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So what is TD (and how is it different from Teacher Training)?

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  • Graham S Hall
    Dear all With so many new members joining the list, I thought I should try (again) to prompt some discussion. Of course, whether it takes off depends on
    Message 1 of 6 , Oct 7, 2004
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      Dear all

      With so many new members joining the list, I thought I should try (again) to
      prompt some discussion. Of course, whether it takes off depends on whether
      I've come up with anything interesting and whether you have the time to
      reply. See what you think and please share your thoughts if possible.

      So...what is TD (and how is it different from Teacher Training)? I've taken
      the following extracts from an article entitled 'What is Teacher
      Development' by Paul Davis on the HLT website (apologies to Paul for not
      getting in touch in advance, I couldn't find an appropriate email address).
      Any thoughts or comments? And what are the characteristics of teacher
      development? Please feel free to respond.

      ***
      "....For me, teacher development is a bit like the first time I drove a car
      alone after passing my driving test. It was an experience totally different
      from driving with an instructor or driving my flat mate's car with him
      sitting next to me. I was free to savour the experience for its own sake, to
      make mistakes and to be relaxed about them and learn painlessly from them.
      Like most people, I do not resent those people that taught me to drive, but
      it was not really a good experience compared to the way I have developed my
      driving since. And my driving has improved through conversations with
      friends and trying out what they said. In this analogy, being taught by an
      instructor was like the training I received to pass the RSA. I learned to
      pass a test, but I certainly did not feel relaxed or confident. The lessons
      with my flat mate are like in-service training or going on courses. Although
      my flat mate was nice and really unthreatening, it was his paintwork I was
      going to scratch and after all, he had paid for the car. Talking to other
      drivers in a free and relaxed way in my own time is development. Although I
      was still dependent on other people, I took responsibility for what I wanted
      to learn and how and when I was going to apply it.

      If development is about training yourself with colleagues, is it so
      different from teacher training? Is there a clear distinction? .....

      ...[in my school]...we have development on the timetable, but is it really
      development, or is it merely teacher training renamed? It is timetable, so
      it is in paid time when the teachers meet regularly in small groups. And it
      is almost a peer group; it would be a peer group if a senior teacher had not
      been designated as chair by the management. For permanent teachers unworried
      about contract renewals, the group can function as a peer group; however,
      for new perhaps temporary teachers, the designation of a senior teacher as
      chair makes the group appear to be a training session in the ways of the
      school. The agenda is usually set by the group. Occasionally, however, the
      members of the group are asked to put their own needs aside and develop
      themselves along setlines. If the organisation has invested money in
      computers, for example, then head office may direct staff to devote some of
      their development time to computer assisted language learning.

      At the same school, however, a group of staff may also meet along with
      colleagues from other schools once a week in their own time for teacher
      development.

      The situation outlined above may be very different from the one on your
      workplace, but just this simple description of one model illustrates the
      confusion of terms and raises some important questions about the dividing
      line between teacher development and teacher training:

      Should, or even can, teacher development be instituted by the management or
      teacher trainer, or should it be teacher led?

      Should it be a peer group? Can a teacher trainer attend a development
      session as a peer? Can in-house development or training be unthreatening to
      people whose jobs are not secure (such as new or temporary teachers)?

      Should it be in paid time or your own time? If it is in paid time, will the
      needs of the workplace always intervene? Is it a good idea to give up your
      own time rather than expect the workplace to provide time for personal
      development?

      Who sets the agenda? Could a school give the time for personal development
      within the timetable and not interfere with the agenda? ......"
      ***

      If you have time to peruse the whole article, it can be found at
      http://www.hltmag.co.uk/feb99/mart1.htm.

      Just one last point - if you have another theme or question you'd like to
      raise, post it as and when you like.

      Thanks

      Graham
    • Jason D. Renshaw
      Hello Graham and others. I m an Academic Coordinator at a school for young learners and teenagers in South Korea. I m responsible for managing and
      Message 2 of 6 , Oct 7, 2004
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        Hello Graham and others.

        I'm an Academic Coordinator at a school for young learners and
        teenagers in South Korea. I'm responsible for managing and
        training/developing 6 NS and 10 Korean English teachers.

        This topic is one I am particularly interested in, as to be honest I
        think I've actually spent 4 of the past 5 years as a 'trainer' and
        only around 1 as a 'developer'. Interestingly, for those other 4
        years I guess I also thought of myself as a 'developer' when in fact
        I wasn't.

        What makes the distinction difficult, in my opinion, is that the
        definitions are too simplistic in most of the literature (ie, two
        different 'facets' of overall 'teacher education') and often ignore
        the very interactive processes that can occur between and
        across 'training' and 'development'. As Graham points out in
        reference to the article, teachers' own perceptions also play a big
        part in it all. If it makes any sense, often I feel like I'm
        training teachers to realize that they can partake in teacher
        development on their own and amongst peers.

        I have one little project/concept that I've applied in my own
        context which has shown me a lot about the essential differences and
        mutual correlations between training and development.

        This was a 'lesson planning and reflective language teaching
        journal' that I made and applied in our program for all teachers.
        Each page has a lesson planning grid, followed by a space for
        reporting how the lesson actually went and then another space for
        teacher's thoughts, feelings, and instincts about the experience.
        Teachers were told they could fill out and utilize these materials
        however they liked. Results have been interesting. Some teachers
        (generally the experienced ones) whisk through the planning in a
        very competent way that shows they know how to 'apply' the school's
        programs and objectives quite well, and then get into making
        observations and reflections about what it all could mean. Other
        teachers (especially NNS and inexperienced teachers) stick to the
        lesson planning part and put all their energy and detail into
        that.In some ways, the former teachers are already enagaging in
        their own teacher development, whereas the latter are still 'in
        training' - attempting to apply the program in the right way, etc.
        My general feeling is that once inexperienced teachers develop
        enough confidence with the planning part, they may consider the
        option of going on to reflection, in which case they are making a
        decision to start working on development. What is interesting for me
        is that really good, targeted, relevant 'training' can only begin
        once teachers have commenced 'developing', because it is only when I
        can see their voluntary observations and reflections that I can
        start to get at theories or processes that may help them
        individually in their own contexts. But this also needs to happen
        alongside 'teacher development' seminars, where people compare their
        observations and brainstorm reasons and solutions with other
        teachers.

        So I guess, in many ways, my view is that the two are mutually
        compatible and in some ways dependent on each other, with 'training'
        being both a precursor to, and later a small element within, overall
        teacher development. As for trainers 'doing' development as well, I
        make sure I keep my own journals, which I pour all sorts of effort
        and naked honesty into, which I then regularly serve up and
        challenge the teachers to cut to pieces. That can be a lot of fun
        and laughs, but I also regularly get new ideas and impressions from
        my 'trainees' about my own teaching. That seems to encourage them to
        move into reflective development much faster. Development is as
        development does?

        And for 'training', I generally focus on applying literature and
        theory to issues I see coming out of development notes. In that
        sense, I am not a trainer, just a guide or coordinator. I feel I'm a
        trainer when I give teachers specific goals or issues to think about
        and then talk to them later to see if things are going the way I had
        predicted. But these days that is happening less and less as more
        teachers in the school get involved in identifying their own
        problems and discuss them with colleagues. Still, especially for the
        NNS teachers just starting out, 'development' is quite a threatening
        concept for many of them compared to the security of 'training'.

        There's a couple of thoughts there, if anyone can relate to them or
        cares to comment on them.

        Cheers,

        Jason Renshaw
        Academic Coordinator: Ewha ALS Changwon
        Director/Webmaster: www.englishraven.com
      • Richard Trewby
        Dear All As I look back on my experience in the classroom and as a trainer of teachers, I see an important difference between teacher development and
        Message 3 of 6 , Oct 8, 2004
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          Dear All
          As I look back on my experience in the classroom and as a trainer of
          teachers, I see an important difference between teacher development and
          in-service training. To me teacher development takes place in the classroom
          and is reflected in the efforts teachers make to improve the quality of
          their teaching. It can be the result of the teacher's own critical
          reflection or action research, but it might also result from an in-service
          training course or something the teacher has read.

          We have all progressed in our teaching from when we first entered a
          classroom and thus have developed as teachers. We have tried out new
          methods, but very often our development has been the result of some form of
          teacher education or training. The analogy of learning to drive is still
          valid, as the learner driver receives 'training' and then develops driving
          skills over the years, sometimes going for further training but also by
          trying out new actions or copying others. The development can only be seen
          in the way the driver drives the car.

          I hope this small contribution adds to the discussion.

          Richard Trewby
          P O Box 80111
          Windhoek
          Namibia
          Tel: 061-252624
          Cell: 081-244-2446
          Fax: 061-2063016
        • colin mackenzie
          Dear All For me, the difference is clear, Adrian s dictionary definitions summed it up. development is something that you do to yourself, or just happens in
          Message 4 of 6 , Oct 10, 2004
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            Dear All

            For me, the difference is clear, Adrian's dictionary definitions summed
            it up. development is something that you do to yourself, or just
            happens in you, while training is something yo do to someone else. What
            I find a more interesting is why we ask the question in the first
            place; i think there are two major reasons.

            Firstly, training has got a bit of a bad name, training is telling
            people how to do things, whereas development is letting them discover
            how etc etc. Alan's quote is another version
            "Training regards the
            past as finished and the future as to be finished. Education
            (development) leads toward a
            continuing self-discovery"
            No-one wants to be associated with a future that's finished. So there
            has been a shift from calling oneself a trainer to calling oneself a
            developer. I even heard someone say, after a particularly developmental
            workshop "wasn't it good being developed, rather than developing" -
            that's really turned around. Then people who are developing others (ie
            training) start saying they can't see the difference between the two.
            Calling it teacher education is similar.

            The second reason is that the voices that are heard in the profession
            tend to be those of experienced, able, inspiring teachers, exactly the
            kind of people who should be training (or helping others to develop).
            The people who write papers, speak at conferences, even go to
            conferences are disproportionately trainers or in management. They see
            things from a training perspective even when they call it development.

            Of course, no training is successful if development doesn't take place;
            and any good trainer should be aiming for their trainees (developees?)
            to take responsibility for their own development, but it doesn't make
            it the same thing.

            Trainers should stand up and be proud to be trainers

            Colin

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Elif Uzel
            I think I agree with Richard s comment that development takes place within the teacher and in her/his class. Hopefully triggerred with some input from
            Message 5 of 6 , Oct 11, 2004
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              I think I agree with Richard's comment that development takes place within the teacher and in her/his class. Hopefully triggerred with some input from training courses.
              Recently one of my ex-tutees on our DELTA course came to me said. "You know everything makes so much ore sense now..." She's recent;y completed her diploma and now she feels much more confident and aware of what she's doing in the classroom. I think that's my definition of development!

              Elif Uzel
              Bilkent University
              School of English Language
              Teacher Training Unit
              Ankara Turkey

              Richard Trewby <rtrewby@...> wrote:
              Dear All
              As I look back on my experience in the classroom and as a trainer of
              teachers, I see an important difference between teacher development and
              in-service training. To me teacher development takes place in the classroom
              and is reflected in the efforts teachers make to improve the quality of
              their teaching. It can be the result of the teacher's own critical
              reflection or action research, but it might also result from an in-service
              training course or something the teacher has read.

              We have all progressed in our teaching from when we first entered a
              classroom and thus have developed as teachers. We have tried out new
              methods, but very often our development has been the result of some form of
              teacher education or training. The analogy of learning to drive is still
              valid, as the learner driver receives 'training' and then develops driving
              skills over the years, sometimes going for further training but also by
              trying out new actions or copying others. The development can only be seen
              in the way the driver drives the car.

              I hope this small contribution adds to the discussion.

              Richard Trewby
              P O Box 80111
              Windhoek
              Namibia
              Tel: 061-252624
              Cell: 081-244-2446
              Fax: 061-2063016



              Any views expressed on this list are of the person posting them. They are not necessarily views held or shared by IATEFL or the TDSIG.


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              Elif Uzel

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