How teachers approach practice improvement

Document type
Poet, Helen; Rudd, Peter; Smith, Robert
General Teaching Council for England
Date of publication
1 November 2010
Education and Skills
Social welfare
Material type

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This report, which accompanies the 2010 survey of teachers, aims to identify what motivates teachers to identify and act on areas for improvement in their practice, how teachers then decide what to do to address areas for improvement and the factors that affect how teachers go about this. Teachers of all levels of experience and length of service said that they were motivated in terms of continuing to improve their teaching practice. Most commonly they were motivated by an intrinsic desire to do the best job they could and to become a better teacher. The needs of their pupils and the aim of contributing towards school improvement were also strong motivators.

Overall, teachers were very committed and motivated to improving their teaching and used a variety of approaches to identify and act on areas for development. Teachers particularly valued: a positive working relationship with their line manager and other colleagues within school; time to reflect on their own practice; performance management objectives that were relevant to their individual development, in addition to objectives related to school aims; support, access and opportunity to be involved in formal continuing professional development to supplement the more informal means of development, such as self-led information gathering; and useful information and shared ideas from other teachers both online and within school.