April 14, 2015 by dragonflytraining
Author: Neil Atkin, @natkin
What are the features that make CPD truly effective?
- It targets the specific needs of a group of learners
- It is collaborative, so involves other colleagues, schools or experts
- It is sustainable and leads to new habits being embedded
- There is time built in for evaluation and modification, based on the measured impact on learning
- It challenges current beliefs and assumptions and is supported by evidence
- It is supported and driven by leadership teams
(Summarised from the GoodCPDGuide )
Most current models of CPD dont go anywhere near meeting all of these requirements
I propose a different model that delivers courses in schools with places sold to subsidise the training. One model is to have three sessions across the year;
Session 1: An introduction to the main concepts led by the ‘expert’ (or ‘experts’) . So for example all the ideas for a BYOD revolution that transform learning. Delegates then choose a few to implement that they feel will be most effective. A ‘Gap Task’ is then set and online support and discussions are enabled
Session 2 : Evaluation and ideas sharing. Again led by the ‘expert/s ‘. What actually worked? How do we know it worked? What were the elements that made it successful?
Session 3 : At this point the ‘expert’ should be heading for redundancy. The ideas should have been embedded into classroom practice with models of success shared with others. This seems particularly important with technology and BYOD courses. An online community will have been created to facilitate further support.
This model can be modified in many ways to meet your needs. It is usually delivered in schools to make it ethical as well as very efficient financially.
A lot of CPD doesn’t reach the people you want it to reach. Its almost like trying to improve people’s French by delivering a course entirely in French. Those who are fluent will understand all of it, those who are ok will get a bit and those who were clueless before, continue to be clueless as they cant see how it could be used.
I am happy to teach observed demonstration lessons so these people can see the ideas being implemented. I also far prefer to have taught lessons in your school so I can assess your learners. Having taught in hundreds of school I am always struck by how similar the teachers are, but often how different the students. If you want effective CPD, the expert is nothing without an understanding of the context. One size does not fit all.
You can also find a list of courses delivered by Neil on behalf of Dragonfly Training by visiting his home page here.