Today, we’re excited to share a new, first-of-its-kind national study of teacher professional learning opportunities during the summer months. The Promise of Summer as a Time for Teacher Professional Learning is a collaboration between RAND and BellXcel that draws insights from a national sample of teachers as well as BellXcel teachers specifically.
What did we learn? That summer is an opportune time for teacher professional development, particularly professional learning that offers teachers opportunities for developmental feedback. Without the added pressure of testing and curriculum pacing, teachers can try new strategies, practice, receive feedback, and adjust in a lower-stakes developmental environment.
We also learned that simply teaching in an academically-focused summer program can help strengthen classroom practices and student-centered instruction, including positive behavior management and promoting social and emotional learning.
Finally, we now know more than ever about how summer learning benefits students in the long-term. RAND recently released a separate study, the follow up analysis of the National Summer Learning Project, which showed that student gains were still educationally meaningful three school years after summer participation. The bottom line: Summer opportunities make a difference.
As schools and districts consider the best ways to leverage the newest stimulus package in support of student and teacher growth, we hope summer learning is at the top of the list.
Brenda McLaughlin, Managing Partner, SCRI