Having previously discussed the effects that ineffective Continued Professional Development (CPD) can have, it is also worth thinking about how to ensure that any training undertaken has a lasting impact as even the best CPD can be rendered useless if it is not applied or monitored properly.
How, then, can schools ensure that teachers receive the full benefits of any training that they undertake?
Select appropriate CPD
In order for CPD to have a lasting impact, it is imperative that the school selects training carefully. CPD should be relevant to the teachers, motivational and equip them with tools to make a real difference to student learning.
Schools often arrange CPD without thinking about why they want their teachers to do this specific training and what the end results should be. It is important to set clear goals of what the school and individual teachers hope to achieve to allow schools to assess how effective the CPD was.
Good questions to ask when setting goals can include:
- What is the specific aim of this training?
- What student improvements do we hope to see?
- What problems is this training designed to fix?
Goals can range from improving student performance to specific issues that the school seeks to resolve. However, they should be things that the school can actually measure to determine results.
Ongoing evaluation and support
It is also important that someone is allocated the role of providing teachers with any additional support needed to allow them to apply the CPD in practice and to ensure that this is being done correctly. New methods should be tried, evaluated and discussed and then improved upon to allow them to have maximum effect.
Having established goals, it is important that these are also assessed to determine the impact the CPD has had, what teachers require to ensure that the positive effects continue or what needs to change in order to obtain the best outcome.