Understanding continuing professional development: The need for theory to impact on policy and practice

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This article reflects on my 2005 article in this journal, entitled ‘Models of continuing professional development: A framework of analysis’. Having been invited to reflect on the original article as part of PDiE’s 40th anniversary celebrations, I have taken the opportunity to reflect not only on the structure and content of the original framework, but also to position it within the current state of literature in the area of teacher professional learning. In so doing, this article proposes an updated framework for analysis, focusing more explicitly on the purpose of particular models than the categorisations of the models themselves. It then goes on to expand on this by considering how various aspects of CPD policies might be analysed according to what they reveal about underlying perspectives on professionalism. The article concludes with some thoughts on how theory about teacher professional learning might better help us to understand policy and impact positively on practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)688-697
Number of pages12
JournalProfessional Development in Education
Issue number5
Early online date15 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2014


  • teacher professional learning
  • continuing professional development
  • policy analysis

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