A COURSE FOR PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTING CPD ACTIVITIES AT THE COLLEGES OF EDUCATION IN NAMIBIA
Table of Contents
1. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
2. THE WAY FORWARD
3. Definition of Professional Development
4. Defining Characteristics of Professional Development
5. Steps to Ensure Intentionality of PD
6. PROGRAMING CPD USING THE STAGES OF THE ADULT LEARNING MODEL FOR FACULTY DEVELOPMENT
a) The First Phase: Preplanning b) The Second Phase: Planning c) The Third Phase: Delivery/Implementation of the CPD program d) The Fourth Phase: Follow-up
7. Five Level Model of Evaluating Professional Development
8. Responsibilities of Key Players and Partners 9. References
1. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
The primary purpose of this document is to provide strategic directions and guidelines to the colleges of education in regard to the planning and implementation of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programs. Additionally, the guidelines spelt here are intended to guide colleges with a four-stage model that informs CPD programming. Furthermore this succinct (brief) version of the Strategic Plan Field Guide aims at providing an informative five-stage model for monitoring and evaluating professional development that encourages evaluators to build pathways with evidence to measure the impact of professional development on teacher classroom behavior and student learning. Therefore, the succinct guide should be read together with the Field Guide for Planning and Implementing CPD at the Colleges of Education and the CPD Seminar Report, March 2008.
The following aspects pertinent to CPD are highlighted in this document: • The meaning of professional development, its defining characteristics, guidelines and key features. • The four-stage adult learning model for planning faculty professional development. • The College CPD plans embracing data-driven CPD as an integral part of their college vision to strengthen their skills and knowledge. • The use of research data to guide the development of CPD plans and programs by the Colleges of Education. • The use of the CPD template to develop plans and programs by Colleges of Education.
2. THE WAY FORWARD
This document culminated from the work of colleges, NIED and partner organizations and the recent national CPD Teacher Educator Seminar. Therefore, the seminar recommendations and conclusions as elaborated in the Seminar Report, March 2008, etc. form the basis of the CPD guidelines as elaborated in the strategic documents especially the planning, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of CPD activities/programs in the colleges. The CPD model described herein provides support and direction for programming professional development with the ultimate goal to meet the academic and professional needs of faculty in the colleges.
3. Definition of Professional Development
For the purpose of our work regarding CPD in colleges, we adopt the following definition and characteristics of effective professional development:
Professional Development (PD) is defined as those processes and activities designed to enhance the professional knowledge, skills and attitudes of educators so that they will, in turn, improve the learning of students (Guskey, 2000).
This definition refers to job-embedded professional development that is aimed at the acquisition of knowledge and skills that are relevant to one’s job and does not necessarily lead to an academic credential such as a certificate or advanced degree which will raise the person’s salary. This is a type of professional development, which is required to ensure that a teacher educator stays competent on the job even after earning an advanced degree.
4. Defining Characteristics of Professional Development • It is an Intentional Process: true PD is a purposeful & intentional endeavor designed to bring improvement on a variety of levels. • It is an Ongoing Process: education is a dynamic professional field that is continually expanding its knowledge base. Therefore, to keep abreast of new knowledge & understanding, educators need to be life-long learners throughout their careers. • It is a Systematic Process: true PD considers change over an extended period of time & takes into consideration all levels of the organization.
5. Steps to Ensure Intentionality of PD • Begin with a clear statement of purpose and goals. • Ensure that the goals are worthwhile (focus them on learning and students). • Determine how the goals can be assessed.
Guidelines and key features for effective professional development
Guidelines for Continuous Professional development Key Features 1. Effective continuous professional development is participatory as it involves teacher educators in setting goals. CPD walks teacher educators through their own personal assessment of their learning needs. 2. Effective continuous professional development is linked to student learning CPD programs are focused on improving student learning. 3. Effective continuous professional development encourages the teacher educator to develop new ideas and understanding about teaching. CPD provides teacher educators opportunities for (self) reflection in their own practice. 4. Effective continuous professional development is grounded in the real world of teaching and teacher educators develop products of real value to themselves and others, e.g. their students and colleagues. CPD teacher-research process encourages teacher educators to practice Critical Practitioner Inquiry (CPI) in order to investigate their own classroom practice through a systematic process of planning, action, observing and reflection. 5. Effective continuous professional development involves integrating information of many types and from a variety of sources. CPD processes encourage teacher educators to transform their own teaching and learning process with the aid of Critical Practitioner Inquiry as a transformative tool. 6. Effective continuous professional development utilizes an instructional model that is responsive to student needs and requests and adapts instructions to suit a variety of learning styles and preferences. CPD equips teacher educators to respond to a variety of learner needs and learning styles. 7. Effective continuous professional development uses data from research and the stated needs and competencies of teacher educators in designing CPD programs The design of CPD programs is informed by data from local and global research. 8. Effective continuous professional development includes formative and summative monitoring and evaluation aspects of any CPD program Monitoring and evaluation are central to effective CPD programming and implementation. 9. Effective continuous professional development is coherent and connected to the national educational goals and reform efforts. CPD is linked to a country’s national educational goals and reform efforts. 10. Effective continuous professional development is on-going and not one-shot events and uses a variety of approaches that are predominantly site-based. CPD is continuous and not a single-shot event and is predominantly site-based. Adapted from www.LITERACY.org and Guskey (2000).
6. PROGRAMING CPD USING THE STAGES OF THE ADULT LEARNING MODEL FOR FACULTY DEVELOPMENT
a) The First Phase: Preplanning The preplanning is the beginning point for effective faculty professional development. Here CPD Committees in colleges pay attention to the goals, needs, and organizational climate, which need to be investigated to set the stage. It is a reflective phase in which a CPD Committee should take a holistic approach. This reflective foundation will serve as a guide throughout the entire process. The preplanning stage sets the direction for the program and begins with the assessment of teacher educators or faculty and organizational needs. The following questions will assist respective CPD Committees to pre-plan: • What is the purpose of faculty continuous professional development? • How is professional development tied to the mission of the college? • What resources are available to support a faculty professional development? • What is the role of the CPD Committee at the college?
b) The Second Phase: Planning The planning stage involves structured preparation for what specifically will happen during faculty professional development initiatives or programs. The planning stage includes six tasks such as selecting a topic/s, identifying the presenter (s), preparing for the program delivery or implementation, designing for support and transfer of learning and scheduling the professional activity and addressing monitoring and evaluation needs.
In drawing up a CPD plan, faculty CPD needs should be research-oriented. That means the planned CPD programs should be linked to student learning to address the identified challenges facing learner performance in the school system. These are often reported in various national studies, e.g. SACMEC and the BETD pre-service principals’ perception study, etc.
Using the Preplanning Stage and input from the college community (all departments) as a platform, the CPD Committee will use the CPD Template to develop a college annual CPD plan. The following questions may help the CPD Committees as they develop their Plan: • What will happen during this faculty professional development program? • What kind of professional development program/s will be offered? • Who will be involved - teacher educators, administrators and presenters, support staff, institutional workers etc? • How will we organize the CPD program-support, delivery of program, schedule and market the program?
c) The Third Phase: Delivery/Implementation of the CPD program The purpose of the stage is to produce a program that will achieve the goals established for the program and ensure the desired outcome for both the faculty and the institution. The delivery stage offers the opportunity to fully integrate adult learning principles into the substance of the program through using active and collaborative learning techniques, addressing the needs of the faculty, and emphasizing application of learning to the educator’s own practice.
As the Delivery Stage begins, four questions should be addressed by CPD Committees each Term: • Are we continuing to build on our preparation? • How do we effectively promote the CPD program/s? • How are adult learning principles incorporated in CPD program delivery? • How do we monitor and evaluate the CPD program?
The Delivery Stage will also build on the preparation of the previous stage, determine effective ways to promote the CPD program and engage in formative evaluation. Colleges are required to document and submit to NIED every step of the planning and implementation phases according to a specified timeline. The Implementation Stage will also include: • A comprehensive data driven CPD plan, which is owned and agreed upon by the college staff. • A plan discussed and agreed by NIED and partners for support. • The available reporting format on the CPD activities is understood. d) The Fourth Phase: Follow-up The Follow-up Stage addresses tasks, issues, and concerns that both the CPD Committee and the institution may have related to what teacher educators have learned as well as the evaluation that is linked to whether or not educators are applying what they learned in their practice. Support for changes in thinking, behavior and consideration of future professional development activities is important at this point. The following guiding questions should be used by CPD Committees to inform the Evaluation Plan in the Follow-up Stage. 1. What is our evaluation plan? 2. How will ongoing support be provided to foster transfer of learning or what was learned? 3. What can we, as faculty professional developers, gain from reflecting on our role in this endeavor? 4. How do we share and disseminate feedback of our CPD program with out partners especially NIED?
What is our evaluation plan?
During this stage the college, the individual teacher educators and the CPD Committee are aware of determining how the organizational environment can support new learning and what needs to be done to encourage the faculty to implement information and skills learned in their daily practice. Individual teacher educators are to reflect on the new learning and its application to teaching and learning in their classrooms. The application of a reflective practitioner perspective or what is popularly called Critical Practitioner Inquiry (CPI) in Namibian Teacher Education BETD programs is critical for the successful implementation of what was learned through CPD programs. The CPD Committee will address the above questions especially, the plans for evaluation of the program, plans for continuing and documenting the learning and the ongoing support to be provided. In discussing the evaluation plan, the Guskey (2000)’s five-level model of Evaluating Professional Development can aid the process. This will be discussed in the next section.
At this point, the CPD Committee will pay attention to issues that the above four questions present: • the plans for evaluation of the program
• application of what was learned to classroom practice • plans for continuing the learning, documenting the learning, and; • the ongoing support to be provided.
It is also important to conduct evaluation of the completed CPD activity and draw up plans for the next future program. Kirkpatrick (1998) cites some key reasons for doing evaluation related to CPD. First he sees evaluation as continuing the learning and future planning of CPD programs. Second “to determine the effectiveness of a (CPD) program and ways in which it can be improved” (p.97). Guskey (2000) illuminates that we use evaluations to determine the value of a CPD program to help answer such questions as: • Does this program or activity achieve its intended results/outcomes? • Is it better than what was done in the past? • Is it better than another, competing activity? • Is it worth the cost and time?
7. Five Level Model of Evaluating Professional Development
The evaluation plan should state the methods and the type of data that need to be gathered on the outcome of a CPD activity. Further, the plan should not only describe the methods but also the instruments that will be used to gather data on the outcome of a college CPD program/activity. To effectively monitor and evaluate CPD, we suggest that college’s use Guskey’s (2000) Five Level Model of Evaluating Professional Development, which consists of five critical, levels at which data will need to be gathered, that include: o Level 1: participants’ reaction. How did the target audience react to training/workshop – may be based on evaluation form given at the end of event. o Level 2: participants’ learning. What did the target audience/s learn from training/workshop – may form part of the evaluation form given at the end of event. Can also take a form of demonstrations, and participant reflections (oral and/or written) or performance-based evaluation of products made by audience as part of the event. o Level 3: organization support and change. What kind of support system, e.g. new policy or guidelines, creating a support groups, e.g. peer coaches and mentoring group, self-monitoring tools and techniques and developing individual teacher educators professional development goals/plans/contracts, etc. would be needed to ensure that what was learned can be put into practice to foster improvement? o Level 4: participants’ use of new knowledge and skills. How will you know whether participants are applying the new knowledge and skills they have learned into their own practice? Was there a change in the audience’s behavior as a result of the training/workshop – may be based on follow-up direct observation of lecturer’s teaching and structured interviews with participants and their supervisors, etc. o Level 5: student learning outcomes. What was the impact on students – may be based on student scores, portfolios, SBS evaluations and interviews with students, etc.
At the end of each professional development activity, CPD Committees need to address at least the first two levels i.e. 1 and 2. Ample time should pass before the CPD Committee can evaluate levels
starting from 3 to 5. The reason being that these levels are complex to evaluate than the previous levels given the nature of data that is needed beyond the “smiley” end-of-workshop evaluation forms that participants usually complete by focusing only on levels 1 and 2 information.
How will ongoing support be provided to foster transfer of learning or what was learned?
The goals of most educational programs revolve around learning and its application. For teacher educators, professional development programs or activities focus on teaching effectively to improve the quality of student learning. This means that the information presented in a seminar or workshop are hopefully applicable to the faculty’s needs and their students and can be utilized in their day-to-day practice. Transfer of learning is defined as the effective application by program participants of what they learned (Cafferella, 1994). In order for transfer of learning to take place, it needs to be considered right from program planning. This help can include support from various sections of the institution. The kind of issues addressed here relate to Guskey’s “Level 3: organization support and change” type of information that should be examined through evaluation to promote transfer learning. Examples of this support include: • Developing individualized learning plans • Setting individual professional development goals • Providing mentors • Peer coaches • Starting self-help or support groups • Study Groups offering organizational development interventions • Assessing the organizational climate in the application and use of the learned knowledge and skills on the job
What can we, as faculty developers, gain from reflecting on our role in this endeavor?
One important aspect of the Follow-up Stage in the Lawler and Kathleen (2000)’s Adult Learning Model for Faculty Development is reflection on future faculty professional development initiatives. Possible themes and topics for future CPD programs should be identified as an opportunity for growth. The essence of the matter is that as college faculty developers engage in reflection, each cycle will bring new observations, wisdom and guidance to future CPD initiatives. Colleges will know about the specific program to be offered and also learn about the planning process itself. This learning can be carried forward to inform the next stage. Important reflective questions that may be posed include: What have we learned about programming CPD in our college? What have we learned about faculty as adult learners and education professionals? What have we learned about ourselves as faculty developers and maybe also as administrators or faculty? While reflection will lay the foundation for future CPD programs, it will also provide some assurance that we will learn from the past.
How do we share and disseminate feedback of our CPD program with our partners especially NIED?
CPD committees will need to write a formal report at the end of each professional development initiative and this should be shared with stakeholders especially NIED. The report needs to be succinct and will highlight the following aspects. This is a crucial component in the evaluation process. How well the outcomes of a CPD program or activity are communicated has a direct impact on the ability of decision-makers to respond properly. Based on Smith and Beno (1993), we suggest these components for the CPD report incorporating the evaluation aspect. • Introduction • The CPD program objectives that were established and why • Activities implemented to meet the objectives of a given CPD program • Resources used • Evaluation of CPD activity (especially from participants’ point of view) • Recommendations for policy, practice and/or changes in future CPD program/s. • Appendices
Before finalizing the report, a draft should be circulated among faculty and administration for their input and comments before the report is sent to external stakeholders who did not participate in the CPD activity but are interested in its outcome for many reasons.
8. Responsibilities of Key Players and Partners
Partners (NIED, AED/BES, IFESH, Ministry of Education) involved in CPD for teacher educators should be appropriately involved during CPD planning and implementation. Support in facilitation of topics, financial support, overall CPD guidance includes but may not be limited to:
9.1 Colleges of Education: CPD Committees and Teacher Educators • The CPD Committee shall plan CPD programmes using the CPD template. • The CPD Committee shall implement CPD programmes/activities. • The CPD committee shall monitor the progress of planning and implementing CPD activities. • The CPD Committee shall monitor and evaluate CPD programmes in colleges to determine their impact on teacher educators’ practice and student learning. • The CPD Committee shall mentor and coach individual teacher educators to reflect on the impact of CPD in their own practice by conducting Critical Practitioner Inquiry. • The CPD Committee shall communicate in writing to NIED challenges met during the planning, implementation and evaluation of CPD activities. • The CPD committees shall document every CPD activity undertaken and share the reports with NIED. • Teacher educators shall to reflect on the impact of CPD in their own practice by conducting Critical Practitioner Inquiry. • Teacher educators shall write academic papers based on their CPI studies and present these at future National Teacher Educator CPD Conferences.
8.2 NIED • Guide Colleges in the planning, implementation and evaluation of CPD activities. • Mentor and coach college lecturers in the writing and presentation of academic papers at future annual Teacher Educator National CPD Conferences. • Coordinate CPD plans and activities from colleges and render the necessary feedback and support leading to approval. • Participate in a minimum of one CPD activity at each college per Term. • Provide support to all colleges with on-site visits minimally once a Term. • NIED will share these reports with its partners, BES and IFESH to have a common understanding of the direction that CPD is taking in colleges.
8.3 BES 3 & IFESH • Work in collaboration with NIED Professional Development & Research Division to support the planning, implementation and evaluation of CPD activities at colleges of education. • Support NIED Professional Development & Research Division in planning and implementing teacher educator annual conferences, etc. • Assist NIED with the support and monitoring of CPD activities with on-site visits minimally once/Term.
8.4 MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY • Support NIED, BES 3 & IFESH in the planning, implementation and evaluation of CPD activities through; • Provision of expertise and guidance. • Facilitation of some of the CPD sessions as presenters in colleges where necessary, and; • Strengthen capacity in NIED professional development staff in any CPD area.
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