Tom Hamilton


This paper begins by setting out the vision and aims of the General Teaching Council for Scotland. In its efforts to deliver this vision and to meet these aims, GTC Scotland has given extensive consideration to various aspects of teacher professionalism. A discussion of a range of teacher professionalism paradigms follows before an explanation of the Teacher Education Standards in Scotland which aim to create a continuum for teachers’ professional development. Teachers should consider their own development and therein arises the question of the relationship between teachers and research. The paper goes on to discuss two questions: Should teachers be researchers? Should teachers be users of research? It is argued that having teachers who are enquiring professionals is at the heart of moving the education system forward positively, delivering school improvement and ultimately having better quality teaching and learning. The paper concludes on a note of caution; the ultimate impact of practitioner enquiry should be improved pupil learning - but there is not necessarily a straightforward route to this nor is it something which is easy to judge.