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Skip to 0 minutes and 12 seconds PROFESSOR KATHY ARMOUR: So as you watch this video, we’re going to introduce some of the research on continuing professional development, but it would be really good if you could think about your own experiences and try to work out what was effective for you. What was ineffective. What kinds of things you would have liked to engage in in order to support your learning.

Skip to 0 minutes and 36 seconds PE TEACHER: So as a PE teacher, I’ve not had very many opportunities for engaging in professional development. Can you tell me what the research says with other teachers’ experience?

Skip to 0 minutes and 45 seconds PROFESSOR KATHY ARMOUR: Yeah, it’s a really important point that you raise, because there’s been research all across the world. And all PE teachers seem to have similar experiences. So for example, we mapped the kind of CPD that teachers engage in across a whole career and found that really, it was just a series of disconnected activities, and there was often no coherence to what they’d done. But sometimes they do, of course, in say 10 years into teaching, and maybe that’s the only time they would never have professional development in that particular activity again. So really the professional development and careers of PE teachers are not very coherent, and they’re certainly not progressive in terms of progressing their learning over time.

Skip to 1 minute and 28 seconds MALE SPEAKER: And what do the PE teachers themselves say about their experience of CPD? Did they share that lack of connectedness, if you will?

Skip to 1 minute and 35 seconds PROFESSOR KATHY ARMOUR: They do. And they’re very frustrated often, because they don’t get many opportunities, or if they do get opportunities, they feel the opportunities are not the things they’d actually like to learn. So for example, they get opportunities to do one-day update courses on various activities, but sometimes they’d like to follow up and do more in that area. And there are very few opportunities unless, for example, they register for a master’s course. But not every teacher wants to register for a master’s course. Now those that do find they get access to a whole lot of new material that very effective for them, but that’s never going to be the majority of teachers.

Skip to 2 minutes and 12 seconds FEMALE SPEAKER: So is there any research that tells us what the most effective form of CPD is?

Skip to 2 minutes and 17 seconds PROFESSOR KATHY ARMOUR: What we do know is that in order for CPD to be effective, it needs to be sustained over time, and I don’t think we’d be surprised about that. That it needs to be relevant to a teacher’s own teaching context. So a lot of teachers say, well, I went on a course, and it was fine. But it would never be appropriate in my school, with my children. So we do know at least that much. And we also know that when teachers learn something new, they actually need some support to develop it in practice, which is why learning together with their colleagues is often the most effective way to do CPD.

Skip to 2 minutes and 54 seconds What we don’t know, if I’m honest, because there hasn’t been enough large scale research, is exactly which model will be most effective, most of the time. So there’s still further research to do on that. But we do have indicators about what’s likely to be effective.

Skip to 3 minutes and 14 seconds DR.

Skip to 3 minutes and 14 seconds KYRIAKI AKOPOULOU: In 2003, the UK government founded the National PE CPD Program, which became available, free of charge, to all teachers, teacher assistants, and sports coaches working primary, secondary, and special schools in England. The program was centered around a suite of standalone modules, such as learning in and through game activities, learning about health, healthy, active lifestyles, and assessing progress and attainment in PE. We found that most tutors adapted the contents of the module in order to meet local needs, and this was highly valued by participants. Participants also welcomed the opportunities they had to share experiences, knowledge, and ideas with professional colleagues and to be actively engaged in the learning process.

Skip to 4 minutes and 2 seconds Evidence also suggests that the strong practical element was effectively incorporated in most modules. It’s also appeared that they have [INAUDIBLE] of a wide range of modules meant that the participants could choose the modules that they were most interested in. However, data showed that the breadth of the program was also one of the key weaknesses. Some participants asked for followup modules, others for school-based support in order to extend and expand their understandings of the topic of their interest. CPD providers also acknowledged the importance of followup supports, but evidence suggested that they haven’t find a workable and affordable way to achieve this in practice.

Skip to 4 minutes and 44 seconds Now that I have briefly outlined the key findings from the independent evaluation of the National PE CPD Program, how do your experiences of PE CPD participation relate to that program? And most importantly, what would be your recommendations for future PE CPD provision?

Skip to 5 minutes and 4 seconds PROFESSOR KATHY ARMOUR: There is no doubt that as a professional practitioner and members of a profession that continuing professional development is a vital aspect of your personal career. Sometimes the systems don’t take care of you’s in the way that they ought to, as we’ve discovered in this session. But there are lots of ways in which you can actually support your own professional development, especially with all the material that’s now available to you online. So we’re going to spend more time in the next sessions helping you to find new ways to support your professional development, and perhaps to think about it slightly differently.

Skip to 5 minutes and 40 seconds The most important message, however, is that you need to be learning continuously if you are to meet the needs of all your children.

CPD in the 21st Century

An outstanding teacher is a lifelong learner.

To teach PE effectively and to be able to respond to students diverse and individual needs teachers need to keep learning in a very wide range of areas and to be aware of the latest evidence in research, policy and practice. Yet this is often a challenge.

This video will introduce you to some of the characteristics of effective CPD - CPD that can have an impact on practice and, in turn, students learning. The challenges associated with CPD will also be discussed and the evidence-base on what types of CPD are not ‘effective’.

During the video we want you to be thinking about your experiences of CPD and how your CPD provision is supportive of your learning needs.

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This video is from the free online course:

Outstanding Physical Education Lessons

University of Birmingham