Teacher training in liquid society

Nobody doubts the vital importance of initial and ongoing training in the professional development of teachers. This need is magnified by the arrival of the so-called Liquid Society. In an environment in constant movement, all previous knowledge acquired is relative today and uncertain in the future. In professions associated with knowledge, such as that of teaching, it is therefore essential to ensure and maintain ongoing, substantial and extensive professional development.

Nowadays, teachers after their initial training are not expected to be the finished article. What is necessary is for them to develop professionally throughout their careers. Consequently, local, regional and national educational authorities are required to make significant efforts in training their teaching staff.

Indeed, analyses carried out as part of this project have enabled the gathering of quite clear evidence in this regard. It is evident that, in school settings in which teachers exhibit characteristics that are hihgly orientated towards high effectiveness, the mere existence of teaching staff who are not committed to professional development can jeopardise school effectiveness.

Further, in schools where there is a stable workforce, with proven professional experience and acceptable levels of teacher satisfaction, the level of teacher training, both initial and related to professional development, stands out as a protective factor for school effectiveness.

   Main results obtained

Based on the data analysis, the following results have been obtained regarding teacher training:

  • Lack of commmitment by teachers to professional development and ongoing training is a common feature in schools with low effectiveness, even when there are a number of protective factors for school effectiveness.
  • Regular and voluntary participation by teachers in professional development programmes in specific areas in which they have the greatest interest should be promoted.
    • While effective schools have teachers that are more involved in their ongoing training, no specific subjects that promote school effectiveness to a large extent are identified.
    • Requiring teachers to be part of professional development programmes, however, appears to reduce the positive effect on school effectiveness of the ongoing training itself.
    • The fact that teachers belong to formal or informal teaching networks relating to subjects in which they have a greater interest protects the effectiveness of the school itself.
  • Schools in which a high proportion of teachers have received initial teacher training, whether academic or linked to practice, tend to be associated to a larger extent with school effectiveness.
  • Schools in which certain teachers have doctorate degrees tend to be associated with high effectiveness, even in settings that have a number of ineffectiveness factors.