Meeting the Professional Learning Needs of Career and Technical Education Teachers

States, districts, and teachers identify a need for professional learning that enables Career and Technical Education teachers to help their students meet new standards and respond more effectively to shifts in policy and requirements. This brief outlines the most-needed training topics, the challenges to meeting these needs, and the learning opportunities that work best.

Key Points

The most highly desired topics for professional learning include

  • integrating academics into CTE instruction;
  • using industry-based certifications to plan instruction;
  • using student data for decision making;
  • providing dual enrollment and articulation programs;
  • teacher certification; and
  • curriculum development and revision.

The greatest obstacles to receiving the appropriate training were identified as

  • lack of dedicated or available time;
  • scheduling complexities; and
  • lack of funding or resources.

CTE teachers preferred

  • collaborative and experiential learning, finding these approaches helpful in meeting their need to master technologies, techniques, and skills specific to CTE courses and content; and
  • teacher collaboration in planning, teamwork in instructional delivery, and an increased focus on student learning rather than on teaching.