The CPD Paradox: a summary

The CPD Paradox contains a teacher training programme I spent two years developing. Available on the site, for free, is a full ready-to-go year long programme.

What does this include?

  1. A discussion of the principles for running an effective CPD programme
  2. A year long CPD schedule, with one scheduled session per week, built to match these principles
  3. Tools for tracking and assessing teacher progress
  4. Tools for improving the quality of mentoring
  5. Nearly 30 CPD sessions in a variety of areas

Who’s it for?

  1. School leaders with responsibility for whole school CPD
  2. Induction Tutors looking after the training of un- and newly-qualified teachers
  3. Mentors in charge of the development of one or more teachers
  4. Teachers looking to improve their skills

Where do I start?

Below is a short summary of the main sections of the site, with links to the resources.

Section 1: What is the CPD Paradox?

The CPD Paradox rests on three claims:

  1.  CPD is a vital component of teacher development. Without it, teachers (especially new teachers) are unlikely to make rapid progress
  2. Every stakeholder (schools, external training providers, teachers etc.,) has a vested interest in the success of CPD
  3.  Despite this, typical in-school CPD is not effective at changing teaching practice

I support claim 3 through a discussion of the frenetic and demanding nature of a teacher’s day-to-day job, resulting in their simply not having the time, space or mental energy to efficiently embed new learning into practice.  I propose three principles that aim to mitigate the CPD Paradox. An overarching CPD structure, the sessions that make it up, and the administrative resources on which it relies should:

  1. Be participant led
  2. Hold participants accountable for making changes to practice
  3. Include  up-take or practice time so that participants are forced to make changes as part of the programme itself

Section 2: Setting up and administering an effective CPD programme.  The four posts in this section of the site address the following questions:

Section 3: CPD resource and strategies.  In this section I share many of the CPD resources that I have created.

  • Planning and Lesson Design

Demonstrating Progress in Lessons

Learning Objectives and Backwards Planning

Planning Lessons with Pace

Activating Students as Teachers

Objectives, Outcomes and Progress

Tracking and Narrating Progress Throughout a Lesson

  • Questioning

Agree, Build, Challenge (A,B,C) Questioning

Questioning: Student ownership, accountability and attention

Asking Probing Questions

Ensuring Accountability and Attention during Questioning

  • Behaviour Management

Creating Hard Working Students: Effort Tracking This post contains a system I developed to track the effort that students are making across lessons, using targeted rewards and sanctions to increase this over time.

Setting and Maintaining Behavioural Expectations

  • Marking, Feedback and Assessment

Developing Quality Peer and Self Assessment

Using an Exit Ticket to Guide Planning

Quick and Efficient Marking

  • Teach Like a Champion Reading GroupIn this post I share the resources for a reading group on Doug Lemov’s ‘Teach Like a Champion’, a book I consider to be the best for the training of teachers at an early stage in their career.
  • 10 Minute Skill Builder Sessions This post contains nine short (ten minute) sessions designed to develop and sustain core skills ( learning objectives, outcomes, assessment for learning and questioning).
  • Outstanding Planning Seminar This is a participant-led coaching session designed to move lesson planning from ‘Good’ to ‘Outstanding’. It involves teachers presenting lessons to the group and coaching each other to improve.

Section 4: English teachingI will also post articles not specifically on the subject of CPD, but rather English teaching in general.

Rigorous Analytical Writing: Is PEE fit for purpose?This post contain my thoughts and ideas on teaching students how to write analytically.  I argue that the mainstream method for doing so – PEE – is incorrect, and then discuss an alternative.

Writing and Desirable Difficulties: how make writing harder to learn makes students better at it (eventually)This post contains my thoughts and ideas on teaching writing, in terms of helping students to master the sentence structures and techniques they need to write well.  It also contains a discussion of the book ‘Make it Stick’ and its application to the teaching of writing.

Teaching Analytical Writing StructuresHere, I go through a system I developed for teaching students to use a wide range of sentence structures for analytical writing.


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