Research tells us that quality teacher practices and methods positively affect student achievement (Wilson, Floden, & Ferrini-Mundy, 2001; Hirsch, 2006). Professional development methods that enhance a learner’s understanding of knowledge and strategies, coupled with personal reflection and thought, leads to a greater change in practices in the classroom; thus affecting student achievement (Hirsch, 2006). Professional development design that includes knowledge, experiential learning, and a personal opportunity in which to transfer learning, may influence the implementation of new strategies and practices in the classroom environment (Dixon, 2010). Summer Institutes online is firmly anchored to these notions.
The relationship between professional learning and student results requires “standards-based professional learning, which creates and supports the changes in educator knowledge, skills, and dispositions, which effect the change in educator practice which in turn creates change in student results” (Standards for Professional Learning, www.learningforward.org).
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