The School of Education is committed to excellence in professional development for teachers. Three subject matter projects (writing, math and science) and the Academic Language Development Network are housed in the School’s REEd center. In addition, several faculty in the School have expertise in professional development for teachers. Find more information about their research in this area here.
In November 2014, School of Education PhD students and seasoned educators Leslie Banes and Michael Hill led a two-week professional development seminar in China for fourth through ninth grade teachers of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
The Globe Education Academy for Teachers is a professional development residency for for drama and English teachers of grades 7–12 and community colleges in the Sacramento region. The academy is a partnership of the School of Education, the Mondavi Center at UC Davis, and Shakespeare’s Globe in London. There is an annual application process for the residency, which lasts from spring to fall.
The UC Davis School of Education is a partner in the Academic Language Network (ALD Network), a collaborative project focused on the academic success of all students who need to improve their abilities to use language in school.
The Network focuses on research-based teaching and assessment practices for developing the complex academic language, literacy, and thinking skills that support the learning of the Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, ELD, and other new standards. One of the main purposes of this network is to share ongoing research and effective professional development resources for building system-wide capacity to meet the instructional needs of academic English learners.
We currently collaborate on professional development and research efforts in multiple school districts and counties. Part of the academic language work originated with REEd Executive Director Susan O’Hara (Principal Investigator) and Jeff Zwiers (Senior Researcher), when they worked in the Stanford’s Center to Support Excellence in Teaching. This work is supported by a National Professional Development Grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Partners include universities, state departments of education, research centers, county offices of education, school districts, schools, coaches, and teachers. If you would like to join the Network or receive our newsletter, feel free to contact us. Play the introduction video for more information and/or download the ALD Network Research Brief.
Kevin Gee, assistant professor in the UC Davis School of Education, recently helped complete a large-scale study of the impact of a professional development program on reading achievement in Hawaii for the Institute for Educational Sciences.
Beginning in 2009, the California Postsecondary Education Commission (now housed at the State Department of Education) provided funding to the School of Education to offer small teacher teams with small grants to design their own professional development.
Eventually, the Pacific Coast Teacher Innovation Network (PacTIN) supported 48 teams of three to five teachers along California’s Pacific Coast (representing 20 counties between Del Norte and Ventura Counties) over a two- to three-year period as they developed and implemented creative and innovative approaches to engaging and motivating students.
Recognizing that many outstanding teachers in California’s schools have creative and innovative ideas for enriching teaching and learning in their classrooms and schools, the goal of PacTIN was to provide classroom teachers with “seed monies” for making their ideas a reality. The program encouraged an entrepreneurial spirit by granting the teachers their own resources (up to $30,000 per team) and held them responsible for planning their own professional development and for translating new knowledge and skills into classroom practice and student learning in the classroom.
A team of educational partners, including the UC Davis School of Education CRESS Center, Humboldt Science and Mathematics Center, the School of Education at Humboldt State University, and Parajo Valley Unified School District, provide project leadership.
Steven Athanases is a Professor in the School of Education at UC Davis. He researches issues of cultural and linguistic diversity and educational equity in teaching, adolescent learning, and teacher education, with a focus on literacy and English language arts. As a high school English teacher in the Chicago area, he received several awards for outstanding teaching of English, with a focus on writing, and drew on his disciplinary roots in Performance Studies and Communications to stage annual performance showcases of original student compositions.
Susan O’Hara joined the School of Education as REEd’s Executive Director in 2013 with a wealth of experience and background in public education, and working closely with teachers, researchers and community leaders. An educator for 20 years, Susan began teaching mathematics and science to middle and high school students in Ireland. In 2000, Susan was appointed assistant professor in teacher education at Sacramento State University and received early promotion to associate professor in 2004. While at Sacramento State University she served as associate chair of teacher education and core faculty for the Independent Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Most recently, she was associate professor and founding executive director of the Center to Support Excellence in Teaching (CSET) at Stanford University.
Susan’s research practice partnership work is focused on building instructional capacity and implementing integrated professional growth systems, with specific attention to meeting the needs of linguistically and culturally diverse populations. Her work in this area has spanned 22 years and she is specifically interested in partnerships that translate into actions and improvements in practice. Her current work stems from a five-year grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) testing the efficacy of Academic Language and Literacy in Every Subject (ALLIES), an instructional capacity building model that targets the academic language and literacy needs of English learners in grades3-6 as well as a four-year grant from the National Science Foundation testing the efficacy of a professional learning model designed to improve math outcomes for all students.
U.S. Department of Education, National Science Foundation (2018-2022). Testing the Efficacy of the SOAR for Math Professional Learning Model. ($4.9M)
U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences (2017-2022). Investigating the Efficacy of the Academic Language and Literacy Professional Developmental Model.($3.2M)
U.S. Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition (2016- 2021). Building District Capacity to Support Mentors and Teachers in the Academic Language and Literacy Development of Young English Learners. ($2.5 M)
Improving Teacher Quality Grant (2016-2018). Resourcing Integrated Professional Learning Systems. ($3.8 M)
California Department of Corrections. Evaluation of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Career Technical Education Program. ($500,000).
Improving Teacher Quality Grant. Resourcing Integrated Professional Learning Systems ($5.8M).
U.S. Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition. Academic Literacy Support for Teachers: A Capacity Building Approach ($2M).
O’Hara, S. and Bookmyer, J. (2018). Theory of action for resourcing professional growth. Journal of Professional Capital and Community.
O’Hara, S., Bookmyer, J., Martin, R., Newton, R., and Reyes, R. (2018). The (not so fast or straight) Line to Continuous Improvement: Building a Teacher Professional Growth System. Leadership Magazine
O’Hara, S., Pritchard, R. (2016). Framing teaching for Common Core literacy standards: SOAR teaching frames for literacy. Psychology Research, February 2016, Vol. 6, No. 2, 92-101.
O’Hara, S., Pritchard, R., & Zwiers, J. (2016). Academic Language and Literacy in Every Subject (ALLIES): A capacity building approach to supporting teachers in Grades 3-8. In F. Hiebert & P. Proctor (Eds), Teaching emergent bilingual students: Flexible approaches in an era of new standards
Pritchard, R., O’Hara, S., & Zwiers, J. (2016). Framing the teaching of academic language to English learners: A Delphi study of expert consensus. TESOL Quarterly.
O’Hara, S., Pritchard, R., Pitta, D., and Webb, J. (2015). Implementing new technologies to support social justice pedagogy. In Papa, R., Eadens, D. M., & Eadens, D. M. (Eds). Social justice instruction: Empowerment on the chalkboard. Springer Publishing
O’Hara, S. & Pritchard, R. (2015). Using new technologies to engage and support English learners in mathematics classrooms. In D. Polly (Ed.) Cases on technology and Common Core mathematics standards. IGI Global. Hersey, PA.
O’Hara, S., Zwiers, J., & Pritchard, R. (2014). Cutting to the Common Core: Changing the playing field. The Journal of Communication & Education, 13(7), 28-31.
O’Hara, S., & Pritchard, R. (2013). Learning to integrate new technologies into teaching and learning through a design-based model of professional development. The Journal of Technology and Teacher Education (JTATE), 21(2), Pages 203-223.
O’Hara, S. & Pritchard, R. (2012). Professional degree programs for the development of accomplished teachers: A case for the National Board Certification process. Journal of Educational Research and Practice (JERAP), 2(1), Pages 54–73.
O’Hara, S., Pritchard, R., & Huang-DeVoss, Cammy. (2012). The Teaching Using Technology Studio (TUTS): Innovative professional development to meet the needs of English language learners. TESOL Journal.
O’Hara, S. & Pritchard, R. (2012). “I’m teaching what?!”: Preparing university faculty for online Instruction. Journal of Educational Research and Practice (JERAP). Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 42-53.