This brief evaluates common claims about professional learning against the research evidence, including a half-dozen recent research reviews and a series of newer, rigorously conducted studies of teacher professional learning programs. We aim to distinguish fact from fiction about professional learning, and to help ensure that all teachers and students receive the learning opportunities they deserve.
Our examination of the research found that, too often, commonly-held beliefs about professional learning were not supported by research findings. We noted anecdotal perceptions that did not stand up to scientific study and identified shared understandings of what does and does not work in professional learning that were based on an earlier generation of research.
The Research Partnership for Professional Learning brings together professional learning providers, researchers, and funders to build an ever-stronger evidence base designed to meet the needs of our teachers, students, and school systems.