Analysis of Teacher in-Service Training: Outlines of the Teacher Career Process

Odeta Merfeldaitė, Asta Railienė


Pursuant to the sources of Lithuanian and foreign scientific literature, the results of empirical research, analysis of the teacher in-service training system in Lithuania (2011), regulatory enactments and other draft documents, this article presents the draft career process for teachers complying with the provisions of lifelong learning. The following problem issues have been identified in pursuit of the defined goal: what changes are necessary during the teacher career process? What are the possibilities of revising the teacher career process to correspond with the provisions of lifelong learning?
In order to address the defined challenges, a three-stage research was carried out (November 2011-April 2012). In order to investigate the current career process situation of teachers and develop a draft career process, the 1st stage included analysis of the secondary sources: scientific books and journals, Internet materials, regulatory enactments, and documentation of relevant organisations (educator qualification upgrading centres, school certifying commissions). The objective of the 2nd stage was to develop a draft of the teachers’ career process and present it to experts during the 3rd stage; it also included expert interviews by applying a semi-structured interview method. The expert survey was aimed at analysing, assessing and improving the draft career framework for teachers. The overall expert survey sample included a total of 47 experts from Klaipėda, Telšiai, Kaunas, Marijampolė, Vilnius and Panevėžys counties. The following main conclusions have been made after revising the research results: a) in foreign literature the main factor specifying the stages of a teacher’s career are: development of professional skills and changes in competences complying with the theoretical provisions of the horizontal career path. Whereas the career process of Lithuanian teachers corresponds with the theoretical provisions of a vertical career path and is related only to the teachers’ certification and acquisition of a higher qualification category. Thus, in order to comply with the lifelong learning provisions it is necessary to directly relate the system of teacher in-service training to their career stages. One of the main indicators for moving from one career building stage to another should be improvement of and changes in the teacher competences. In view of this, the certification procedure is aimed at assessing not only the current teachers’ competences and defining the guidelines for further development; high quality of the certification procedure is impossible without a continuous supervision of teacher activity, communication with pupils and colleagues, and personal reflection on learning. b) During the career building/realisation/evaluation process the teacher shall take active part in this process and initiate changes. In order to enable the teachers to manage their own career and ensure their effective career building process, it is necessary to enhance the role of colleagues, methodological services, professional associations and the founder. c) In order to implement the anticipated changes it is necessary, during the teachers’ career process, to specify the teachers’ functions in each qualification category. For that it is necessary to revise relevant regulatory enactments. Certification regulations and performance assessment criteria for teachers and pupil assistants (except psychologists) shall specify the criteria, qualities, the limits of competence and functions defining the qualification categories.


career; teacher; competences

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789