The pitfalls of ineffective CPD

Continued Professional Development for teachers offers a multitude of benefits ranging from improving pupil interaction skills to ensuring that they stay up-to-date with industry developments.

However, while CPD can increase teacher motivation, ineffective CPD can have the opposite effect.

With teacher retention at the lowest level it has been in a decade, it is important to avoid the common pitfalls that can stop CPD from having a positive effect.

What are they, and how can schools ensure that they don’t fall into the common CPD traps?

Theory based CPD

CPD that focuses on theories rather than practical results is not always beneficial. It has been claimed that when CPD is treated as a way to increase teacher knowledge the result is teachers end up with a wealth of information on particular subjects but don’t improve any practical skills. It is important, therefore that CPD offers teachers the opportunity to learn things that they can apply to see real results.

Irrelevant CPD

Another main complaint is that the CPD is not relevant to the individual teacher’s situation. Teaching staff will face different issues and challenges dependent on the school that they work in and the students they teach so it is important that their CPD reflects this. It would be beneficial for schools to help teachers find CPD that solves problems that they are facing, rather than undertaking generic “one size fits all” training that may offer little benefit.

Lack of CPD evaluation

Research has shown that the majority of schools fail to evaluate the effect that CPD has on student learning. Even if CPD is highly relevant, failure to evaluate the results may mean that the training is forgotten about.

Another issue could be that teachers attempt the new teaching methods once and then disregard it if it doesn’t have an immediate effect.  It is important that schools offer teachers ongoing support to ensure that new methods are correctly applied and improved upon.

CPD is such an important part of the teaching process, and it is only fair to teachers that schools view it as a means of helping staff to make practical improvements that will make their day to day life easier, rather than a box that needs to be ticked off every year.

To find out more about the CPD options that connect offers, including C-Live, the UK’s first virtual reality teacher training, call us on 01270 449 165 or email us connected@iwanttoconnect.co.uk.