Philosophy and Rationale

Professional development is essential to all professions—it is how professionals renew and update their knowledge and skills. In education, ongoing professional development is especially important as educators are often isolated from developments in their disciplines, as well as from their colleagues, spending most of their time behind the doors of their classrooms. Research also shows that to be effective, professional development needs to be sustained, collaborative, and connected to educators' actual classroom practice. Because the Ford PAS curriculum is innovative in its interdisciplinary content, focus on 21st century skills, use of inquiry- and project-based teaching, integration of technology, and reliance on community participation, professional development for Ford PAS educators is especially important. Since 2006, Ford PAS has offered a variety of professional development opportunities for educators to renew, update, and advance their pedagogical and content knowledge and skills. The Ford PAS professional development program includes both online and in-person components. Our aim is to build a professional learning community nationwide.