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Experimenting with teacher professional development: Motives and methods


"A strong base of research is needed to guide investments in teacher professional development (PD). This article considers the status of research on PD and articulates a particular direction for future work. Little is known about whether PD can have a positive impact on achievement when a program is delivered across a range of typical settings and when its delivery depends on multiple trainers. Despite a consensus in the lit- erature on the features of effective PD, there is limited evidence on the specific features that make a difference for achievement. This article explains the benefits offered by experiments in addressing current research needs andfor those conducting and interpreting such studiesdiscusses the unique methodological issues encountered when experimental methods are applied to the study of PD."