A new study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group reveals a significant disconnect between teachers and administrators when it comes to teacher professional development. With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, researchers surveyed roughly 2,900 stakeholders including teachers, professional development leaders in district and state education agencies, principals, and professional development providers to gather data on the current state of professional development as well as future needs.

While teachers and school administrators share a common vision of what professional development should look like, they disagree on where the funding should be spent. For example, district leaders believe more lesson observation and coaching time should be prioritized, while teachers prefer an emphasis on professional learning communities.

The majority of teachers are also dissatisfied with professional development in helping them prepare for changes in their profession like Common Core implementation and the use of technology.

Both teachers and administrators agree on the barriers to the ideal professional learning experience: lack of time, training and resources. Looking toward the future, the report concludes with promising innovations, such as collaboration tools and assessment platforms, to create more effective learning experiences.