Professional development for teachers: what do they really want?

Posted by Rosie Neill on 23 March, 2017

We asked 1,000 teachers what professional development activities they would prioritise if they were in control of their own CPD. They gave us some interesting insight.

Teachers really value collaborative and personalised classroom-based CPD. In fact, they find these professional development activities even more useful than being sent off site to courses or receiving one off InSET days.

The image below shows those teachers' CPD preferences.

Teachers' CPD preferences

"I would prioritise a system that staff trusted to be fair, supportive and provide real and constructive feedback to help improve teaching practice."

Teachers also expressed a lot of interest in experimenting with different teaching practices. However, less than half of those who said that they highly value the ability to experiment with their professional learning claimed they are actually given the opportunity to.

classroom observation for teacher CPD

"The whole reason for CPD is to develop the staff who will then bring new and fresh ideas to their teaching to be then able to get the outstanding lessons that people want.

I would prioritise more in house training to provide ideas about different teaching styles and activities."

Over 80% of the teachers we asked said they value classroom observing as a professional development experience. This includes being observed themselves by a peer, a coach or a mentor, as well as observing the teaching of others.

"I would prioritise the opportunity to observe and learn from each other."

A number of teachers said that if it was up to them, they would prioritise watching other teachers teach in classroom observations, and would value the chance to observe teachers with particular expertise in different areas.

It was also suggested that video could be used to share this expertise and make it easier for teachers to observe each other by relieving the costs of lesson cover and the struggles of timetabling issues. However, only a quarter of teachers who said that they highly value video reflection claimed they have been able to use it for their CPD. Read more about how video can be used for CPD here.


Find out how to provide access to every one of these experiences under one roof >

Surprised by these results? Let us know what CPD activities you value and why in the comments section below.

Topics: CPD

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