CPD For Teachers

Continuing professional development is the life blood of any successful organisation. The training of all teachers should be an essential element of planning for excellence in every school or college, whatever their intake, district or phase. It should never be a question of whether CPD for teachers is affordable with constraints on budgets but how can we afford not to ensure all our staff have the professional development that will ensure that they can do their job and make a difference to the life chances of the pupils they teach, nurture or prepare of life and work.

A cost-effective and sustainable CPD strategy

Given that CPD for teachers is an essential element of building a successful school or college it goes without saying that what is planned and delivered must be cost-effective and the learning from it sustained over time. Learning Cultures build their training courses and programmes with this in mind. The original research that we drew on was the work of Bruce Joyce and Beverley Showers. Their findings showed that professional development has the most impact where the design and the ultimate learning lead to it being shared and disseminated widely following on from the training experience.

Our first encounter with Bruce and Showers was in 2005 when we were leading a national programme for teacher educators developing coaching training strategy for aspiring and new teachers for the English government of the day. Bruce and Showers’ philosophy remains fresh and new today and still provides a guiding principle for how our training is designed and delivered. Training will always be valuable, but if what is learnt on the day is not followed up with opportunities for peer to peer interaction, coaching and opportunities for reflection it will have little impact. Where there are clear strategies within the training to support follow up interaction the impact is dramatic and sustained.

Why is what we deliver for teachers different?

A coaching vein runs through everything we design and deliver. Coaching is a powerful model with which to build the most effective professional development programmes. Coaching is also a pedagogy or it mirrors the characteristics of exceptional or outstanding teaching. A coach:

  • believes that everyone has the potential to improve and succeed
  • listens actively to gain insight and clarity and to foster interactive and trusting conversations that reveal what is at the heart of fostering effective learning
  • asks questions that challenge and probe and create an opportunity to ensure the learner is encouraged to continue to learn and grow towards the achievement of a goal or set of objectives
  • builds an atmosphere of trust where encouragement and a belief that failure leads to learning will ensure the learner is willing to continue to find out more and reflect and review the knowledge and the skills they are developing
  • clarifies and revisits the learning so that learners have many opportunities to consolidate their learning over time
  • gives positive feedback and creates for the learner self-belief and the motivation to continue to learn
  • celebrates success, works in partnership to promote what is working well and looks for opportunities for continuing professional learning with learners, peers and in teams

We build in opportunities to use coaching as a vehicle for peer to peer interaction, focusing on feedback particularly for formative assessment and learning how to listen actively to learners and ask questions that challenge and probe and that create for the learner the need to be a part of the process of deep learning.

The content is always interactive, practical and focused on a shared experience that can used again and again with colleagues to strengthen the learning for the recipient of the training and cascade the learning to others back in their own environment. We provide a range of resources including card sorts, proforma, research and other challenging activities that require recipients to ask and be expected to answer soul searching questions about their own practice, their goals for their future professional learning and what they will take back to share with others. Everything we use is available after the training as an electronic folder of materials that can be shared and disseminated.

Our CPD offer for teachers

We are all teachers, so although this section is focusing on teaching and learning and the classroom it is also relevant to anyone who works in a school or college, shaping the vision, planning and delivering the curriculum or developing the pastoral process. Excellent pedagogy and learning is an essential element of what a school or college is aiming for and is the ultimate product linked to the ultimate customer, the learner.

Our training courses for teachers specifically include,

For the subject leader and their teams we have a superb suite of courses

Coaching for Subject Leaders – building seamless curriculum excellence

Our Expert Series looks in detail at the curriculum and how to deliver a knowledge rich, skills focused and seamless offer across the range of foundation subjects in key stage 2 and 3

A certification route for teachers

Our Certificate in Coaching Competence – A journey in coaching provides a three module programme for teachers to work with their peers to develop as coaches and enhance their professional status as well as deepening their pedagogical repertoire by developing and practising a range of coaching skills.

We can deliver INSET or in-house workshops for teachers and their support staff to develop the pedagogy of independent, confident and solutions focused learning and understanding.

Talk to us about your vision and your goals for creating a coaching culture in your school or college. Use our contact us page or telephone us on 01746 765076 or email me, glynis@learningcultures.org.

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