Professional Development

Requirements at the national level:

If you're a music or art educator, NCLB says that you teach a core subject and you MUST be provided with high-quality, relevant professional development. According to the definition, this PD must be sustained, intensive, classroom-focused and research-based, and it cannot solely be 1-day or short-term workshops or conferences.

You can read the definition of what constitutes appropriate professional development in Title IX, Section 9101 (34) of the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act).

Requirements at the state level:

Pennsylvania's Act 48 requires all teachers to get 180 hours of professional development every six years to keep their teaching certificates active. The Act 48 guidelines were updated in 2007. The revised Act 48 outlines 4 specific qualities that ALL of this PD must have:

1. The professional development must enhance the educator’s content knowledge in the area of the educator’s certification or assignment.
2. The professional development must increase the educator’s teaching skills based on research on effective practice, with attention given to interventions for struggling students.
3. The professional development must provide educators with a variety of classroom-based assessment skills and the skills needed to analyze and use data in instructional decision-making.
4. The professional development must empower educators to work effectively with parents and community partners.


All early childhood, elementary and secondary educators will be expected to participate in content-specific professional development within their area of certification or assigned work over the course of the Professional Education Plan. See the full 2007 revised plan

Professional Development Resources

Designing the Arts Learning Community - a handbook for designing professional development for arts educators
Guidelines for arts professional development from The California Arts Project -
NCREL's report on model PD -
Robert F. Sabol's report on PD for visual arts educators -

Arts Educator 2.0, a federally funded professional development project in southwestern Pennsylvania

Looking for professional development opportunities?

Use this space to advertise workshops and conferences.

Arts Education Partnership Forums
Held 3 times per year at different sites throughout the U.S.; national conversations about arts education with AEP partners, including the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Education.

Professional Learning Networks (PLNs)

Teachers are using online professional learning networks to supplement their face-to-face professional development. Interested in getting started with PLNs? These links should help:

  • Art Ed 2.0 Ning - (A social network for visual arts educators)
  • Twitter -
    • #edchat - Every Tuesday at 12 PM and 7 PM, ET
    • #artsed - Every Thursday at 7 PM ET
  • Professional Learning Network for Music Teachers -