The future of CPD
At the NTEN-ResearchEd-YORK conference on Saturday a lot was said about CPD and pedagogy. David Weston (@informed_edu) spoke about CPD and it’s delivery. He spoke eloquently about the way CPD is run in most schools and how he believes that it should. One of the key points he made was that of purpose. CPD should start with a need and then should be developed to address that need and evaluated against it.
This is an idea that seems so simple, but is often lost in schools. The reason why us evident. It would be a mammoth task to coordinate an individual CPD programme based on each staff members individual needs, but does this mean we shouldn’t try?
I’ve been thinking a lot about what an ideal programme would look like and I think it would definitely incorporate these elements:
John Tomsett (@johntomsett) spoke of the ethos of observations at his school. A gradeless system with no fear, with development based objectives. This is something of think can be extremely useful. Both from a management perspective (ie SLT helping to develop staff) and a peer basis. Staff could link with people who have strengths where they need to develop and vice versa.
Subject Specific Pedagogy
Mark Miller (@GoldfishBowlMM) mentioned on Saturday that he had enjoyed one of my recent maths based posts and that he saw a future where there was less general pedagogical CPD, and more subject specific pedagogy and CPD. I think that this is important moving forward. I feel that teachers need to have an excellent knowledge of their subject and an excellent knowledge of how to teach it. There is no ideal, one size fits all pedagogy that covers all subjects and although there remains good ideas that may work across subject we need to start tailoring development programmes around subjects as well.
I know that during my NQT year I had a mentor and a coach who was an SLT member, and both of them helped me immensely. This could and should be an ongoing thing to help people continue their development.
Master’s Level Profession
I’m currently studying towards a master’s in education and I feel that the stuff I’m learning is of major benefit. Not only am I learning things that have an instant impact in the classroom, but I’m engaging with the research in a way that I wasn’t and I’m learning to critically question the ideas that are laid before me. These are skills that I feel would benefit all of us, and I would certainly recommend further study to anyone. Becoming a master’s level profession may also raise the profile of the profession and help recruitment.
As mentioned above, and in the posts I have linked to, every teacher has different needs, and the CPD offer we receive should meet those needs. Tom Bennett (@Tombennett71) mentioned on Saturday that the ResearchEd conferences were “teachers doing it for themselves.” H used the word revolution, and I’ve written before on this here. This is indicative of what is going on with these conferences, twitter, blogging, teachmeets etc, but this is still only the minority of teacher taking control of our CPD. More of us need to do so, and perhaps this should be part of the teachers ongoing CPD programme for the 21st century.
These are all ideas that I have been thinking about, and that make sense. We need to make sure we are developing in the way we want to, in the way we need to, to ensure the best outcomes for our students. John spoke about a “Growth Culture” within his school. One where students and staff alike were growing and realising their own potential. Surely this has to be the aim for all of us, to continue improving and to be the best that we can be?