Licensed to Create is a collection of essays from some of the leading thinkers in education.
Launched today along the RSA's new publication Licensed to Create: Ten essays on improving teacher quality. 11 leading thinkers in education offer their thoughts on how we can improve teacher quality. The following excerpt is taken from teacher Lorna Owen's essay.
Continuous Professional Development: can it ever be creative?
The calendar of any teacher during the academic year presents a host of professional learning activities, ranging from run-of-the-mill training on fire safety to eye-catching sessions, promising to instruct in the latest technique ‘proven’ to enhance results .
Only rarely does Continuous Professional Development (CPD) facilitate powerful professional learning because, more often than not, teachers share insights when they can, often in brief exchanges in the corridor or at the coffee machine.
We need to change the role of CPD, so that it can motivate teachers and learners to meet new challenges. Redefine CPD as ‘Creative Professional Development’ and we change the landscape for teachers. Backed up with evaluation and accreditation, a more rigorous form of CPD would allow insightful findings to be more widely recognised.
Schools are good at celebrating the successes of students, but are still reticent about applauding the successes of teachers. Awards ceremonies are plentiful for our students and rightly so, but often the only thing that teachers are openly rewarded for is 100% attendance.
Let us celebrate what we have achieved. Let it feel prestigious and let it hold value. Let us link up research projects across the country and expand the dialogue. Let us shout about the work of the History teacher who has improved her peer marking and let us celebrate the project that has changed the way we view literacy.
Creative Professional Development deserves to be acknowledged and applauded. Its creation of opportunities for research justifies a licence to legitimise them. The licence that teachers will support will provide equitable career progression for those who covet ways to remain a teacher. It cannot assume the form of another mandatory requirement, but must provide clear guidance, parameters and acknowledgement and endorsement of success. It cannot become a commodity which we earn and file: it must be organic, motivational and lead to further discourse and investigation. It must allow for reflection and action and it must be recognised by a discerning professional body. The licence that we will respect and aspire to hold will be a licence to create and not a licence to teach.
Give us Continuous Professional Development and we will participate. Give us Creative Professional Development and a Licence to Create and we will innovate and share new levels of intellectual and cultural freedom.
Read her full essay and the other authors contributions at: www.thersa.org/teachers
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