I am serious about professional development (PD). I love the topic, the practice, and the results. I believe strongly in becoming a “life long learner”. For individuals and organizations alike, professional development is a path to excellence.
I am entering a period of specialization in my doctoral studies, 18 credits in areas that I choose and that may well serve as the underpinning of my dissertation.
I am taking a course in Transformational Leadership and Professional Development right now, aimed at PD for education. Among the many things I have learned are:
- PD has to be based on research or some form of needs assessment among the intended audience.
- PD should be collaborative and participatory. It should be constructivist in execution.
- PD must be viewed as a priority by organizational leaders and decision makers and supported in terms of resources (time and money).
- PD should be viewed as an investment, not an expense.
- PD should be linked to positive outcomes and effectively evaluated.
Whether the organization is a school or a publicly-traded, for-profit corporation or a nonprofit or a government agency, PD for staff is the road to continued improvement of systems, processes, and productivity.
If organizations help their individual members learn and improve skills, the organization enjoys a competitive advantage.