Using an NPDP experience to propose a changing conception of professional development

Year: 1995

Author: Aspland, Tania, Elliott, Bob, Macpherson, Ian

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper initially proposes a conception of professional development based on the presenters' experience in and reflection on an NPDP-sponsored series of four workshops using nation-wide interactive television in 1994. The focus of the workshops was school-based curriculum decision-making within the context of national agendas in curriculum.

This conception is used to reflect on a similar series of workshops in 1995. Evaluative feedback is used to propose a conception of professional development which takes account of the interaction of national agendas, use of available technology and views of teacher curriculum decision-making; and to identify issues which require further consideration and action.

The paper contends that what is required in moving from the yesterday and the today of professional development is a conception of professional development which is teacher-centred, dynamic and interactive, embedded in the professional practice of teachers, and oriented to the active construction of professional knowledge within the broader contextual realities of both the today and the tomorrow. Such a conception acknowledges the dilemmas which teachers face in their day to day work; it celebrates the centrality of teachers in curriculum decision-making; and it actively includes teachers in the ongoing development of their professional knowledge.