The Analytical Center has held the Round Table Continuous Professional Education for Educators: Challenges, Barriers and Prospects, during which experts talked about professional education for educators and mechanisms for improving the forms the current system of professional development is available in and for expanding the existing system.
“Can we equate the development of a nation-wide professional development system for educators and the creation of a continuous professional education system for educators? Are we talking about a continuous education system or about professional development?" the Analytical Center's expert Inna Karakchieva wondered as she opened the event.
The Head of the Center for the Analysis of Scientific Studies and Innovations of the Moscow Institute of Educational Development Olga Fiofanova cited global experience in developing additional professional development courses which can be characterized by three key trends. “The first one is ensuring professional development and qualifications improvement at the educational facilities, i.e. creating on-the-job training sites. Then, educators should have the right to choose programs to enroll in, and, finally, there is assessment of qualifications and competencies in terms of whether they meet the requirements of professional standards with passing the evaluation functions to the professional communities,” Ms. Fiofanova said.
The scientific advisor at the Center for Monitoring the Quality of Education at the Institute of Education of the Higher School of Economics Viktor Bolotov believes that the education system in Russia currently faces two challenges: new state standards and new professional standards. “The teachers are simply not ready to work in accordance with the new state standards because the standards define a completely different educational technology. And when we say that the transition has been completed it is simply not the case in reality and more time is needed,” he said. As for professional standards, Mr. Bolotov believes it is simply impossible to find a single teacher who would meet all the requirements. The expert does not think that an average Russian region can achieve this level of professional education on its own. In his opinion, special modules need to be developed so that the Education Development Federation can take it upon itself to do at least part of the work. “In addition, teachers must have the option of getting their professional problems sorted out in an organization they can choose themselves,” Mr. Bolotov believes.
At the same time, the experts believe that changing the system without launching pilot projects in the regions first would be too dangers as the situation with professional development, relocation and training of teachers is very different from region to region.