(Uzma Sagheer Janjua, Islamabad)

Professional Development

Most studies in professional development in education focus on the process rather than on the content or the context (Almuhammadi, 2017).Professional development is the process of enduring enhancements and upholding of professional skills, methods, practices, competencies and experiences. Professional development is a continuous process of getting knowledge, skills and competencies that relates to one’s profession, job tasks and work environment. It is much important for acquiring skilled, motivated and educated employees despite of job categorization. Goldhaber &Liddle (2011) stated that professional development is about teachers learning, learning how to learn, and transforming their knowledge into practice for the benefit for their students’ growth. Teacher professional learning is a complex process, which requires cognitive and emotional involvement of teachers individually and collectively. Education systems all around the world is changing rapidly. Therefore, many societies are working on serious and promising educational reforms. Formosinho (2013) defines professional development as a more experiential and more integrated process thus steadily moving away from the purely individual aspect towards valuing development in context. So it is important for teachers during the professional development to consider how best to refresh their practice and skills, to get better at what they do, to benefit from good practice that they may have seen in others, or to avoid aspects of their own practice that students or others have told them needs improvement because if teachers do what they always did, as a result they will always get what they always got.

Teacher’s quality and student’s achievement are significantly correlated. Teachers are responsible for the bright or dark future of the students. They can improve their results and have always a great effect on their achievement. The teacher must have not only a mastery of the content and curriculum, an appreciation of the various forms of standards, an awareness of assessment, and the ability to organize the lessons, but also be able to engage students-- to know them well.

Policy and planning wing, Ministry of Education, Government of Pakistan (2009) had stated some professional development standards for the teachers in Pakistan to improve their teaching, skill and knowledge in four areas. These Areas were focusing teachers’ competence in acquisition of updated content knowledge of the subjects they are teaching at each level. They emphasis that teacher must be trained to use effective strategies and skills by using broad knowledge of instructional tools. Further it was focused by the wing that teachers’ must have ethical knowledge and skills to asses’ students’ achievement. Moreover they described that teacher will be responsible to develop ethical behavior in students.

Quality in education will be judged on the basis of following standards namely 1) Subject matter knowledge, 2) Human growth and development, 3) knowledge of Islamic ethical values/social life skills, 4) Instructional planning and strategies, 5) Assessment, 6) Learning Environment , 7) Effective communication and proficient use of information communication technology , 8 ) Collaboration and partnerships , 9) Continuous professional development and code of conduct, 10) Teaching of English as second/foreign language (ESL/EFL). As all the standards has 3 parts namely teachers’ knowledge and understanding about the content, secondly behavior attitude and values to accomplish their teaching and lastly their performance which linked with the skills of teachers to deliver their knowledge. All these parts are enter linked with each other to cover all aspects of teaching task.

According to National Standards of Teachers’ Professional Development (2009) the process of training must start with a clear identification of need. Individuals work better knowing the principles of learning. Trainers should identify partners especially when a topic is being taught less successfully. Once trainees have recognized this requirement then the efficiency of training can truly be judged. Training has to be continued. Once teachers have tried it out, they need to access the skill again on several occasions to build their own self-confidence, sort out the misunderstandings and overcome the barrier. In Pakistani teachers provide professional development opportunities through various in- service training programs. Higher education commission (HEC) of Pakistan and universities provide such opportunities of PD for teachers.
Almuhammadi, A. (2017) EFL Professional Development: Discussion of Effective Models in Literature

Formosinho, M. (2013) Education Sciences: Towards a theoretical rebirth beyond reductionisms

Goldhaber. D., Liddle, S. (2011). The Gateway to the Profession: Assessing Teacher Preparation Programs Based on Student Achievement Center for Education Data & Research University of Washington Bothell

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