At a Glance
The Best Practices Summit at Dauphin County Technical School (DCTS) is a peer-to-peer learning in-service that follows a typical conference schedule with large morning sessions and smaller afternoon break-out sessions at which professional staff members share best practices.
The DCTS professional development committee designed the April Best Practices Summit to encourage peer-to-peer learning and to support teacher choice in professional learning. The committee finds that this approach to professional development aligns with research in adult learning theory indicating choice and relevance are key to making in-service valuable.
During the in-service, staff members first attend a group morning session. In the afternoon, they may attend two small breakout sessions led by their colleagues. Prior to the in-service, instructors select which of these small sessions they want to attend.
At the end of the in-service, participants are asked to complete a reflection survey, and the results are shared with individual presenters. In 2019, professional staff also had the opportunity to submit an RFP and propose a session for the in-service.
Each year the reviews for this in-service are positive. Most teachers indicate they appreciate the opportunity to select which breakout session to attend, and they like to see their colleagues in action. If staff members want to implement a strategy that was presented in a session, they have the benefit of being able to meet with their colleague who presented for assistance.