Summary Data from June 2005 Alcoa Collaborative Surveys
Number of Participants = 118 educators from 4 centers
Number of Activities = 390 professional development activities (3.3 per person)
Number of Hours = 924.5 hours of professional development (7.8 per person)
Number of Surveys Returned = 106
Compiled by Judy Abrams, Sharon Carver, Polly Lipkind, and Shelley Martin
1. As you reflect broadly on the first year of the Alcoa Collaborative Professional
Development Project (ACPDP), what do you view as the most significant accomplishments?
Four centers cooperating and communicating via a planning committee
Developing effective organization & coordination of varied and novel experiences
Offering a diverse menu of reflective professional development opportunities representing a variety of approaches to ECE
Connections and interactions over time with other professionals who value high quality ECE
Enhanced interest, excitement, and commitment to personal and professional growth
Affirmation of one’s own practice, familiarity with other programs, and support for similar challenges
2. Please describe the challenges faced during the first year of the ACPDP.
Newness of the Alcoa Collaborative itself, as well as the PDP
Timely communication and coordination
Expression of interest did not guarantee opportunity to participate
Match of interest with opportunities and professional development goals
Practical issues of scheduling, coverage, time, responsibilities, and commitments
3. As you reflect on your specific experience, what factors influenced your level of participation in the ACPDP (e.g., coverage, interest, scheduling, taking courses, family commitments, ACT 48 requirements, etc.)?
Interest, desire to expand knowledge, invitation, contagious enthusiasm of colleagues, accessibility, convenience, and Act 48 credit encouraged participation.
Already full schedules of coursework, other professional development commitments, and motivation to offer the opportunity to others decreased participation.
For some, practical issues mentioned above curtailed participation.
Some mentioned hesitation to go alone.
4. How has the ACPDP benefited you professionally? Please be as specific as possible.
Opportunities for visits, dialogue, and networking
Feeling connected as a community of educators and learners
Broadened professional thinking, perspectives, and interpretation
Appreciation of own and others’ programs and practices
Exchange of ideas, methods, and solutions
Recognition of practices that were good or could be better
Energized and inspired for quality improvement
Gained comfort and skills for professional interaction (e.g., facilitating, speaking, organization)
Strengthened the organization
5. How has your participation in the ACPDP influenced your daily practice?
Increased reflectiveness, commitment to excellence, and inspiration to try new approaches
Broader set of possibilities considered, resources available for curriculum development, and input for problem solving
Some mentioned specific changes in perspective, environment and activities
Limited participation led to limited impact
6. In what ways are you interested in becoming more involved in the ACPDP next year
(e.g., try different event options, serve on planning committee or subcommittee, facilitate a book club or roundtable, etc.)?
Increasing levels of participation (more of what worked, try other options)
Increasing involvement in planning via committee or subcommittees
Offers to facilitate discussions
Some are comfortable with level of participation, and none indicated a decrease.
Individuals who expressed specific interests will be contacted by the planning committee.
What specific suggestions do you have for next year’s ACPDP programming?
More of the same (book clubs, walk & talks, roundtables, trips, and job shadowing)
Add a newsletter to improve communication
Try web site for information, discussion board, and registration
Consider alternate timing to broaden participation
Add questions, pre-reading, discussion topics and focus points, etc. to deepen dialogue across venues
Job Shadowing – involve visitor in pre-planning, make it a full-day, include administration
Consider idea-swapping events, events organized by age-group of children,
Schedule ½ day trips around Pittsburgh (e.g., museum, library, etc.)
Involve educators from outside programs, visit other programs, etc.
Specific ideas for topics, books, etc. have been forwarded to those subcommittees.
8. What else would you like to share with the ACPDP planning team?
Great first year!
Appreciate the no cost opportunities.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to provide input. The ACPDP planning committee is already hard at work incorporating your ideas!