Designing PD for experienced teachers in tertiary vocational education
Tertiary institutions in New Zealand invest considerable time, money and resources into professional development (PD) for experienced teachers. But how useful do these teachers and their managers find it?
To investigate this, a project Designing professional development for experienced teachers in tertiary vocational education led by Gerard Duignan of WelTec was launched in September 2015.
A key objective for the project was to provide qualitative information from experienced teachers about the structure and content of continuing PD programmes.
The rationale was to establish a baseline for:
Identifying what PD works for experienced educators
A guidelines document emerged from the work; capturing the main findings of a survey of the 324 valid responses to the online survey conducted by the group of 11 researchers from six New Zealand institutions – Wellington Institute of Technology, Eastern Institute of Technology, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, Whitireia NZ, Unitec Institute of Technology, and Universal College of Learning. The teachers and managers participating in the survey had more than five years’ experience teaching in the tertiary sector.
The project report emphasises key factors that PD programme designers should consider, such as, timing and flexible access. PD should address the experienced teacher’s personal interest and enrichment, focusing on new ideas, resources and standards in their field.
The guidelines provide recommendations, such as allowing experienced teachers to choose their own PD and encouraging specialist training and upskilling that is beneficial to both staff and institution. In other words “training that reinforces practice and reassures staff that they are on the right track”.
The guidelines will be an excellent source of direction for:
On Wednesday 5 October, Gerard and team will lead a workshop exploring the guidelines, as part of the National Tertiary Learning and Teaching Conference in Rotorua.