BLIP Books Review: The CPD Curriculum 

In this issue, Jenny Geertson reviews a chapter of Zoe & Mark Enser’s book, The CPD Curriculum: Creating Conditions for Growth and explains how analogies bring clarity in understanding how to implement a CPD Curriculum. 

As a new member of a rather unique book club where we discuss ideas, theories and CPD presented in popular publications for educators, I have realised we are all different in the way we consume books:

There are the skim-readers – fast, picking up just the gist. Then there are those who make meaningful annotations, reflecting as they go. There are inevitably some that prefer to start with a summary then look for detail (if time!), and of course there are the book lovers, enjoying every sentence. Despite being dyslexic and a somewhat slow-reader, I am already enjoying the variety of experience that other members bring and am inspired to try some out. In Zoe & Mark Enser’s book The CPD Curriculum: Creating conditions for growth I have found out some interesting ideas that support my thinking and our work in education. From Chapter Two, I enjoyed the use of analogies to help illustrate an area of interest (which is exactly what my teaching friends do!).

One of many examples of analogies included is the building of a jigsaw puzzle, which is compared to developing a CPD curriculum. To succeed in both, we have to look at the framework first and bring awareness throughout the school of what this is. Then we work on the clusters of recognisable features (the departments) to develop the easier abilities to collaborate.

The individuals (every classroom/teacher) are just as important, as without just one of them the whole structure would be incomplete. This is a really neat and helpful comparison. But this wasn’t the only helpful analogy used. Another is the braided channel (pictured) which flows in one direction but has many paths towards the same endpoint. Similarly, we have the school focus as the main stream, flowing forward, then we have teacher agency that causes the ripples off to the sides, each one breaking off, causing differentiation.

What is so fantastic about this analogy is how it exemplifies synergy and collaboration. Every teacher will take their own paths, but these paths will overlap and when teachers reflect on their own practice as well as each other’s and discuss their professional learning, collaboratively, the focus and direction is supported. This is, suggests the Ensers, what you want your CPD curriculum to look like.

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