The requirement to demonstrate evidence of engaging in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) on an annual basis, introduced in the 2007 regulations for teachers, has placed a new emphasis on CPD. In recognition of this and to explore some of the issues, this edition of reflect has a focus on professional development through the theme of Freedom to Teach, Freedom to Learn.
The Institute for Learning (IfL) has developed an online CPD tool for recording professional development activity which, interestingly for readers of this magazine and for colleagues from ActionAid, is also called 'reflect'. Sue Colquhoun from IfL explains how teachers can work towards the new professional status of Qualifed Teacher Learning Skills. Research has shown the importance of teachers' confidence in their own professional judgement in planning learning to meet learners' needs and of having the confidence to 'go with the teachable moment'(1).
On 'Professional development through professional enquiry' Aileen Ackland from Scotland describes the power of using action enquiry as a form of professional development which also uses games and e-technology to engage learners. David Lammy, Minister for Skills, pays tribute to all of those who have contributed to meeting the 2010 targets two years early and reflects on what these figures actually mean in terms of transforming the prospects of millions of learners. In sharing his thoughts with us on the road ahead for Skills for Life, he calls for us all to join forces to help people unlock their own latent talent and realise their ambitions. [read article]
Creative approaches to engaging learners is explored further in our Media section: two recent television programmes in the UK and Ireland have used 'real learners' to raise issues and awareness. Compare their differing approaches for yourself here. Our review of the controversial Channel 4 production, Can't Read Can't Write, has been written by Rachel O'Dowd, a recently qualified teacher, who is featured in reflect for the first time.
Elsewhere in this issue there are other first-time contributions: Liz Boyden explores ways to use Web 2.0 technologies with ESOL learners and Georgie Carrington describes how she used a piece from the Voices on the Page storybank to inspire her own learners to plan a piece of descriptive writing.
If you want to be next issue's new writer, we'll be happy to hear from you. See our contact details*.
(1) Baynham et al. (2007) Effective Teaching and Learning: ESOL. London: NRDC
*Articles or letters for reflect should be sent to Moya Wilkie, NRDC, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL or email email@example.com