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What We Need to Know to Improve Professional Learning: Questions to Drive a Research Agenda

TERA convened a gathering of researchers and practitioners to shape the organization's research agenda on professional learning. This document outlines the research questions that resulted from this meeting. Participants highlighted five key areas within professional learning that require future study. Within each research topic, participants went through a process to brainstorm and refine questions that can guide future research and discussion. 

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Five Key Research Topics
Teacher improvement  
  • The Amount and Use of Time
  • The Conditions for Effective Feedback 
  • Variations in Access to Effective Professional Learning Opportunities 
  • Teacher Reflection and Self-Assessment
  • Coherent Instructional Systems
Next Steps

Looking ahead, TERA will use the research topics and questions to guide future research in the area of professional learning. In particular, researchers will focus on the use of direct observation to capture teachers' professional learning experiences over time, and on measures of effectiveness to identify conditions that predict educator growth.  

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