Measuring Quality: PD

Research shows that effective professional development can improve the quality of interactions, curriculum implementation, and instruction that teachers provide for young children.  

As part of AEII, the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) works in partnership with the Virginia Department of Education and local early childhood leaders to ensure professional development is data-driven, individualized, and targeted towards the needs of teachers and children.

A team of educational consultants at CASTL works with early childhood leaders to understand:

  • What current PD practices are being used.
  • How current PD approach aligns with effective PD practices.
  • What can be done to improve the PD experience for ECE educators.


A focus on high-quality PD aims to ensure that children experience high quality teacher-child interactions, well-implemented curricula, and developmentally appropriate & culturally sensitive instruction.

Young girl dressed up as a super hero

What Does Effective PD Look Like?

A Data-Driven Approach

Ensures that the content is relevant, that the amount is sufficient, and ultimately that the PD is effective.

Specific, Articulated Objectives

Clearly outline what teachers should get out of their PD experience and are limited to a few key topics so teachers have sufficient exposure and time to develop new knowledge and skills.


Actively engages teachers in the PD process and intentionally builds on their skills in order to improve practice.

Feedback and Analysis Loops

Provide teachers with the chance to try out a new practice, receive feedback on how it went, and analyze their practice with a colleague.


An integrated approach where PD aligns with the curriculum, child assessment information, and classroom observation data.

Access for All Teachers

Ensuring PD is available to all teachers, including lead teachers and instructional aides, across all programs.

Measuring Quality PD

Take a closer look at how we measure effective professional development by exploring our rubric.