Expert: Development of national professional development systems for educators is a global trend

2 october 2017

Analytical Center expert Inna Karakchieva presented a report titled the Practices of Creating a System of Professional Development of Educators and a System for Maintaining the Prestige of the Teaching Profession at the plenary meeting of the Russian National Seminar for representatives of regional (inter-regional) organizations of the Russian National Trade Union of Educators that was taking place in Sochi on September 24-25.

"Currently work is underway to develop a national system of professional development of educators. The very name of the system already implies some serious obligations. It's not just about the goals and development avenues for the future but also about having a coherent state policy in professional development of educators and a drastic change in the social and professional status of educators in society," Ms. Karakchieva said. According to the expert, the idea is to create a system of education and professional development of educators for the entire country. This means that the new model must be clear enough so everyone can understand it: applicants, educators, parents and in addition it must also be up-to-date and must define the development prospects for the future of the teaching profession. Ms. Karakchieva noted that the model should be used to create standards through which requirements will be laid out for the training of educators at every stage of their career.

The creation of national professional development systems for educators is a global trend, according to the expert. Qualifications standards comprising several levels have become the national core for professional development of educators in such countries as Singapore, the UK, Canada, Australia, Japan and many others.

"It's impossible to create national system of professional development for educators without modern training and professional development programs for educators, without incorporating the latest developments in science and technology into the training of educators and without a high professional level of the professors and coaches that train the educators," the expert said. At the same time, the emphasis in modern training and professional development programs for educators should be shifted towards teaching in a culturally diverse environment, individualization and digitization of education, Ms. Karakchieva believes.

According to the expert, including a mechanism of independent quality assessment should create conditions conducive to improvements in the system for assessing the skills and performance of educators while delegating such assessments to outsider parties will create additional effects for the professional community. "Analysis of international practices suggests that there is a need to promote professional mobility: 30% of educators in other countries travel abroad for work," the expert said," Programs to bring in educators from other countries have been successfully implemented in the UK, Singapore, Australia and a number of other countries." Under these conditions the development of educator leadership programs and the training of educators may become top priorities in the development of the system.

"No less important is that a mechanism should be created for promoting and motivating training and professional development of educators that includes both monetary and non-monetary incentives," Ms. Karakchieva concluded.