District Policy Choices and Teachers' Professional Development Opportunities

Judith Warren Little
University of California, Berkeley


A comprehensive inventory of formal staff development activity and costs in 30 California districts yields a portrait of locally organized opportunities for teachers and reveals the policy stance taken by districts toward teachers and their professional development. Present patterns of resource allocation consolidate the districts' role as the dominant provider of teachers' professional development; other sources, including the university or the larger professional community of teachers, are less visible. Expenditures reflect a conception of professional development based almost exclusively on skill acquisition furthered by a ready marketplace of programs with predetermined content and format; other routes to professional maturation are less evident.

This article was originally published in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis by the American Educational Research Association and SAGE Publications.

Suggested citationLittle, J. W. (1989, July). District policy choices and teachers' professional development opportunities [Article]. Policy Analysis for California Education.