Teacher professional development in cyprus: Reflections on current trends and challenges in policy and practices
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This article focuses on in-service teacher training in Cyprus and points to the necessity for reorganisation of existing practices and reformulation of national policies within the framework of continuous professional development. Examination of this issue results from the need of the educational system to respond to the challenges of the European educational area and overcome the identified inefficiency of the current training scheme. On the basis of the gap between emerging challenges and current practices, policy recommendations are proposed with regard to the organisation as well as the content of a possible training scheme that will incorporate a holistic, long-term approach to ongoing teacher professional development. Such recommendations include, among others, decentralisation of training provision and funds, as well as multiplicity of providers, along with accountability measures, such as legislative frameworks and quality assurance standards. At the same time, it is suggested that in-service teacher training should combine national priorities with locally perceived needs and extend beyond taught seminars towards personal study, reflection and alternative modes of professional development. Finally, it is recommended that in-service evaluation mechanisms should be established to maximise effectiveness through links to school improvement.