Nancy Peter

Director, McKinney Center for STEM Education, Philadelphia Education Fund


Evaluating Professional Development: Did it Make a Difference?

According to Thomas Guskey (1998), “For many years, educators have operated under the premise that professional development is good by definition, and therefore more is always better. If you want to improve your professional development program, the thinking goes, simply add a day or two.” But how do educators truly determine if their professional development (PD) is, in fact, having a positive impact on teachers, programs, and students? This interactive session will begin with definitions of and promising practices in PD; then move into goal-setting, short-and long-term evaluation, and quantitative and qualitative assessment mechanisms. Participants will then explore instruments for evaluating PD, review tips for creating physical and online surveys, and discuss effective ways of both presenting and using the resulting data.


Dr. Nancy Peter is The Director of the McKinney Center for STEM Education, at the Philadelphia Education Fund. Dr. Peter has published several papers, articles, and research studies on out-of-school time program design, promising practices in professional development, informal science education, and sports-based youth development.

Dr. Peter worked as Director of Education at the Academy of Natural Sciences; as Senior Policy Specialist for Youth and Afterschool in Philadelphia’s Office of Children’s Policy; and as Director of the Out-of-School Time Resource Center at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to her position at the Ed Fund, Dr. Peter is an Adjunct Associate Professor at The University of Pennsylvania.

Website: McKinney Center for STEM Education