Professional development rationale
A program of continuous professional development, which incorporates the principles of sound research into professional practice, is a key factor in the change process for education and as such is an important part of The Alberta Teachers’ Association’s program of service to its members.
This belief is embedded in the 1935 Teaching Profession Act, which states in part, “The objects of the Association are to improve the teaching profession by organizing and supporting groups which tend to improve the knowledge and skills of teachers and by meetings, publications, research and other activities designed to maintain and improve the competence of teachers.” This belief is further enhanced by the Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities for Teachers, which states, “Teachers have the right to base diagnostic planning, methodology and evaluation on professional knowledge and skills, and have the responsibility to review constantly their own level of competence and effectiveness and to seek necessary improvements as part of a continuing process of professional development.”
Following from this belief, a primary objective of the Association’s program of professional development is to establish and maintain high standards of professional practice. Within this objective is the obligation to provide leadership and programs that promote and develop individual teacher competence, teaching as a profession and the cause of education. The teaching profession should be responsible for determining, establishing and monitoring the standards of professional practice for its members. This is a defining characteristic of a profession and ensures that professional responsibility is overseen by expert practitioners most closely attuned to the changing knowledge, skills and attributes necessary for optimal practice.
Professional development is an important component of education and educational change. It is critical that all those involved in the professional development enterprise fulfill their roles and responsibilities in a spirit of collegial collaboration.
Professional Development [1991, revised 2001, 2011]
/ATA/About/What we think/Position Papers 2018/Professional Development