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WLE Centre for Excellence Institute of Education University of London 20 Bedford Way London WC1H 0AL Tel +44 (0) Fax +44 (0) Web ICT CPD for primary and secondary school teachers A study for Becta UCET November 2009 Caroline Daly Norbert Pachler Caroline Pelletier
A persistent deficit? Despite considerable resources being dedicated to developing the use of ICT in schools in recent years, there is a lack of impact on teachers everyday practice, or what Becta has described as a significant deficit (The Harnessing Technology Review, 2008) This is despite the vast majority of teachers receiving some form of ICT CPD according to national surveys This is despite considerable mobilisation of money and resources for ICT in schools
Literature review Two persistent and difficult factors: Policy tensions (Hardy, 2008; Pearson and Naylor, 2006) –Between ICT policy and other policy demands –Within ICT policy-making Deep-seated beliefs and dispositions among teachers (Belland, 2009; Hammond, 2009; Cogill, 2008) –Need to change experiential evidence for beliefs –Need deep, intellectual engagement with ideas as well as skills –Enquiry has a role to play
Teachers at the centre They are the main agents of change. They need to make sense of their learning experiences to be able to take action CPD is about changes in them as persons as well as teachers – the two are joint aspects of professional identity How teachers manage and ride the waves of change (Day, 2000) are at the centre of any future education that meets the needs of young people We need to properly understand how teachers learn in order to design effective CPD
Semi-structured interviews with 26 teachers 13 headteachers/senior leaders 9 ICT co-ordinators/e-learning leaders 17 ICT providers One to one interviews Telephone interviews Focus groups of teachers
Project findings A fragmented general picture of ICT CPD among the whole range of provision (school-based, Local Authority, CLC, commercial, subject/professional association). Extremely effective CPD provision both in-house and externally provided but very localised and not much evidence that effective provision in one site has an impact anywhere else. Skills training is not enough…
The incorporation of group work, collaborative problem-solving, independent thinking, articulation of thought and creative presentation of ideas are examples of the ways in which teachers CPD might focus on pedagogy. The CPD design itself should incorporate these kinds of activities using ICT, so that teachers can experience active learning for themselves as part of their professional development.
School-based CPD The majority of CPD is school-based. Design features include: Compulsory formal INSET sessions for all staff Compulsory small group sessions for staff who share subject or phase backgrounds Optional after-school CPD sessions on specific software Brief tasters or briefings at staff meetings to provide updates on new software. Many of these involved external providers There was evidence of effective CPD in schools which showed evidence of a professional learning community…
ICT CPD within schools as learning communities Effective leadership which focused on inclusive and democratic approaches to deciding the CPD agenda: vision sharing Focus on individual needs as well as school priorities Deployment of non-expert staff as key players in CPD Use of small groups to plan and review teaching together High differentiation Frequent talk among staff about their practice Inclusion of whole workforce in CPD activities (buying in TA hours) Divide between primary and secondary schools on deployment of ICT co-ordinators in CPD Easier to achieve within primary school contexts – the walk through
Ineffective school-based ICT CPD This was reported to be the experience of nearly all the teachers Lack of leadership vision or only vision delivery Focus on skills development – boredom with practising Lack of relevance to own classroom and subject areas No time to think and discuss how to use the technology for learning No opportunities to observe how other teachers use technologies Where external providers were involved, lack of prior negotiation about individual needs
Inward-looking school-based CPD Extremely inward-looking ICT CPD was a trend Teachers never left the school to see other practice Leadership convinced they have the only solutions necessary Complacency and reluctance among leaders to be open to other ways of working Suspect practices advocated as ideal because school results improve Often strong links with commercial companies and MSPs who provide the total CPD environment geared to their products
Collaboration HighLow Players involved School- based External Vision-sharing Vision-delivery in-house whole school INSET sessions in-house expert modelling one size fits all provision one-off sessions skills training incorporating ICT into a fixed curriculum reproducing best practice activities shaped by school development plan fixed staff roles for ICT CPD addressing deficits in generic skills audits shared school development planning peer demonstration peer observation mentoring by break-time, lunch-time and after-school talk voluntary CPD leadership non-experts using pupil expertise working flexibly with the curriculum shared critical reflection digital creativity playing with kit group work - mixed ability shared lesson planning informal talk course-based learning pre-determined skills expert modelling reproducing best practice demonstration by experts responding to skills audits one size fits all provision accreditation mastery of new technologies extensive planning comparing practice across schools online collaboration using Web 2.0 to collaborate and share resources teacher enquiry visits to other schools experts collaborating in class shared critical reflection peer discussion digital creativity playing with kit group work - mixed ability shared lesson planning informal talk accreditation
CPD providers interviewed ASTs / LAs / CLCs Professional associations Hardware and software developers
Barriers to ICT CPD – providers views Problem is not the lack of money or the lack of kit – the issue is organisational ICT is not a priority on inspection schedules – superficial CPD agenda Lack of CPD time beyond bursts of INSET or occasional days CPD not commercially viable – not valued, and expensive for schools Changing/conflicting policy priorities – difficulty in articulating needs Increasing standardisation of teaching – anti-experimentation ethos Emphasis on remedying deficit rather than achieving excellence Fragmented market and fragmented products – many CPD providers in each school, many types of kit. Difficulty of moving on from the teaching of technical skills
Aspects of CPD models which were reported to work A long-term CPD strategy: the developmental model, the withdrawal model, the researching practice model – requires upfront investment / intellectual engagement An integrated approach to ICT, not a product focus – favours hardware suppliers, large companies, LAs, professional associations Establishing long-term relationships with schools, teachers, LAs Training of senior leaders, not just teachers Choice of CPD for teachers individually – innovation rather than deficit treatment
Local Authorities Huge inconsistencies in reports of CPD experiences the provision is amazing, [the school managers] think the LA has not got much to teach us the LA doesnt like our school Examples of LAs taking the lead in proactive ways through –a brokering role in deployment of ASTs –the use of ASTs with high credibility levels –highly differentiated CPD based on auditing needs –focus on in-class CPD and real world implementation –essential compensation for poor in-house provision But…..
School leaders and teachers did not like LA restrictive policies on firewalls, accessing YouTube LA policies on use of laptops for personal internet access was criticised Some leaders thought they were way ahead of the LA Some school leaders adopted a shared responsibility to give back to the LA and provide dissemination and CPD Others did not want to have anything to do with outsiders. Supporting other schools was not their way of doing things
CLCs There was evidence of some excellent CPD practice in London boroughs where some schools were unable to provide effective CPD Approaches were extremely varied, including –a year long programme of enquiry-based CPD, based on Web 2.0 –an online accredited course in media creation –a programme of after-school weekly courses in a variety of software which was very highly praised and over-subscribed We need to find out more about the future of CLCs and their impact on CPD.
The Transformation Teachers Programme (TTP) One of the most deprived London boroughs with high levels of socio-economic disadvantage and teacher turnover Run by a City Learning City with expert provision both technically and pedagogically A strong vision of ICT CPD as –Collaborative –Critically informed –Personalised –Based on enquiry
The programme Heads from every secondary and special school in the borough nominate 2 teachers to take part (24-28 teachers per year) Web 2.0 is a basis for CPD pedagogy Mixture of generic skills training and personalised choices Having kit is essential – Macbooks with PC and Mac platforms, digital cameras, visualisers, voting kits plus range of software Teacher enquiry is built in from the start Teachers work with triads in their schools (2 teachers + SL) Fronter VLE is used to host the project and share outcomes The TTP participants become transformation leaders in their schools – not ICT experts
Collaboration is a core strategy Builds on a community of practice model (Wenger, 1998) –Talk within practice –Informal as well as formal learning –Variety of social groupings for learning (within schools; cross-school local cluster meetings; CLC cohort sessions, option sessions) –Bottom up as well as expert-driven –Permeable boundaries (developing practice across contexts – at the CLC; in own classrooms; with wider staff in school) –Local Authority ICT advisor and HE partners have supportive roles –Web 2.0 is part of the collaborative strategy
Two significant contextual factors affecting forms of ICT CPD The shift to school-based provision –Gains and losses The impact of commercial providers –Gains and losses
Summary recommendations 1.CPD needs to be designed on the basis of meeting teachers individual needs as a priority. 2.Collaborative approaches should be core to design. 3.School leaders should be encouraged to value outward- looking relationships in their approach to ICT CPD. 4.Subject specialism needs to be catered for on a much wider scale than is currently the case. 5.There is a need for (some) school leaders to learn about learning communities within schools to support ICT CPD.
6. Strong recommendations need to be made regarding the purchasing of hardware to support CPD & student learning. 7. Rationalisation is needed of the amount and diversity of policy-making both within ICT and across education. 8. There should be a commissioned study of the contribution made by CLCs to ICT CPD. 9. There should be a commissioned study of the impact of commercial providers on ICT CPD. 10.There should be a scoping study of the current use of online professional development communities for ICT CPD and the potential of online learning and Web 2.0.
Summary of key principles of effective ICT CPD Shared practice, collaborative & critical a range of participants, locations and formats for collaborative work a variety of stakeholders have a role to play Enquiry-based CPD needs to be focused on individual learner needs. Critical, reflective processes should be embedded in learning activities. This is needed to overcome the implementation dip (Fullan, 2001) HE has a role to play in supporting CPD based on teacher enquiry Embedded within school ethos of learning and teaching School leaders need to be fully engaged with CPD processes throughout Leadership which is informed, distributed and principled Integration of personal and professional use of technologies Access to Web 2.0 and flexible and informal as well as formal learning
Summary of effective core design principles Shorter, smaller, more frequent CPD engagements Flexibility & meaningful choices about the focus of ICT CPD Skills training using Web 2.0 to underpin shared learning processes, and having individualised options Working in groups – within and across schools/subjects Equipment and up-to-date software for teachers long-term skills development, to integrate personal/professional use Time for teachers to participate in enquiry-based CPD Responsive support for technology skills training is essential. Provision should be sufficiently flexible to support planned needs as they arise. Support does not have to be purely the responsibility of schools – creative LA support can help Teachers need to be valued in tangible ways
Issues/challenges Informal, genuinely enquiry-based and collaborative practices for teachers and students require fundamental shifts in the ways that learning (for students and teachers) is currently organised in schools The roles of catalysts within effective learning communities for technology-related CPD are vital and complex. CPD practices are not necessarily transposable or transferable How teachers appropriate technologies in their personal/social lives impacts on their use in the classroom but is not harnessed The role of a variety of stakeholders in models for ICT CPD needs to be better understood Financing CPD which is long-term and transformational is costly in time and HR