I was reading over this post after it went live and something struck me. I read… Man wants to get along with as little study as possible, jumping to conclusions and seeking information by shortcuts.
Isn’t this so true? How often do we reprimand our students for taking shortcuts rather than applying themselves to the learning process?
When we apply this to teacher’s professional development, we might reflect on how much learning we actually get from over priced courses that costs your school an arm and a leg to send you on.
Okay, so we all have gone on a day course that we took something from. I also get that some courses are mandatory for whatever reason.
But what did you do with that knowledge or skill? Did you implement it when you got back to school and are still doing so years later? Did you share that knowledge? Was it worth the money?
My experience of Professional Development has been a rather mixed one. Many courses have been terribly mundane and just not worth the money to go on and lose a day’s teaching for.
I can, hand on heart say however, that the best learning I have acquired has been self directed and practically free. All I had to do was to bring some motivation to it and block off some learning time in my diary.
I really think Fr Garesché S.J. has it right when he says that the world is full of intellectual laziness. Sometimes going on a course, billing the school and picking up an attendance certificate is more about satisfying Teaching Authority CPD requirements than actually learning anything.
Didactic as this may sound, I would suggest that the very best way for a teacher to skill-up and improve their practice is by self study, bringing the will and the imagination together to becoming intellectually competent in a particular area.
Putting aside some study time can enhance what you do dramatically and it’s not only free, but far more satisfying and efficacious than the alternatives.
As Fr Garesché says… Those who apply themselves to study in an unbiased way, will gain far more real success than those who either slur over study, or those who try and doggedly achieve without intelligence.