Remark: Click on the title of each topic to expand it and see its content.
The facilitators developed a short Webinar 2 resource pack about Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and the implementation of the competency-based curriculum (CPD). Since the members of the community of practice from the 18 countries have varied needs, expertise and expectations, the facilitators planned to engage all participants to contribute to the Webinar 2 resource pack and also to the remaining resource packs for Webinars 3 and 4, respectively named "Assessment for competency-based education" and "Monitoring and evaluating competency-based learning". The same will be done for Webinar 1 resource pack.
For now, let us start with Webinar 2 and add content following the structure of the resource or suggest any other content that reflects your personal experience or the content reflecting what is being implemented in your country. To access the resource pack on the GoogleDoc, click on the link below:
You can download a copy of the resource pack directly from GoogleDoc. Remember to share your own experience while going through the collective content development; and reflect on how this method of developing content may enhance the quality of learning materials in the hub. To share your reflection with the facilitators, click on the link below to open a page and insert the outcomes of your reflection. You are requested to indicate your name and your country on the reflection page:
Professional Development Definition
According to Shawn Bullock and Andrea Sator (2015), "Professional development (PD or ProD) can be defined as teachers’ ongoing learning to improve the way they teach, and it occurs in both formal and informal ways. PD days are the most familiar formal structure of professional development and usually feature a combination of presentations, hands-on workshops, and collaborative teamwork that are often organized in advance by school and school district leadership."
In addition, Shawn Bullock and Andrea Sator (2015) add that "according to research, effective teacher professional development:
- Recognizes that teachers are professionals who should be given an opportunity to select what they would like to learn from a variety of research-based ideas about improving students’ learning.
- Provides long-term, ongoing opportunities for teachers to reflect upon both their chosen and mandatory PD experiences.
- Provides opportunities for teachers to coach one another and work together to analyze new teaching techniques, which often connects new teachers with experienced colleagues.
- Provides opportunities for teachers to study and gather data on the effects of changes in their teaching approach, particularly in response to new ideas or initiatives in education."
Rational to Implement Professional Development in Education
The critical question here is: “Why is Continuous Professional Development (CPD) important and why does it matter to implement it?”
It is a fact that having completed all the practical experience requirements in order to graduate, having obtained a degree and having obtained a new job is not enough to be a seasoned teacher ready to take learners to higher heights. Obviously the first part of the journey of being a teacher is truly successfully accomplished according to the scenario stated above, and this represents the Pre-Service Teacher Education. However, the reality is that teachers should not sit back and relax thinking they have done everything; they should be aware that this is just the beginning of the journey in their teaching profession.
Continuous professional development, referred to as in-service teacher development, is important because it ensures teachers continue to be competent in their profession. It is an ongoing process and continues throughout a teacher professional’s career.
Well-crafted and delivered continuous professional development is important because it provides benefits to the individual, their profession and the public at large through a quality education delivery. A continuous professional development framework is required to achieve the following:
- To ensure teachers’ capabilities keeping pace with the current and new development in competency based education
- To ensure that teachers maintain and enhance the knowledge and skills they need to facilitate a competency-based curriculum
- To ensure that teachers and their knowledge remain relevant and up to date. In this case, teachers are more aware of the changing trends and directions in the teaching profession; especially they overcome the resistance to change. With COVID-19, the pace of change is unbelievably faster than it’s ever been – and this is a feature of the new normal that we live and work in. CPD allows teachers to keep growing in the teaching profession and avoid their knowledge and skills becoming obsolete.
- To help teachers to continue making meaningful contributions to their teams and schools by becoming more effective in the teaching environment. In this case, CPD assists teachers to advance in their teaching career and move into new positions where they can lead, manage, influence, coach and mentor others.
- To help teachers to stay interested in the teaching profession and to become an asset in the education sector. It is a fact that experience is a great tool for teachers, but it does not mean that teachers should keep doing the same things over and over. Well-designed CPD opens you up to new possibilities, new knowledge and new skill areas.
- To empower teachers to develop a deeper understanding of what it means to be a professional, along with a greater gratefulness of the repercussions and impacts of their work.
- To help teachers to advance the accumulation of knowledge, skills and technology within their profession.
- CPD can lead to increased public confidence in individual professionals and their profession as a whole.
- To contribute to the improvement of the educational environment and sustainability through regular monitoring and evaluation of the outcomes of the educational practices.
For information about the structure of the professional development, click here.
In this section, we highlight some CPD models that participants may consider in their respective countries. With the growing implementation of vibrant educational initiatives, it is essential that teachers have access to high-quality, ongoing professional learning to deepen the understanding of their roles and methods in the changing world. Where competency-based systems of professional development exist, they must provide opportunities for teachers themselves to engage in deeper learning which includes but goes beyond the use of strong data systems and knowledge of external requirements related only to externally defined sets of standards. (Day, 2017).
The taxonomy of continuous professional development models developed by Kennedy (2005), outlined two models of teacher development
- Transformation models aim to equip teachers with the competences to implement an educational change.
- Transformative models aim to empower teachers as shapers, promoters and well-informed critics of reform.
There are also transitional models that can serve either purpose, as represented in the following table:
Source: Kennedy (2005)
Professional development for teachers in service is an important way to update skills, knowledge and practices and contribute to potential curriculum changes and crucial for successful curriculum implementation. (Dsimone, 2002)
A continuous professional development model serves a dual purpose. On one hand, it fulfils the function of preparing teachers to implement reforms, and on the other hand, it supports teachers in contributing to and shaping education policy and practice (Little, 1993).