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Psychological aspects of in-service teacher training: educational needs and expectations

Bohumíra Lazarová and Alice Prokopová

Paper presented at the European Conference on Educational Research, University of Crete, 22-25 September 2004

Abstract:

This contribution discusses some psychological aspects of in-service teacher training. The authors suggest that, apart from political, economic, pedagogical, and organizational circumstances, the efficiency of in-service teacher training is very largely influenced by psychological factors too. They examine some factors which might substantially support teachers’ will and willingness to derive from an educational event a good experience, courage and readiness to look at things from different viewpoints and develop the classroom and school practice. The contribution sums up the results of the opening stage of such research. The authors explore the general understanding of in-service teacher training and the ways in which teachers grasp the notion of in-service training. Commented is how they select educational events to participate in, which forms and topics they prefer, and how they define their expectations and needs in relation to their own professional development. It is to say that the recognition of these aspects is important in order to sustain the efficiency of in-service teacher training.

In-service training is a significant stage of the continuum of teacher education as a whole. Yet it is not only related to the development of the professional career but also to the development of the school, its policy, and the society in general. It is viewed from various perspectives, arousing many a controversial discussion, but its importance cannot be denied. In-service teacher training became a vivid topic in the last decade or so, also in connection to a relative autonomy of today’s schools and, consequently, to the pressure on school development from the inside. The transformation of Czech schools after 1989 brought some substantial changes to the understanding of the profession of teachers, of its role, and of the competencies necessary to cope with the new conditions. An example of recent developments is the launch of the framework education programmes. These and many other recent circumstances implicitly and explicitly require changes in teachers’ thinking and attitudes. As a consequence, then, they bring new assignments for lecturers, for the organizers of educational events, and for the policy of in-service teacher training system in our country.

Professional debates and certain doubts repeatedly go hand in hand with efficiency of in-service teacher training (hereunder also as ISTT). If it is not meant for its own sake but to be beneficial, the results should be clearly reflected in school practice and stimulate changes. Though the visitation reports of school managers prove the positive influence of ISTT, mainly on teachers’ openness to changes an innovations (Czech School Inspection Report, ČŠI, 2002), some authors indicate that the direct influence of in-service training on the quality of teaching is rather indiscernible (Průcha, 2002). So the study of the conditions for ISTT efficiency and the development of evaluation tools deserves close attention.

Many studies on in-service teacher training are focused on the questions of concepts and contents. Also, they concentrate on the delimitation of goals (or even competencies) and the methods of professional development (such as, for Czech authors, Kohnová, 1995, 1999, 2001; Koťa, 1998; Kurelová et al., 2001; Nezvalová, 2003; Spilková, 2001; Švec, 1994, 1998; and more). The call of the specialists for the creation of a purposeful system which would make ISTT more efficient is supported by OECD recommendations (News, 1996; Priorities, 1999) and reflected in our main programme document, the White Book. The implementation, however, still remains a challenge.

Our report works with some aspects of in-service training which are, on one hand, rather different from those above mentioned but, on the other, closely connected to them. We suppose that besides political, economic, pedagogic, and organizational circumstances, it is psychological and social factors what is substantially important for ISTT efficiency. At the same time, such factors are rather scarcely explored (e.g. Havlík, 1999; Kaslová, 1999; Štech, 1994). We have been studying these factors in the project of Psychological Aspects of In-Service Teacher Training1. Specifically, it is cognitive, emotional, and social factors which could importantly affect teachers’ will and readiness to gain useful experience, courage, and determination to look at things differently and develop the school practice. What we urge and talk about is the cognitive grasp of the notion of in-service training by teachers, the emotional and motivational characteristics of the choice of educational events, the reflection and formulation of educational needs, and the conditions for the reflection and collaboration within teaching innovations. Also interesting to us is fears and uncertainties as burdens to change. Last but not least we are looking at the role of school management in the professional development of the staff. This report presents the results of one part of the opening stage of the research, focusing on how teachers understand the notion of in-service training, what makes them choose the educational events they participate in, and how they word their educational needs.

1. The grasp of the notion of in-service training — a prerequisite to success

First we consider the general delimitation and understanding of the notion of in-service training and its typical forms. Then we look at how teachers understand this notion and which forms of in-service training they apply. We suppose that one of the preconditions of the efficiency of in-service training is sufficient understanding of the notion, in all the broadness of its variants, by those who potentially participate, i.e. teachers. The participants of in-service training should be able to create ideas about the opportunities of their professional development, the options of further education, the criteria of efficiency evaluation, and so on.

1.1 Traditional definition of the notion of in-service training and some of its forms

The expression in-service training (or in-service education; Fortbildung in German, formation continue in French) evokes a variety of ideas and is connected to a lot of connotations and related or equivalent terms: permanent education, professional development, professional growth, life-long learning, etc. In relation to in-service training, often mentioned is professional life, the function and development of organizations, work, career, the future of individuals, the structure of competencies and qualification, innovations and professionalism (Perrenoud, 1994). The broad delimitation of the term allows various perspectives of view, requiring at the same time enough space to clarify the goals, the meanings, the responsibilities, and the forms of in-service teacher training.

Some definitions comprise attention to the efficiency of ISTT and highlight its link to the notion of the change, mentioning change in knowing, change in attitudes, or change in the teaching practice. The point of discussion is mainly the professional, general, and political education of the teacher, not only in regard to the development of individual competencies of the teacher but in connection with the aim to affect (or transform) the school and the quality of the teaching practice (compare Kohnová, 1999).

In-service teacher training may be understood like professional development, or sometimes as part of wider professional development or growth. The career development is understood as growth through natural promotion, from one stage of teacher’s professional career to another. The notion of the experiential growth is usually anchored in a succession of a few clearly delimited stages2. This category is directly related to the professional and personal maturing of the teacher. In-service teacher training is usually defined as the provision of organized programmes for practising teachers, meant to help them as one of possible systematic steps to support their development. These systematic steps, or planned situations, offers, possibilities, and events supporting teachers’ professional development have been becoming more and more varied in the last two decades.

It is probably unnecessary to remark that new information technologies, modern learning theories, a much better mobility of teachers, and many more factors, is what makes the variety of ISTT forms expanding: study of texts and other documents in the Internet, e-learning discussion forums, international visits, student exchanges, and mainly in-school activities, such as action researches, project work, supervision, visits, discussion groups, and so on.

Also the Dictionary of Pedagogy (Pedagogický slovník, Průcha, Walterová, Mareš, 1995, p. 41) relates the notion of in-service training mainly to potential forms and targets, defining ISTT as "education of teachers in course of their professional career… materialized in a wide range of organizational forms (guidance of new teachers in practice, learning for attestations, preparation of educational innovations and reforms, preparation for specialized projects, teachers’ functional study, re-qualification study, specialist courses… etc).

Peretti (1998) includes the following options of in-service training into the "plan of education" (projet de formation, shortened):

- visits to colleagues’ classes
- education through meetings with colleagues from other schools (exchange of experience, excursions, joint events)
- internal formation at school, organized for teacher teams by external instructors
- team formation at school through work on specifically school-targeted projects or studies
- self-study
- individual or team formation off school, in line with external offers (seminars, courses, stays)
- internal formation at school, organized by the staff
- open formation at school for groups of teachers, parents, and pupils (e.g. on perspectives, professional orientation, work methods, etc.).

So, besides their own study, teachers can participate in events organized outside their schools or within. The options of ISTT have a lot of internal forms, differing in how thoroughly organized or how much formal they are. A lot of attention is devoted to activities arranged by external subjects. Less frequently used and documented are those based on collaboration, i.e. teachers’ joint activities, which are often spontaneously realized at schools (Pol, Lazarová 1999).

The employment of various options of ISTT is undoubtedly influenced by contextual or personal factors. Contextual is for instance the availability and contents of external offers and in-school activities, the school climate and school culture, the objectives of the school, finance, leadership and atmosphere of educational events, their being obligatory/facultative, the level of formality of the events, the style of their organization, or the societal climate. Among personal factors there is the character of the teacher, his/her previous experience, age and the phase of his/her career, previous education and specialization, current physical and mental conditions, the situation of his/her family, the feeling of workload, the needs and expectations, values and attitudes, etc. The impact of such factors on the employment and efficiency of in-service training events is beyond doubt, but there has not been any deeper research thereof so far.

1.2 What teachers comprehend as in-service training and how they employ its varied forms

One of the aims of our research was to find out what the professional development, or in-service training, means to teachers. We had assumed that the answers would indicate which of the generally formulated objectives are associated with the term in-service training. So we asked the question How do you interpret the expression "in-service teacher training" and found out that what teachers associate with such notion is mainly development of capabilities… acquiring skills…learning something new and applicable in teaching… the development of one’s own… professional development… becoming a better professional… better understanding of pupils and situations at school… getting ideas how to teach differently… learning to handle situations better… gaining inspirations… exchanging experience… improving the practice… knowing how they teach elsewhere… and so on.

Teachers’ ideas about their further education are therefore often associated with the gain of skills and information, with innovations in teaching, with inspirations and enhancement of professionalism. Substantially less frequent is the understanding like changes in thinking, attitudes and values, identification of strengths and weaknesses.

The predominating preference of extra-school educational events by teachers, as reconfirmed by the results of our research, has got many more reasons than just the teachers’ lack of information about other options of further education and the difficult availability. The participating teachers in our discussion groups very often articulated the need to join pleasant matters and those useful in one: to learn new things and, simultaneously, get out of the school stereotype, get some rest away of the pupils, the colleagues, or even their own families, establish new contacts, and relax. As answers to the question What should a seminar look like so that you would really be looking forward to it? there were answers like I would look forward to meeting interesting people… Part of the education should be visits to cultural establishments… I would like to meet the good old friends from previous events… I would be looking forward to activities at which we would laugh a while… I would welcome exercises to relax stress and tension… I like projects in beautiful nature… I would appreciate enough time and a suitable venue… and so on.

Such preferences certainly are not illogic, for comfortable atmosphere, relaxation, emotional experience, and social support is what makes learning processes easier. There can hardly be any doubt about the meaningfulness and efficiency of the follow-up events which create space for joint reflection of changes during the implementation of innovations. Teachers welcome seminars in the open air and appreciate the follow-up events but often avoid them because of lack of time or finance (see Kohnová et al., 1995, p. 42).

2. Ways in which teachers choose educational events

Schools in the Czech Republic make plans of in-service teacher training, or short-term or long-term plans of professional development, their fulfilment being checked by the Czech School Inspection. A 2002 research (Czech School Inspection Report, ČŠI, 2002) concludes saying that an overwhelming majority of schools can well create and fulfil such plans. It is yet unclear whether such plans reflect the schools’ needs and visions and teachers’ individual needs. Also lacking is the idea about whether and how schools make and use their tools to analyse and (self-)evaluate further education (e.g. for the recognition of needs and formulation of common objectives of the school), and how they evaluate the efficiency of ISTT. The results of the Inspection research indicate that the choice of educational events depends mainly on the current offer and availability of accredited programmes, and schools are being recommended "…to suppress the casualness in the choice of further education, more precisely defining the goals…" (ČŠI Report, 2002)3. Havlík (1999) also thinks that the need of teacher self-education is mostly satisfied through their continuous preparation for teaching and through knowledge actually required in their classes (in other words, through their own study or specific courses rather than systematic formation).

Therefore, the discrepancies in the evaluation of ISTT efficiency do not always have to be mere consequences of the lacking comprehensive concept (see Hrubá, 2004; Kohnová, 1999). This is to say that casual, not thought-out choice of educational activities by teachers is another reason. The remarks and recommendations of the Inspection and some specialists indicate that the choice of the educational path should be a result of teachers’ (and schools’) reflection of educational needs and result in their individual concepts of professional development.

The dominant casual choice of ISTT activities is proved by our research too. We endeavoured to recognize "teachers’ paths" to the choice of educational events and learn how sophisticated and reflected such choices are. We obtained a variety of answers to the question What is your usual path to the choice of educational events? These answers can be grouped as three basic ways of choosing the event:

1. Choice governed by the offer

Probably most frequent are the cases in which teachers directly react to the available offer of educational events, selecting a topic of their interest or that in which they feel having unsatisfactory results: We get an offer and choose something… An offer arrives at school and the head-teacher suggests to us… We are invited to select something from an offer… I must choose a shorter event, can’t be long out of the school… I choose things taking place on weekends and not far away… I usually look at the Internet what could be interesting to me there… I look for certain topics in what’s offered there… I had problems with a pupil’s mother, so I wanted something about communication… My colleague had told me about an interesting seminar… I’m interested in the topic of… I want new ideas from my colleagues… and so on. The primary role is played here by a few factors: teacher’s interest in a subject, accessibility of the offer, venue and duration of the event, price of the event, and colleagues’ references.

Teachers who take this path are predominantly motivated by the subject itself and usually lack in clearly defined needs, targets, and expectations, or in other words, in ideas about what the event should result in. According to instructors’ statements it is not rare for a teacher to hardly be able to identify his/her expectations and objectives at he beginning of a seminar, communicating messages (conceived needs) like: I expect an exchange of experience… I expect discussion… I think we’ll get involved… I’m curious to hear my colleagues’ opinions… I’ll learn a bit about… I’ll have two nice days… We’ll say to each other what bothers us… I’ll leave the place wiser… It’s gonna be useful for me. Such expectations are certainly relevant but they do not express clear objectives in regard to the selected topic.

2. Choice due to membership in associations

Quite many teachers are organized in professional associations or they collaborate — at varied levels of formalness — with certain teacher groups or instructors. This was roughly one fourth of our respondents, mostly teachers of more than 20 years of experience (36 % of them) and least frequently so teachers of less than 8 years of experience (11 %). Those latter tend to choose events organized by "their own" group. Such choice certainly contains more self-reflection (knowing what they want devote themselves to). It also seems that teachers involved in projects and associations can more efficiently utilize their new knowledge in practice (Hrubá, 2004). Such agile teachers then usually look for events of "trustworthy organizers and lecturers", being limited by finance and time only. A question remains here, however, whether their further education is systematic, well-planned, and corresponding to the real educational needs and is in line with the objectives of the school.

3. Reflected and planned choice

Probably the smallest in number is the group of teachers who are able to regularly reflect and delimit their educational needs and objectives, create their individual plans of professional development, and follow them in the quest and choice of educational options. Such path is surely the most complicated, requesting from the teacher the ability to reflect their own educational needs and adopt the responsibility for their fulfilment.

This question is discussed abroad as well. Perrenoud (1997), for example, regards the creation of personal programmes of further education (programme personnel de formation continue) as part of teacher’s competency to "manage his/her own further education"4. Within such competency, a teacher should be able to:

- create a review of his/her own competencies and make a personal programme of further education
- negotiate in-service training projects with colleagues (with a team, with the school)
- get involved in specific tasks
- get involved in the formation process of his/her colleagues and invite them to participate

Yet this path of choice of educational events requires more than such special competencies: there must be apt conditions and support from the working environment of the teacher.

What we have deliberately omitted in the above list of possible paths is cases in which the in-service training is part of the school policy or of the needs of the school as a whole (such as the nation-wide action of teachers’ computer literacy) when topics are assigned. Though such actions constitute a legitimate part of the system, it is naturally more difficult to obtain good results from events which are assigned to teachers disregarding their "free will". The school or the school policy are not to be ignored for the planning of in-service formation, yet it is not this on which our research is focused.

3. Teachers in the "net" of needs

In the last two decades the in-service teacher training has more and more been considered as "provision of services", or rather "saturation of needs" of teachers and head-teachers (Joyce et al. 1993; Nezvalová, Taylor, 2001). The respect to teachers’ educational (and some other kinds of) needs and expectations is one major precondition of a successful educational event, and studies have shown that many teachers call for more respect and more preference to their individual needs (Hustler, 2003).

It is economic factors what also makes the Czech organizers of educational events analyze the educational needs of the customers for their services. The results of such analysis become often the only source of planning. It is yet hopeful that among the varied events, some of which are rather one-off and unsystematic, more and more events are "made to order", respecting particular needs and harmonizing them with the efforts to innovate the offer of further education.

3.1 Teachers’ educational needs

Ideas about the teaching profession are traditionally associated with the class of pupils and the fact that they are taught. Naturally, a teacher feels most often like an "educator" or "evaluator" or "assistant", and is able to transform such feelings into his/her educational needs (see below). Much less does he reflect him-/herself in the relation to his/her profession as a personality (I – the teacher), as a parent (I – the teacher – a parent), as a member of the staff (I – the teacher – a colleague – a subordinate – a head of the subject group), as a member of the community, and so on. We endeavoured to find out how widely the self-concept of a teacher is reflected in his/her educational needs.

Teachers can see that their educational needs have been changing for some years now, and they are aware of what they need progress in (see chart). There is not much difference here between those of longer and shorter experience. Most often, educational needs are mentioned in relation to the crucial field of their profession — the direct work in the classroom. They prefer topics linked to the subject they teach, to didactics, to coping with the class and individuals (the latter mostly mentioned by teachers of least experience)5. Among the specific topics the teachers have most frequently mentioned, there is methods of work with pupils, computer skills, didactics and teaching innovations, consulting, work with parents, work with people and communication in general, cooperation with colleagues, and so on.

Nevertheless, along with the assumed changes in the role of today’s teachers, the concept of their job description is also being widened and strengthened. Thus the professional development of teachers should comprise a development of their competencies, contributing to the progress of the school, managing teams or projects, having their share in the decision-making, etc. (Lazarová, 1997; Leithwood, 1992; Little, 1992). The results of our research indicate that topics of the school policy and development do not belong to those preferred. The choice of "managerial" topics is rather typical to teachers who already have worked in leading positions. It is slightly more often experienced teachers (over 20 years) who are interested in such topics (average 2.35, compare with chart below).

Teachers’ educational needs strongly manifest the identity of teachers as "managers of the life in the classroom", "specialists in the subject and in the delivery of knowledge", and "assistants in emergency". Much less accentuated by teachers (or regarded impossible because of lack of time or finance) is topics dealing with the teaching itself and the personality of the teacher in a wider context, such as the context of the school, the community, the society, or the epoch. In this respect it is hopeful that there are young teachers who prefer the "reflection of the practice" (most frequently those of shortest practice, 3.60 on average, least frequently those of the longest, 3.24 on average). What teachers understand as reflection of the practice, what experience they have with it, and which conditions for efficient reflection they need, is explored in the next stage of our research.

3.2 Teachers’ reflection of educational needs

Needs are defined, for example, as "the necessity of the organism to gain or, if need be, loose something" (Hartl, 1994). An unsatisfied need is sometimes reasoned by the lack of equilibrium, possibly accompanied by emotions: tension, dissatisfaction, fear, anxiety, uncertainty, anger, etc. Needs are not necessarily comprehended, so they can remain unsaturated for a long time. The same can happen with teachers’ educational needs.

We certainly do not intend to doubt the ability of teachers to express their educational needs, but one cannot avoid the question to which extent such needs are reflected and who (what) helps teachers identify/reflect them. From our experience in psycho-therapy and supervision we know that some clients and/or those supervised ask advice in compensatory problems and unclearly formulated needs and objectives. Though teachers at educational events usually welcome the reflection of their practice and the contemplation over their work and needs, most of our respondents do not think that is educational events what brings deeper self-recognition to them or discovers their strong points and weaknesses (see chart)6. It may well seem that the space for the reflection of teachers’ real needs is still a scarcely employed potential of in-service training events.

Also necessary is to distinguish teachers’ expectations from their needs. Some seminars may sufficiently fulfil teachers’ expectations but not saturate real needs. In other words, fulfilled expectations do not necessarily mean that the teacher has progressed. The expectation can correspond with the wish while ignoring some non-reflected needs which may cause uncertainties, unpleasant feelings, dissatisfaction, and professional failure.

Chart: In-service teacher training (selected items, focusing on preferred forms of training and educational needs)

1 – do not agree at all; 2 – rather disagree; 3 – rather agree; 4 – fully agree

 

1 (%)

2 (%)

3 (%)

4 (%)

mean

I miss the overview of the offer of educational events

29.4

45.9

14.7

6.4

1.98

The contents of educational events is usually convenient for me

0

22.9

57.8

13.8

2.90

I prefer educational events organized outside our school

2.8

13.8

39.4

35.8

3.18

To one-off events I prefer courses at which I repeatedly encounter the same people

5.5

22.9

40.4

22.0

2.87

It is usually easy for me to choose from the offer of educational events, for I know what I need to improve

1.8

1.8

36.7

52.3

3.50

It is usually not before the educational events when I discover my strengths and weaknesses

11.9

44.0

34.9

4.6

2.34

I feel that the area in which I need training has recently been changing a lot

4.6

18.3

43.1

24.8

2.97

I am mainly interested in topics related to the subject I teach

1.8

1.8

15.6

78.0

3.75

I am mainly interested in topics related to teaching methods and didactics

0.9

2.8

31.2

31.8

3.60

I am mainly interested in topics related to procedures of coping with pupils and the class

2.8

8.3

31.2

54.1

3.42

I am mainly interested in wider managerial questions of the development of the school

13.8

41.3

18.3

6.4

2.22

I like educational events offering space for contemplation and reflection over my own practice

0.9

7.3

38.5

48.6

3.41

4. Summary & conclusion

The results of our research show some specific features of teachers’ professional development in the Czech Republic. A deeper analysis of such features might indicate the desirable direction of efforts to improve the planning and organization of in-service teacher training. Some findings are not new, just confirming or varying a number of generally recognized convictions, while others may become source of discussions and further investigations in the field. We have summed them up in the following points:

- Teachers do realize the importance of in-service training (compare Havlík, 1999), demonstrating, in most cases, their honest interest in the events of in-service education. They believe that what such education can bring them is inspiring and, mainly, apt to be employed in teaching.

- The notion of in-service training is mostly associated with teachers’ participation in educational events outside their schools. The dominating preference of extra-school events is usually connected with the wish to "combine pleasant and useful matters in one", relieving thus the everyday stress, typical for teaching.

- Some forms of in-service training are not traditional in Czech education (such as action research, collegial supervision with systematic and controlled support, teacher exchanges), and it may be that teachers are not sufficiently informed about these options and cannot employ them in an well-organized manner. It also possible that teachers within their schools spontaneously collaborate in a lot of projects but cannot record, document, and redevelop them so as to gain knowledge from them and word their new experience (compare Pol, Lazarová, 1999).

- Also debatable is how "secure" for teachers their education and professional development is. Namely, if the reflection of the practice is to be part of the training — with its detection of strengths and weaknesses and with the reception of the response from colleagues — then a secure environment of confidence must be offered by the school. This point will be discussed during in the next stage of our research.

- Attention should also be paid to the noticeable deficit in teachers’ competency to systematically plan their personal development as based on the reflection of their own needs. This applies to all their functions as members of variedly wide societal groups or communities. A consequence thereof is often a casual and random choice of educational events. Usually missing are individual plans of further education which would comprise a variety of options and correspond to the needs of the school and the school policy.

It is a challenge for teachers and mainly for school managers, instructors and organizers of ISTT events to help teachers avoid getting stuck in the "net of needs" and meaningfully shape their educational process and evaluate the benefit of in-service training for themselves and, consequently, for their pupils. Teachers should clearly distinguish the success of educational events (which is often expressed through the satisfaction of the participants and is easily detectable in the feedback) from the efficiency of such events. It is also necessary to create and use new criteria and tools for ISTT evaluation. Furthermore, it is desirable to focus attention on new topics like "education about education" and on the reflective quest for answers to questions like "in which manner I teach", "what is convenient for me", or "what I need so that I can control (and assume the responsibility for) my own professional development".

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Notes:

  1. A three-year-project supported by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (grant 406/03/0700), focused on the study of the above features of ISTT. Through a questionnaire we were exploring the educational needs of teachers, their open-mindedness at educational events, their evidence and feelings of such events, the practical use of the knowledge they gain, and the burdens and risks of ISTT. In the first stage of the research 109 respondents participated, of which 14 were men and 95 women. The response rate was 32 %. The length of the respondents’ practice was between 6 months and 35 years. Thirty-five respondents mentioned their practice as under 8 years, 33 respondents as 9 to 19 years, 41 as 20 years and more. Eleven per-cent of our respondents, mainly young teachers of short practice, were enhancing their education through combined studies at universities. Most respondents said that they spent 5 days or less per year at educational events at their schools, and 10 days or less at “external“ events. In stage two of the research we conducted interviews with teacher groups to find out about their grasp of the notion of ISTT, their educational needs, and the process of the selection of the educational event. The interviews, altogether with 31 teachers, were led at three basic schools, two of them in urban areas and one in a rural zone, in December 2003. Stage three was interviews with 14 ISTT lecturers in December 2003, focused on the reflection of teachers’ educational needs and expectations, and their behaviour and resistance at ISTT events as perceived by the lecturers, and on the ways of motivating them and overcoming their resistance.

  2. Probably one of the most frequently quoted differentiating definitions is Huberman’s (Huberman et al., 1989): the period of survival and discovering (entry), the period of stabilization, the period of diversification and change (experimenting and activities), the period of “lay in the supplies” and questioning, the period of relaxed self-admission and equanimity (sometimes conservatism), the period of affective unloosing (sometimes inequality, bitterness). Another differentiation is that of Berliner (1986) in Barbara B. Levin (2003): newcomer, advanced beginner, competent, experienced, expert.

  3. At the same time, the Report point out one of the burdens of conceptual planning of further education: finance is unequally allowed to schools, such as in the very end of the year, so that they are then spent hastily and casually.

  4. Perrenoud formulates ten main competencies of basic school teachers: to organize and animate learning situations, see to/manage progress in learning, define and develop distinguishing tools, make pupils involve in learning and work, work in a team, participate in school governance, inform and involve parents, employ new technologies, cope with the duties and ethic dilemmas of the profession, and manage his/her own further education.

  5. Average rates by length of experience: 0 to 8 years: 3.66; 9-19 years: 3.19; over 20 years: 3.39. This means that the topic of “coping” with the class is least preferred by mid-experience teachers and most by those of shortest experience (compare to chart below).

  6. Least experienced teachers only scarcely admit that it is the educational events where they manage to discovers their strong and week points. Averages by experience 0 to 8 years: 2.41; 9-19 years: 2.31; over 20 years: 2.29.

This document was added to the Education-line database on 13 August 2004