Academic Leadership: The Online Journal


In recent years there has been a growing interest in serving the needs of diverse learners. Many school districts in response to this growing interest have launched special in-service programs to educate and train teachers on culturally sensitive teaching approaches for serving diverse learners. Many of these professional development programs have implemented one-shot workshops that attempt to transform the school-environment and teacher practices. Although, such efforts have consistently yielded little to no impact on transformation of the school environment and teacher practices they continue to be the preferred teacher professional development model. Nothing has been so frustrating and wasteful as the thousand of conducted one-shot workshops that have led to no significant change in teacher practices (Fullan, 1991). Consequently, on the Southside of Chicago 10 Catholic elementary school principals formed the Council 10-A consortium. The council was established to address and share ideas that would add to the quality of Catholic school education in the 21st century. The council identified diversity as one major issue confronting the delivery of high quality catholic education. The council reported that the one-shot teacher in-service workshops were not enough to create long-term change in the school environment and/or teacher practices. Therefore, the Catholic Schools 10-A Council enlisted the assistance of a partnership with the School of Education at Saint Xavier University to develop a diversity project that would address systems and teacher change over a three-year period. The purpose of this article is to reflect on the teacher professional development facilitators and barriers effecting ten private schools with respect to serving a diverse student population.