Investigating critical learning episodes: a practical guide for continuing professional development Richard Kiely Matt Davis Matt Davis Regional Director UK In over a decade as a teacher, manager, researcher and trainer, Matt worked in primary and secondary schools, Further and Higher Education, a Special School and Pupil Referral Units. Since joining Education Development Trust, Matt has put this experience to use designing complex national programmes for governments around the world, helping them to turn their policies into reality. Working with experts from across Education Development Trust, Matt helps our clients to create the systems and structures which empower brilliant teachers and leaders to change lives. Eunice Wheeler This handbook serves as a resource for CPD policy makers, organisers and leaders who wish to develop programmes of learning that are effective, challenging and relevant to teachers of varying levels of experience. The focus of the approach to CPD which we set out is teachers’ own practice. Our philosophy is based on the view that teaching is best enhanced when teachers analyse and reflect on what happens in their own classrooms. Interaction is central in learning, and the approach to CPD involves capturing actual instances of classroom communication, exploring how these unfold, and understanding their impact in terms of learning. We term these short units of practice ‘critical learning episodes’ (CLE – see page 7). This handbook provides guidance on implementing core and optional components of this approach, describes a case which shows an analysis of a CLE, and in the conclusion, sets out some principles which might guide others in developing an approach to CPD based on analysis of teachers’ own practice. This handbook can be used in several ways, as: a toolkit for organising a CPD programme based on each teacher’s own practice a procedural frame for capturing data from teachers’ own practice a means of exploring aspects of practice, particularly classroom interaction a guide to setting up collaborative discussion and reflection a framework for negotiating roles and investments in the programme a guide to integrating learning in CPD sessions with activities outside and between sessions an introduction to teacher research a set of ideas which can stimulate novel, creative approaches to making organised CPD courses more effective.