by Anthony Gaughan


One challenge that arose from the open space conversations was how to encourage teachers to engage in CPD, and especially the recording of this development for governmental purposes, when there are no obvious financial motivations for doing so.

In one particular example, recent government policy changes now required teachers working in the private sector to complete portfolios to provide evidence of CPD; however; the government would not remunerate the teachers for this (as they probably would be in the state sector). Understandably, resistance to this has been high.

Taking this as a case study, within one school, it turned out that within a core staff of 15 teachers, there were two self-motivated ones. While this seems low, a ratio of 7:1 made it feasible to ask these two teachers if they would be willing to take on 1-3 of their colleagues and work with them. The benefits for the mentors would be that this would become their own CPD, thus meeting government requirements for them. Further, the peer-nature of the relationship would reduce the alienation from the process that other colleagues may feel. Throw in a small bounty and limit the mentor period to 3-4 months, and you may have a workable way to build a critical mass of developmental interest and effort for the rest to move from there.