Professional development activities include all formal types of education, typically, under graduation post-secondary or poly- technical courses leading to qualifications required to obtain or retain employment. Professional development programs may be either in the form of pre-service or in-service, as in, professional development program is taken up by a candidate as a training before practicing a profession or as an additional training program while practicing a profession. These programs may be conducted formally or informally; in group or for individuals.
There are various opportunities available for professional development. The opportunities range from an hour-long workshop courses to a year-long academic courses, to services provided by a mixture of various professional development organizations. Given below are some examples of professional development approaches.
- Case Study Method – is an approach in which students are given a problem and asked to play the role of decision maker.
- Consultation – is to help a group of people or an individual to solve problems in a systematic procedure by identifying the cause and clarifying the issues.
- Coaching – is to improve the performance skill of a person in a specific area through observation, reflection and action.
- Communities of Practice – is to enhance professional practice skills by sharing the knowledge and learning with people holding a common objective.
- Lesson Study – is engaging with other professionals and solving the problems using intervention or instruction.
- Mentoring – is to develop one’s alertness towards his/her own profession by suggesting various opportunities for reflection and observation.
- Reflective Supervision – is to back up, develop and analyze the performance of employees through a process which helps them understand their own level of practicing.
- Technical Assistance – is to provide technical assistance by offering technical resources and networking support.