Developing a supportive culture for video CPD to thrive
A supportive culture is crucial to ensuring video CPD is as effective as it can be. It is beneficial for schools to have a change management process in place before adopting video CPD in order to get everyone on board, prepare for questions from teachers and know how to manage and address concerns.
Introducing a code of practice can be helpful for affirming how videos are shared, how data will be managed and stored and how video will be used to benefit teachers and ultimately pupils.
A code of practice doesn’t have to be a long or complicated document, but it will provide a solid understanding and agreement that the videos will not be used as a monitoring tool.
It’s also important to ensure that support is ongoing as for many it may still be a completely new form of CPD.
Here’s three ways on how to develop a supportive culture:
1. Work as a collective to create a common, learner-focused, vision
Ask yourself whether everyone is working towards a shared vision. If so, is everyone able to articulate what this vision is? This is key for your teachers to develop individual goals for their professional learning that will contribute to achieving your school’s shared vision.
2. Empower teachers
Teachers should feel in control of their own professional learning and able to take informed risks without fear of judgement or failure. One way to boost teachers’ confidence is to share challenges and celebrate successes with the wider community (think parents, governors and local schools).
3. Ensure professional learning is ongoing and job-embedded
Research proves that one-off training opportunities don’t have significant impact on teaching and learning. The presentation of new theory needs to be blended with follow-up activities, including the chance for teachers to practice in their own classroom and receive feedback from others.
Establishing a solid video CPD programme
It is a good idea to start by organising a collaborative CPD session to review and discuss the teaching and learning in a lesson recording. Perhaps use a lesson clip from a neutral setting in the first instance; if teachers are unsure about recording themselves, this can offer a risk free introduction to the benefits of using video as a CPD tool.
Alternatively, you could lead by example and gather teachers for a collaborative discussion about a recording of your own practice. Whichever clip you choose, it’s good to have a specific focus for the conversation.
Begin by setting some norms around discussing the video and agreeing on a few ground rules, such as ensuring feedback and discussion is always constructive, non-judgmental and professional. This will help to build a culture of trust and eliminate any fear of judgment so that practitioners can develop confidence to record, share and discuss videos of their own teaching in the future.
Once teachers are comfortable and confident in using the technology involved, the benefits of video CPD will soon be clear to see. However, for this collaborative approach to be successful, it’s important that it’s embedded into a school’s CPD plan and time is allocated to watch, review and feedback.
Further information and support
Christophe Mullings is Head of Education at IRIS Connect. He has a Masters degree in teaching and 11 years experience working in education. His roles have included French and English teacher, Head of Department and Director of Studies.
Follow Christophe on Twitter at @ChristopheMulli