the prerogative of ‘high-powered’ committees consisting of a few senior academic experts and educational bureaucrats, who usually stick to the policy guidelines already in place. The Think Tank broke this mould by including teachers, teacher educators, administrators, NGO activists and freelancers along with academic experts and bureaucrats in a collective process of thinking and reflecting. It also broke the mould by starting without set agendas and fixed guidelines, and allowing the process to evolve in a naturally relevant way. A crisis in CPD? The National Council on Teacher Education (NCTE) is the apex agency which regulates and monitors teacher education policy and programmes and also provides broad guidelines for routine CPD activities such as INSET programmes. The actual design and implementation of these INSET programmes is entrusted to national and state teacher training agencies, the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and State Councils for Educational Research and Training (SCERTs), with some autonomy given to adapt them to their respective requirements. But these routine INSET sessions, forming part of teachers’ career advancement requirements, are not the only training teachers receive. Both at the national and the state level there are other agencies, including the Central Board of Education, state boards of education, state education departments, national and state education projects, local education authorities, education wings of local governing bodies, universities, institutions of teacher education and many others, all of which are engaged in numerous kinds of teacher training programmes for a variety of purposes. The scene is further complicated by the teacher training activities carried out by NGOs, international agencies, private providers, publishers, teacher associations and schools. There is little co-ordination and sharing among all these agencies, which usually work independently of each other and show ignorance of, or even disregard or indifference towards, each other’s teacher development activities. Teachers are often exposed to dissimilar and at times conflicting positions in these widely varying programmes. For those few teachers who seek professional development through self-directed activities, their personal activities are an additional complication. Most of the state-initiated in-service programmes are based on a ‘technical rationality’ framework (Schön, 1983) or ‘one-stop linear approach’ (Hoban, 2001) to teacher development. The implicit belief underlying these approaches is the belief in the presence of objective knowledge and its transferability through training programmes, as pointed out some time ago by Britzman (1986: 442): [The] dominant model of teacher education is organised on the implicit theory of immediate integration: the university provides theories, methods and skills; schools provide classrooms, curriculum and students; and the teachers provide the individual effort; all of which combine to produce the finished product of professional teacher. Sandholtz (2002: 815) asserts that this model of teacher education is deeply institutionalised in patterns of organisation, management and resource allocation. In other words, the whole approach to teacher development takes a deficit view, which, as Bolitho (1996: 2) explains, relates to ‘a weakness which has been identified in teacher performance by someone in authority: a school principal, inspectors,
| CPD policy ‘Think Tank’
Published on Aug 29, 2014
Published on Aug 29, 2014
The publication, edited by David Hayes offers global perspectives on the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of English language teach...