Teacher Development as the Future of Teacher

Teacher Development as the
Future of Teacher Education
Rama Mathew
Delhi University, Delhi
• Part 1: Policy perspective
• Part 2:What is happening around the
world in TD
• Part 3:What is happening in India
• Part 4: Where we need to go
TT, TD and TE
• Training: familiarising student teachers
with techniques and skills to apply in the
• Education involves teachers in developing
theories of teaching, understanding the
nature of teacher decision making and
strategies for self-awareness and selfevaluation...
TT, TE and TD
• TD is seen to be a voluntary process, ongoing, bottom-up since the starting point is
the teachers’ own experience where new
information is sought, shared, reflected on,
tried out, processed in terms of personal
experience and finally ‘owned’ by the
• CPD refers to continuing professional
Policy perspective: an overview
University Education
• ‘It is extraordinary that our school teachers
learn whatever subject they teach before
reaching 24 or 25 and that their further
education is left to experience, which in most
cases, is another name for stagnation. We
must realize that experience needs to be
supplemented by experiment before reaching
its fullness and that for a teacher to keep
alive and fresh he/she should become a
learner from time to time.’
Kothari Commission (1964-66)
• Quality of teacher training institutions
(TEIs) is mediocre or poor
• TEIs are isolated from the mainstream
academic life of universities and from
• Facilities for training are inadequate
• Provision for CPD of all teachers is
• Comprehensive internship of student
teachers with systematic collaboration
between TEIs and schools
• Opportunities for new teachers to learn from
their experiences and through consultations
and discussions with experienced teachers in
the school. Principal and senior teachers to
organize staff study circles and discussion
groups, supported by Education
Departments, TEIs and teacher organisations
• CPD to be informed by research in education:
Results of research to flow down to the
classroom and classroom problems to climb
up to research institutions for effective and
practical solutions
For Teachers in Higher Education
• Newly appointed teachers to be encouraged
to attend the lectures of senior colleagues,
study their methods of teaching and after the
lecture, both could discuss the methods and
Other Committees
• Organising on-site programmes within the
school for their own identified needs, calling
experts from outside and sharing successful
practices as well as ineffective
methodologies with a view to developing
solutions to teachers’ problems (National
Commission on Teachers 1983-85)
• Enabling trainees to acquire the ability for selflearning and independent thinking (Yashpal
Committee 1993)
National Policy on Education
• Providing on-site, continuous, needbased opportunities to the teacher
through courses/seminars to enable
teachers to experiment and to share
their experience with colleagues to
achieve self-learning and
independent thinking.
National Council for Teacher
• One of the objectives of in-service
programmes is making teachers reflective;
it also visualizes a continuum with
programmes that are wholly non-school
based at one end and wholly school-based
at the other, and contends that
programmes in India fall mostly at the left
end of the continuum, with a few of
the recent ones falling a little toward the
National Curriculum Framework for
Teacher Education (2000)
• Continuing education of in-service teachers
needs attention because all their initial
education and training may not remain
relevant and effective because of the present
rate of change in content and pedagogy in
the national and world scenario.
• Offering in-service education in a sustained
manner, for which a cascade model of
training is recommended
National Curriculum Framework
• Focus Group on Teacher Education not
only sees CPD as the most prominent
measure for bridging the gap between preservice and in-service education of
teachers through well designed preservice programmes and on-site support
to teachers, but also the school-TEI
collaboration in this enterprise as crucial.
National Knowledge Commission
• A context that fosters an attitude of lifelong learning and greater freedom for
teachers to choose courses that they
would like to do, to increase their personal
initiative and absorption of training
• Incentivise short courses, by making
attendance and completion of courses prerequisites to professional advancement
• Peer feedback as a support for TD
National Curriculum Framework
for Teacher Education(2009)
• Aim of CPD programmes: Teacher to ‘break
out of intellectual isolation and share
experiences and insights with others in the
field, both teachers and academics ….’.
• Principles to be followed in designing these
programmes: the principle of ‘creating spaces
for sharing of experiences of communities of
teachers among themselves’ is stressed.
• To establish Teacher Learning Centres
(TLCs) for teachers, teacher educators and
trainees to come together within TEIs and
share experiences, access resources and
discuss and plan classroom-based action
• Stronger links between schools and the
various institutions and bodies responsible for
CPD and in-service and pre-service teacher
Summary: Coming to terms with
• ‘Training’ and ‘Development’ in the
documents are interchangeably used.
• Terms/notions such as CPD, sharing of
practice, need-based programmes, selflearning and independent thinking, reflective
practice, action research are used.
• ‘Training’, ‘reorientation of teachers’,
‘equipping’ (as opposed to ‘enabling’, see
Prabhu 1987), focus on content enrichment
as opposed to pedagogical content
knowledge (Shulman 1987) are also used.
• Earlier recommendations saw a need
for CPD but did not articulate its
ramifications clearly enough for
• The more recent ones spell out more
details that render CPD achievable in
more concrete terms in school as well
as TEI context.
Summary: Making CPD achievable
• Creating a space for teachers to share experience with
peers, with the locale of this activity being the school
rather than the TEI, and with increased school-TEI
partnership and collaboration
• What is not suggested is how this space can be created
in the teacher’s otherwise busy schedule
• Policy statements do not find a corresponding provision
in actual practice in schools
• Schools and regulatory bodies do not mutually ensure
that the policy provision is realised in actual practice
Status of CPD in Schools: What
do teachers say?
N= 30, 2-20 years’ experience, primary to
higher secondary, govt and private schools in
Delhi (open ended questionnaires and
Work they do: teaching, organizing and
participating in a large number CCAs and
endless correction work; it has now increased
with the introduction of CCE
In Govt. Schools: non-academic duties such as
census work, election duty, which they
cannot refuse
Their work over the years
• About half of them found their work
interesting and challenging in the first year
but with the passing of time it had become
boring and monotonous. Others find it a
‘routine’ and just ‘tolerate’ it.
• Others: ‘Enthusiasm of students makes
my work 100% interesting’
Pressure of syllabus
• Many of the things learnt during B.Ed. are
not useful/helpful, as ‘one would take
years to finish the volume of syllabus
assigned for each class’.
• What I do not like about my teaching is
when I am forced to resort to the lecture
method to be able to ‘finish’ the syllabus
Keeping themselves ‘uptodate’
• Feel the need to replenish/update themselves
• Long for a forum and an outlet where they
could express and share their experience
with each other
• Seminars and in-service workshops
especially those conducted in the summer
vacation by the Directorate of Education are
monotonous and of little help: Only 10 % of
the workshops have something new to offer;
others are repetitive’
Teacher development?
Haven’t heard of that
But have learnt to survive on their
own in different ways
Some success stories
TE 21
• TE 21 (NIE, Singapore)
• A framework which provides for a wellrounded professional: skills, knowledge
and values along with a Teacher Growth
Model (TGM)
• TGM provides for six domain
developmental areas:
The Teacher Growth Model
• Want to power up?
Popeye has his spinach: We have TGM. How
can it help us stay strong till the finish?
• TGM power-up flavours:
Ethical educator
Competent professional
Collaborative learner
Transformational leader
Community builder
Professional Standards for
Teachers (2007)
Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education,
Children’s Services and Skills)
• Qualified Teacher Status
• Core
• Post Threshold
• Excellent Teacher
• Advanced Skills Teacher
The standards have been designed to set out a basic
framework within which all teachers should operate from
the point of initial qualification.
Appropriate self evaluation, reflection and professional
development activity is critical to improving teachers’
practice at all career stages.
The standards set out clearly the key areas in which a
teacher should be able to assess his or her own practice,
and receive feedback from colleagues. As their careers
progress, teachers will be expected to extend the depth
and breadth of knowledge, skill and understanding that
they demonstrate in meeting the standards, as is judged
to be appropriate to the role they are fulfilling and the
context in which they are working.
Stages in Professional Development
(British Council)
Newly Qualified
Teacher Growth
Based on prior learning
Involves different forms of learning
Implies cognitive and affective
• Occurs in a range of contexts
(Elliott and Calderhead 1995)
Cline of Experimentation
Safe experimentation  Autonomy in P D
(reflection on experience)
[minimum risk involved]
(sustainability of research
[maximum risk involved]
What is happening in India:
CBSE-ELT Curriculum
Implementation Study (1993-1998)
• Many teachers involved in monitoring the
implementation of the English curriculum
in a research-based way
• Conducted need-based workshops to
strengthen the curriculum
• Teachers took on different roles: teacher
as researcher, as resource person,
materials writer, assessor, mentor
Philosophy underlying the project
The Project was based on the premise that it is only
when teachers confront commonly held beliefs and
attitudes in actual teaching-learning contexts that they
will change in ways that provide a basis for continued
growth, that is, “self-sustaining, generative change”
(Franke et al. 1998). According to these authors (p. 67):
In order for change to become self-sustaining, teachers
must begin to engage in practices that have built-in
support for the changes they have made; otherwise, the
changes are likely to erode over time…for change to
become generative, teachers must engage in practices
that serve as a basis for their continued learning.
When the project ended….
• It was clear that a top-down as well as a
bottom-up approach to curriculum
renewal is important to bring about
change in schools.
• The main recommendations that had
emerged from the teacher-led project
were not built on.
• CBSE had to attend to other priorities…
• Teachers had moved on…
Tracer Study: to evaluate its impact
after 3 years
• Main questions addressed:
(i) the nature and extent to which the
communicative curriculum introduced in 1993
continued to be communicative and learnercentered, taking into account the kind of
support available in school;
(ii) the nature and extent to which the teacherresearch approach to on-going curriculum
renewal and professional development had
been sustained.
• Their task as Field Researchers of visiting different
schools to observe classes and talk to teachers
and students gave them a broader perspective on
the curriculum in different contexts. Before the
project, they merely taught the ‘lesson’, did the
exercises, and conducted tests and they were
happy. Now their work did not end with a class.
They could observe colleagues’ classes in a
nonjudgmental way and that it ‘worked wonders’
with colleagues.
• Many of these teachers managed these on-going
professional activities in spite of the school’s
(unwritten) rules and conventions.
• Clearly exam boards mandate what is to
be done in schools and schools/teachers
do not have much say in it.
• There are teachers who carry out things
that they feel need to be done, in spite of
school constraints (silent innovators)
• There is a need to build on existing
structures to support the teacher in her ongoing professional development.
Case Study (6 teachers)
The study explored the following questions:
•How does the pedagogical understanding of
teachers develop and change over time?
•What personal and professional influences
impact teachers’ pedagogical understanding?
•What kind(s) of inputs are self-sustaining and
•How do teachers build on these inputs to
become on-going learners?
Four important themes that shape teacher
development emerged from the case study:
(i) Certain personality traits that enable the
teacher to see teaching as a vocation
(ii) A propensity for reflective thinking
(iii)The need for on-going professional
development activities, and
(iv)The importance of school support.
Mentoring in Delhi Schools (11)
Main aims:
• Arrive at a workable model of
• Create a community of teachers who
support each other, keep growing and
help bridge the gap between TEIs
and schools.
What teachers did on the
• Observed each other’s classes using the
observation schedule at least once in two
• Discussed their class (co-analysis of practice);
• Looked at colleague’s lesson plans, tests,
worksheets, etc.;
• Wrote reflective journals on work done;
• Did diary writing (general) at least once in two
Tools used
• Handbook on mentoring—
a self-instructional pack
• Classroom Observation Record
• Questions to guide journal entries
• Reading articles/papers in the area
What worked, didn’t and why
• About 3 schools (Type A) did the work
very well, benefitted from it, and went
beyond the brief of the project
• About 4 schools (Type B) saw the work as
‘extra’ and did it because they had
agreed to do it.
• 4 schools (Type C) were non-starters for
various reasons.
What worked, didn’t and why
• About 25-30 out of the 80 teachers
managed to do most of the things and saw
value in it
• About 25 of them gave it a try with
different degrees of success
• The rest were non-starters: not volunteers,
inadequate school support, not motivated
Diary study with teachers
• Voluntary
• Wrote diaries and looked at each other’s
and commented on them in a nonjudgmental but a critical way
• Teachers saw meaning in diary writing and
saw it as a tool for professional tool
• Presentation in a seminar (TEC 12) and a
subsequent publication was clearly a
Stages of Reflection
• Descriptive, factual writing: Not reflective
• Descriptive reflection: Reflective, not only a
description of events but some attempt to provide
reason/justification for events but in a reportive
• Dialogic reflection: Demonstrates a 'stepping back'
from the events/actions leading to a different level
of mulling about, discourse with self and exploring
the experience, events and actions using qualities
of judgement and possible alternatives for
explaining and hypothesising
Stages of reflection
• Critical reflection: Demonstrates an
awareness that actions and events are not
only located in, and explicable by,
reference to multiple perspectives but are
located in, and influenced by, multiple
historical, and socio-political contexts.
(Smith and Hatton 1992)
• These teachers and many others wanted
to do diary writing and contribute chapters
to a book on teachers’ voices and
professional development
• Have started a project on involving young
learners in research (in collaboration with
Warwick University)
Some excerpts
• Perhaps our government like in the ancient
times (like the Maika system described in the
Immortals of Meluha by Anish Tripathi) can
start a school where children are allowed to
study only what they are interested in?
• The quiet and silence of the class when I was
invigilating made me wonder - what is the use
of exam and it made me question the
purpose of education and the teachers’ role
in it.
Where do we go from here?
• Theory first and practice later
• Teacher theorising from the classroom ✔
• Teachers as legitimate knowers, as
producers of legitimate knowledge, and as
capable of constructing and sustaining
their own professional development over
• Can we have a system of
evaluation where teachers can be
enabled to move from one stage
to another?
• Can we create the necessary
cadres/support systems?
Thank you for your patience!

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