Teachers are considered to be builders of the future; therefore, it is important for them to remain competent in their field. Teachers’ professional development training usually includes individual development, continuing education, in-service education, curriculum writing, peer collaboration, study groups, and peer coaching or mentoring.
Professional development of teachers has gained greater urgency in today’s age, as traditional education and strategy has not been able to fulfill the modern-day professional requirements, and students are constantly at risk of educational failure. Teachers also need to be professionally trained for meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse student populace; adopting more appropriate goals for schooling, and implementing new structures to promote shared responsibility, collaboration, and continual learning for both students and teachers.
Typically, the professional development of teachers fulfills some basic functions like expanding the knowledge base of the mentors, learning from practice, developing new attitudes and beliefs, providing opportunities for self-renewal, and collaborating with the growth of others. These programs not only assist in-service teachers, but can also be used by people desirous of joining the education system. These programs can also aid future teachers in knowing about not only the perspective and attitudes about their future roles and responsibilities, but also about the students they will teach and the kind of environment in which they will work.
However, teachers’ professional development programs should not just focus on enhancing the knowledge, skills, and experiences of the faculty, but should also provide options for prospective teachers and administrators to connect what they learn in the university to the realities of elementary and secondary classrooms, schools and communities. In the US, some of the notable professional development programs for teachers are being undertaken by the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.
Teachers’ professional development programs enable educators to determine the purpose, role and organization of schooling in relation to the increasingly diverse students and communities they serve.