What Career and Technical Education Teachers Really Want for Professional Learning

Contributors: Cherise G. Moore, Catherine Green, and Kaylie Clark

Effective preparation of Career and Technical Education (CTE) educators has a direct relationship to improved CTE student outcomes. To better understand the professional development needs of CTE teachers, AIR conducted a national survey through the Association of Career and Technical Education to current CTE educators between November 2014 and January 2015.

CTE educators identified their top professional learning priorities from among 59 priority areas, followed by recommendations for professional development consideration based on the priorities identified. This brief expands the knowledge base by sharing findings from a national survey and outlines the most-identified priority training topics overall for CTE educators and by categories of administrators and teachers.

Key Points

The overall most identified priority topics for professional learning include

  • designing authentic or simulated learning experiences, requiring real-world use of industry-specific technologies;
  • aligning curriculum, instruction, assessment and evaluation;
  • improving business/industry engagement;
  • motivating students; and
  • incorporating critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Recommendations focused on identifying opportunities to use this information at the local level to best meet the priorities needs for professional learning among CTE educators.