What is an Educational Development Plan?

Before we talk about what is an educational development plan, we should familiarize ourselves first with what a development plan is. To put it simply, a development plan is a list of actionable steps that someone could take towards achieving the goals for their career that they have established. It helps them gain specific insight into how they can reach their aspirations for their career, such as earning a new certification, getting a raise, and securing a job promotion.

An educational development plan is a document or a portfolio that showcases a student’s current interests, abilities, and a path towards their career. They are plans created by all students about career goals and the appropriate action plans for reaching their goals. This document also lets students think about their long-term education and their career plans.

Elements of an Effective Development Plan

Development plans can be written with solid intentions in mind, but when it lacks a single important element, it can be rendered ineffective. Here are some of the elements that can be considered as important when writing a development plan.

What Are The Types of Education?

There are many types of education that are widespread around the world. While one country practices a different school system compared to another one, standards are set so that students can continue to study even while they are based in a different country. Here are the types of education:

Formal Education. Formal education is also known as formal learning and it takes place primarily within the school’s premises. It talks about the basic academic knowledge that a student obtains in a formal manner. Formal education starts from elementary school then continues on to secondary school and on to colleges. Examples of formal education include learning inside the classroom, institute certification, or planned education of different areas of expertise.Informal Education. This is the form of education in which a parent teaches their child skills other than academics, such as cooking, doing house chores, riding a bicycle, etc. Informal education can also be available through various books and educational websites. This is the kind of education that is not obtained through a proper learning process inside the walls of a classroom. Instead, it is an experience that an individual gains by constant practice and observation. Other examples also include basic manners and learning a mother tongue.Non-formal Education. This type of education refers to adult basic education, adult literacy education, or skills development. Non-formal education can take several forms of learning that are offered on a continuous and systematic basis in order to develop a specific skill or ability in an individual. This style of education is considered to be extremely adaptable and includes a very wide range of activities. Examples of non-formal education include fitness programs and free courses that can be found on various platforms.Special Education. Students with particular differences and needs and those who may not be able to deal with the regular stringent standards of a typical formal education are placed in a Special Education class (SPED). In contrast to most assumptions, this isn’t just for children with developmental disorders such as autism; Special Education classes can also help children with dyslexia, ADHD, physical disabilities, and any other conditions that make their ability to learn in a regular class setting difficult.

What are the Benefits of Education?

When people are educated, they can significantly contribute to the society in their various fields creating a stable and thriving community. Here are some of the benefits of giving education to individuals:

It develops problem-solving skills. One of the advantages of education is that it teaches us how to acquire and develop critical and logical thinking, as well as how to make independent decisions. Not only are educated people able to form their own arguments, but they are also good at finding solid and reliable arguments and evidence to support their decisions.It improves the economy. Individuals who hold strong academic credentials are most likely to secure jobs that pay very well. The higher their academic achievements, the more job opportunities that they will have. People who grew up financially challenged but have educated themselves have a very good possibility of changing their life and contributing to a reduction in poverty rates in society.It creates more employment opportunities. Finding a job is difficult, especially if you have to compete with other candidates. Furthermore, the lower one’s educational level is, the more competitors they have for a low-paying entry-level job. However, when you have the appropriate qualifications and educational background, your chances of landing a very satisfying career are increased. Educating yourself and getting as many skills and information as you can is a solid way of standing out from other candidates.It gives back to the community. The value of living in a very stable and secure community is well understood by educated individuals. They are more likely to participate in projects that benefit not only their neighborhood but also the society. It is also important for them to get engaged and lend a helping hand to the ones who are less fortunate in order to make the world a better place for us to live.

Step by Step Process of Creating an Educational Development Plan

By going through an effective educational development plan, students learn more about themselves, consider a number of different choices for their future, and develop a more specific path for preparing for their career choice. With that being said, here are the steps that should be followed when making an educational development plan:

1. Start with a self-assessment.

By having a self-assessment, students allow themselves the opportunity of evaluating their professional interests, knowledge, and skills. By creating a self-assessment, it also allows them to examine their current standings in relation to the goals that they’ve set in their career. As the students determine the skills and interests that they possess, they can identify the areas in which they can improve on in order to obtain their goals. In performing this step, identifying transferrable skills is essential.

2. Set a goal.

The goal that students should set in their educational development plan should be trackable, making it easier to update whenever milestones are reached. Goals should also be structured in a way that makes it easy to achieve them by completing small steps. The goals that are set in the development plan can and should be sorted by priority so that they can be identified quicker and easier. It can also be sorted as short-term, mid-term, or long-term goals.

3. Develop strategies.

Strategies will define how students achieve the goals that they’ve set in their development plan. A variety of approaches can be listed, including experimental learning, exposure, education, and reflection. A good majority of the strategies that are listed in the development plan should be experimental. By making it experimental, it gives the students the important hands-on experience that they need whenever they develop new skills.

4. Develop a timeline.

It is critical to in an educational development plan to develop a timeline because it makes students define when they want to achieve their objectives, and setting a timetable is also essential to sticking to their chosen strategy for development. Knowing that a deadline is set also increases the chances of succeeding in getting the chosen task done on time. It is also important to plan the aims that are set on a regular basis, and it should also be noted to give each target more time than it will usually take because things rarely go as planned. Targets should also be scheduled around the opportunities to be pursued.

5. Write everything down.

Keep detailed notes of the educational development plan that can be updated or altered as time progresses. Writing it down is important because it helps the students remember their overall goal and every single step that they’ve laid out for themselves. It is also important to refer to it regularly.

6. Evaluate and measure progress.

Before committing to the development plan being created, it is essential to evaluate it first. Make sure that the goals listed are SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely). Setting unreasonable goals will make the educational development plan ineffective and stressful. Assessing the progress being made in the timeline is also equally important. Measuring the progress in the educational development plan will help students know if they are hitting their checklists, meeting their targets, and it also lets them know if they are on track or not for reaching their goals. It should also be noted that the plans listed in the development plan can change as the goals progress.


What happens after an Educational Development Plan is written?

After a student’s educational development plan is written, it should then be reviewed and updated on at least an annual basis. The development plan process could also include annual work samples that document the student’s progress towards any anticipated goals and accomplishments. The academic institution must also establish periods to perform an annual review of the educational development plans and update them as their students choose and/or change high school courses or career pathways.

What is a Talent Portfolio?

A talent portfolio is a device for gathering and recording information that can be used to showcase the diverse skills and talents of a student. It relates to an educational development plan because a talent portfolio gives the student a competitive advantage by showing their technical skills, highlighting any career-ready practices that they already have, and creating a long-lasting impression to any potential employer or admissions committee. Each element of the talent portfolio should be traced back to the educational development plan, career goals, and unique abilities.

Is an Individualized Education Plan the same as an Education Development Plan?

No, they are different documents since an individualized education plan is a program that solely focuses on children with identified disabilities and ensures that whenever they attend any elementary or secondary educational institution, they receive specialized instructions and related services. This plan is developed by a team of individuals that come from various educational disciplines, the child with the disability, family members, and designated advocates. An individualized education plan typically includes all the related services for which the child qualifies, and the measurable annual goals and objectives for the child’s education. Although the individualized education plan (IEP) and the education development plan (EDP) promote positive outcomes right as a student finishes high school, they are different documents with different purposes, and also, an EDP will not replace an IEP.

As standard practice for any development plan, an educational development plan must be frequently updated as important milestones are reached and as the student learns new things. This document should also serve as a continual reference or a touchstone for a student who follows it. If an effective EDP is created, the student will have a series of concrete steps to follow to ensure a blooming career ahead.

In this article, examples of an Educational Development Plan are posted for use as a personal reference if you need to make one.