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What is ER&D?


The American Federation of Teachers Educational Research and Dissemination (ER&D) Program is a union-sponsored, research-based professional development program. The AFT created the program through collaboration between practitioners and researchers. It encourages classroom educators to improve their practice and their students' achievement by becoming users of research. The AFT has long recognized that a research-grounded knowledge base is essential to professional practice. Through the creation of the ER&D program in 1981, the AFT began a systematic process to translate, codify, and disseminate quality educational research findings to classroom teachers and paraprofessionals. As a professional development program, the ER&D process is very different from traditional in-service, because it affords K-12 and post-secondary classroom educators the opportunity to gain access to research on teaching and learning in a form that gives them the ability to apply those findings effectively. It also helps participants understand the value of using research findings to guide classroom practice.

What Makes ER&D Different?

As the organizational representatives of teachers and paraprofessionals, the AFT has constructed a professional development program that is meant to be an ongoing process, rather than an in-service event. ER&D is based on a “train-the-trainers” model, which means that all courses held in our district will be run by practicing teachers from the district. In addition to providing credible research-based information that is essential to our members as they carry out their professional responsibilities, the ER&D program is committed to:

  • Improving student achievement by improving classroom practice
  • Offering a non-threatening, non-judgmental learning environment
  • Providing opportunities for thoughtful discussion about teaching and learning with colleagues and researchers
  • Providing opportunities for self-reflection and collegial inquiry
  • Empowering teachers with strategies that they can use for long-lasting change in their classrooms
  • Providing opportunities for professional growth, continuous learning, and validation of existing practice, and
  • Offering a program that builds a sense of pride in the quality of a union service.

To learn more - go directly to the AFT's ER&D web site

The Cleveland Heights Teachers Union first sent teachers to be trained nationally in the summer of 2002.

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