Supporting and Assessing Professional Values in Specialist Faculty Programmes
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Supporting and Assessing Professional Values in Specialist Faculty Programmes Dr Stephen Bostock FSEDA 1. SEDA and its Values

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Supporting and Assessing Professional Values in Specialist Faculty Programmes

Dr Stephen Bostock FSEDA

1. SEDA and its Values

The UK Staff and Educational Association has six Professional Values underpinning its activities. The awards in its Professional Development Framework (PDF) accreditation scheme require programmes to use them. Awards include initial teacher accreditation (Learning, Teaching and Assessment, PDF-LTA) and Embedding Learning Technologies (PDF-ELT).

All PDF awards require participants to demonstrate: a commitment to the Professional Values; the generic Development Outcomes; and the Specialist Outcomes specific to the award.

  • 5. Tentative conclusions

  • How can we improve the validity of assessment of the Values in advanced programmes while retaining their usefulness in teacher induction?

  • Can we assess a commitment to values? Yes. Bloom’s Taxonomy of affective Educational Objectives includes ‘commitment to a value’ in level 3, of 5 levels of increasing internalization. Evidence of commitment involves verbs like devote, convince, involve, persevere, have faith …

  • Should we assess commitment to values? No. Values are arguably private beliefs (Krathwohl et al. 1964, The Taxonomy of Educational Objectives Handbook II, p.18). Assessment through writing depends on honesty and so is not transparent.

  • Instead of demonstrating a commitment to the values [participants] should demonstrate that practice is informed by them. PDF [awards] need to check that they are presented as being continually explored and re-evaluated. SEDA Executive March 2004

  • SEDA accredited programmes should demonstrate a commitment to the Values and continue to support participants to aspire to them.

  • Should we assess a reflection on the consistency of the portfolio evidence with the Values? This would evidence an engagement with them without coercing agreement or denying possible contradictions.

  • We can embed the values as descriptions of how theSpecialist Learning Outcomes should be performed. This would make expectations of assessment clearer. Excellence in an outcome would involve all the Values. E.g. Outcome 2:

    • Participants will have analyzed opportunities and constraints in using CIT and selected the technology appropriate to a learning situation with your particular learners (1). The opportunities and constraints will include the opportunities for improving the learning experience and effectiveness of all students, and the constraints will include the various learning abilities and barriers to learning of the particular students (4). The analysis will include identifying any ethical issues (2). The analysis will involve other stakeholders such as learners or colleagues (3). It will include a reflection on current practice (5) and a consideration of the current impact on the personal development of stakeholders and of educational systems (6).

  • a. SEDA Professional Values

  • Participants will demonstrate a commitment to:

  • An understanding of how people learn

  • Scholarship, professionalism and ethical practice

  • Working in and developing learning communities

  • Working effectively with diversity and promoting inclusivity

  • Continued reflection on professional practice

  • The development both of people and educational processes and systems

2. The Keele ELT programme

Keele is a small, campus university. Over 2000-2004, 43 faculty registered on the Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning with Technology, which awards the PDF-ELT. During an 18 month, part time programme, participants attend workshops and perform individual projects using technology to support learning, which provide the evidence for the Outcomes.

In the 2003 participant focus group evaluation:Q. How relevant have the SEDA values been?A. The SEDA values were seen as a ‘tick’ box exercise because they were self-evident and ‘politically correct’. There was not time to deconstruct the values in the context of the [ELT] course.

This prompted an investigation into values in ELT and LTA programmes.

b. Development Outcomes

Participants will have:

1. Identified their own professional development goals, directions or priorities

2. Planned for their initial and / or continuing professional development

3. Undertaken appropriate development activities

4. Reviewed their development and their practice, and the relations between them

c. ELT Specialist Outcomes

Participants in an ELT programme will have:

1: Conducted a review of C&IT in learning and teaching and shown an understanding of the underlying educational processes

2: Analysed opportunities and constraints in using C&IT and selected C&IT appropriate to the learning situation

3: Designed a learning resource, programme or activity to integrate appropriate C&IT

4: Implemented a developed strategy

5: Evaluated the impact of the interventions

6: Disseminated and embedded the findings of the evaluation

In most ELT programmes including Keele, these outcomes follow the phases of an individual project that uses technology to support learning.

3. An investigation

Participants on PDF-LTA and PDF-ELT programmes are generally assessed by reflective portfolios of evidence of the Specialist and Developmental Outcomes, plus a mapping of the Values onto the evidence. In two ELT programmes and two LTA programmes, past participants were sent an email questionnaire which asked five questions about the SEDA Professional Values and their assessment.

The LTA participants were mostly new to teaching. The ELT participants were experienced faculty. The number of responses was small but a pattern emerged.


In programmes recognised for awards under SEDA’s Professional Development Programme, commitment to the SEDA values is assessed. In teacher induction programmes (Learning, Teaching and Assessment), participants are generally positive about the values. In a post-induction, specialist programme (Embedding Learning Technology), participants are generally negative about values being explicitly assessed. Suggestions are made for improving the assessment of values in such programmes.

Further information

PDF-ELT programmes:

SEDA PDF awards:

The Keele ELT course:

Keele ELT Programme Director: Dr Stephen Bostock

Staff Development and Training CentreKeele University UK ST5 5BG

Thanks to Paul Bailey, Jan Smith, David Baume, Gwyneth Hughes, and Carol Maynard; the mistakes are all mine.