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from ES4S!
Our e-articles are written as a stimulus to promote professional dialogue. We hope they can be used in professional learning communities, staff meetings and other similar CPD situations.! Questions to support dialogue:! Which of our current professional development interventions are having the greatest effect on improving learning or raising standards?! How do we know?! Which interventions are having little or no impact and how do we know?! How could we increase our condence in engaging in deeper professional inquiry around classroom practice?! How, as a whole school, are we explicitly sharing our professional reections to help us engage in more accurate evaluation?! What must happen next?

Professional development for this year! ES4S can support you in promoting and developing outstanding classroom practice within a strong, vibrant professional culture.! If you would like any further information on how we can support your school in being the very best, please contact Kate using the contact details at the bottom of this article.! Alternatively, you can view our new CPD e-brochure at!
Recommended website .......! A wonderful, easy to use tool for designing interesting, interactive posters. A really motivational tool for young learners!! Recommended book ......! An excellent book that considers issues around creativity and passions.! The Element! (Sir Ken Robinson)! ISBN - 978-0141045252

Learning has a tendency to be either done to the learner or done by the learner. It is likely that one approach will result in shallow, less effective learning, creating a professional culture of dependency, whilst the other will create deeper, more authentic professional learning leading to a culture of greater interdependence. Although, in any school, there are times when both approaches are necessary, it is the deeper learning that will have the greater impact on the overall effectiveness of an organisation and outcomes for pupils. For many years, a significant proportion of CPD and professional learning involved the attendance of training sessions and courses in which advice, strategies and practical solutions were offered to delegates. Staff would then return to their classrooms and adopt all (or some) of the strategies and feel that it had been a worthwhile experience (or not, as the case may have been!). There are times when this approach to professional development is appropriate. However, there is a far greater need for all professionals to engage in a rigorous set of development systems that require involvement in co-construction of deeper professional knowledge, authentic collaboration and the establishment of a shared understanding about effective learning. There is a real possibility that recent trends in CPD, focusing on the delivery of OFSTED expectations, has resulted in the development of stifled professional cultures in which there is little or no genuine inquiry, challenge and reflection into what really makes a difference to pupil learning. Although some staff may prefer the traditional approach, recognising that it requires less effort, involvement or thinking, for most staff, the opportunity to engage in more challenging approaches to learning will be more intrinsically motivating, challenging and rewarding. The involvement in communities of professional learning, in which individuals engage in collaborative systems of inquiry, would be a regular feature within an effective learning organisation. This inquiry-based approach to learning can take on the form of action learning sets, learning conversations, peer coaching, communities of dialogue, questions for understanding, learning networks or Open-To-Learning Conversations. However, for these approaches to be of any real significance, schools must work on de-privatising classroom practice and increasing professional transparency, which, in turn, increases professional trust. If schools are to move towards a more personalised approach to learning, linking this to an effective system of appraisal, then a gradual shift towards an inquiry-based approach towards CPD will support the process. For many schools, and individuals within these schools, there is a need for a paradigm shift. Peoples mental models of CPD and what CPD is all about may need to change... and this takes time!

A paradigm shift

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February 2014