PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT WITHIN TEACHER EDUCATION

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Professional development is learning to earn or maintain professional credentials such as academic degrees to formal coursework, attending conferences, and informal learning opportunities situated in practice. It has been described as intensive and collaborative, ideally incorporating an evaluative stage.

1.
Conceptualizing the meaning of professional
development
Professional development of teacher is defined as
activities that develop an individual’s skills, knowledge, expertise and other
characteristics as a teacher.
The
definition recognizes that development can be provided in many ways, ranging
from the formal to the informal. It can be made available through external
expertise in the form of courses, coaching, mentoring, professional meetings,
workshops or formal qualification programmes, through collaboration between
schools or teachers across schools (e.g. observational visits to other
schools or teacher networks) or within the schools in which teachers work. In
this last case, development can be provided through coaching/mentoring,
collaborative planning and teaching, and the sharing of good practices. It also
includes informal experiences such as reading professional publications,
watching television documentaries related to an academic discipline, etc.
Therefore,
any ongoing learning opportunities that are available to teachers through their
education system or school can be termed as professional development.
Note:
Not
all professional development programs can be effective. Effective professional
development is defined as professional development that produces changes in
teachers’ instruction practice which can be linked to improvements in student
achievement (Blazer, 2005)
The primary
purpose of professional development is to prepare and support teachers by
giving them knowledge and skills they need to help all students achieve high
standards of learning and development (U.S department of education, 1996). The
conception of professional development is therefore broader than career
development which is defined as the growth that occurs as the teacher moves
through the professional career cycle. It is also broader than staff development
which is the provision of organized in-service programs designed to foster the
growth of teachers. When looking at professional development, one must examine
the content of experiences, the process by which the professional development
will occur and the contexts in which it will take place. This perspective is in
a way new to teaching
In the past,
professional development available to teachers was staff development or in
service training usually consisting of workshops of short term courses that would
offer teachers new information on a particular aspect of their work or on the
latest instructional practices.
Participants
listed passively to outside experts and were then encouraged to apply
strategies in their own classrooms (Blazer, 2005). Teachers were proved with
few, if any opportunities for following-up activities and rarely applied their
new knowledge or skills when they returned to their classrooms (Joyce and
showers, 2002)
Today,
challenging student performance standards paired with rigorous sustainability
policies call for significant changes in professional development practices.
These changes cannot be accomplished by sending teachers to the short term
professional development efforts of the past. Professional development must be
more than training in new knowledge or instructional procedures. It must enable
teachers to move to the next level of expense and enhance their ability to make
changes that will result in increased student performance (French, 1997). This
professional growth will only occur if teachers are provided with expanded
learning opportunities, ample peer support, and extended time to practice,
reflect, critique, and the practice again (Cohen and Hill, 1998)
Therefore, in
recent years, the professional development of teachers has been considered as a
long-term process that includes regular opportunities and experiences planned
systematically to promote growth and development in the profession. This shift
has been so dramatic that many have referred to it as new image of teacher
learning, a new mode of teacher education, a revolution in education and even a
new paradigm of professional development
Activity:
1)   
Give a brief
account on the following terms, professional development, career development,
teacher development, staff development, in service training (INSET)
2)   
Reflect on the
current educational program in Tanzania, who is responsible for designing and
conducting professional programs, is there any policy that guides its
implementation? What does this policy say?
3)   
Analyze the
professional development programs designed by the government and non government
organizations in Tanzania. What is the stance f these programs in the light of
the new paradigm of teacher learning
2.
Rationale for professional development
Aside from the individual
satisfaction of financial gain that teachers may obtain as a result of
participating in professional development opportunities, the process of
professional development opportunities, the process of professional development
has a significant positive impact on teachers’ beliefs and practices, students’
learning and on the implementation of the educational reforms
2.1 Implementation of educational reforms
The current
emphasis on the professional development comes not from knowledge of
deficiencies but instead from growing recognition of education as a dynamic
professional  field (Guskey, 2000).
Educational researches are constantly discovering new knowledge about the
teaching and learning process. As the professional knowledge base expands, new
types of expertise are required of educators at all levels. And like
professionals in other fields, educators must keep abreast of this emerging
knowledge base and prepared to use it constantly refine their conceptual and
craft skills
Education being
a dynamic endeavor, change is inevitable. Teachers are constantly learning,
growing and adapting to new techniques, new content standards and new
curriculums. Teachers’ professional development is an essential component of
comprehensive school change/reform.
Teachers are the
center of educational reform because they must make every effort to ensure that
their students meet the high standards that districts and states have adopted
(Garetet l, 2001). They have most direct contact with students and considerable
control over what is taught and learning climate. (King and Newnann, 2000)
2.2Students’
learning
The American federation
of teachers has stated that, the nation cannot adopt rigorous stands, set forth
a visionary scenario, compile the best research about how students learn,
change text books and assessment, promote teaching strategies that have been
successful with wide range of students and change all the other elements
involved in systematic reform but without professional development, school
reform and improved achievement for all students will not happen.
Evidence
continue to accumulate showing that student performance ins influenced by
teachers’ high quality professional development and that the effects of
increased teacher knowledge are observed across subject matter fields (Guskey,
2000 and showers, 2002). The American federation of teachers (2002) has
concluded that high quality professional development is essential to the
nation’s goal of high standards of learning for every child and that the most
important investment school districts can make
is to ensure the teachers continue to learn. The national commission on
teaching  and America’s future (1996)
reported that, investments in teachers knowledge and skills result in greater
increase in student achievements than other uses of the education dollar. The
time teachers spend with other knowledgeable educators engaging in teaching and
learning  is just as important  to students’ learning as the time teachers
spend teaching students
3.3 Teachers’ beliefs and practices
Successful
professional development experiences have a noticeable impact on teacher’s work
both in and out of the classroom especially considering that a significant
number of teachers throughout the world are under prepared for their professional
(Raimer 2002). Evidence how that, professional development has an impact on
teachers’ beliefs and behavior. Evidence also indicate that, the relationship
between teachers’ beliefs and their practice is not straight forward or simple
(Reimer’s 2003). On contrary, it is dialectic, moving back and forth between
change in beliefs and change in classroom practice (ibid)
3.
Forms/models off professional development
1.0 meaning of professional development model
Professional
development models may be defined as a plan that guides the process of
designing professional development for teachers (Joyce and Weil, 1972). The
models can be seen as a design for learning which embodies a set of assumptions
about where knowledge about teaching practice comes from and how teachers’
acquire or extend their knowledge (Ingvarson, 1987)
Major models
include:  individually guided staff
development, observation/assessment, involvement in a development/improvement
process, training and inquiry model (sparks and Horsley, 1989). These models
present teachers with a wide variety of options and opportunities to enhance
their professional skills and knowledge (Guskey, 2000)
Supplement:
Sparks and
Loucks-Horsley (1990), in their extensive review of the research, suggest that
five types of staff development models are used for teachers:
·      
INDIVIDUALLY
GUIDED STAFF DEVELOPMENT. Individuals identify, plan and pursue activities they
believe will support their own learning.
·      
OBSERVATION/ASSESSMENT.
Teachers are observed directly and given objective dataand feedback about their
classroom performance.
·      
INVOLVEMENT
IN A DEVELOPMENT/IMPROVEMENT PROCESS. Teachers developcurriculum, design
programs, or become involved in school improvement processes to solvegeneral or
specific problems.
·      
TRAINING.
Teachers engage in individual or group instruction in which they
acquireknowledge or skills.
·      
INQUIRY.
Teachers identify and collect data in an area of interest, analyze and
interpret thedata, and apply their findings to their own practice.
Of
these five models, the most widely used and researched is TRAINING.
1.1Individually
guided-staff development model
(“I have
come to feel that the only learning which significantly influences behavior is
self-discovered, self-appropriated learning by Rodgers
)
Individually-guided
definition
·        
A process through which teachers plan
for and pursue activities they believe will promote their own learning.
·        
Designed by the teacher.
·        
Teacher defined goals and activities
The key
characteristic of this model is that, learning is designed by teachers. The
teacher determines his/her own goals and select activities that will result in
the achievement of those goals. Teachers read professional publications, have
discussion with colleagues and experiment with new instructional strategies on
their own. This may occur, with or without the existence of formal professional
development
Individually-guided – Underlying Assumptions
o  Individuals can judge their own needs and that they
are capable of self direction and self-initiated learning.
o  Adults learn most efficiently when they initiate and
plan their learning rather than spend their time in irrelevant activities of
little interest.
o  Individuals will be motivated when they select their
own leaning goals based on their personal of their needs.
1.2 Observation/assessment
model
(“Feedback
is the breakfast of champions” by
Blanchard
& Johnson- The One Minute
Manager)
The model
proposed that, one of the best way to learn is by observing others or by being
by being observed and receiving specific feedback from the observation (Guskey,
2000). Analysing and reflecting on the information from observation assessment
can be a valuable means of professional development. Coaching, mentoring and
clinical supervision can be good examples of this model.
Observation/Assessment – Underlying Assumptions
o  Observation
and assessment of classroom teachers can benefit both parties – the observer
and the observed
o  When
teachers see positive results from their efforts to change they are more apt to
engage in improvement
o  Reflection
and analysis are central means of professional growth”.  Loucks-Horsley (1987, p. 61)
o  Reflection
by an individual on his or her own practice can be enhanced by another’s
observation.
Because this model may involve
multiple observations and conferences spread over time, it can help teachers to
ee that change is possible. As teachers apply new strategies, they can see
changes both in their own and their students’ behaviour.  In some instances, measurable improvements in
students’ learning will also be observed.
Coaching is one of the examples
where teachers visit one another’s classroom, gather objective data about
student performance or teacher behaviour and give feedback (Joyce and Showers,
2002)
1.3 Involvement in a development/improvement process
model
o  Sometimes teachers are asked to:
n  Develop or adapt curriculum
n  Design programs
n  Engage in a systematic school improvement processes
o  Any or all of these with the focus of improving
classroom instruction and/or curriculum.
o  Successful completion requires the teacher to gain
additional knowledge to complete the task.
o  This model focuses on the combination of learnings
that result from the involvement of teacher in the process.
Involvement
in a Development/ Improvement Process – Underlying Assumptions
o  People working closest to the job best understand
what is required to improve their performance.Given opportunities, teachers can
effectively bring their unique perspectives to the tasks of improving teaching
in their schools.
o  Adults learn more easily when they have a need to
know or a problem to solve (Knowles, 1980).
o  Teachers acquire important knowledge or skills
through their involvement in school improvement or curriculum development
processes.
1.4 Training model (

the purpose of providing training in any practice is not simply to generate the
external visible teaching “moves” that bring that practice to bear in the
instructional setting but to generate the conditions that enable the practice
to be selected and used appropriately and integratively …a major, perhaps the
major, dimension of teaching skill is cognitive in nature
. Showers, Joyce, and Bennett (1987, p.
85-86) )
The training
model involves presenter or team of presenters that shares its ideas and
expertise through a variety of group-based activities. The model formats
include large group presentations and discussions, workshops, seminars,
demonstrations, role playing and microteaching.
Training session
is conducted with a clear set of objectives or learner outcomes that may
include
n  Awareness or knowledge
n  Skill development
Training – Underlying Assumptions
o  The model assumes that teachers can change their
behaviors and learn to replicate behaviors in the classroom that were not
previously in their repertoire. Teachers are wonderful learners who can master
about any kind of teaching strategy or implement almost any technique as long
as adequate training is provided.
o  There are behaviors and techniques that are worthy
of replication by teachers in the classroom
1.5 Joyce and Showers model of professional development
of teachers
Joyce and Shower
(2002) describe the professional development for effective transfer of
knowledge, skills to teachers as well as effective means for change in
attitude, beliefs and teachers’ practices in schools. Joyce and Shower (2002)
present teachers as teachers affect students by what they teach and the kinds
of places (social climate) they are.
The model has
five major elements that are theory, demonstration, practice and coaching
According to the
figure, it is evident that even though teachers are very enthusiastic about the
training they receive, they rarely apply it in sustained way that can lead to
long-term change in practice. The feedback (teacher receives feedback on their
practice so that they can see how well the new approach is working) and
coaching (the coach helps the teacher discuss the teaching in a supportive
environment with other teachers and consider how it might be improved) are very
important components for an effective professional development program.
5.6 Inquiry model (“the
most effective avenue for professional development is cooperative study by
teachers themselves into a problem and issues arising from their attempts to
make practice consistent with their educational values…[The approach] aims to
give greater control over what is to count as valid educational knowledge to
teachers.”(Ingvarson, 1987, p. 15.17)
Teachers
formulate questions about their own practice and pursue answers to those
questions. Inquiry involves the identification of a problem, data collection
(from the research literature and classroom data), data analysis, and changes
in practice followed by the collection of additional data. The inquiry can be
done individually or in small groups. This model is built on the belief that
the mark of a professional teacher is the ability to take “reflective
action.”
o  Teacher inquiry may be a solitary activity, be done
in small groups, or be conducted by school faculty.
o  May be formal or informal
o  May occur in the classroom, at a teacher center, or
results from a university class
o  Research is an important activity in which teachers
should be engaged, although they rarely participate in it other than as
“subjects.”
Inquiry
– Underlying Assumptions
o  Teachers are intelligent, inquiring individuals with
legitimate expertise and important experience.
o  Teachers are inclined to search for data to answer
pressing questions and to reflect on the data to formulate solutions.
o  Teachers will develop new understanding as they
formulate their questions and collect their own data to answer them.
(Loucks-Horsley et al., 1987
4.
Evaluation of professional development
2.0 Meaning of evaluation of professional
development
Evaluation of
professional development program is an important aspect to determine its
quality and to gain direction in improves it (Guskey, 2000). According to
Guskey, good evaluations provide information that sound, meaningful and
sufficiently reliable to use in making thoughtful and responsible decisions
about professional development and effects.
Therefore, it is
within the objectives of this study to design the model that will be used to
assess the impact of the professional development programs prepared to enable
teachers use the ICM lessons in their classrooms for the aim of improving
students’ achievements
The main
question here is that, how does one conduct good evaluations of professional
development program for teachers? To answer this question, models of
professional development including Tyler’s model, Stufflebeam’s model and
Guskey evaluation models have been surveyed. Based on these models, some
important aspects will be used to form some models that will guide this study.
The evaluation models can be used to help in defining parameters of an evaluation.
What concepts to study and the processes or methods need to extract critical
data.
2.1Tyler’s evaluation model
Tyler in 1947,
believed that the essential first step in any evaluation  is the classification  of the program or activity’s objectives. Once
clear objectives are specified, evaluation can the focus on the extent to which
those goals were achieved. If discrepancies are discovered between the
objectives and the outcomes, then modifications in the program can be made to
enhance its effectiveness. The focus f this model is on the objectives and
outcomes and thus the process of implementation needs another model.
2.2
Stufflebeam’s evaluation model
This model
focuses on decision making processes rather than on centering on
objective-product model of the Tyler. The model is based on the four different
kinds of evaluation information that one needs to make decisions during the
evaluation process. They include; context, input, process and product (CIPP) evaluation information
Context Evaluation helps
decision makers to assess needs, problems, assets and opportunities while
defining goals and actions. Planning decisions and context information are two
key concepts addressed during context evaluations (Randall, 1969). Decision
makers need to consider the selection of problem components and set priorities
in terms of importance. They also need to determine the strategy or strategies
that will be used to carry out or overcome these problem components. The main
methods for data collection during context evaluations are research surveys,
literature reviews, and expert opinions.
Input Evaluation helps decision
makers to assess plans for their feasibility and cost‐effectiveness
for achieving planning objectives. It entails structuring decisions and action
plans that depend on design information. This stage of evaluation generally
sees decision makers setting up and confirming plans and budgets before actions
are undertaken. This may include comparing competing plans, funding proposals,
allocating resources, scheduling work and assigning human resources.
Process
Evaluation
sees decision
makers assess actions and implementations of plans that are being achieved. At
this stage of an evaluation, the design has been structured and put on trial.
Evidence
is collected to determine the effectiveness of the objectives, and to help
designers and evaluators to gauge the success of the process. Main methods for
data collection are baseline observations, test results that can be compared
against a time frame sequence, and comparing stated objectives with observed
effects (Randall, 1969).
Product
Evaluation
aids in
identifying and assessing outcomes, those intended and unintended, short‐term and long‐term. It also
provides a platform for clients to stay focused on their goals and to gauge the
effort’s success in meeting targeted needs. The product information gathered
from testing the completed designs contain evidence about the effectiveness in
attaining short and long range goals, and can also be used to compare with that
of another program or design (Randall 969).
The CIPP model
helped educators recognize the value and importance of sound evidence in
decision making process. It also broadens educators’ perspectives on evaluation
and brought clarity to ongoing evaluation procedures.
2.3
Guskey evaluation models
Guskey (2000)
proposed a five level model of evaluation for any professional program for
teachers.
The first level
of evaluation addresses teacher’s reactions to the experience. It measures,
teachers initial satisfaction with the in-service experience but not its
quality or worth. The information gathered at this level can help improve the
design and delivery of professional programs.
The second level
of evaluation focuses on measuring the knowledge, skills and attitudes that are
the teachers developed throughout the in-service experience. Analysis of
information from this measurement provides a basis for improving the content,
format, and organization of the in-service program or activity
The third level
of evaluation focuses on gathering information about school support to
encourage and facilitate the in-service participants with the implementation of
the innovation initiatives. This information is used to document and improve
organizational support and also to inform further change initiatives.
The fourth level
evaluation, concentrates on teachers use of the new knowledge and skills
(gained through the in-service program) in classroom practices. Measurement of
use is taken after sufficient time has passed to allow teachers to adapt the
new ideas and practices into their school settings. Analysis of this
information provides evidence of the current level of use and can help to
restructure future activities to facilitate better and more consistent
implementation
The last level
of evaluation focuses on students outcomes. Measurement of students’ learning
typically include cognitive indicators of student performance and achievement
but also effective indicators (attitudes and dispositions) and psychomotor
indicators (skills and behaviours)
Activities
1.   
Describe the
professional development models commonly used in our education system for
teachers’ in-service programs
2.   
Discuss with
specific examples how the professional development programs for teachers have
been conducted in Tanzania.