Curtis R. Finch
B. June Schmidt
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Described in this document are various ways the professional development needs of vocational and academic teachers who are preparing to engage in school-to-work transition activities can be met. Neither a prescribed set of tasks to be followed nor specific steps to be taken are provided. Instead, details are given about various professional development activities and their impact from the perspective of school personnel and workplace representatives. During our visits to eleven exemplary school-to-work community sites in 11 different states, we rapidly recognized that teachers' professional development needs in school-to-work transition environments are much more complex than what is needed in traditional educational settings. We also observed that each of the sites visited had its own context, agendas, and policies. This meant teachers' professional development needs in different communities might vary as a function of the particular setting. Thus, professional development activities focusing on school-to-work transition are often unique to a given locale.
At these sites, we had discussions with almost 200 people including teachers of vocational and academic subjects; educational administrators and counselors; and business, industry, and community representatives. People we interviewed at these school-to-work sites supported the notion that for professional development to have a positive impact on teachers and their students, the development process must be both comprehensive and long term. This process requires that a major investment be made in professional development that prepares both vocational and academic teachers for their involvement in school-to-work transition.
Finch, C. R., Schmidt, B. J., & Moore, M. (1997, October). Meeting teachers' professional development needs for School-to-Work transition: Strategies for success. Berkeley, CA: National Center for Research in Vocational Education.