The Professional Development of Teachers: Concept Analysis
Keywords:professional development, teacher learning, in-service training, effective professional development
Continuous professional development of teachers is an essential precondition for the quality of education; so, many European countries are reviewing and reshaping teacher professional development systems and processes. Lithuania is looking for ways to create an effective system for the development of teachers’ professional competencies. In this article, the conception of teachers’ professional development is discussed by comparing two concepts (training and development); seeking to identify peculiarities of the use of these concepts within the Lithuania context as well as to gain insights into the effectiveness of the professional development process.
The aim of the research – to analyse the concept of teachers’ professional development. The analysis is performed: 1) providing a definition of the concept of professional development; 2) discussing the peculiarities of the use of the concept of professional development in the Lithuanian context; 3) considering the efficiency characteristics of the professional development process.
The effectiveness of Lithuanian teachers’ professional development is being considered, based on empirical research conducted abroad and in our country. Despite the unattractiveness and uselessness of qualification improvement activities, in our country, educators tend to give them priorities. Educators are not yet inclined to continuous learning in which they are active and reflective learners, using systematic and contextual teaching/learning strategies, and in which the learning process would take place in their local school community. However, we still have little empirical evidence while theoretically predict and model the transformative nature of professional development alternative activities. Therefore, it is considered that empirical research in the areas of relatively broad organizational partnerships between schools and the learning of small groups of educators would be meaningful.
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