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Enhancing professionalism? Teachers’ voices on continuing professional development in Scotland

Grieve, Ann and McGinley, Brian (2010) Enhancing professionalism? Teachers’ voices on continuing professional development in Scotland. Teaching Education, 21 (2). pp. 171-184. ISSN 1047-6210

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Abstract

This paper explores the concept of continuing professional development (CPD) for teachers in Scotland in an education system undergoing change. It considers the curricular and political changes which affect the nature of CPD considered appropriate and relevant for teachers. This article reports on one small-scale qualitative study into award-bearing CPD at masters level in a unique scheme known as Chartered Teacher Studies. This is a new, alternative route for Scottish teachers to gain professional recognition and financial reward for continuing to practise, rather than seeking promotion through a management route. This small-scale, preliminary exploration of the views of teachers who have completed the programme to masters level found that teachers perceived that their studies had a positive impact on their learning, increased their understanding, their commitment to linking theory with practice through research and raised their confidence in developing pedagogy. It is recognised that the outcomes cannot be widely generalised, as it considers only one cohort of students in one institution. However, since it is widely recognised that CPD for the teaching profession is an essential facet in improving education practice, the issues explored in this paper may be of interest to an international audience.