In the study The Promise of Summer as a Time for Teacher Professional Learning researchers examined how summer is being used and can be used for teacher professional development (PD) in a way that differs from traditional PD throughout the school year. The study found that teachers taking part in academic summer programs were exposed to opportunities for developmental feedback, most often through observation and subsequent real-time coaching. These teachers reported that the practices they learned helped them to improve in certain areas of classroom practice during the school year. This experience however, is uncommon. On the heels of a year when teachers lost out on professional learning during the pandemic, this study explores ways that summer programs can create supportive PD environments where teachers can experiment with new strategies and receive feedback, with impact that continues throughout the school-year.
SCRI created this Companion Guide & PD Planning Tool to help districts and youth development providers identify and apply evidence and insights from The Promise of Summer as a Time for Teacher Professional Development to ensure meaningful and high-quality summer PD. The PD Planning Tool also helps summer learning providers align professional development opportunities with program goals and determine new strategies, techniques, and skills they would like to further develop with their staff.
The Sperling Center for Research and Innovation (SCRI) is part of BellXcel, a national nonprofit with nearly 30 years’ experience innovating educational solutions rooted in evidence. Drawing on decades of firsthand implementation experience and a culture of continuous improvement, SCRI bridges the research to practice to policy gap, to help partners strengthen goals, implement high-quality practices, expand to reach more young people, and advocate for improved policies.
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) selected SCRI and BellXcel (SCRI/BX) to provide technical assistance to school districts and charter schools as part of a landmark education bill. Learn how SCRI/BX is helping ensure those districts and schools are prepared to launch high-quality programs that align to TEA requirements and advance their district goals while engaging and inspiring students, families, and teachers.
In 2019, BellXcel partnered with RAND on a first-of-its-kind study on summer teacher professional development, The Promise of Summer as a Time for Teacher Professional Learning. SCRI talked with the study’s lead researchers Elizabeth Steiner and Laura Stelitano to distill the findings for the broader K-12 field.