A structure for staff development in primary education
The study sets out to examine the underlying principles of and requirements for a structure for staff development in primary education within education authorities. The concept of staff development is introduced in Chapter One, followed in Chapter Two by a review of previous research published in the main during the last twenty-five years. Chapter Three proposes a process model of staff development. Within this is a description of one education authority's use of school self-evaluation materials written specifically to assist schools determine their own priorities for staff development. Alternative models of staff development are examined followed by an examination of the proposition against paradoxes derived from an analysis of needs of the individual, schools, education authorities and the political constraints operating within Scotland in the late 1980s. Chapter Four reviews historically the growth of a staff development structure within this authority based on such a model and describes the structure in action, the impact of the growth of the structure, and key factors in its development. Chapter Five is a short-term evaluation of the use of the school self-evaluation materials by schools in two pilot studies and issues are identified which should influence the operation of the proposition within authorities. In Chapter Six the structure is examined critically through the eyes of a parent, head teacher, teachers' union secretary and Minister of State for Scotland. Chapter Seven thereafter examines in detail six issues which are seen to be fundamental if developments are to progress into the 90s. The concluding chapter firstly examines the strengths, weaknesses and possible reasons for the structure to crumble. Thereafter, conclusions are reached which refer to: the characteristics of a necessary structure; the need for authorities to accept some diminution of power; partial autonomy of schools; the requirements for, purpose and benefits of school self-review; the need to involve the parent body and children; the development of critical communities and a new professionalism.