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Version 1.2 – Updated June 2023

Professional development programs


  • Influence: Professional development programs
  • Domain: Teacher
  • Sub-Domain: Teacher education
  • Potential to Accelerate Student Achievement: Likely to have positive impact
  • Influence Definition: Professional development relates to courses or interventions aimed to enhance the beliefs, actions, and impact of knowledge of teachers and school leaders. More recently, these programs have been incorporated into many school systems as a full day training during the academic year but can also occur in a variety of formats including: online or in person courses, conferences, workshops, etc.


  • Number of meta-analyses: 27
  • Number of studies: 1,352
  • Number of students: 2,371,094
  • Number of effects: 3,386
  • Weighted mean effect size: 0.44
  • Robustness index: 5


Journal Title Author First Author's Country Article Name Year Published Variable Number of Studies Number of Students Number of Effects Effect Size
Dissertation Joslin USA Inservice teacher education: a meta-analysis of the research 1980 In-service teacher education 137 47,000 902 0.81
Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis Lynch, Hill, Gonzalez, & Pollard USA Strengthening the research base that informs STEM instructional improvement efforts: A meta-analysis 2019 Professional Development in STEM subjects 95 0 258 0.21
Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research Jensen & Rasmussen Denmark Professional Development and Its Impact on Children in Early Childhood Education and Care: A Meta-Analysis Based on European Studies. 2019 Professional development in ECE 9 0 9 0.35
Dissertation Harrison USA Meta-analysis of selected studies of staff development 1980 Staff development 47 0 47 0.80
Educational Leadership Wade USA What Makes a Difference in Inservice Teacher Education? A Meta-Analysis of Research 1985 In-service teacher education on achievement 91 0 715 0.37
Dissertation Hacke USA Meta-analysis comparing student outcomes for National Board certified teachers and non-National Board certified teachers. 2010 NBC vs. Non NBC teachers 21 1,989,761 21 0.09
Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness Villares, Frain, Brigman, Webb, & Peluso USA Teacher professional development and student reading achievement: A meta-analytic review of the effects.  2012 PL on reading 28 16,677 79 0.18
PloS one Falenchuk, Perlman, McMullen, Fletcher, & Sha Canada Education of staff in preschool aged classrooms in child care centers and child outcomes: A meta-analysis and systematic review. 2017 PL for ECE teachers 39 33,175 6 0.12
Episteme Tinoca USA Focusing Professional Development for Science Teachers on Student Learning 2004 PD in science 35 0 37 0.45
Dissertation Adkins USA The impact of K-12 professional development programs on student learning: A meta-analysis approach 2006 PD on student outcomes 25 111,151 25 0.34
Educational Psychology Review Basma & Savage Canada Teacher professional development and student literacy growth: A systematic review and meta-analysis 2018 PD on literacy outcomes 17 0 17 0.23
Book Curlette, Hendrick, Ogletree. Benson, & Granville USA Student achievement from anchor action research studies in high-needs, urban professional development schools: A meta- analysis 2014 Professional development schools 14 0 14 0.46
Early childhood research quarterly Fukkink & Lont Netherlands Does training matter? A meta-analysis and review of caregiver training studies 2007 PD in early childhood 15 0 78 0.45
Early Childhood Research Quarterly Markussen-Brown, Juhl, Piasta, Bleses, Hoen, & Justice Denmark The effects of language and literacy-focused professional development on early educators and children: A best-evidence meta-analysis 2017 PD in early childhood 30 0 30 0.59
Report Timperley, Wilson, Barrar, & Fung USA Teacher professional learning and development: Best evidence synthesis iteration 2007 PD on student outcomes 227 0 183 0.65
Conference paper Yoon, Duncan, Lee & Shapley USA The effects of teachers' professional development on student achievement: Findings from a systematic review of evidence. 2008 PD on student outcomes 9 0 9 0.54
Report Haystead USA Meta-analytic synthesis of studies conducted at Marzano Research Laboratory on instructional strategies 2009 Teacher action research studies 329 7,872 329 0.36
Conference paper Blank & Alas USA The Effects of Teacher Professional Development on Gains in Student Achievement: How Meta Analysis Provides Scientific Evidence Useful to Education Leaders 2009 PD in student outcomes 16 1,063 21 0.21
Dissertation Salinas USA Investing in our Teachers: What Focus of Professional Development Leads to the Highest Student Gains in Mathematics Achievement? 2010 PD in mathematics 15 0 42 0.57
Book Lomos, Hofman, & Bosker Netherlands Professional communities and student achievement–a meta-analysis 2011 Professional communities on student outcomes 5 0 5 0.25
Dissertation Davis USA A Meta-Analysis of School-Based Problem-Solving Consultation Outcomes: A Review form 1986-2009 2012 Expert works with teacher in problem solving 19 0 205 0.42
Dissertation Egert Germany Meta-analysis on the impact of in-service professional development programs for preschool teachers on quality ratings and child outcomes 2015 Inservice on language outcomes 9 4,504 9 0.14
Review of Educational Research Egert, Fukkink, & Eckhardt Germany Impact of in-service professional development programs for early childhood teachers on quality ratings and child outcomes: A meta-analysis 2018 PD in early childhood 36 2,891 36 0.14
Educational Research Review Egert, Dederer, & Fukkink Germany The impact of professional development on the quality of teacher-child interactions in early education and care: A meta-analysis. 2020 PF ECE 15 0 18 0.39
Dissertation Rains USA The impact of school-wide professional development on student achievement: a meta-analysis from an effective schools perspective. 2015 PD on student outcomes 10 157,000 10 0.21
Educational Psychology Review Ma & Shen USA A meta-analysis of the relationship between learning outcomes and parental involvement during early childhood education and early elementary education 2016 PD on achievement 38 0 234 0.12
Dissertation Patrick USA Meta-analysis of dissertation research on the relationship between professional learning community implementation and student achievement 2013 Professional communities on student outcomes 21 0 47 0.10
TOTAL/AVERAGE 1,352 2,371,094 3,386 0.35
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