Does professional development of teachers, teacher-aides and Board of Trustees make a difference?

Year: 2001

Author: Keamey, Alison

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

With the introduction of the policy, Special Education 2000 came the necessity for many principals, teachers and teacher aides to make a shift in attitudes and practices when catering for learners with special needs. To help facilitate these necessary changes, all schools in New Zealand were offered the opportunity to participate in special education professional development programmes.

This presentation outlines the process of how professional development was offered to every school in New Zealand, the nature of the professional development offered and the perceptions of teachers, teacher aides and principals as to the effectiveness of the professional development. The research showed that not all schools availed themselves of the opportunity for professional development. Of those teachers who had received the professional development, the majority responded positively and believed that the professional development had made a positive difference to their role in catering for learners with special needs. School principals believed that the professional development went some way in meeting the needs of their school.