A large body of recent research in to CPD have drawn the conclusion that typical professional development and training for teachers rarely result in transformative teaching practice and produce minimal impact on learning outcomes. With over 3 decades of experience, promoting, pioneering and supporting the adoption of innovative learning technologies Deakin & Lloyd have reflected on their experiences and concluded that the impact on learning outcomes had been disappointingly low. For our part we have committed to grasping a deeper understanding of our customers’ needs and developing an approach that accelerates and deepens sustainable impact.
High quality training delivered to effective practitioners for the use of proven innovations often fails to deliver improved outcomes for the learners. Previously we would have suggested that more training was required but having noticed diminishing returns as a cycle of failed implementations occurs we have considered what approaches result in sustained adoption and greater impact.
By researching the leadership of change more broadly we found that we agree with Covey et al, as the Whirlwind of the day job hits (described in The 4 Disciplines of Execution) the effective implementation of new innovation fades for all but the natural innovators and technophiles. The challenge is not to sustain the innovation with the early adopters, as they require little support, rather the focus should be on the ‘typical’ practitioner who finds it far more of a challenge to change their practice. A mystique grows around the use of the innovation and the core rely on the gurus to utilise the innovation on their behalf. Fig1. illustrates how the innovators – gurus may well take off even before training and the majority caught up in the whirlwind of urgent daily priorities are unlikely to achieve transformative practice . Eventually a point is reached where the innovation is regarded ineffective and sidelined.