Basic and in-service training of teachers: crucial “episodes” and reasonable questions

Issue 16-17

“Basic and in-service training of teachers: crucial “episodes” and reasonable questions”

George Mavrogiorgos



An attempt is made in this paper to articulate a historic-biographic approach to the professional development of teachers. The main issue in this approach is to identify critical “episodes” in the process of professional development of teachers, within the historical context of becoming teacher, from going to school, studying at the university, coming back to school as a teacher, and working there to the point of retirement.
These “episodes” are historically imbedded in a dynamic long-life process of becoming teacher. As such, these “episodes” can be exploited in order to support teachers to re- examine their past experiences or practice, to critically reflect upon them, to negotiate their meaning, and develop a deeper understanding of their social functions. This is a process of transforming teachers into active adult learners, within a framework of relative autonomy. The important question raised here is whether these “episodes” are systematically incorporated in the policies regarding the initial and the in-service training of teachers with the main aim to support their transformation into adult reflective intellectual. The answer to this question, as a matter of fact, is an answer to the question “who is the teacher we need and for what school”. By addressing this major question, the issue of the initial and in-service training of teachers is put in it’ s political and ideological framework.This framework is , to a large extent, determined by developments and trends which seem to be prevailing within European Union, and by the ways in which theses trends and “guidelines” are adopted by the various Greek projects in relation to the professional development of teachers. It seems that the tendency in Greece is to adopt a mechanistic approach rather than to develop policies transforming both the form and the content of education. If such is the case, the issue of educational change in Greece seems, once more, to be cancelled.