Alcoa Collaborative Professional Development Project: Center Visits


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!