Professional Development Plan Update
Posted Monday, April 2, 2018 by Shelly Nye
Creating a Professional Development Plan (PDP) is a process that allows ECE professionals to critically examine their work with young children in order to determine the areas in which they have strength and knowledge, to identify areas where further growth and learning might be needed and to help individuals take an intentional approach to planning for their careers in Early Childhood Education. This process is meant to be reflective, personal and open-ended. It’s not intended to be something that should be completed quickly. To be a truly effective tool it requires an investment of time and energy.
There are three steps to creating a PDP: 1) Core Knowledge Area Assessment, 2) Setting Goals, and 3) Creating Action Steps. All three steps must be completed in order for a PDP to be considered “Complete”.
Step 1; the Core Knowledge Area Assessment is the lengthiest and most time-consuming section of the plan. It allows individuals to walk through an in-depth review of Nevada’s Core Competencies in eight separate Core Knowledge Areas.
When the online PDP was originally created in 2013, an assessment of all CKAs was required in order for this step to be complete. What we found was that because there are over 400 competencies across all eight CKAs, this step became a checklist item for many users. We listened to our PDP users and decided that because it was not being utilized in the manner in which we had intended it to be, that a change was in order!
As of April 2018, completion of only one CKA competency assessment is required in order for this step of the PDP to be considered complete. Our hope is that removing the requirement to complete all eight CKA assessments at one time will encourage users to approach this step with more intentionality which will then increase the meaningfulness to the individual.
It is suggested that new users initially choose the CKA where they would like to focus their energy for a given period of time and then consider aligning their goals and action steps they’ll create in Steps 2 and 3 of the PDP to the areas in which they feel additional learning, experience and growth are needed within that CKA. Though only one CKA assessment is required at this time, the hope is that users will return to their plan at any time to complete the assessments for the remaining CKA within this step. Doing so will provide an overall picture of their skill and knowledge base across all domains of their practice of caring for and educating young children.