Development Project 1985–1987:
a story-telling case study about
This is an account of the evaluation of an LEA project designed to develop the quality of teaching in Nottinghamshire schools. Its ideology was identified as: (1) all teachers are professional equals, irrespective of seniority; (2) all teachers can improve their classroom performance; (3) all teachers should have an intrinsic desire to improve their classroom performance; (4) the hierarchic structure of a school is not the instrument to direct the professional development of individual teachers, in terms of improving classroom performance; (5) professional development, in terms of striving to improve classroom performance, should be under the control of the individual teacher; (6) staff engaged in promoting professional development should only work with individual teachers on the basis of freely made contracts about the ownership of data which arises in any appraisal of the teacher's professional needs. This ideology was found to engender considerable enthusiasm among teachers in their professional work. The evaluation was conducted mainly by interview, study of documents, and recorded discussion in groups. The story carries an important message for today's national government that teachers can improve their professional work through ownership of their own development.
In the summer of 1985, Nottinghamshire LEA obtained a substantial grant from the Manpower Services Commission to run a training programme for school and college teachers: this was first known as TRIST1 but a year later became called the Nottinghamshire Staff Development Project (NSDP)