sional development programs; and (c) for researchers, the results should be reported in detail sufficient to support further meta-analytic research.

11. Explore the efficacy of various types of professional development activities for school administrators. School administrators at the individual school and school district levels are responsible for facilitating teacher learning and evaluating teacher performance. If they are to support teachers’ efforts to incorporate the principles of learning into classroom practice, they will need professional development opportunities that provide an understanding of the principles and their enactment in a classroom environment.

It is recommended that research be conducted to identify the amount and type of professional development needed to create in administrators an ability to differentiate between teaching practices that do, and do not, incorporate what is known about how people learn. This research should go beyond an effort to identify whether a particular professional development opportunity effectively changes administrators’ evaluations of teacher performance. It should vary the amount of such training and the model through which training is provided (intensive workshops, monthly seminars conducted over the course of a year, etc.). Measures of administrators’ interpretations of teaching should be taken prior to training, at the point of program completion, and again a year after completion in order to ascertain the sustainability of change over time and the effect of prior beliefs on post-training performance.

Extend the Knowledge Base Through Elaboration and Development of Key Research Findings

12. Conduct research on the preconceptions of teachers regarding the process of learning. Adults, as well as children, have preconceptions that contribute to the ways in which they make sense of ideas and evidence and the decisions they make in undertaking tasks. For teachers to think about and conduct their teaching differently, they need to learn, and the principles of learning should guide that effort. It is therefore recommended that:

  • Research be conducted that explores the prior conceptions and beliefs of teachers and those learning to become teachers, identifying the common pedagogical models that current and prospective teachers use.

  • Learning opportunities be developed that challenge misconceptions about how people learn and support the development of a new model that is based on learning research.

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