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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Teacher Development

High-quality teaching is vital for student success. Explore elements of effective professional development and leadership critical for growing and supporting great teachers.

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Overview

Growing Great Teachers

Just as professionals in medicine, architecture, and law have opportunities to learn through participating in internships and learning best practices, exemplary teacher-preparation programs allow teacher candidates the time to spend in classrooms with experienced mentors. Watch an introduction video.

Importance

Why is Teacher Development Important?

Students deserve the best. Teacher-preparation programs provide educators-to-be with the tools, mentors, and hands-on experience they'll need once they begin their career. See about a career in teaching.

Three teachers in discussion reviewing papers Research

Research Review: Teacher Development and Leadership

The human touch is the most valuable element in education. Teachers, administrators, and parents play critical roles in coaching and guiding students through the learning process, nurturing students' interest and confidence as learners. Dig deeper.

Programs

Innovative Exemplars

Teacher-preparation programs are responding to the increasingly complex needs of new teachers, and we profile ten of the most innovative exemplars. Learn more.

Discuss

Why Don’t We Differentiate Professional Development?

Last comment 11 hours 25 min ago
47 27,496 43,228 views

Growth Mindset is Dead

Last comment 15 hours 29 min ago
29 53 11,074 views

Feeding the Teacher's Brain: Nutrition Tips for Busy Educators

Last comment 1 day 22 hours ago
13 2,305 15,539 views

Resources

Teacher and students gathered around looking down at a project

5 Essential Elements of a Classroom Walkthrough

Download this PDF for five great tips for effective classroom walkthroughs.

52 views
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Study: Teacher Collaboration Leads to Higher Math Gains for Students

Research shows that students do better in math when their teachers can have frequent, open conversations with other teachers.

3 49 views

Browse

A teenage female in a pink t-shirt, black exercise pants, and purple tennis shoes is lying on the grass with her legs raised straight up and her hands reaching towards her feet.
blog

Good News for Teachers: Exercise Builds Brain Power, Too

Strength training, regular exercise, better rest, and enjoying all of this activity makes you fit, alert, and positive for the physically demanding job of teaching.  

6 595 views
Four young students are sitting around a classroom table building a contraption out of legos and wires. It looks like it might be able to move prompted by technology.
blog

Design Thinking in Education: Empathy, Challenge, Discovery, and Sharing

As a model for reframing methods and outcomes, design thinking reconnects educators to their creativity and aspirations for helping students develop as deep thinkers and doers.  

2 3,435 views
A closeup of president Lincoln's red, blue, and purple face on the five-dollar bill.
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What Teachers Can Learn From Lincoln

Although he was a president, Abraham Lincoln's life provides some powerful lessons for teachers: demonstrating restraint, building trust, and the power of predictability and presence.

606 5,854 views
A side profile, closeup of a female teacher with her hand in a fist against her chin. She's in a pink sweater and wearing brown glasses.
blog

Teacher as Researcher: The Ultimate Professional Development

Seeking to learn from what happens in the classroom, teacher researchers are innovators, curriculum drivers, agents of school change, and directors of their own professional development.

9 1,515 4,481 views
An assembly of students are sitting in a room all looking in the same direction. The image is focused on the faces of two young girls sitting. The rest of the image is of blurred students sitting and two teachers standing against a wall.
blog

Can You Hear Me Now?

An educator shares how using a microphone while he teaches has improved student learning, comprehension, and behavior.

4 504 3,889 views
Orange cheese and half of an avocado
blog

Feeding the Teacher's Brain: Nutrition Tips for Busy Educators

By rejecting persistent nutrition myths and starting the day with a healthy meal, teachers can improve their own performance while modeling brain-friendly habits for their students.

13 2,305 15,539 views
Six young adults are sitting on one side of a conference table looking towards the front of the room where a man is pointing at a whiteboard.
blog

Mid-Year Reflection: Setting PD Goals

Halfway through the school year, pause to reflect, review your accomplishments, make an action plan going forward, and determine how you'll hold yourself accountable for these goals.

2 632 4,811 views

Pages

article

Why Arts Education Is Crucial, and Who's Doing It Best

Art and music are key to student development.

50 11,236 499,465 views
blog

What I Wish I'd Known as a New Teacher

The first year of teaching is incredibly challenging for most. New teachers are overwhelmed by all the daily decisions and feelings of being overloaded. This will get better.

53 73,987 482,840 views
article

Why Integrate Technology into the Curriculum?: The Reasons Are Many

There's a place for tech in every classroom.

387 609 436,719 views
article

How to Keep Kids Engaged in Class

When students let their minds drift off, they're losing valuable learning time. Here are ten smart ways to increase classroom participation.

102 1,272 313,730 views
article

Core Strategies for Innovation and Reform in Learning

See an overview of Edutopia's core strategies, including project-based learning, social-emotional learning, comprehensive assessment, technology integration, integrated studies and teacher development.

6 278 279,407 views
Woman in hat laying on beach reading with ocean view
blog

Summer Reading List: 5 Books on Professional Development

Here are five books that will add some fun, practicality, data-driven findings, digital thinking, and connectivity to your PD reading this summer.

38 27,551 215,231 views
article

Why Is Teacher Development Important?: Because Students Deserve the Best

Teacher-preparation programs provide educators-to-be with the tools, mentors, and hands-on experience they'll need once they begin their career.

119 441 183,769 views

Pages

Blog

Teacher Development Is Key to Closing the Achievement Gap

Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL) defines four key practices for sustained student achievement.

26 214 14,647 views
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