Background Information

Stages of Professional Development: A Resource for ALL Teachers Responsible for the Achievement of Students with Disabilities (2013) was funded through Part D Grant #H323A990016 by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. It was developed and is maintained through a partnership between the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services (DSE/EIS) and the Johns Hopkins University Center for Technology in Education (CTE).

Development of the original “Stages” document in 2009 was undertaken to increase the number of highly qualified special educators (met partially through mentoring and coaching) and to improve the performance of students with disabilities on State accountability measures. It was revised in 2013 to include the 2012 Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Preparation Standards, the 2011 Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) Standards, and College and Career Readiness indicators.

The 2013 version of “Stages” continues to serve as a resource for all teachers to self-assess their competency to teach students with disabilities and use the assessment results and suggested resources to develop Professional Development Plans to increase competency to meet the needs of all students.

What is the Stages of Professional Development?

The Stages of Professional Development serves as a tool for self assessment and monitoring a teacher’s growth in implementing instructional practices that are effective with students with disabilities. It also assists mentors and teachers in self-assessing and developing professional development plans. The original tool was based on:

  • research and review of other continuums of professional development, including the InTASC principles/standards and the CEC standards for teachers teaching students with disabilities
  • an outline and action plan for in service training
  • a plan to evaluate the effectiveness of the continuum/stages of professional development

For additional information on Stages, including acknowledgements and contact information, click here.

Features of the Stages of Professional Development

  • Spans a teacher’s entire career and is non-evaluative
  • Provides an on-going cycle of professional development in which the teacher self-assesses using the document, views the results, chooses from suggested resources based upon those results, and develops a professional development plan
  • Aligns with the content of InTASC (2011) and CEC (2012) standards and implications for students with disabilities in the indicators and descriptors.
  • Includes five developmental stages for each indicator
  • Includes indicators that address College and Career Readiness
  • Provides up-to-date and suggested resources for professional development aligned with the standards and based on self assessment results
  • Relates to Learning Forward standards of professional development
  • Correlates with the Danielson Framework for Teaching including the four domains
  • An online version of Stages, the Professional Development Online Tracker (PDOT)
  • Stores personal confidential results
  • Offers options of teachers to share the data with others (ex. mentors, administrators, etc.)
  • Provides additional feedback to school systems, teachers (both pre service and in service), and mentors through the use of PIN codes


Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Initial Preparation Standards

InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards

Initial Preparation Standards Comparison – CEC and InTASC

Danielson Framework and InTASC Standards

Crosswalk for Professional Development Standards

Standards for Professional Learning

InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards: An Interactive Guide to Understanding and Applying the InTASC Standards to Teacher Effectiveness and Student Success   (free sign up required for access)