Approaches to Teacher Professional Development in Low-to-Middle-Income Countries.

Power, Tom (2019). Approaches to Teacher Professional Development in Low-to-Middle-Income Countries. In: Eyres, Ian; McCormick, Robert and Power, Tom eds. Sustainable English Language Teacher Development at Scale. Lessons from Bangladesh. London: Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 47–65.



This chapter begins by situating discussion of approaches to teacher development (TD) in the context of the grand societal challenge of Education for All (UNESCO 2014), as written into the earlier Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and now Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4:‘to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all.’ This goal cannot be met without addressing the stark and urgent need for greater numbers of teachers who are adequately equipped with the knowledge and skills to enable effective student learning. Drawing upon personal experiences of work with teachers in LMICs over nearly two decades, the chapter argues against ‘blaming teachers’ for poor student learning outcomes, and advocates instead the development of better understandings of the often challenging contexts in which teachers practise. The chapter then critically examines common approaches to TD that have often failed adequately to equip teachers for classroom practice, outlining a broadly supported agenda for reform. Recent literature has begun to identify certain characteristics of TD programmes that are increasingly associated with effective student outcomes, in what may be an emerging consensus. These characteristics are briefly outlined, before the chapter closes with lessons learned from English in Action. EIA has both contributed to and benefitted from this emerging evidence base and Chapter 5 illustrates how the implementation of EIA exemplifies such characteristics through a cohesive programme design.

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