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The American Federation of Teachers Educational Research and Dissemination (ER&D) Program is a union-sponsored, research-based professional development program. It is designed to help local unions build the capacity to deliver high-quality professional development services, either on their own or in collaboration with their school districts.
The AFT has long recognized that a research-grounded knowledge base is essential to professional practice. The ER&D Program was created in 1981 to encourage classroom educators to improve their practice and their students’ performance by becoming users of research. The American Educational Research Association awarded ER&D its highest honor as an exemplary program that "bridges the gap between research and practice." Beginning with a single course delivered to teachers in three pilot sites, the program has now expanded to include 12 strands that are available to all union constituents—teachers, paraprofessionals, and school-related personnel—in more than 200 locals across the country.
The ER&D Program meets the criteria for "high quality professional development" as defined in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. ER&D delivers scientifically based research in a focused, sustained framework that promotes the application of research-validated concepts and strategies.
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