11 SES 08 A, Teacher- training: Challenges and goals
Professional development is defined as activities that develop an individual’s skills, knowledge, expertise and other characteristics as a teacher (OECD, 2009).
Since student outcomes depend greatly on teacher quality, governments, local politicians and school managers need to foster teachers’ continuous professional development in order to cope effectively with ongoing changes and improve the quality of education (European Commission, 2010).
Educators who do not experience effective professional development do not improve their skills, and student learning suffers (Mizell, 2010).
Teacher efficacy is therefore strongly connected to teacher professional learning opportunities that can provide mastery and vicarious experiences, thus raising teachers’ personal competence levels. There seems to be an indirect but powerful relationship between increasing teacher efficacy and increased student achievement (European Commission, 2011).
Effective professional development enables educators to develop the knowledge and skills they need to address students’ learning challenges. “One-size-fits-all” professional development that targets large numbers of educators from very different schools and classrooms who have students with different needs does not work efficiently (Mizell, 2010).
So policy makers and school leaders have to ensure that the development opportunities available are effective and meet teachers’ needs (OECD, 2009).
In this paper teachers’ professional development needs are analyzed in dimensions of Central and Nordic European countries. OECD TALIS 2013 results from Sweden, Slovak Republic, Poland, Norway, Netherlands, Latvia, Iceland, Finland, Estonia, Denmark and Bulgaria are compared.
The objective of the research is to find out if different subject teachers have different professional development needs.
The research question is: How do professional development need differ among teachers from different subject areas?
OECD (2009), Creating Effective Teaching and Learning Environments: First Results from TALIS, OECD Publishing, Paris. Available at: https://www.oecd.org/berlin/43541636.pdf European Commission (2010), Teachers’ Professional Development - Europe in international comparison — An analysis of teachers’ professional development based on the OECD’s Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Union. Available at: http://www.dgeec.mec.pt/np4/105/%7B$clientServletPath%7D/?newsId=157&fileName=Teachers__Professional_Development.pdf European Commission (2011), Literature review Quality in Teachers’ continuing professional development. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/education_culture/repository/education/policy/strategic-framework/doc/teacher-development_en.pdf Mizell, H. (2010), Why professional development matters, Oxford: Learning Forward. Available at: https://learningforward.org/docs/pdf/why_pd_matters_web.pdf
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