(250) 860-3866   (778) 753-0681

Professional Development Articles

Teachers Control their own Professional Learning

Mar 26, 2013 jjamison
An article from Don Braid, columnist with the Calgary Herald, is very useful for its arguments about teacher professionalism and autonomy. He comments on the recent deal between Alberta teachers and the government that will give teachers more control over their professional learning. The following excerpt is from this article:

"The CBE fears the teachers will take over “much of the decision-making for student learning.”

Well, if that means the teachers do the deciding about how kids should be taught, good.

Aren’t they the ones in the classroom? If teachers can’t figure out how to get the job done, no bureaucrat will ever do it for them.

Next, the board finds it appalling that the agreement gives “individual teachers exclusive control over their professional learning.”

Excellent teachers, the board argues, “benefit from the support of visionary leaders who see the future of education.”

Teachers are incapable of vision, apparently. So they need board bureaucrats to tell them what to learn.

The board goes on: “If individual teachers solely direct what becomes their personal learning, how does a school district advance a common vision for student success?”

The best teachers I ever had (and yours too, I bet) were always right in your face, inspiring you, moving you, challenging you.

The last thing on anybody’s mind at such moments is a school district’s vision. Great teaching is deeply personal, but very vulnerable to its natural enemies — meetings, visions and systems."

Thanks to David for this excerpt.

David Komljenovic
Member at Large
BCTF Executive Committee
Share this article: