Book By: Neil, Peter and Morgan, Carol
Review By: Donna M. Wolfinger, Director
Auburn University Montgomery
Induction. The word generally conjures images of a new advisor seeking guidance from a mentor without knowing exactly what questions to ask. To authors Neil and Morgan induction is not haphazard; instead it is a well-planned and organized system to orient new professionals, mentor established professionals, and assist individuals who wish to move into administrative positions. Simply stated, induction is the continuous process of development occurring throughout one’s career.
Here authors provide insight into induction within the teaching profession as it occurs within the United Kingdom; a process far different from what generally takes place in the United States. In the United Kingdom, induction begins with bringing novices into the profession and continues as the inductee moves from novice to senior manager. At first glance, academic advisors may think this process has little applicability. However, Neil and Morgan demonstrate three concepts that are important no matter the profession.
First, induction must be viewed as a continuous development process that begins with the novice and continues until the novice becomes an experienced professional either working with students or in administration. In this definition, a systematic means for induction is necessary throughout the professional’s career.
Second, induction throughout a professional’s career means that professional development is not a linear perspective. As Neil and Morgan state “….conceptualizations of professional development as cyclical or as a linear continuum, although superficially attractive and plausible, are both over simplistic and impractical since they are not based on a teacher-as-person perspective but on a systems managerial perspective of teacher-as employee” (p.80). The concept that professional development focuses on the multiple needs of the professional as a person is valid for academic advisors.
Third, in order for professional development to continue throughout an individual’s career, it must be multi-faceted. The individual in the role of communicator, subject expert, administrator, manager, department representative, researcher, and deliverer of policies, each must be addressed as aspects of induction.
The major strengths of Continuing Professional Development for Teachers lie in its development of continuous induction concepts over an individual’s entire career as well as the need to identify a multi-faceted approach to induction. These concepts are clearly presented with numerous examples delineating how such an induction program can occur in various school based situations.
The examples are, however, also a weakness of this book. The examples used are of professional induction plans for schools in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and England where school conditions and government interactions are quite different from those of the United States. As a reader I found the use of over 70 unfamiliar acronyms particularly vexing. Although a listing of the acronyms and their meaning was available, continually consulting the list made reading difficult.
For advisors and advising administrators interested in the problems and possibilities of induction and the development of a continuous progression induction program, Continuing Professional Development for Teachers has a great deal to offer. For the academic advisor looking to develop professionally in advising procedures and practices, there is little assistance.
Continuing Professional Development for Teachers: From Induction to Senior Management. (2003). Book by Neil, Peter and Morgan, Carol. Review by Donna M. Wolfinger. London: Kogan-Page Press, 234 pages, ISBN 0749737413