A Professional Development Unit (PDU) is a differentiated, job embedded action research project based on adult learning best practices designed to motivate teachers or student services providers to acquire skills and knowledge on topics directly related to their classroom students or work environment. A PDU process provides opportunities by which participants examine their own practice systematically, using techniques of research (Ferrance, 2000). Implicit in the term action research is the idea that teachers will begin a cycle of posing questions, gathering data, reflecting, deciding on a course of action, documenting results, and sharing findings through effective collaborations with colleagues in Professional Learning Communities.
PDUs are a service offered through Denver Public School’s Professional Learning Center. In addition, PDUs are an element of ProComp–Denver Public School’s Pay-for-Performance System.
Professional Development Units have 3 components – Study, Demonstration, and Reflection which are completed in 3 to 9 months during the school year. The action research project involves study of a topic that will benefit student growth, demonstrating the implementation of the best instructional practices and reflecting on learning, change in practice and student performance.
Participating in a PDU is optional and there is no limit on the number of PDUs an educator may earn each school year. More information about PDUs may be reviewed on the internal PDU website.
Any DPS staff who has successfully completed and earned PDU credits will receive a certificate of completion (each worth 45 contact hours) recognized by Colorado Department of Education when renewing a professional license.
ProComp employees are eligible for a base building salary increase for completing a PDU each school year from the 1st through the 14th year of credited service in DPS. ProComp employees who are beyond the 14th year of credited service are eligible for a bonus (2% of index) for each completed PDU. PDUs are not paid are chronologically banked and scheduled by payroll for future PDU payments. PDUs do not expire. An employee may only be paid an incentive for one earned PDU each school year. For more information, visit the internal PDU website.