Section archive - Professional Development
Page 1/39 381 items
Understanding teachers’ professional learning needs: what does it mean to teachers and how can it be supported?
Based on an in-depth study of a large number of teachers at one school, this paper begins to unpack the participants’ views about and the expectations they hold for their professional learning. Data were collected over two school terms through several focus group interviews reaching approximately two-thirds of the staff. Analysis of the data sets led to identification of themes used to categorise teachers’ perceived areas of developmental need (e.g. special needs, wellbeing, etc.) and what would be required to address these needs (e.g. time, collaboration, etc.). Findings indicate that what teachers receive to support their professional learning is not always what they want or value. Their aspirations regarding their professional learning needs tend to be more informed by their own beliefs about learning and teaching rather than more global, systematic or operational requirements.
Updated: Jan. 11, 2022
This article reported how five preservice teachers constructed and developed their teacher identity in a year-long teacher residency partnered between a university-based teacher education program and schools in Louisiana, United States. Drawing on a sociocultural approach to identity development and the ‘third space’ theory, qualitative data were collected from individual interviews, classroom observations, and document analysis. Findings suggested that participants experienced an ongoing teacher identity construction while learning to teach in the hybrid, in-between ‘third space’ residency. Key elements of the residency, including the mentored co-teaching experiences and learning opportunities situated in authentic school contexts, facilitated the participants’ learning about teaching and teacher identity negotiation. Implications for teacher education practice, policy, and research were discussed.
Updated: Jan. 10, 2022
Transitioning from primary-grade classrooms to infant/toddler rooms: early childhood preservice teachers’ growth and challenges
This qualitative study explores how a group of preservice teachers, all of whom had been well prepared to become primary-grade teachers, made a transition into infant/toddler group care settings. The authors used the teachers’ daily journal entries, individual interview, document analysis (course syllabus, weekly planning sheets), and weekly team planning meetings as data sources. Findings revealed that the teachers initially struggled to work with the infants/toddlers and that their long-held notions of children, teaching, and learning were challenged. Yet, their daily work with the children over 15 weeks of practicum helped them deepen and broaden and become more skillful and insightful of early childhood education, which the teachers found applicable to primary-grade teaching.
Updated: Nov. 29, 2021
The study uses reflexive leadership as a framework for considering teacher professional learning across a network of schools. The paper explores professional learning strategies for eight next generation leaders, both for their own leadership learning and to build their repertoire of professional learning strategies. The study found that the emerging leaders understood the benefit of collaboration between the big schools and the need for focused teacher professional learning within their own schools. They also appreciated the synergy between the design of professional learning and the types of communication required to develop shared goals and actions in teacher professional learning teams.
Updated: May. 21, 2021
Educate – mentor – nurture: improving the transition from initial teacher education to qualified teacher status and beyond
This study investigated the wellbeing of early career teachers in England and Australia to examine how best to provide early career support as a foundation for professional growth and longer-term retention. Survey responses from 67 newly qualified teachers in England and Australia, and five semi-structured interviews, provided rich insights into new teachers’ experiences, highlighting the overwhelming nature of the transition experience as new teachers struggled to adjust as they moved from the relative safety of the initial teacher education context to the reality of work in schools, in particular managing considerable workload which continued beyond the initial transition phase. Vital to successful transition were ongoing linkages between initial teacher education providers and employing schools, a supportive community of practice and bespoke mentoring. This has important policy implications, emphasising the need for personalised approaches to transition with high-quality mentoring during the first few years in the profession. An ‘educate – mentor – nurture’ model is proposed, to enable smoother and more supportive transitions, leading to professional growth and wellbeing.
Updated: May. 20, 2021
This study aimed at understanding teacher emotions through interviewing 25 and surveying 1,492 primary teachers in China using a mixed method. Content analysis was employed to analyse the data using the five nested ecological systems – microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macro-system, and chronosystem. Statistical techniques such as mean score, Multivariate analysis of variance, Univariate analysis, and effect size were used to deal with the quantitative data. Qualitative results show that 25 teachers described 65 emotions including 33 positive and 32 negative emotions. The number of emotions that teachers reported decreased as the distance from the teachers increased. The quantitative survey comprised 14 positive and 17 negative emotion items. Given the powerful role that emotions and relationships play in education, the discussion was made with regard to classroom management, emotional display rules, and teacher vulnerability. The implications for teacher development and well-being were provided accordingly.
Updated: May. 11, 2021
The current study aimed to examine the perceptions of primary school teachers in different periods of their professional life regarding what constitutes professional development and their experiences with reformed professional development courses. Teachers (N = 45) were enrolled in the study from three professional life periods (entry-level, advanced, and expert) as defined by the Israeli Ministry of Education, largely on the basis of years of teaching experience. Their perceptions were examined in semi-structured interviews. Teachers in all periods of their professional life seek to learn material that they can apply in teaching, student learning, or assessment contexts in their schools and classroom. Entry-level teachers overwhelmingly desire to pursue professional learning goals that extend beyond the current focus on classroom competence. Entry-level and advanced teachers express a preference to learn in workshops, which offer participatory learning experiences. For expert teachers in Israel, consideration should be given to removing the compulsory nature of formal professional development, while enabling them to pursue courses beyond their discipline and according to their interests. All three groups suggest that course content should be better mapped to teachers’ needs. These findings are consistent with the life phase model of teachers’ professional development.
Updated: Apr. 20, 2021
Experiences of Participants in Teacher Professional Education on Obtaining Soft Skills: A Case Study in Indonesia
Teachers in the constitution in Indonesia are professionals who must meet pedagogical, social, personal, and professional competencies. This qualitative research with a phenomenological approach aims to explore the experiences of the teacher professional education program (PPG) participants in gaining soft skills. The research data were collected through in-depth interviews conducted on fifteen PPG participants consisting of seven females and eight males. The fifteen participants attended PPG in five universities spread out from universities in Central Java, West Java, Yogyakarta Special Region, and Jakarta Special Capital Region. The sampling technique used was purposive sampling. Data analysis was carried out through the horizontalization, texturally, structurally, and essential descriptions stages. The results of this research found that PPG participants received soft skills learning in hidden curriculum patterns so that each participant had an initial understanding and how to get various soft skill understandings. Soft skills obtained by participants during the PPG implementation are self-confidence, collaboration, hard work, respect for culture, patience, wisdom, maturity, mental resilience, humility, responsibility, creative thinking, positive thinking, cooperation, humility, respect for others, and tolerance. This research recommends that soft skills learning at PPG be implemented with a structured curriculum so that participants have better abilities as teachers.
Updated: Apr. 11, 2021
This article aims to determine whether the age of teachers has an influence on their knowledge about Information and Communication Technologies. The objective is to detect if there really exists a digital gap between generations, specifically in Dual Vocational Education Training, a kind of education which has been growing in the recent years. To do so, a study with a quantitative and descriptive method has been carried out, with the participation of 1.568 teachers of this training modality in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia. The data were extracted by means of a questionnaire to measure the level of digital teaching competence in Dual Vocational Education and Training schools. The results showed that the level of digital competence shown was medium to low across all dimensions. With regard to the age factor, only the problem-solving dimension was found to be age-dependent.
Updated: Mar. 17, 2021
The implementation of Lesson Study (LS) varies considerably across countries and institutions and is still in a phase of adaptation and experimentation. This article explains the result and the process of a school-based initiative endeavor to implement LS at a suburban elementary in Padang, Indonesia. The study involved 13 teachers, the principal and 6 classes of students. The data were collected through observation and interview. They were classified on the basis of three noticeable emerging themes - teacher collaboration, scaffolding, and reflection. The data were analyzed qualitatively. The results of data analysis reveal a promising improvement in these aspects. Implementing school- support LS increased by weaving the concept into practice helped teachers develop their professionalism gradually. It was obvious that the teachers felt more at ease to work collaboratively when they designed the lesson. This also affected their design which showed more meaningful learning activities and challenging tasks. Then, the teachers improved the way they scaffolded the pupils. The content of reflection and the way the results of reflection were conveyed became better. The principal’s support and the teachers’ strong willingness to elevate their quality apparently took an important role. In spite of that, there were some challenges in carrying out collaboration, providing appropriate scaffolding, and doing reflection. Changing the teachers’ common practice to LS apparently needs some adjustment and time.
Updated: Mar. 16, 2021