This assignment will encourage you to take a deeper look at how professional development is delivered/accessed at your school and identify potential improvements, particularly focused at the department level.
The main objective for this assignment is to come away with a clear action plan specifically to enhance your departmental professional development opportunities.
Carry out research in your school which will give you a perspective on the general feeling within your school relating to the current state of professional development at your school.
- Here are some sample questions you could ask:
- Do you feel that the school provides enough release time for teachers to engage in professional development?
- Is there enough funding available for teachers to access pro-d?
- Is the pro-d provided by the school satisfactory?
- N.B this research can be as formal or informal as you like – record in your planning page or submit other methods if used i.e. excel file with questionnaire results if you decide to use it.
- Once you have clear understanding of the school wide perspective have a discussion with the people in your department and find out their perspectives with regard to your subject specifically.
Here are some sample questions you could ask:
- What pro-d do you feel that you need as a member of the department in order to enhance your instruction?
- Do you feel that the PE department gets enough subject specific pro-d?
- What inhibits you the most from accessing good quality pro-d?
N.B this research can be as formal or informal as you like – record in your planning page or submit other methods if used i.e. excel file with questionnaire results if you decide to use it.
Consider the pro’s and cons’ of the following types of professional development available to you:
- In-service – Having people within your department run a session on one of their specialisms.
- External expert – Have someone come in to deliver on a particular aspect
- External group pro-d – Go on a course/attend a conference as a department.
- External individual pro-d – Attend a conference individually
- Research – Give teachers time to do some research and feedback to the rest of the department.
- What are the options for each of these for your department? Are any of them viable or not?
Having identified the trends in your school and department, develop and submit a summary of how your department could approach professional development:
- Which of the approaches are the most appropriate for your department?
- How could these approaches feasibly fit into your school/departmental schedule?
- How does this impact the departmental budget?
- Contact element – access the resources below for help as to who might be a good person to contact and ask for advice/ideas /pro’s and con’s. Place any details on this i.e. who you contacted etc in your planning page.
Here is a checklist of the areas to do for this assignment:
- In-school research
- Departmental research
- Set action plan for department
- Contact element
Asking for data from colleagues can often be frustrating due to busy schedules, people not responding, small sample sizes etc. The main thing is to get what data you can and not worry about the rest, please don’t overexert yourself in this process so that you get frustrated with colleagues or colleagues get frustrated with you.