Effective continuing professional development for teachers

In studies of education, international comparisons are a popular way of trying to identify common features of an activity that can pave the way for improvements in teaching and learning. In the field of continuing professional development (CPD) for teachers, international comparisons are, unfortunately, not very helpful in identifying the features of effective CPD for two reasons. Firstly, teacher CPD is part of the teaching and learning environment in each country and these environments can vary widely, even between countries with similar outcomes for student attainment. Secondly, governments rarely state requirements for the form and content of teacher CPD, leading to variability in the quality of provision. The net result is a blurred and incomplete picture of what effective CPD looks like. There are, however, a number of independent studies and reviews of teacher CPD from around the world which, when brought together, show surprising agreement on the features of effective CPD.

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