These sessions focused on the professional development of teachers from the point of view of teacher educators, or at least this is the way I saw them. I’ve put photos of the slides and more detailed notes into a OneNote notebook if anyone’s interested.
1. Inspired professional development: the road ahead / Silvana Richardson & Gabriel Diaz Maggioli
A brilliant presentation which dotted quite a few i’s for me.
The speakers took turns to explain each of the features of effective professional development; you can see photos of the slides here, or, even better, read their white paper.
I am particularly interested in ‘Impactful’ and ‘Evaluated’. Yes, there are a lot of PD opportunities around, but we need to concentrate on the ones that bring about a positive change in learning. Now, to choose a good evaluation tool…
2. The way we were / Alan Maley
I had always admired Alan Maley’s ELT book reviews, so I thought it would be great to see the person behind them; I was looking not for teaching tips or quick fixes, but rather for the philosophy of professional growth, and this nostalgic session did not disappoint me. Alan spoke about how teachers’ unique experiences make them what they are, shared his personal memories and encouraged us to reflect more on our professional journeys.
3. Teacher development over time / Tessa Woodward & Donald Freeman & Kathleen Graves
This session was quite practical: the presenters demonstrated a few reflection activities from their new book (of the same name).
We talked about the teaching aids we prefer to use and which we used in the past; what being a good teacher means in our contexts and where we are heading now. Very good activities for any training session!
4. Learner-centred observations of teachers / Christian Tiplady
Christian made a case about including student feedback into lesson observations and assessment. His results show that learner feedback encourages the teacher (and the observer!) reflect on the lesson and is generally beneficial. Very true.
5. Professional development plan – a real jigsaw puzzle / Natalia Bagdavadze
Nata approached institutional PD from an unexpected angle: instead of recommending a narrower focus, she suggested that we embrace the complexity of professional development and give teachers more roles and opportunities, making them ‘multipotentialites’ (the term was borrowed from this TED talk). It would be interesting to see this idea trialled over a period of time and evaluated (INSPIRE, remember?).