Critical Professional Learning

about Cliff Jones

For 10 years, I was Director of CPD in Dept of Education, University of Liverpool. I am now Honorary Senior Fellow of the University and a Fellow of the International Professional Development Association. To know more about me and my activities please see my CV.

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Welcome to Critical Professional Learning

Statement of Purpose

I take the view that professional educators are critical to society. They help shape our society but for far too long, we have failed to question the approved shape of that society and our role in bringing it about. Surely, the interests, values, concerns, anxieties, experience and expertise of educators count for something?

I believe that the stimulation of professional conversation is critical both in recognition of the key role played by educators in shaping and bringing purpose to society and in terms of the different perspectives that can be brought to bear when making sense of professional life. Whilst we have plenty of official consultations surveys of what educators think they are almost always shackled to a governmental orthodoxy or 'given' as they tend to be called.

This website will gradually fill with comment, news and activities designed to stimulate critical professional discussion. It represents no-one’s views but my own unless specifically stated otherwise. In places I make clear that activities, for example, may be adopted as they are, adapted or used as the basis for something better.

Use of my material is free, although acknowledgement will be nice.


Why Critical Learning?

The term, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) causes me problems. Too frequently we are considered to be developing only when we try to fit into a model whose purpose has been defined by someone else.

Training is essential at times, but as a word that purports to encompass all that happens to people becoming and continuing as professional educators it falls far short. This is why I balk when I see or hear Initial Teacher Training (ITT) or In-service Training (INSET).

Professional Learning, however, allows us scope to explore and draw attention to matters beyond a received template. When we use the word ‘learning’ we remove the limits and the imposition of an officially approved kind of development.