EARLI 2015


Leonidas Kyriakides Keynote

Improving Teaching Quality: A Dynamic Approach to Teacher Professional Development

Leonidas Kyriakides

University of Cyprus

[Link to video]

This presentation draws on teacher effectiveness research to consider implications for teacher professional development. The first part provides a critical review of research on teacher training and professional development and illustrates the limitations of the main approaches to teacher development such as the competence-based approach and the holistic approach. A dynamic perspective to policy and practice in teacher professional development is advocated. The second part provides a critical review of research on teacher effectiveness. The major findings of this research field are analyzed. It is argued that teacher factors are presented as being in opposition to one another and that the whole process of searching for teacher factors had no significant impact upon teacher professional development. Meta-analyses reveal that instead of treating active and direct teaching approaches as in contrast with the new leaning approaches to teaching, an integrated approach to teaching should be adopted. The importance of investigating the additive and interactive effect of generic and content-specific teaching skills is also emphasized. It is also advocated that teacher professional development should be focused on how to address grouping of specific teacher factors associated with student learning outcomes and on how to help teachers improve their teaching skills by moving from using skills associated with direct teaching to more advanced skills concerned with new teaching approaches and differentiation of teaching. Thus, the third part presents the main characteristics of this dynamic approach to teacher professional development and refers to studies conducted in different countries, which illustrate how this approach can be used by policy and practice in teacher education. Specifically, this presentation provides evidence supporting the theoretical framework upon which this approach is based. Moreover, experimental studies supporting the use of this approach for improvement purposes are presented. Finally, suggestions for further research utilizing and expanding the dynamic approach to teacher professional development are provided.