I find it ironic that the only training/continuous professional development (CPD) which is compulsory for educationalists in East Lothian relates to such things as Health and Safety; Recruitment and Selection; or Disciplinary and Grievance courses.
My experience at Harvard has made me question whether or not there might be a place for compulsory professional updates on new knowledge and practice emerging from research into the Mind, Brain and Education.
Picking up on Richard Elmore’s thoughts the profession is often at the mercy of the latest fad/methodology/approach which will have some theoretical context and background but which is all too often ignored in favour of getting down to what we might call the “tricks”.
Would it not be liberating for teachers to treat them as professionals – in much the same way as doctors – and give them the most recent knowledge relating to the brain, mind and education which they could then apply to their own practice?
In this way they can be reflecting upon their own and others practice in a much more meaningful way than merely implementing an “approach” which has been developed by others.
If we did go down this route I’d like to explore the possibility of establishing a team of staff members from throughout our authority who would pull together the materials, devise the teaching model, and deliver the courses.
In our Health and Safety course – which all senior managers must complete – there is a necessity to pass the final written assignment. Would such an approach have merit in relation to our professional practice ?- I think it would and I would be willing to be one of the first through the course.