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Professional Development is Union Work!

Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2012, the Chicago Teachers Union Quest Center was launched with the assistance of a generous grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.  The CTU Quest Center has been instrumental in supporting teachers and paraprofessionals in their development as educators. Click here to see current Professional Development offerings from the Quest Center.

Strengthen the Chicago Teachers Union and teaching as a profession through professional development, research and advocacy.

Build and sustain a community of union professionals by providing continuous learning opportunities that enhance members’ knowledge and skills in “Best Practices;” foster effective advocates for school reform that is research based and beneficial to students; and nurture teacher leadership to improve student learning.

The CTU Quest Center will serve as a city-wide catalyst for improving teaching and learning by implementing the following goals:

  1. Offer professional learning experiences which reflect the changing nature of teaching and learning, from instructor to guide/coach, and from a singular focus to an integration of ideas, content areas and learning strategies.
  2. Extend professional development as part of a career continuum from initial hire throughout the course of an educator’s career.
  3. Provide preparation, structures and supports for school-based, teacher-driven teams that collectively improve teaching and learning.
  4. Enable members to assume roles which extend beyond the classroom and connect to parents, communities, and other professionals to promote positive school reform.
  5. Establish policies and structures in collaboration with partnering organizations that provide continuous professional growth opportunities for members.  
  6. Bring academic rigor and research to discussions of educational issues, including teacher evaluation, merit pay, turnaround and charter schools, alternative certification, over use of standardized testing, pension and class size, among other pertinent issues affecting our members and public schooling.
  7. Publish and disseminate research-based position papers on current issues.

What Quest Center Can Do For You

    1. Experienced staff facilitates research-based, job-embedded, meaningful professional development that has the potential to positively impact student achievement.  Programming and topics include, but not limited to:

      • National Board Certification Initiatives
      • Lesson Study
      • Action Research
      • City as Resource: Using Museums and Other Cultural Institutions to Enhance Classroom Instruction
      • Classroom Management
      • Conflict Resolution
      • Constructing Brain Compatible Conditions for Learning
      • Cooperative Learning
      • Critical Thinking
      • Differentiated Instruction in a Literacy classroom
      • Educating Everybody’s Children: Strategies for Teaching Children in Cross Categorical classrooms
      • Foundations of effective instruction
      • Instructional Strategies that Work in Inclusive Settings
      • Integrating the Arts
      • Labor History
      • Managing Anti-Social Behavior
      • Multiple Intelligences: Carving Multiple Paths to Learning
      • School-Home Connections (new definition of parent involvement)
      • The Interactive Mathematics Classroom
      • The Reflective Practitioner
      • Thinking Mathematics.



  1. Professional Development courses, workshops, classes, institutes, and seminars, scheduled year round, offering a variety of CPS Lane Placement, graduate, and/or ISBE recertification credit.
  2. Assistance integrating standards-based curriculum, instruction, and assessment into daily practice.
Chicago Teachers Union Quest Center
222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite. 400, Chicago, IL  60654
Email: Deborah Pazera,
Chicago Teachers Union