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Social Studies: Professional Development Plan for Educators

Staff development plan is very important and in terms of this paper its basic points are developed. Primarily the main focus is on curriculum as well some observations are made in order to prevent possible difficulties the realisation of the plan may face. Than workshops, bulletins, in services are briefly discussed. Naturally, each plan has to be based on certain resources that are essential for its realisation. Furthermore, in order to achieve higher efficiency of the staff development plan it is necessary to use demonstrations. Finally, the plan also focuses on students for whose sake the staff is actually supposed to progress.


Nowadays, education plays an extremely important role in life of each individual and the whole society at large. In such a situation it is quite natural that educators have to constantly progress in order to improve the educational system, process of learning, and its efficiency that provides positive results and high academic and creative achievements of students. Otherwise, without development of educators any significant progress of students would be practically impossible. Moreover, the educational capabilities of educators would gradually degrade and so would do students knowledge, skills, etc. At the same time, in order to provide an efficient staff development it is necessary to primarily work out a plan which would systemise and direct educators progress, their knowledge, skills and experience. One of possible staff development plans is presented in terms of this paper.


Naturally, in order to develop an efficient staff development plan it is necessary to work out curriculum, which is actually one of the basic points of the plan and which suggests the main direction at which educators are supposed to work and how their progress would be achieved.

In this respect, it is very important to point out that the curriculum should basically aim at the improvement of the professional level of educators. Moreover, it should take into consideration the contemporary social demands. On working on a curriculum of the staff development plan, it is necessary to clearly realise what are the main goals and what actually should be done.

First of all, it should be said that as a rule an educators have access or develop their own programs, scientific works, experience, etc. This is why, it is necessary to summarise and co-ordinate programs related to staff development and professional growth in order to improve instruction. The second step that should be done to improve the staff development is encouragement and support of exploration of new strategies to improve teaching and learning.

However, it is not enough to simply gather and develop certain strategies and programs but it is also necessary to convey them to educators and what is probably even more important to monitor the extent, to which they are applied in practice. In other words, the third step implies the monitoring of instructional programs within an educational establishment and organises and co-ordinates faculty, grade level, and departmental meetings to effect horizontal and vertical continuity of curriculum and instruction.

Furthermore, it is necessary to provide participation of educators in the work and activities of state and national curriculum association and study groups that would provide the active participation of educators in the life of a local community, state and country at large. In other words such participation would improve educator’s knowledge and skills concerning social and civil experience, it would also contribute to their better understanding of the contemporary world, its social and economic life. It would particularly efficient, if educators participated in the activities of international organisations. In such a way, on working in associations educators would have an opportunity to improve their knowledge and skills related to their local and national community, as well as international one, social and civil relations on local, national and international levels, their knowledge about social environment and socio-economic conditions and trends.


Naturally, it is practically impossible to develop a perfect curriculum. This is why it is necessary to make several observations concerning what has been just mentioned above.

First of all, it should be said that on developing staff, it is necessary to pay a lot of attention to historical experience and integrate educators into comprehension of their role, activities and goals in historical terms. Probably it would need some special programs but still, it has to be applied because educators need to know history of their region, state, nation, as well as world history in order to be able to possibly better accept and understand ideas and apply their experience along with their historical knowledge to socio-cultural context of the contemporary reality in a concrete situation in practice.

At the same time, it should be pointed out that curriculum should be developed in association with educators. It means that they have to actively participate in the process of creation of the curriculum. This is why the steps, which should be undertaken mentioned above, could be changed and improved by educators themselves. Moreover, they should take an active part in the creation of curriculum and their opinion should be taken into consideration too. Otherwise, it is quite doubtful that the staff development plan would be efficient enough and would lead to positive results, and, consequently, professional growth of educators and higher quality of education at large.

Workshops and bulletins

Obviously, the realisation of the staff development plan would need not only the theoretical development of certain programs and strategies but it would also need the development of workshops and bulletins. It means that workshops and bulletins would serve to the development of practical experience of educators and as sources of helpful information for their professional growth. In this respect, it is worthy to note that it is possible to use existing programs in such purposes. For instance, there are curriculum programs offered as a service of the Board of Co-operative Educational Services (BOCES), such as Career and Teach Ed, Cultural Arts, etc.

At the same time it worth noting that the contemporary world can offer an opportunity to use bulletins via Internet. Naturally, it facilitates the work and training of educators significantly because it makes it possible to provide distant training, for instance. In other words, it means that educators do not even need to have some special training period. Instead IT and Internet provide them with an opportunity to acquire new knowledge, skills and experience within the process of their regular work.


As for in-services they may seem to be rather close to workshops but still, it is possible to enlarge this notion. In this respect, new technologies provide a lot of opportunities. For instance, it is possible to speak about the possibility to provide educators with in-services, which are not actually workshops. In such a situation, it is possible simply to provide the communication of educators by means of modern telecommunication system, organise conferences, etc. that would also contribute to their professional growth and staff development at large.


Naturally, the development and implementation of the staff development plan would need certain resources. In this respect, it is necessary to underline that financial problems may become a serious obstacle in realisation of an efficient staff development plan. Nonetheless, nowadays there are a variety of resources to finance the staff development plan. Among the resources may be named general funds, categorical funds, and grants. All of them support a variety of opportunities for a successful realisation of the staff development plan. At the same time, it is necessary to underline that it is highly recommended to use the resources mentioned above in a combination in order to increase efficiency of the realisation of the staff development plan.


On working on the staff development plan, it is necessary to realise that it cannot be really effective or well perceived by educators without demonstrations. It means that it is possible to practically demonstrate the efficiency of the plan that could be done by means of its practical implementation in certain area or level.


Finally, it is necessary to remember about students because it is for their sake the staff development plan is created and implemented. It means that it is necessary to take into consideration students needs and demands in the creation and implementation of the plan. Practically, it means that certain researches are needed as for students needs and demands. For instance, it could be some tests revealing their anxieties, interviews, etc.


1. Glatthorn, A. The principal as curriculum leader. 2nd ed.: Corwin Press, 2002.
2. Hargreaves, L and Galton M (eds) Moving from the Primary Classroom: 20 Years On, London: Routledge, 2001.
3. Rudduck, J Chaplain R and Wallace G (eds.) School Improvement: What Can Pupils Tell Us? New York: David Fulton, 1996.
4. Marsh, C., & G. Willis. Curriculum: alternative approaches, ongoing issues. 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall, 1995.
5. Rebore Ronald W. Human Resources Administration in Education, LA: Allyn and Bacon, 2001.
6. Zeborski, J. retrieved Apr 03, 2004, from Curriculum as Structure and Anti-structure. Web site: Can Write a Professional Development Plan for You!

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