Goals for Teacher Professional Development
The fundamental goal for teachers' professional development is teachers growing into a new relationship with children based on listening, observing, valuing, and responding to children's expression of interests, feelings, and ideas. This relationship is informed by an image of the child as competent, keenly interested in the world, rich in ideas, able to think and make connections, wanting to grow, and wanting to communicate with peers and adults. Teachers and children are partners in diologue. Through that diologue, they co-construct understandings about the world and their relationship with it.
Growing into this relationship with children involves deep levels of learning by the teacher. it involves experiencing and valuing children as a separate source of consciousness with their own motives, ideas, and perspectives.
Seven Teacher Development Goals
The above relationship with children, based on listening/observing, valuing, and responding, is the reference point for seven specific goals of teacher professional development:
- Listening,/Observing, Reflecting, and Responding and Co-constructing of Understandings: Leaning to engage in moment-to-moment diologues with children that build on their interests and involve the co-construction of understandings.
- The Emergent Curriculum: Learning the skills and understandings involved in carrying out emergent curriculum cycles, involving listening/observing, documenting, interpreting, projecting/deciding, planning, hypothesizing, and implementing.
- The Classroom Environment: Learning to design and construct classroom environments that promote small-group learning, communicate the children's identities, invite children to take multiple perspectives, promote a sense of well being, and encourage parents to engage with the life of the classroom community.
- Teacher Collaboration: Learning to participate in collaborative diologues with other staff to co-construct understandings and teaching strategies.
- Parents: Learning to engage in diologues with parents that connect the perspectives of parents and teachers to support the development of the child Daily communication portfolios...).
- Researcher: Learning to be a esearcher. The idea of a teacher as researcher is akin to the notion of teacher as "learner." Being a researcher means infusing a reseach perspective into all that one does as a teacher: experiencing curiosity and engaging the object of one's curiosity, formualting questions, hypothesising, gathering and analyzing pertinent data with one's questions in mind, coming to conclusions, reflecting on the application of the conclusions, and pondering next steps in the research. teachers usually do not think of themselves as "researchers," yet this aspect of their role is vital in the Regio, PYP and Workshop approaches.
- Agency: The development of a sense of agency for the teacher as well as the child is a development goal the Regio, PYP and Workshop approaches. Agency is defined as: "Experiencing oneself as an active, self-directed agent who can, individually and in-collaboration with others, formulate personally meaningful learning goals, figure out strategies to achieve them, engage the world to pursue them, construct understandings, and communicate the newly developed understandings to others." (p.130)