Given the importance of high quality teachers and teaching  to the performance  of students , it is now widely accepted that training teachers throughout their careers is of paramount importance.  Becoming a great teacher is a journey that starts when you qualify after initial teacher training. But there has been some confusion about what good continuous professional development looks like. So What kind of CPD helps learners? Professor Robert  Coe of Durham University helps us out here. According to him:

CPD  should be …

1. Intense: at least 15 contact hours, preferably 50

2. Sustained: over at least two terms

3. Content focused: on teachers’ knowledge of subject content & how

students learn it

4. Active: opportunities to try it out & discuss

5. Supported: external feedback and networks to improve and sustain

6. Evidence based: promotes strategies supported by robust evaluation  evidence



Though  without doubt  interesting, informative, stimulating and a great chance to network,   the Sunday Times/Wellington College  Education Festival, which last week   attracted  many teachers, is not quite what the experts have in mind when they talk of ‘effective’ CPD  (integral to its published  programme was  a ‘Certificate of Attendance’ for those ‘who successfully attended the Sunday Times Festival of Education, a valuable CPD event’. ) But it would be churlish not  acknowledge , of course ,that  claiming it was  CPD  provided a justification for teachers  to take time off  school on the  Friday  to attend.



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