Determining and Responding to Teacher Professional Development Needs
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Though prior efforts described in the research base emphasized the importance of professional development for the purposes of elevating teacher knowledge and practice, the school improvement and leadership literature suggested that providing professional development for teachers was not the only necessary component for moving school organizations forward. As a result, the initial premise of the ALM project was based on the idea that revitalizing school mathematics programs required full, systemic change, including changes by administrators and parents, changes in teachers' beliefs and practices, and changes in learning and attitudes on the part of children (Senge, 1991). Although this paper focuses on determining and responding to the professional needs of teachers, it is important to situate this discussion within the context in which the work was conducted.