Disentangling What it Means to be a Teacher in the Twenty-First Century: Policy and Practice in Teachers’ Continuing Professional Learning

  • Bob Burstow
  • Meg Maguire
Part of the Professional Learning and Development in Schools and Higher Education book series (PROD, volume 10)


The work of teachers has always been subjected to criticism and increasingly to the demands of government. So, if the economy ‘demands’ a different kind of workforce, then education, and by implication, teacher education, has to be changed to meet this requirement. In this chapter, we think about how these reforming attempts are to be understood, specifically in the case of teachers’ continuing professional learning. We begin by looking at continuing professional learning along three ‘axes’: the origin of the programmes, the beneficiaries of the programmes, and the implied view taken of the teachers in the construction and delivery of the programmes. Working from this base we will then develop and present a new tool for viewing the variety of major continuing professional learning programmes in England over the last 20 years. This reveals something of both New Labour’s and the Conservative Coalition’s attitude to teachers and teaching in the light of the policy approaches that were taken. The model developed here also has the potential to be a useful tool for any group wishing to take an informed approach to planning a continuing professional learning programme.


Professional Development Teacher Education Professional Learning English Context Professional Learning Programme 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.King’s College LondonLondonUK

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