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Police educators’ experiences of teaching and teaching development: implications for developing police academy staff

Brett Leslie Shipton (School of Policing Studies, Charles Sturt University, Port Macquarie, Australia)

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice

ISSN: 2056-3841

Article publication date: 31 May 2019

Issue publication date: 9 July 2019




This paper outlines some of the key results of a PhD study of the teaching and teaching development experiences of police educators practising in Australian police academies. The purpose of this paper is to describe the variation in police educators’ teaching and teaching development experiences, with these results being used to inform a developmental pathway for these practitioners.


A qualitative research specialisation called phenomenography was used for the data collection and analysis process. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 police educators from across five police academies. The transcribed interviews were analysed using comparative analysis to constitute a limited number of qualitatively different categories representing variation from less to more complete experiences.


The results were represented via two sets of categories that were discussed in relation to the broader domains teacher- and learner-centeredness, and potential staff development pathways for police educators.

Practical implications

Discussion of the results highlighted ideal approaches to teaching and teaching development and examined the limitations on staff development in relation to the less sophisticated experiences. Finally, the implications of these results were discussed in terms of potential staff development strategies within police academies.


This research is unique in terms of police educators’ experiences of their teaching and teaching development.



Shipton, B.L. (2019), "Police educators’ experiences of teaching and teaching development: implications for developing police academy staff", Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 95-107.



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