In-service teacher training : policy and practice with particular reference to the United Kingdom
This research explores the course of and teachers' access to In-service Training (INSET), principally in the United Kingdom (England and Wales), and to a minor extent in Colombia. Within the UK context, a first focus concerns the history, developing theories and policies behind the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of teachers. It concentrates especially on the period after the Educational Reform Act (ERA) 1988 and the introduction of the National Curriculum (NC). A second focus targets cases in various regions, at both, institutional (Local Education Authorities (LEAs), schools, etc) and individual (advisers, etc) levels. It explores how INSET works in practice. A multi-method approach consisting of questionnaires, interviews, observation and documentary analysis help to give a detailed picture of the situation of INSET/CPD for teachers (e. g., Modem Foreign language, and other subject areas. ) during the period covered by this research (1995-1999). The institutions (e. g. LEAs, etc. ) as providers of INSET, and the schools and teachers as clients of the service makes the relationships between providers, clients, and the Central government a principal theme. Some relevant issues arose from this, e. g., some implicit tensions between LEAs and University Departments of Education (UDES) as competitors in the provision of INSET. Some apprehension was also identified among some of the providers of the service (e. g., LEAs and HEI especially)) concerning the Teacher Training Agency's (TTA) administration and INSET, etc. Also, teachers appeared to feel threatened by strict regulations and surveillance as a consequence of the NC and the ERA 1988. The findings show, among other things, an increasing number of opportunities for teachers' access to INSET in the UK. Parallel to this, the profession faces some diminished local flexibility regarding allocation, funding, and actual provision of CPD, given that the indicators and criteria are sometimes established at a distance, e. g., by the TTA, or by the politicians. Teachers' freedom to determine their own preferred INSET has been progressively limited by bureaucratic and financial constraints, which allow for rare secondment and little sponsorship to undertake award bearing courses. On the other hand, a more school-based training has become available. This important development, however, can put teachers, middle and senior management in schools under pressure due to a lack of funding, heavy workloads, lack of professional input from outside speakers, etc. SBI can leave them out of context (e. g., scientific knowledge and advances as schools do not deal with this focus themselves. The thesis concludes with a brief discussion of the situation of INSET in Colombia after the 4 latest reforms occurredi n the last decade. Somep ossiblef uture developmentsfo r INSET are derived by implication from the UK study and will be possibly implemented at two different stages and levels through top-down (T), bottom-up (B), and interactional (I) modes, i. e., a possible Colombian Teacher Training Agency (TTA), and the structural reform of the Office for Enrolment and Promotion (OFEREP) towards a General Teaching Council (GTC) at a first stage; a widespreadi ntroduction of School-basedIN SET (SBI) coupled with an emerging developmental( bottom-up (B)) mode of INSET involving AR, at a second stage. Discussion of these proposals takes account of difficulties of adaptation and cultural transfer.