Madeline Hunter Thoughts on Staff Development
Hunter, M. (1990). Thoughts on staff development. In Changing school culture through staff development: The 1990 ASCD yearbook. (pp. xi – xiv). Alexandra, VA: ASCD.
Madeline Hunter offers her insight on staff development. It also provides a rationale for our work!
A profession is defined as having the following characteristics:
• Has a “core of research-based knowledge not possess by those outside (the) profession (p. xii).”
• The individuals need to be decision makers.
• “All principles of learning and methodologies are subject to teacher judgment. There are no absolutes in teaching. The only thing an educator must always do is think, using research-validated principles, emerging data, and intuition (page xii).”
• Life-long learners constantly working on refining their practice for their clients.
• “Doing what is appropriate for this client in this situation to achieve this outcome and doing it with artistry is the hallmark of a professional (p. xiv).”
• The impact of staff development on teacher attitudes, beliefs, and learning styles is indirect. Teachers’ professional skills directly impact self-esteem, eagerness to learn, and general outlook on life. By impacting professional skills, staff development can indirectly influence teacher attitudes, beliefs, and learning styles.
• Hunter’s wishes for staff development:
o A partnership between research and practice is needed and is long overdue
o For certification requirements, a set of core knowledge and skills needs to be identified.
o The human brain is complex. The quest for a simple solution in understanding such a complex entity needs to be ended.
• “Turf wars (over the one best strategy) only dilute our effectiveness (p. xiii).”
o “All educational personnel with a responsibility for improving the quality of teaching would be equipped, at the time of their certification (something not happening) with the skills of analyzing observed teaching performance and delivering growth-evoking feedback that has a measurable outcome in future performance (p. xiv).”
o “The expectation for continuing professional growth would be ubiquitous to all educators regardless of their status (p. xiv).”
• “It (continuing professional growth) implies rigor in the preparation and ongoing growth of a present-day educator (p. xiv).”
• Doctor Analogy:
o “Each (strategy) has its specific function in the educational pharmacy from which the professional determines the best prescription for this student in this situation at this time (p. xiii).”