What Is The New Face of Faculty PD? | Tara Quigley | 6 Min Read

Most teachers are lifelong learners. A passion for their discipline, a desire to spark a love of learning in students, and a true passion for helping others are part of what attracted most to the profession. Nevertheless, until recently, most school PD has consisted of sitting in large groups, going through power-point presentations, with the occasional “turn-and-talk” for interaction. Even when teachers attended conferences where they were exposed to amazing new ideas and great ways to engage students or present materials, these “one-and-done” experiences didn’t often lead to enduring change or revision of classroom practices. Unless there was follow-up, or the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues on an ongoing basis to rethink what was happening in classrooms, teachers didn’t often have the time or the guidance to make meaningful changes. Consequently, these experiences did little to improve the learning outcomes of students in their classrooms.

In Guskey’s article, Professional Learning with Staying Power, he comments,

Although researchers don’t always agree on the specific elements of effective professional learning, they generally do agree on how effectiveness should be defined. Most concur that professional learning is effective when it has a positive and enduring impact on…

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Tara Quigley

Tara Quigley began her teaching career in 1991 and has been at Princeton Day School for 23 years. She currently teaches sixth grade Humanities, serves as Director of Miss Fine’s Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, and is the Middle School Technology Coordinator. She has worked for OESIS as the Director of Program Alignment, working with schools to build mission-aligned culture and program, and has served as an OESIS Network Leader for many years. Having begun her career as a Middle-School science teacher, Tara has always been interested in incorporating inquiry, questioning, and exploration in her classroom. She has also taught early-childhood science, fourth grade, and fifth and sixth grade Humanities at Princeton Day School. In order to spark more engagement and intrinsic motivation in her classes, Tara began using Design Thinking, PBL, and inquiry in her Humanities classes to encourage student agency and allow for differentiation with Competency-Based Learning for feedback and assessment. Having seen great success with this approach, Tara frequently shares her process and experiences with her colleagues at PDS, national conferences, and peer schools. In 2014, Tara was appointed to the position of Director of Miss Fine’s Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in which she has worked to educate and empower teachers to try new pedagogical practices and strategies, including: design thinking, PBL, Guided Inquiry Research, Visible Thinking Protocols, and teaching towards mastery of skills and competencies. In 2016, Tara received an Intrepid Innovator Award in 2020.