Education is the corner stone for civilised society and teachers are its architects. The quality of education is directly related to the quality of teachers. When teachers receive professional development, students benefit.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) adopts a broad definition of teacher professional development as “activities that develop an individual’s skills, knowledge, expertise and other characteristics as a teacher.”
In principle, effective professional development leads to improved teaching and, in turn, improved learning and increased participation. According to the 2008 Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) from the OECD, the concept of a school as a learning organisation is gaining popularity in education. Teachers who use more diverse teaching practices and who participate more actively in professional learning communities also report higher levels of self-efficacy, receive more feedback and appraisal on their instruction, and report being more involved in professional development activities outside of schools.
Well-designed teacher evaluation and professional development, in a school culture where it is valued and understood, is the best way to improve teaching practice. Research indicates that teacher professional development can be integrated into the everyday life of the school and teacher. It offers opportunities for reflection, learning from experience and encourages innovation and supports collaboration. Professional development experiences enrich a teacher’s learning through critical engagement with the theory of others, and these experiences can be sustained over time and be supported by people with expertise.
At Cambridge International Examinations, we believe that supporting teachers in their professional development leads to improved outcomes for learners. Good-quality training and reflective professional development are essential parts of a teacher’s professional life. On the occasion of Teachers’ Day let’s gift our teachers high quality professional development which will help them transform their classroom practice, raise the quality of their teaching and learning in schools and support teachers to become confident, responsible, reflective, innovative and engaged.
As told to Abhay Anand
*The author is Regional Director, South Asia, CIE
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