Dr. Robert Ochsendorf
The purpose of the Institute's research program on Professional Development for Teachers and Related Services Providers (Professional Development) is to identify effective strategies for improving the performance of current teachers, other instructional personnel, and related services providers in ways that increase reading, writing, language, mathematics, science, social, behavioral, or secondary transition outcomes, as well as functional skills that improve the educational outcomes of students with disabilities or at risk for disabilities from kindergarten through Grade 12.1 Long-term outcomes of the Professional Development program will be an array of tools and strategies (e.g., in-service programs, teacher supports, and assessments) that have been demonstrated to be effective for improving and assessing performance of teachers, related services providers, and other instructional personnel in ways that are linked to improvements in student outcomes.
By "professional development," the Institute refers to in-service training and supports (e.g., information resources) for current special education teachers, general education teachers who teach students with disabilities, related services providers, or other instructional personnel. Under this program, the Institute does not provide support for development of or research on professional certificate programs and other training programs intended to give non-special education teachers or personnel certification in special education or related services. By "teachers, related services providers, and other instructional personnel," the Institute refers to special education teachers, general education teachers, paraprofessionals, teacher consultants and specialists, related services providers, and other personnel involved in the instruction and school support of students with or at risk for disabilities.