CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: СHANGES, CHALLENGES, GOALS

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UDC 378.14.017

N.B. Samoilenko

Sevastopol State University , Sevastopol

 

Continuing Professional Development: сhanges, challenges, goals

In the article the necessity of the scientifically grounded researches and created on this basis recommendations of forming of educational environment, adequate to the new tasks of international activity in the field of secondary, higher, in-service professional and additional education and preparation of teachers in the conditions of international cooperation is considered; the international educational programs and projects, implementation of the British experience for improvement of higher pedagogical education and necessity of its modernization are described. The main point of the article is to analyse the efficiency of the international educational program TKT.

Keywords: professional preparation of teacher, international activity, international education, international educational programs.

 

Безперервне підвищення кваліфікації: зміни, виклики, цілі

У статті розглянуто необхідність науково обгрунтованих досліджень і створені на цій основі рекомендації щодо формуванню освітнього середовища, адекватного новим завданням міжнародної діяльності у сфері середньої, вищої, післядипломної професійної і додаткової освіти та підготовки вчителів в умовах міжнародної співпраці; описані міжнародні освітні програми і проекти, можливості використання британського досвіду для удосконалення змісту вітчизняної вищої педагогічної освіти та необхідність її модернізації. Основна увага приділяється аналізу ефективності міжнародної освітньої програми ТКТ.

Ключові слова: професійна підготовка вчителя, міжнародна діяльність, міжнародна освіта, міжнародні освітні програми.

 

Непрерывное повышение квалификации: изменения, вызовы, цели

В статье рассмотрена необходимость научно обоснованных исследований и созданные на этой основе рекомендации по формированию образовательной среды, адекватной новым заданием международной деятельности в сфере среднего, высшего, последипломного профессионального и дополнительного образования и подготовки учителей в условиях международного сотрудничества; описаны международные образовательные программы и проекты, возможности использования британского опыта для усовершенствования содержания отечественного высшего педагогического образования и необходимость его модернизации. Основное внимание уделяется анализу эффективности международной образовательной программы ТКТ.

Ключевые слова: профессиональная подготовка учителя, международная деятельность, международное образование, международные образовательные программы.

Life proved the lightness and necessity of changes.

Introduction. Teaching is causing people to learn, and learning is a process of change – in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviour. There are many ways by which teachers can become actively involved in the learning process, and thereby dramatically change themselves. What ways would you choose for your professional growth? Where is the key to quality teaching?

Background. Since our rebirth we have understood that changes at education are inevitable. Moreover we proved and facilitate new principles, ideas, strategies and methods into life choosing what is really precious or important and works and throwing away what proved to be unnecessary and useless, we see the role of a teacher as facilitator of the learning process, when students themselves do the thinking and learning (Bandura, 1995) [3].

So, you’re working in English language teaching and want to find the best ways to develop. But how do you progress as an English language teacher? What career pathways are open to you? What can you do to develop your skills and prospects? Where can you find the right support? [https://englishagenda. britishcouncil. org/ sites/default/files/ attachments/ b413_ managing_cpd_v2_1.pdf].

Continuing Professional Development (CDP) is a process that helps teachers and managers meet the challenges of their work and achieve their goals, as well as those of their learning centre. It incorporates the idea of ‘reflective practice’ – the importance of reflecting upon what you are doing as an essential part of the development process. [https://englishagenda. britishcouncil.org/sites/ default/files/ attachments/b413_managing_cpd_v2_1.pdf].

Keith Harding [8] (in Modern English Teacher Volume 18 Number 3, July 2009) suggests that the characteristics of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) are that it is:

  • continuous – professionals should always be looking for ways to deal with new challenges and improve performance;
  • the responsibility of the individual teacher – who identifies his or her own needs and how to meet those needs;
  • evaluative rather than descriptive – so that the teacher understands the impact of the activity;
  • an essential component of professional life, not an extra.

What do we know about professional development programs and their impact on teacher learning? What are important directions and strategies for extending our knowledge?

In thinking about these questions, it is helpful to identify the key elements that make up any professional development system:

  • the professional development program;
  • the teachers, who are the learners in the system;
  • the facilitator, who guides teachers as they construct new knowledge and practices; and
  • the context in which the professional development.

Birman et al. (2000) [4] found that educational scholars need to study these elements and the relationships among them in a variety of ways. I’ll organize programs of research into three phases, each building on the previous one. These phases represent one way in which research activities can progress toward the goal of providing high-quality professional development for all teachers [ ].

Teachers will be more and more involved in language or subject-matter projects. We will be mediators between different teachers from all over the world. At the same time, we’ll be having more responsibilities arising from a deeper sense of intercultural awareness and communication. Teachers will be teachers no matter what.

Schools, therefore, need to take a proactive approach to teacher professional development that involves a careful examination of current skills and interests as well as an assessment of what needs to be developed through professional development and training.

Although schools plan professional development opportunities for teachers every year, developing a professional development plan during a reform effort or as part of an improvement plan can add a host of new challenges. First, during a reform effort, there is often an increased level of training needs among teachers. The increase in training needs stems from an improvement plan that requires teachers to learn and use new skills in order to reach new goals. Second, there may be a wider range of skills or topics that need to be addressed with training in order to comply with the expectations described in the improvement plan. And finally, training opportunities need to be prioritized to reflect the reform or school improvement schedule and fit within an often limited training budget. Thus, during a reform effort, priority must be given to [5]:

  • assessing teacher skill levels and interests;
  • determining professional development needs;
  • creating a plan for providing teachers with the resources and skills they need to implement new programs and practices in their classrooms.

Research shows that an inspiring and informed teacher is the most important school-related factor influencing student achievement, so it is critical to pay close attention to how we train and support both new and experienced educators.

The best teacher-preparation programs emphasize subject-matter mastery and provide many opportunities for student teachers to spend time in real classrooms under the supervision of an experienced mentor. Just as professionals in medicine, architecture, and law have opportunities to learn through examining case studies, learning best practices, and participating in internships, exemplary teacher-preparation programs allow teacher candidates the time to apply their learning of theory in the context of teaching in a real classroom. Professional development can succeed only in settings, or contexts, that support it.

Many universities are revamping their education schools to include an emphasis on content knowledge, increased use of educational technologies, creation of professional-development schools, and innovative training programs aimed at career switchers and students who prefer to earn a degree online.

Support for beginning teachers is often uneven and inadequate. Even if well prepared, new teachers often are assigned to the most challenging schools and classes with little supervision and support. Nearly half of all teachers leave the profession in their first five years, so more attention must be paid to providing them with early and adequate support, especially if they are assigned to demanding school environments [7].

Mentoring and coaching from veteran colleagues is critical to the successful development of a new teacher. Great induction programs create opportunities for novice teachers to learn from best practices and analyze and reflect on their teaching.

Formal teacher education has changed remarkably little over the years, despite a steady stream of new educational theories, constant refinement and updating of degree plans at universities of education, and, very recently, the advent of “alternative certification” programs. Likewise, teachers are doing in the classroom more or less the same thing they did a generation ago.

So how can we get teachers to change what they do? The answer is high-quality teacher professional development. When teachers are given the opportunity, via high-quality professional development, to learn new strategies for teaching to rigorous standards, they report changing their teaching in the classroom in the classroom and provide no opportunities for participants to practice what they learn.

The problem to date has not been a lack of professional development opportunities per se. To the contrary, professional development for teachers has been included in every major initiative designed to improve student performance. The problem is that the quality of those programs has been inconsistent, and there has been no consensus on what constitutes quality. Many professional development activities stop short of producing their intended results; they point out problems with traditional teaching but offer little help in changing what happens in the classroom

Here is an example of how I have managed some of her CPD in my years of English language teaching. It shows the different jobs I’ve had as an English language teacher, some of the CPD activity I’ve done at different stages of my career, and some of my notes on how I benefited from my CPD activity:

There are many types of CPD, which can help teachers at every stage of their career, and suit their own interests and availability of time.

The main areas of activity are:

  • developing a reflective approach to your work
  • expanding your skills and knowledge through working
  • with resources
  • sharing and learning with other teachers
  • participating in training workshops and courses.

We describe from our experience the main areas of activity, which are:

  • A great way to develop yourself is to participate in conferences for English Language Teachers. You will be able to meet and talk with other teachers and learn from sessions given by experts. When you are experienced and confident enough, giving a presentation yourself is a way to share your experience with other teachers and is a good professional development activity for you.

IATEFL (the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language) has a major conference in the UK every year: www.iatefl.org; conferences page: www.teachingenglish.org.uk/transform/conferences, and conferences organised by EnglishUK: www.englishuk.com.

  • We consider networking with other teachers is one of the most stimulating ways to develop. There are many ELT Facebook and Twitter groups you can join. You can follow the British Council’s TeachingEnglish website on both.
  • You can also join or set up a local CPD group to discuss common issues and share experience with other teachers. You can start small and you don’t need to be an expert to share a teaching idea or introduce an issue you’d like to discuss.
  • Subscribing to a magazine or journal is a good way to keep up-to-date with new ideas and themes in ELT. Most magazines and journals are available online as well as in hard-copy: teachingenglish.org.uk/elt-directory/journals//
  • Trying out new teaching materials is a relevant way of developing – whatever your experience. You can find new teaching ideas in published books and on websites, such as here: teachingenglish.org.uk/try.
  • You can ask colleagues for classroom activities they recommend. You can also start to develop your own materials to meet the needs of your own learners and your own teaching style.
  • Professional associations offer a range of activities for your development, including conferences, journals, special interest groups, research activities and projects. The national organisation for all teachers of English is IATEFL. The association has a number of special interest groups (SIGs) on specific areas of ELT: iatefl.org. There are also other professional bodies for specific areas of ELT: www.teachingenglish.org.uk/ transform/ professionalassociations.
  • Mentoring. Learning from a more experienced colleague is an invaluable way to gain insight into teaching English. Find such a colleague, observe them and talk to them about what works in English language teaching. If you are an experienced teacher, it is a good developmental activity to mentor a less experienced colleague. If you want to learn more about mentoring, read this book from Cambridge University Press: ‘Mentor Courses: A Resource Book for Trainer-trainers’ by Angi Malderez and Caroline Bodóczky.
  • Observation. Being observed and getting feedback from a trusted colleague can give you a fresh perspective on your teaching and help you identify areas you would like to develop. Look atBthese articles on how to make observation work for you:www.teachingenglish.org.uk/ transform/teachers/teacherdevelopment-tools/peer-observation www.teachingenglish. org.uk/think/articles/peer-observation.
  • Here are also two easy ideas for peer observation:
  1. Ghost observation’: If you’re not confident about someone sitting in your class, talk to a colleague about the lesson you are going to teach, and describe one or two areas you’d like to develop. The colleague does not observe your lesson, but afterwards you discuss the lesson and the areas

of focus with your colleague.

  1. Stealing’: You agree with a colleague to observe each other’s classes and look for ideas, activities or techniques to ‘steal.’ Afterwards discuss with your colleague what you would steal and why.

11) Publishers. The UK’s publishing houses offer a vast range of resources to support your work. There are resources to support specific course books and more: www.teachingenglish.org.uk/elt-directory/publishers

12) Reflection. The ability to reflect upon your own practice is an essential skill for the teacher. What are your strengths? What do you need to develop in order to improve? Here are two articles showing you how you can develop your skills as a reflective practitioner: www.teachingenglish.org.uk/think/articles/reflective-teaching exploring-our-own-classroom-practice, www.teachingenglish.org.uk/ trans form/ teacher-development-tools.

13) Research. Small-scale classroom action research can help you find out more about classroom processes and so develop your professional understanding and skills. Look at these links for more information: www.teachingenglish. org.uk/transform/ teachers/teacherdevelopment-tools/action-research, www.teaching english. org.uk/ blogs/ virdian/classroom-actionresearch-a-professional-development-process.

14) Specialisation. You may find that your career moves you in the direction of a particular ELT specialisation such as Business English, Young Learners or CLIL. Find out more about how to develop specialist areas here: www.teachingenglish.org. uk/transform/specialist-areas, www.teachingenglish. org.uk/specialist-areas.

15) Training. At certain stages of your career, taking a training course can help you make significant progress in your teaching. You can find out about teacher training courses on the EnglishUK website here: www.englishuk.com/en/training.

You can also access teacher training modules here: www.teachingenglish.org.uk/train.

16) Workshops. Many organisations offer workshops for EL teachers. They’re a good way to stimulate your everyday teaching with new classroom ideas and reflection on practice.

There are video seminars here: www.teachingenglish.org.uk/seminars, the events calendars of local associations and providers: EnglishUK at www.englishuk.com, NATESOL (Northern Association of TESOL) at www.natesol.org.

Recording your CPD is important in keeping track of the activity you carry out. Here is an example:

Recording CPD

Dates

Conference/

workshop title

Description/

impressions

Most important

things I learnt

Action I intend to take

October 2012

 

British Council

Seminar –

Using video in ELT

by Jamie Keddie

I really enjoyed this –

Jamie was very lively

and full of good ideas.

1. I can make video

with my learners

2. New websites

3. I had an idea of

using video for

revision with

students

1. I’m going to plan more lessons

creating video with my students

2. Spend an afternoon exploring

websites, and decide which will

help me best

3. Video students speaking and

use it later for them to see

their progress

April 2014

 

IATEFL annual

conference, Brighton

 

Big conference!

 

You can meet all

the experts!

 

1. Don’t be afraid

to talk even to

famous writers!

2. There was an

interesting talk

about children’s

learning

1. To follow an expert on Twitter

2. To read the speaker’s book about children’s learning

The purpose of this paper is to refocus our attention on the urgency of providing teacher professional development that changes teacher behaviors in ways that lead to improvement in student performance. In addition to calling attention to the ongoing need for effective teacher professional development, we will describe the characteristics of high quality professional development course – TKT (Teaching Knowledge Test) [1; 2].

The Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT) is suitable for teachers of English in primary, secondary or adult teaching contexts and is intended for an international audience of non-first language or first language teachers of English.

The Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT) is a test of professional knowledge for English language teachers. It focuses on different teaching methods, lesson planning, resources and classroom management (Cambridge English, 2011), www.cambridgeesol.org/tkt.) [6].

Candidates taking TKT will normally have some experience of teaching English to speakers of other languages. TKT may also be taken by pre-service teachers, teachers who wish to refresh their teaching knowledge, teachers who are moving to English teaching after teaching another subject.

Candidates are not required to fulfill any specific entry requirements for TKT. In order to keep a record of their professional development and reflections on their teaching, candidates are encouraged to keep a portfolio. Through the portfolio candidates are encouraged to become reflective practitioners by analyzing their teaching and how this impacts on their students’ learning. The portfolio does not form part of the assessment for TKT, however.

TKT aims to test candidates’ knowledge of concepts related to language, language use and the background to and practice of language teaching and learning; to provide an easily accessible test about teaching English to speakers of other languages, which is prepared and delivered to international standards, and could be used by candidates to access further training and enhance career opportunities; to encourage teachers in their professional development by providing a first step in a developmental framework of awards for teachers of English.

It is suitable for both young teachers starting out on their chosen career as well as teachers with a number of years’ previous teaching experience.

It helps teachers to develop confidence in what they do and enhances job prospects and the prestige of schools by focusing on the core teaching knowledge required by teachers aiming to satisfy the growing and changing needs of language learners worldwide. After taking TKT, teachers can progress to other Cambridge teaching awards (e.g., CELTA or DELTA).

This flexible and accessible award will help the teachers to understand: different methodologies for teaching; the ‘language of teaching’; the ways in which resources can be used; the key aspects of lesson planning; classroom management methods for different needs.

TKT has three core modules. These can be taken together in one exam session or separately, in any order, over three sessions. Each module consists of a test of 80 objective questions, lasting 80 minutes, which require you to select the correct answer and mark this on a computerised answer sheet.

Module 1 — Language and background to language learning and teaching: describing language and language skills; background to language learning; background to language teaching.

Module 2 — Planning lessons and use of resources for language teaching: planning and preparing a lesson or sequence of lessons; selection and use of resources and materials.

Module 3 — Managing the teaching and learning process: teachers’ and learners’ language in the classroom; classroom management.

Results for TKT are described as being in one of four band scores, 1-4.

Band 1: Limited knowledge of TKT content areas;

Band 2: Basic, but systematic knowledge of TKT content areas;

Band 3: Breadth and depth of knowledge of TKT content areas;

Band 4: Extensive knowledge of TKT content areas.

There is no Pass/Fail. Every candidate receives a certificate for each module taken.

TKT results are issued from Cambridge University ESOL (through centres) approximately two weeks after receipt of answer sheets by Cambridge ESOL.

Conclusion. Professional development should be based on curricular and instructional strategies that have a high probability of affecting student learning—and, just as important, students’ ability to learn. Professional development should always address identified gaps in student achievement. The content of professional development should center on subject matter, pedagogical weaknesses within the organization, measurement of student performance, and inquiry regarding professional questions that are relevant to the setting in which the professional development is delivered. By staying within this frame of reference, teacher professional development can focus on real issues and avoid providing information that may not benefit the participants.

TKT can be taken at any stage in a teacher’s career and offers candidates a step in their professional development and enables them to move on to higher-level teaching qualifications and access professional support materials such as journals about English language teaching (ELT) (Showers et al., 1987) [9].

We know that teachers often teach they way they were taught. For this reason it is important to ensure that future teachers get direct experience with innovative technology use and global learning early in their careers. We hope to transform our classrooms and schools, by transforming the way teachers are trained.

My motto is “TRY, THINK, TALK,TRANSFORM”.

 

References

  1. Самойленко Н. Б. Coping with diversity [Текст] : навчально-методичний посібник / Наталья Борисовна Самойленко. – Севастополь : Рибест, 2014. – 162 с.
  2. Самойленко Н.Б. Evaluating Fundamental Education Reforms in a Globalizing World/ Н.Б. Самойленко// ETAS Journal, Volume 29–№ 3, Summer 2012 – P. 64-66.
  3. Bandura, A. (1995). Self-efficacy in changing societies. New York: Cambridge University.
  4. Birman, B., Desimone, L., Porter, A., & Garet, M. (2000). Designing professional development that works. Educational Leadership, 57(8), 28–33.
  5. Caine, G., Caine, R., & Crowell, S. (1999). Mindshifts: A brain-compatible process for professional development and the renewal of education. Tucson, Arizona: Zephyr Press.
  6. Cambridge English, 2011, Web site: cambridgeesol.org/tkt.
  7. Going forward: Managing the Continuing Professional Development of English Language Teachers in the UK, 2012, Web site: https://englishagenda. britishcouncil.org/ sites/ default/files/attachments/b413_managing_cpd_v2_1.pdf
  8. Harding, K. (2009). CPD: Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is not new but it is increasingly seen as necessary in ELT in the UK and around the world. Keith Harding introduces an idea whose time has come. (KEYNOTE). Modern English Teacher Vol 18 No 3. Accessed on 05 August 2015 from http://business.highbeam.com/437580/article-1G1-205985086/cpd-continuing-professional-development.
  9. Showers, B., Joyce, B., and Bennett, B. (1987). Synthesis of research on staff development: A framework for future study and a state-of-the-art analysis. Educational Leadership, 45(3), 77–87.

 

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