Second this, option allows for an on-going process rather than a one-shot event. In fact, the majority (71 percent) of respondents who chose accessing resource people as their preference indicated that they wanted on-going access to professional development. Belzer (2005), an American researcher, advocates creating master teacher structures that utilize resource people or experts for the purposes of professional development. She argues that:
...creating expert practitioner positions like these could help create a more visible "job ladder" in the field and promote the growth of local professional development networks as practitioners from within and across programs meet work and learn together within close geographical proximity (pp. 45-46).
In Canada, some jurisdictions, such as Alberta, have been using professional development networks for close to 20 years. These networks function within geographical regions and utilize local resource people within each given region.
Mentoring, although a popular choice in five jurisdictions, appears to be an under-utilized option, considering that it can occur within the program, making it more convenient for those with limited time and budgets for travel and participation. The majority of respondents (71 percent) who chose mentoring as their preference indicated that they wanted on-going access to a mentor. Some researchers believe that mentoring is a good choice for PD because it can help educators acquire a "change orientation rather than just adopt new techniques" (Smith, Hofer, Gillespie, Solomon, & Rowe, 2003, p. 3.) Perhaps educators who engage in a mentoring process might begin to question their assumptions about assessment, which in turn might lead to changes in their literacy practices.
On-line training and e-conferences fall under the rubric of technology. Again, this was an under-utilized option. In the past two years, only 61 respondents (16 percent) have been able to access on-line training on assessment, and 32 respondents (8 percent) have been able to access e-conferences on this topic.