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Building school capacity through professional development: conceptual and empirical considerations

M. Bruce King (Researcher, Wisconsin Center for Education Research, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA)
Fred M. Newmann (Emeritus Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 1 April 2001


Situates current research on professional development within an organizational perspective. Offers a framework for the study of professional development, and proposes that key factors that affect student achievement be conceptualized as school capacity. Argues that increases in school capacity will lead to gains in student achievement, and that professional development should, therefore, be designed to enhance the following three dimensions of capacity. First, school capacity includes the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of individual staff members. Second, the diverse human and technical resources of a school need to be put to use in an organized, collective enterprise termed school professional community. Finally, a school’s capacity is enhanced when its programs for student and staff learning are coherent, focused, and sustained. To illustrate comprehensive professional development that addresses all aspects of school capacity, describes one school from a current study.



King, M.B. and Newmann, F.M. (2001), "Building school capacity through professional development: conceptual and empirical considerations", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 86-94.




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