What is it?
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Continuing Professional development was not, in the past, considered to be something in which all teachers participated, only those who were ambitious, mainly because it required investment of the teachers own time.  However CPD is now an expectation and with the development of the CPD strategy (DfES 2001) and performance management, it is important that all teachers have access to current information about CPD. 

There are various reasons for teachers to participate in CPD; to improve job performance, to develop and improve professional knowledge or understanding, to assist in career development and to help promote job satisfaction  (Craft 1996).

CPD can be considered to be ‘any professional development activities engaged in by teachers which enhance their knowledge and skills and enable them to consider their attitudes and approaches to the education of children, with a view to improve the quality of the teaching and learning process’ (Bolam 1993)

According to the GTC (2003); ‘Learning runs right through a teaching career.  It takes place every day, formally and informally, through a wide range of learning experiences, deepening and revitalising teachers’ skills, abilities, values and knowledge.’

Lederman et al (1989) comment that the reforms that have occurred in science education such as inclusion of socio-scientific issues could be too much for anyone other than an ‘expert’ teacher to incorporate into classroom practice. This would obviously be a problem, however this issue does seem to have been addressed as is evident by the DfES CPD strategy and the training that is an integral part of the KS3 Strategy.

An aim of CPD can be said, is to improve the teachers pedagogical content knowledge (PCK).  PCK has been described by Shulman (1987) as ‘that special amalgam of content and pedagogy that is uniquely the province of teachers, their own special form of professional understanding’.  These types of knowledge include subject knowledge, pedagogical knowledge for example classroom management and contextual knowledge such as ethos of the school and knowledge of students.  According to Van Driel, and Beijaard  (2003) when teachers are given the chance to try out new teaching activities and to reflect on their experiences, independently and communally, the development of their PCK is supported.


What is it? CPD Needs & Wants What is effective CPD? Where next? What makes the difference?

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Last modified: 08/12/04