Professional Development Models Print E-mail

The James Madison Legacy Project (JMLP) provided more than 2,000 secondary school teachers across the country with intensive professional development (PD) to increase the effectiveness of civics and government instruction for high-need students. Participating teachers worked with noted scholars and mentor teachers to improve their content knowledge, practice interactive and student-centered classroom strategies, and make use of performance-based assessment of student learning. PD content focused on the Center’s We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution curriculum along with other resources used by effective teachers. The PD included the use of online resources, including a new blended-learning PD model.

Three PD models were implemented and researched in this project. All three models were proven effective by Georgetown University to increase student attainment of civics and government standards as compared with a control group of students not exposed to the We the People curriculum. Please see below for a description of the differences between each of the models and a graph showing the breakdown of the professional development sessions. To access the complete set of We the People scholar videos and other Center resources visit Learn.civiced.org.

Traditional Model

The We the People PD program has been implemented by the Center for more than 30 years. The trainings were originally offered throughout the United States for upper elementary, middle, and high school teachers. In the traditional model used in JMLP, teachers interacted face-to-face with scholars and mentor teachers during summer institutes and follow-up workshops during the academic year. As with all three models, the traditional model included civic education content, pedagogy, and
performance-based assessment.

Blended Model

The blended learning model used in JMLP employed scholar videos produced by the Center. Mentor teachers utilized these videos in lieu of live lectures by scholars at summer institutes and follow-up professional development sessions. The videos present scholars who have extensive experience with civics and government content.The videos are keyed to the six units in the WTP curriculum, and are divided into three- to seven-minute topical segments. Teachers were also able to access the videos during and after the PD.

Hybrid Model

The hybrid model made use of live scholars as well as scholar videos followed by mentor-led group discussions of the material. The follow-up PD during the academic year made use of the scholar videos and other materials, including digital content. As with the blended model, teachers had access to these videos during and after the follow-up PD.


Summer Institute
Professional Development Sessions
Breakdown
Content presentations
12 hours
Pedagogy demonstrations
8 hours
Team research and hearing preparation
8 hours
Individual and/or small group review of online resources
4 hours
Simulated hearings, teacher institute evaluation, and institute conclusion
4 hours
Total Instructional Time:
36 hours
Fall Semester
Professional Development Sessions
Breakdown
Content discussions
6 hours
Pedagogy demonstrations
3 hours
Group discussion
3 hours
Total  Instructional Time:
12 hours
Spring Semester
Reflection upon the impact of the program on teachers and students and discussion of recommendations for improvement.
4hrs
Total Instructional Time: 
4 hours
Total Professional Development Sessions time:
52 hours