Continuing on last week’s theme of international research, Singapore provides an interesting case study. The Ministry of Education recently launched a new model for teacher development the Teacher Growth Model based on a holistic approach to development with a student-centric focus. Professional development is encouraged through diverse methods of learning such as training, mentoring, research-based practice, network and experiential learning to synthesise teacher development across departments and schools.
The Teacher Growth Model is designed to recognise teachers as professionals engaging in continual learning and growth. The Teacher Growth Model is based on five desired outcomes: the ethical educator, competent professional, collaborative learner, transformational leader and community builder.
Education has been seen as a critical component in having transformed Singapore from a developing country to a successful modern economy. Singapore consistently produces high results in international educational assessments creating global presence.
Policy-makers have created an environment which not only values teachers as a ‘precious resource’ but continues to nurture teachers from initial teacher training through to their continuing professional development as experienced teachers. This is due to recognition that professional development of experienced teachers is of equal importance to the training undertaken by newly qualified teachers. Teachers are entitled to complete 100 hours of professional development per year to engage with the ‘children of today’.
Professional development emphasises the importance of collaborative learning where good teaching is not kept ‘within four walls’. This platform encourages sharing ideas, developing best practice whilst focusing on student outcomes. Singapore teachers study global educational practice for local application. The identification of the importance of teachers and their continuing professional development can be translated into better student outcomes.
Please follow this link to view the approach by Singapore illustrated with this video jointly developed by the Pearson Foundation and OECD.
You can find courses and resources to help you foster collaboration within your school on the GoodCPDGuide.
This is an excellent approach to professional development. I agree that professional development needs to be ongoing throughout a teacher’s career. The approach described here sounds like action research. Teachers learn about new ideas and strategies, try them in their classrooms, meet with colleagues to reflect and collaborate, and create an action plan based on the results. This approach is more meaningful to teachers as it makes the practice relevant to their own classrooms and unique contexts. I think this approach will lead to sustainability of new strategies and ideas learned in professional development opportunities.
D. Reyes Family