Training countdown

23rd May 2003 at 01:00
Eleanor Caldwell reports on some of the key partners and providers to be listed on the new national CPD register

The national register of accredited professional development course organisers that is being compiled will provide training data for teachers in all fields of education.

Providers will include partnerships between universities, colleges, local authorities and independent organisations, offering courses for chartered teacher programmes and general development.

Inclusion on the register will be handled by the General Teaching Council for Scotland, which will also be responsible for quality assurance.

Descriptors of all modules, courses and activities, no matter how small, will be ratified by the GTC.

Organisations will not necessarily receive blanket approval to be included.

Individual departments or groups within an organisation may be accepted.

Myra Pearson, depute registrar at the GTC, says: "Wherever they are, teachers will be able to access CPD in whatever area of education they are interested in."

Providers already have a rich mix of potential courses and modules ready for inclusion on the register. The Pacific Institute, for example, is offering programmes of cognitive psychology for teachers, says head of education Neil Straker. Its four-day Investment in Education course combines work with teachers, young people and parents, addressing issues of motivation, aspiration and realising potential.

Courses are delivered by local facilitators trained by Pacific Institute and generally take a whole-school approach. They hope to work in partnership with Napier University and Hutcheson's Grammar in Glasgow.

The partnership between City and Guilds Scotland, the Western Isles Council and Edinburgh-based Rocket Learning offers a multimedia approach, including CD-Rom, video and online learning. There is strong focus on work-based training. "This is our strength," says City and Guilds acting head Alistair Ware.

A key element of the group's programme is a CPD management system - a toolkit for recording and maintaining an effective CPD database - that might be taken up by schools or councils.

The partnership will offer a series of modules including a video-based course on classroom communication, which uses filmed scenarios to train teachers in good practice.

The University of Paisley's virtual learning environment, Blackboard, which is run in partnership with the Educational Institute of Scotland, offers a range of courses, such as the Certificate in Subject Development. This is a four-module, two-year course that examines and develops innovation and good practice in subject teaching.

Tom Hamilton, associate head of the school of education at Paisley University, says this approach aims primarily to help teachers take a broad look at different teaching methods and integrate them into their own style.

The key focus is on developing good reflective learning and shared practice.

Education partnership Learning Tapestry - which includes institutes of higher education, Learning and Teaching Scotland, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and the Scottish Further Education Unit - adopts an international approach.

Education professionals from overseas, such as Tony Buzan, Carla Hannaford and Leslie Kenton, will lead a variety of conferences and modules.

Follow-up training at local level, such as in-school and cluster schools staff development progammes, is crucial to the programme's success, says Brian Boyd of Strathclyde University and Learning Tapestry.

At council level, North Lanarkshire continues to run courses that are also delivered in various other authorities. There has been much interest recently in two courses it offers that are based on initiatives from England and Canada. Reading Recovery is an intensive programme developed at the University of London that builds on early intervention techniques, and the Canadian-based co-operative learning programme develops an interactive approach to study.

Both have already been enthusiastically received by North Lanarkshire teachers in primary and secondary schools, says education officer Sandra Love.

The independent organisation EdICT Training, whose partners include Strathclyde University, Counselling and Training Highland and Glasgow City Council, aims to move from entirely face-to-face training programmes to more online self-study modules.

Training manager Con Morris says course content will be geared towards the New Opportunities Fund programme Action Plans. New training programmes will be task-based and teachers will work with school mentors to ensure a classroom-based approach.

The Learning Game organisation's course on self-empowered learning explores strategies such as mind mapping and "walk about and talk about". It trains teachers to incorporate these effectively into daily teaching. Courses are delivered in four workshops over a six-month period and include resource materials and a work-based project.

The Pacific Institute, contact Neil Straker, tel 0207 908 1806

The Learning Game, contact Helen Frost, tel 0141 333 9456

EdICT Training Ltd, contact Con Morris, tel 01698 572818

North Lanarkshire Council, contact Sandra Love, tel 01236 812222

University of Paisley, contact Tom Hamilton, tel 01292 886223

Learning Tapestry, contact Brian Boyd, tel 0141 552 4400

City and Guilds Scotland, contact Sarah Elderfield, tel 0131 226 1556

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