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Professional Development: Ensuring Return on Your InvestmentExecutive SummaryCountries such as Singapore, Finland, and Korea had the foresight early on to see radical changes in their education systems would be necessary if they were to remain economically viable in a world defined by globalization, innovation, and participatory cultures. Today, students in these countries are the top performers on international tests. Critical to these high performing systems are teachers who are well prepared and who are committed to the practice of inquiry-based learning for themselves and their students.Innovation fuels today’s global economy. Increasingly 21st century skills, such as creativity, self-direction, collaboration, multi-modal communication, and information, communications, and technology (ICT) literacy, are being integrated into learning standards of school systems across the globe. The new national resources that countries are beginning to mine are human ingenuity and creativity. The good news is these natural resources are malleable and renewable – but it necessitates schools that ready students for the complexities of the world today.It is imperative that education shifts practice in order to prepare graduates to thrive in today’s highly collaborative, innovative, high tech society and workforce. The stakes are high. A recently released research study by a Stanford University professor linked highly cognitive teaching and learning in elementary and secondary schools directly to economic growth and health of states and nations The lynch pin to such learning is highly effective teaching. And that necessitates engaging teachers in sustained, high quality professional development, both as individuals and as a part of effective teams.Read the full Professional Development Paper.
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