The new religious education teacher and professional development
Qualifying as a teacher is only one step on the journey to becoming an effective teacher, or to making teaching a lifelong profession. What constitutes effective Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a contested matter and there is much confusion about its purposes. International research clearly indicates that the outcomes of professional development opportunities for teachers are much more complex than one would first imagine. Teachers' professional development opportunities are most likely to improve their own learning but are much less likely to change their classroom behaviours or pupils' learning. Research indicates that teachers with religious studies backgrounds are the most secure in their knowledge base for teaching Religious Education in non-denominational schools or schools without a specifically religious character, but such teachers are in a minority. England and Wales have agreed syllabuses and many local authorities still provide training on how to implement the syllabus, whether at Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) support group meetings or at NQT conferences.