Effective professional development

A key requirement for teachers to maintain their accreditation throughout their careers involves professional development, and this inclusion highlights the significant impact PD has on improving the effectiveness of teachers, for better student outcomes.

Change and learning for students and teachers

Students' learning is constantly in flux and as things change - circumstances, technologies and societies - so do students' educational needs.

Along with change, new developments in curriculum and pedagogy arise, and gaps open up in teachers' capabilities to meet new needs. This continual process affects all teachers at all career stages, and engaging teachers in targeted professional development bridges these gaps.

Improved teachers and better student outcomes

Effective professional development builds the knowledge, skills and qualities of teachers to improve the outcomes of their students. When teachers engage in effective professional development:

  1. their enhanced knowledge and skills improve their teaching
  2. their improved teaching then enhances their students' outcomes.

This process is supported by the often-cited meta-analysis by Yoon (2007) which claims that average students can potentially increase their achievement significantly, when their teachers participate in quality professional development.


Yoon et al (2007), Reviewing the evidence on how teacher professional development affects student achievement, Issues & Answers Report REL 2007 No.033:14.

Return to top of page Back to top