Impact of Teacher Training in Schools

Education reform is fast catching up in all countries. How is it then that some schools succeed and others do not? What does it mean to be a high performing school? The experience of top school systems suggests that three things matter most:

  1. Getting the right people to become teachers
  2. Developing them into effective teachers and
  3. Ensuring that the system is able to deliver the best possible instruction for every child.
Teacher training and continuous professional development hence becomes an essential part of professional development.

Unlike many professions, it is not mandatory for a teacher to re-train or enhance qualifications after the initial teacher training degree. This often leads to complacency or ‘being left behind’. Professionalism goes beyond knowledge and skills. It demands that those that practice the profession be given training in relevant skills and good practice should be promoted, i.e. a commitment to continuous professional development is essential of being a professional, (Armitage 2012).Hence it becomes even more important for schools to support the teachers by establishing in-service training programmes and providing a meaningful learning experience.

“Training refers to the process of transferring or obtaining the specific knowledge and skills to carry out specific activities or tasks.

Professional Development refers to the process of stimulating individuals professional growth in competencies associated with successful performance.”
CPS Human resource services -2014

Kruse et al. (1995) describes the benefits to teachers of developing what they call a ‘professional community.’ They identify increased efficacy for teachers though an increased sense of affiliation to each other and to the school, enhanced mutual support and individual responsibility and increased opportunities to improve practice through feedback and appreciation. Carnell & Lodge (2002).

There is much emphasis on teacher quality in schools. In order to enhance teacher development, the organisation and environment must be supportive. Research confirms that teachers may develop practices that hinder learning if left to themselves; however, with support from a senior mentor, the effect on their students’ performance is significantly better. “Effective professional development relies upon teachers, head teachers and leadership teams in schools and organisations providing professional development, being clear about their respective roles and working together effectively.” Standards for teachers professional development Department for Education UK Gov-July 2016

Training and Development needs resources, time, willingness to change, participation from the stake holders and a change of mindset, however the impact on teacher development resulting in improved learning cannot be ignored, and the aim of every progressive school is to continuously enhance student learning.

Image source-freepik