Teacher professional development is how teachers continue to grow and learn. TPD’s are used to teach and educate teachers on different ways to teach and how to improve as educators.
In the ICT and Education Series Manual, “Using Technology to Train Teachers,” it describes the three models of TPDs:
- Standardized TPD programs are used to propagate information among a large teacher population. It is the most centralized method. This approach works well when there is a need to disseminate information among a large number of teachers or to introduce a new concept, tool or idea.
- School-centered TPD/Site-based TBD often takes place in schools, resource centers or teacher training colleges. Teachers work with local (“in-house”) facilitator or master teachers to engage in more gradual processes of learning, and building mastery of pedagogy, content and technology skills. Site-based TPD often focuses on the specific, situational problems that individual teachers encounter as they try to implement new techniques. This method is best when there is a need at a particular school. They can also be use in conjunction with or a follow-up to Standardized TPD
- Individual or self-directed TPD n self-directed TPD, teachers are asked to determine their own. This is usually a personal endeavor that relies little on the school. This can be utilized when there are no TPD’s that address a certain area a teacher needs improvement.
The model currently used at the school where I am is exclusively school centered. We have professional development once a month and it consists of meeting in a classroom and learning a technique to use in our classrooms. There is a person on staff whose only job is to set up TBD’s on site. Unfortunately, most topics discussed, most everyone uses already. Unfortunately, they are seen as a waste of time.
The greatest need in our school is learning how to use technology. Every classroom has a Smartboard, and yet only half of them are utilized beyond anything besides a whiteboard. Most don’t know how to use them and the training at the beginning of the year lasts about an hour and that’s it. There really is no tech support. The media specialist is so busy doing Library tasks, there is no spare time to work one on one with teachers.
TBDs that use a specialist for the technology in the classroom, would help a great deal. It could be a series of in-house TBDs that focuses on using technology and how to integrate it successfully in conjunction with the content and standards. Also, for those teachers who want to learn more, the individual TPD would work for them. They can either find out more information on the use of the equipment through the internet or have one on one time with the specialist. Having expensive technology is great, if it is utilized correctly. Otherwise, save the money and put in white boards.
Why is teacher development important?: because students deserve the best. (2008, March 17). Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/teacher-development-introduction
Gaible, E, & Burns, Melodee. (2005). Using technology to train teachers: appropriate uses of ict for teacher professional development in developing countries. Washington, DC: infoDev / World Bank., Retrieved from http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/unpan/unpan037314.pdf