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For example, in terms of impact on teaching practice, the influence of teacher autonomy was very strong along with mentoring for second year teachers, particularly in improving classroom management. Teacher autonomy was also especially important for impacts on pupil learning. For their contribution to the school, the support of the school was particularly significant and, as section 2. The support of the school was very strongly associated with career-related outcomes as were autonomy and the advice of mentors, LEA and HEI personnel.

And given the strength of the outcomes from the pilot, these show what can be achieved for the individual, the school and the profession if the teacher takes a directive role in their professional development with support from a mentor, their school and also their LEA. In short, it shows the benefits of a collaborative grassroots approach to professional development. Thus, the experience of EPD offers valuable lessons to inform thinking on professional development at school and LEA-level. None the less, it is important to acknowledge that, as well as the philosophy behind EPD (autonomy, mentoring, school support, LEA support), the actual existence of the EPD scheme itself was an important feature in the outcomes derived. The evidence would suggest that this feature was particularly important for commitment and retention. Granted, school support and autonomy were important, as well as the mentoring relationship.

Those case-study interviewees for whom the main effect of EPD had been the impact on their career development or commitment most often related this to the scheme as a whole, with reference to how valued they felt that time, thought and funding had been targeted at their professional development. Furthermore, analysis of the EPD and comparative sample suggested that this could be a factor in the greater likelihood of EPD teachers remaining in the profession. That said, as stated above, the philosophy behind EPD can contribute to thinking on professional development. Although the scheme itself was ending, a number of the case-study schools were planning to maintain aspects of it e. Therefore, Part four of this report will consider how autonomy, mentoring, school support and LEA support worked in practice.

In doing so, this highlights elements found to work well and any associated issues. Following this, the section goes on to examine the type of activities undertaken by teachers and their perceptions of their effectiveness, thereby highlighting the forms of professional development that second and third year teachers deemed to have had the greatest relevance to and impact on their practice.

The discussion is presented in the following sections: Section 4. This section begins by reporting on overall levels of autonomy across the sample.

The benefits of teacher autonomy are then examined by looking at how teachers subsequently rated the provision they experienced, in terms of its relevance and whether it met their professional essay writer service review development needs. Having explored the relationship between autonomy and effective 82 PART FOUR experiences of professional development, the section concludes by highlighting the advantages of autonomy as articulated by case-study teachers. Teacher autonomy in practice In all three years of the study, respondents to the teacher surveys generally indicated that they had been involved to a high degree in selecting their own programmes of EPD (for example, with an average rating of 4.

This was substantiated by teachers in the case-study schools, in that the vast majority felt they had sufficient involvement in deciding how they would spend their EPD funding. Furthermore, only four out of 97 teachers interviewed in 2004 reported any dispute over their chosen activities (requests for laptops were turned down and one teacher encountered some resistance to attending a course because of the class disruption it might cause).

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Case-study interviews provided an avenue through which to explore how teacher autonomy worked in practice. In the vast majority of cases, the EPD teacher and their mentor or school had been jointly responsible for planning and refining professional development activities. In a smaller number of cases, the EPD teacher had been entirely self-directed, without significant input from their school. Thus, allowing teachers their autonomy did not appear to have been of detriment to schools, rather, EPD teachers were mindful of school needs, and ensured that their professional development activities would also profit their colleagues and their school. The relationship between autonomy and effective experiences of professional development Part three of this report relayed that teacher autonomy was a key factor that enabled teachers to achieve high outcomes from EPD.

Further analysis also found that teacher autonomy was very strongly associated with positive experiences of professional development, as follows. For all activities reported in the 2004 survey, participants who had more involvement in selecting their own EPD gave significantly higher ratings of the relevance of the provision to their own needs. As Chart 1 shows, the more involvement EPD teachers reported, the more likely they were to give high ratings of the extent to which their needs had been met.

In the final year of essay writer service review the pilot, over 40 per cent of the case-study teachers chose to essay writer service review nominate an aspect that was in some way associated with autonomy.

This was, in fact, the most frequently commended element of the scheme. Teachers spoke of how they were given the responsibility and freedom to decide what types of activity would best meet their professional development needs.

They placed emphasis on the fact that EPD empowered them to address their personal professional development priorities first, rather than having to prioritise the needs of the department or whole school (although, as stated above, there was overlap). Having that funding there to be able to use and we have a choice in how that money is spent, Ed say custom essay service toronto that was the strength in it (Teacher, primary, year 3 case-study data). Firstly, case-study teachers relayed that because of dedicated funding and because they were given control over its usage, they were more likely to value the professional development opportunities created. Teachers were aware of the costs involved and because they had chosen activities of personal relevance to them, they spoke of feeling more committed to them. Secondly, freedom of choice meant that the professional development could be individually tailored - teachers were able to link need with provision, increasing the likelihood of a successful outcome.

This could contrast, for example, with training offered to all school staff, from which teachers may or may not extract some value. Thirdly, a number of interviewees pointed out that greater autonomy had widened the parameters of professional development activity - teachers were given the chance to think more creatively about how they could best address their needs, rather than following more traditional types of professional development. All of the courses were great (Teacher, primary, year 3 case-study data). Innovative approaches to professional development Ownership - being in control of your own thoughts and your own commitments — it gives you a sense of fulfilment, satisfaction, drive.

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