Joint Practice Development

JPD was defined by Michael Fielding and colleagues (1) as “…learning new ways of working through mutual engagement that opens up and shares practices with others”. Hargreaves (2) describes JPD as ‘a joint activity, in which two or more people interact and influence one another’. So JPD is a process by which individuals, learn from one another.


It has three key characteristics; it:

involves interaction and mutual development related to practice

recognises that each partner in the interaction has something to offer and, as such, is based on the assumption of mutually beneficial learning

is research-informed, often involving collaborative enquiry

JPD does not involve attending courses and is not hierarchical. Instead, it assumes that two or more people support each other’s development through sharing and reflecting on practice, informed by evidence from research.

Some of the main differences between CPD and JPD

Outcomes for teachers  In general, little evidence of impact from ‘traditional’ CPD, though collaborative CPD more effective Teachers remain isolated.Offering or receiving ‘good practice ’does not lead to improvement. Reflection on own practicebecomes embedded and on-going leading to improvementTeachers establish networks across college providing on-going relevant challenge and support Peer-to-peer learning in which

development is fused with routine practice’ (from Hargreaves16)

Outcomes for leaders  Leaders are mostly in a ‘provider’role taking sole or mainresponsibility for in-house CPD

Leaders are responsible for


Leaders identify ‘talent’ – those that will lead JPD in each area (Hargreaves) − support and challenge is provided by them within each school and across schools.‘Dissemination’ is undertaken by all participants in the partnerships
Time and cost  Many teachers can be involvedsimultaneously, eg throughdevelopment days

Staff often out of school requiring

cover and disrupting continuity

Requires initial investment of staff time, likely to mean smaller numbers involvedActivities often class-based so less cover needed

Fielding, M, Bragg, S, Craig, J, Cunningham, I, Eraut, M, Gillinson, S, Horne, M, Robinson, C & Thorp, J, 2005, Factors Influencing the Transfer of Good Practice, Nottingham, DFES Publications

Hargreaves, D H, 2011, Leading a self-improving school system, Nottingham, National College for School Leadership,

Hargreaves, D H, 2012, A self-improving school system: towards maturity , Nottingham, National College for School Leadership,

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