01 SES 02 A, Teacher Professional Learning and Development in 11 European Countries (Part I)
Symposium Part I, to be continued in 01 SES 03 A (Part II) and 01 SES 06 A (Part III)
We present here an extended comparative review and analysis on teacher professional learning and development (PLD) in Italy, France, Germany, England, Finland, Denmark, Romania, Estonia, Wales and Belgium, developing the contents of a previously published article on teacher education in five European countries (Ostinelli, 2009). Society as a whole is today frequently asking schools and teachers for changing their modus operandi. If we agree that school has to be open to change, we emphasize also that this does not imply to give up the basic ethical tenets of education (equality of chances, fairness, access to education, and so on). PLD is a recent example of change inside the domain of teacher professionalism and professionality that represents not only an evolution but also a break with both previously used notions of in-service training and continuous professional development (CPD). We can speak of PLD as an evolutionary process that generates innovative professional competencies. Competencies are a key-feature of expert professionals, characterised by quicker and deeper perception of a relationship between objects, extended use of analysis before to act, more complex frameworks of situations, wider specific knowledge and meta-cognitive control over their task performance. We agree with Boylan et al.(2018), who stated that the phenomenon of teacher education is too complex for being represented through a single model. For this reason, we prefer to use a looser framework with operational and paradigmatic structure. The former includes the following fields: • Needs (match between training and needs, procedures for the emergence of needs, stimulation of intrinsic + extrinsic motivation) • Validity (Relationship with academic research, practice of action research, relationship with evidence, contextual adaptation of research's results) • Organic structure (Inclusion in a broader concept of school improvement, linearity, a balance between top-down, bottom-up and lateral dynamics, co-construction and positive interaction between professionals, unions, administrators.) • Sustainability (Realistic goals, Medium/long-term planning, Needs/resources ratio) • Support (coaching and mentoring, emerging of new professional roles) • Professional learning (, development of expert competencies, perspective of lifelong and lifewide learning) • Frame (requirement, resources, training days, etc.) • Form (seminars, lessons, assisted practice, work through projects, etc.) • Effectiveness (assessment of outcomes, added value, data-based corroboration of principles) These operational fields were used to analyse and compare the various national CPD or PLD systems and were developed starting from this basic paradigmatic structure: a) Needs satisfaction b) Meaning c) Self-regulation d) Situated professional growth e) Adaptive re-organisation f) Fitness of the global process
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