Setting the Context for Professional Development Standards In 2006, the Association of Adult Literacy Professional Developers (AALPD) identified the development of quality standards in professional development as a priority area. These standards, in conjunction with the AALPD policies, are designed to enhance professional development systems at the state and local levels.
The policies provide the infrastructure to support access and participation of adult basic education, literacy and ESOL practitioners and administrators in professional development. They provide the support, structure, and resources for professional development. The standards define the characteristics of quality professional development that develops effective and reflective adult educators.
The AALPD standards can be used:
By state ABE Leadership to set a vision for professional development.
By professional developers to guide them as they design and deliver professional development activities.
By practitioners to help them understand the characteristics of effective professional development.
In drafting professional development standards in adult education, the committee reviewed other professional development standards initiatives (e.g., National Council on Staff Development and Colorado Statewide Systemic Initiative for Mathematics and Science); standards developed by states for adult education and K-12 education (e.g., Massachusetts draft professional development standards, New Jersey, South Carolina); and research in the field. The standards reflect findings from two primary research studies on professional development:
The standards are broad guidelines for providing quality professional development experiences. Therefore, the committee has also developed a set of indicators for each standard to operationalize the standards in adult education.
To gain feedback from adult educators, the AALPD made the draft standards available on the AALPD website for review and comment. The National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) hosted a Discussion of Quality Professional Development on the professional development discussion list November 12 - 30, 2007, where subscribers reviewed and discussed the AALPD draft standards. Subscribers made several recommendations.