Langer (Journal 2004 p. 76). The research team identified three types of teachers: 1. Effective teachers in effective schools; 2. Effective teachers in typical schools, and 3. Typical teachers in typical schools. In effective schools, students were “beating the odds” in test scores, and the effective teachers there found their work encouraged and sustained by a supportive school and district climate that: 1. Coordinates efforts to improve student achievement.
2. Fosters teachers participation in a variety of professional activities. 3. Creates instructional-improvement activities in ways that offer teacher a strong sense of agency. 4. Values commitment to the profession teaching.
5. Engenders caring toward students and colleagues, and 6. Fosters respect for learning as a normal part of life. Furthermore, the assumption in articles dealing with the teacher reflection is that analysis of needs, problems, change processes, feeling of efficacy, beliefs are all factors that contribute to teaches professional development, be it through enhanced cognitions or new or improved practices. Reflection is discussed and used in research in several ways. The studies in this decade centre primarily on reflection as an instrument for change and on the various ways in which reflection can be developed.
A group of explicitly considers the contribution to reflection of narrative methods such as story telling (for example, about Professional Development School Experiences) and the construction of stories within professional development activities. (Breault, 2010), (Day and Leitch, 2001), (Doecke et al., 2000) and (Shank, 2006. Set in Lithuania Arl the U.S.A., the Article by Jurasaite-Harbison and Rex (2010) narrate two-year ethnographic study that looks at how teachers in three different types of schools perceive themselves as learners and how their school cultures create opportunities for teachers’ professional development.
On the basis of their findings, the authors conclude that the most productive conditions for informal workplace learning is a teacher culture that encourages and values collaborative learning. Evidence shows that professional development has an impact on teachers’ beliefs and behaviors. Evidence also indicates that the relationship between teachers’ beliefs and their practice is not straightforward or simple; on the contrary, it is dialectic, “moving back and forth between change in belief and change in classroom practice” (Cobb, Wood, and Yackel, 1990; Frank et al., 1997; Thompson, 1992, in Nelson, 1999, p. 6) Wood and Bennett (2000) support this statement with the results of a study, in which a group of early childhood educators in England were helping to collect data concerning their theories of play and their relationship to practice.
As a result, these educators changed their own theories or teaching practices, or even both. Similar results are reported by Kettel and Sellas (1996) in a study of the development of practical theory of student-teachers in Australia; by Kallestad and Olweus (1998) in a study involving Norwegian teachers, which shows that teachers’ professional preparation and development have a large impact on defining teachers’ goals for their students, and these goals in turn affect the teachers’ behavior in the classrooms and schools; and also by Youngs (2001).
Following the examination of data assessing the effects of four different models of professional development (teachers’ networks, the use of consultants and inter-visitations, students’ assessments and school improvement plans) on teachers’ professional development and school capacity in different part of the U.S.A, Youngs found that all models generally strengthened teachers’ knowledge, skills and dispositions, and they had varied effects on other aspects of school capacity. Yet, there is still a need for more research to be done in this area. According to the latest literature, some studies have been carried out as a result of this initiative.
For example, research reported by Baker and Smith (1999) identified the following characteristics of professional development as being the most effective in sustaining change in teachers: 1. A heavy emphasis on providing concrete, realistic and challenging goals; 2. Activities that include both technical and conceptual aspects of instructions; 3. Support from colleagues; 4. Frequent opportunities for teachers to witness the effects that their efforts have on students’ learning. As Ingersoll (2001) reports: “Requiring teachers to teachers to teach classes for which they have not been trained or educated harms teachers and students” (p.42). Ingersoll refers to data that show that most “out-of-field” teachers are more commonly found among first-time teachers, in low-income schools, small schools, and lower-achieving classes.
Classes with “out-of-field” teachers usually generate lower student achievement. In her research, Little (2001) discovered that in restructuring schools, most of the “official time” devoted to professional development is based on the conception that professional development is a process of inspiration and goal setting where administrators have already set goals and objectives of change, and professional development activities are used to motivate teachers to strive to meet them.
In summary, the professional development of teachers is a key factor in ensuring that reforms at any level are effective. Successful professional development opportunities for teachers’ have a significant positive effect on students’ performance and learning. Thus, when the goal is to increase students’ learning and to improve their performance, the professional development of teachers should be considered a key factor, and this at the time must feature as an element in a larger reform. Little (2001).
Dr. Manila (2002) is a newly-installed principal of a public secondary school in Baguio City which ranked second to the last in the achievement test in the previous school year. As an initial step to make the school one of the best in the city she selected several teachers to undergo a professional development program that she designed, hoping to achieve the results she envisioned for the school. A year after the training, the principal expected a big improvement in the performance of their school. Unfortunately, there was no improvement in the schools’ making. It is important that you learn to decide on what training is best for and what training should come first.
Professional development programs are more effective when the individual needs of teachers are taken into account. The conduct of needs assessment must consider the critical skills areas that are needed for successful performance. The strength and weaknesses of teachers in key areas that have been proven to impact directly on student achievement should be identified.
In a related study entitled “Continuing Professional and Technical Education in the Philippines” by Divina Edralin, Ph.D., the author’s recommendations may also be considered in making Continuing Professional Education serves its intended purpose among professional organizations. These are: 1. Formation of a Unifying Human Resource Development Framework; 2. Review of Matrix on Continuing Education; 3. Greater access to education, training, and retraining; 4. Incentives for Professionals and Technical Workers; 5. Needs identification and assessment; 6. Effective integration of education and employment; 7. Active tripartite cooperation; and 8. Financing Scheme.
Moreover, to keep Continuing Professional Education relevant to the professions, certain challenges have to be considered. Terso Tullao, Jr. 1999 (p. 32) underlines “the need to refocus CPE programs towards research, graduate education, inventions and publications”. He adds: “Professional organizations should have their own journals reviewed by national or international experts.
They should also sponsor professional lectures where there distinguished members or outside experts are asked to discuss topics on their expertise. Similar to the quest of higher educational institutions to make research outputs of their professors published in international journals, professional organizations should encourage their members to publish in referred international journals.
Ultimately, professionals must realize that they are the best “architects” of their personal professional development plans. They have to be more proactive and take the initiative in enhancing their competence and performance.
According to Zenon Arthur S. Udani, Ph.D., 1995, on his study on “Continuing Professional Educations: Training and Developing Filipino Professionals Admist Globalization”, Professional updates which trigger build-up in knowledge and related skills more professionals to the next stage of competence-building. “As they realize that what they know and what they can do are no longer sufficient to be productive and effective professionals, competence-building becomes a more urgent concern.
It calls not only for updates in professional school basic knowledge and skills, but also for education derived from pluralistic sources (continuing education for professions) found useful in assuming competence required by what professionals actually do for a living.” At the stage of competence-building, professionals, aided by their associations, would have identified their key areas of professional development and growth. Updating members of professionals associations on current issues in their field is unquestionally important.
This appears to be the dominant thrust of the professional associations surveyed in this study. However, CPE in these professional associations must go beyond this stage. Competence-building and performance-enhancement must also be encouraged among the member of professional associations. Ultimately, it is the personal vision, professional drive, and sense of urgency of the individual members that would guarantee positive outcomes and improvements in professional competence and performance.