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Article
Publication date: 25 January 2019

Nikolaos Koukis and Athanassios Jimoyiannis

This paper aims to report on a study concerning a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), designed to support Greek-language teachers in secondary-education schools in…

1023

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to report on a study concerning a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), designed to support Greek-language teachers in secondary-education schools in implementing collaborative writing activities with Google Docs (GDs) in their classrooms. Data recorded from a post-survey were used to investigate teachers’ views and perceptions about MOOC design features, their personal achievements and the overall outcomes for their professional work and development.

Design/methodology/approach

The design framework of the particular teacher professional development MOOC was determined by the connectivist principles and addressed three main dimensions of teachers’ active participation: a) individual engagement; b) peer interaction and mutual support; and c) collaborative creation of educational scenarios and artefacts. The analysis used a mixed method that combines data from teachers’ active engagement through the MOOC platform records and quantitative and qualitative data from their responses to a post-survey questionnaire.

Findings

The analysis of the research data provided supportive evidence that the design framework was effective towards promoting teachers’ active engagement, peer interaction and support and development of learning design abilities to integrate collaborative writing with GDs in their classrooms. The findings showed that the majority of participants conceptualized this MOOC as an efficient environment to enhance their pedagogical knowledge and classroom practices and to support continuous professional development.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this study may be limited by the specific sample and the context of implementation. Future research is expected to critically analyse existing results in combination with qualitative data from detailed interviews of participants in this teacher professional development MOOC.

Practical implications

The results provided supportive evidence that successful MOOCs for teacher professional development are determined by four key design features: a) connecting course content and teacher learning practices to the educational reality of the classroom; b) defining concrete learning objectives of the course; c) promoting teachers’ collaborative learning; and d) creating a learning community among peers.

Originality/value

This paper presents a systematic analysis of teachers’ engagement in a teacher professional development MOOC, designed to support collaborative and self-directed learning. The results are expected to be significant and valuable for wider educational contexts, as MOOCs for teacher professional development is a new, ambitious topic for both research and educational policies.

Details

Interactive Technology and Smart Education, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-5659

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Mona Holmqvist

The purpose of this paper is to describe a review of the most frequently cited English articles of five models of collaborative professional development for mathematics…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe a review of the most frequently cited English articles of five models of collaborative professional development for mathematics teachers, aiming to describe the character of the development addressed and its quality issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The most frequently cited articles were chosen for their impact on the scientific discourse; they identify what aspects of the models are most focused and of interest. The research questions were: how is professional development described in the articles?, and what improvements are the models trying to increase or what problem are the models trying to solve? The review of these articles was also analyzed in relation to four quality indicators for praxis improvement (Holmqvist Olander, 2015): (A) ecological validation for predictive power, (B) generalization in theory, (C) cross-setting interventions, and (D) continuing professional development.

Findings

The result shows differences in focus. Educational action research focuses on solving the participants’ problem in the school environment while learning study tests different instructional designs to find the most powerful relationship between instruction and student learning. Lesson study and teacher research groups are collaborative professional development models integrated into the teachers’ ordinary work to develop everyday teaching and learning, and educational design research is mainly designed by researchers studying areas of interests, which can be shared by teachers.

Research limitations/implications

The articles used for the analysis are a selection, and not a total sample of everything published about the models. This can be both a limitation and strength. A very small sample of typical studies is used for the analysis, even though the models are used in several other situations and contexts as well, which can be seen as a limitation. However, as the selection of articles have the strongest impact on the research of each model, as they are the most cited articles and affect the way they are used. The contexts differ and this can be seen as a limitation as the models might be more efficient in some cultural settings than other.

Practical implications

Based on the articles’ findings, these five models can all be recommended to develop students’ mathematical knowledge as well as teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge. The results of this review can be used to guide what model to use depending on the need for professional development.

Social implications

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2015) and Hattie (2013) state that effective professional development is positioned as close to practice as possible, and that research questions should be raised and outcomes tested in teachers’ workplaces as a form of collaborative professional development. There is a contradiction between such claims and how we traditionally value research. Collaboration with teachers in research projects can, as well as aiming to have an impact on practice, sometimes be considered to be less scientific than a more objective standpoint that follows traditional indicators of scientific quality. This review shows how professional development can inform practice-based research and contribute with new knowledge of how to develop teaching and learning in the classroom.

Originality/value

The overview is different from an ordinary research review, as the focus is on the most cited articles. This is made to capture the main shape of how the models are presented in an international research context as the articles have an impact of how the models are understood and shared between contexts in different countries.

Details

International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-8253

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 20 September 2021

Sarah Jerasa

To be a writer, one must write. Research shows when teachers write and identify as writers, they transfer their writing practice into their classroom, positively impacting…

Abstract

To be a writer, one must write. Research shows when teachers write and identify as writers, they transfer their writing practice into their classroom, positively impacting their students' writing development. Shifting instructional practices or identities requires educators to self-determine a gap in order to take on transformative learning experiences, such as mentoring, professional development, or modeled learning. Often professional development is chosen by administrators for educators to shift their instructional practice, ignoring a teacher's curriculum-maker role, and best-loved self identity. This narrative inquiry analysis details one teacher-writer in a creative writing professional development residency as she supports educators with a goal to transform educators into teacher-writers. This chapter includes the small step successes and systematic struggles the author faced as she modeled the writer's craft and writer's workshop strategies with her teachers. The chapter concludes with a discussion on the important role teachers have to decide, navigate, and discover their own best-loved self-teaching identity.

Details

Developing Knowledge Communities through Partnerships for Literacy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-266-7

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Eric C.K. Cheng

The purpose of this paper is to present a model to assist school leaders in managing the professional development activities of teachers. The model illustrates the…

1115

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a model to assist school leaders in managing the professional development activities of teachers. The model illustrates the important role of principals in promoting continuing professional development (CPD), chiefly by cultivating a collaborative learning culture and formulating policy.

Design/methodology/approach

This study tested a framework based on the input of 103 CPD coordinators in Hong Kong, who participated in a quasi-experimental design questionnaire survey. Factor analysis and reliability tests were applied to verify the constructed validity and reliability of a self-developed instrument. A Structural Equation Model (SEM) was then applied to confirm the model.

Findings

The result of the SEM shows that principal support has a predictive effect on CPD policy and a collaborative learning culture, while the effectiveness of a CPD plan is predicted by collaborative culture and management strategy.

Originality/value

This study contributes theoretically to existing literature and practically to school leaders, by supplying a model for managing teacher CPD.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 July 2022

Julie Lysberg

The purpose of this study is to gain insight into and understand the authentic lived experience of the processes of collaborative inquiry in teamwork from the perspective…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to gain insight into and understand the authentic lived experience of the processes of collaborative inquiry in teamwork from the perspective of teachers.

Design/methodology/approach

Data comprises stimulated recall interviews and semi-structured interviews. Seventeen teachers from four different teams in four schools form the empirical basis.

Findings

The analysis reveals that a shared focus on students’ learning in teachers’ processes of collaborative inquiry results in awareness and increased knowledge of what constitutes students’ learning. Thus, teachers are potentially becoming better equipped to facilitate students’ learning by offering them a richer set of learning opportunities. Findings confirm the key role of critical reflection through bringing teachers’ assumptions about teaching and learning to the surface, available for common exploration. When exploring problems of practice and sharing ideas and suggestions for possible solutions, teacher teams operate in a collective zone of proximal development.

Practical implications

This analysis of teachers’ reflections on the processes of collaborative inquiry supports school leaders and facilitators of school development by revealing fundamental and often hidden characteristics of teamwork collaboration.

Originality/value

Findings about teachers’ professional learning through collaborative inquiry in teamwork enhance knowledge about how teachers learn in authentic settings, and unpack the capabilities of teachers to author their own pedagogical changes. This study thus challenges linear models of professional development and the idea of professional development as mainly delivery-based.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 August 2015

Katja Thillmann, Anabel Bach, Sebastian Wurster and Felicitas Thiel

In Germany up until now, there has been very little research on staff development in schools. The purpose of this paper is to comprehensively assess school-based staff…

Abstract

Purpose

In Germany up until now, there has been very little research on staff development in schools. The purpose of this paper is to comprehensively assess school-based staff development and to describe the interplay between different instruments of staff development (e.g. classroom observations, development discussions) at the school level.

Design/methodology/approach

Considering that different constellations of organizational management tools may be differentially effective in different contexts (see Mintzberg, 1983/1992), an approach that takes a combination of different staff development instruments into account was chosen. Data were gathered from principals of primary and secondary schools in two federal states of Germany. Using regression, cluster analysis, and analysis of variance, the authors examined different instruments and patterns of staff development used in everyday school practice and determined how these affected the professional development of teachers.

Findings

Five staff development patterns could be identified. With regard to the extent of professional development activities of teachers, these patterns have been proven to have a different impact. Furthermore, the use of the different staff development patterns seems to be heavily dependent on the type of school.

Research limitations/implications

Further research would be needed that examines if the three most relevant staff development patterns identified in this study can also be proven to be effective with regard to somewhat “harder” criteria than the extent of professional development activities of teachers. Such criteria could be teachers’ teaching skills or even student achievement.

Originality/value

The current study is the first to examine staff development in German schools systematically. The results provide some good leads for further studies in this area.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 29 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 29 November 2014

Diana J. Wong-MingJi and Gina N. Wong

This chapter develops a theoretical model of a collaborative inquiry-based group development process with a grounded theory approach. The purpose of this research study is…

Abstract

This chapter develops a theoretical model of a collaborative inquiry-based group development process with a grounded theory approach. The purpose of this research study is to examine how educators engage in collaborative inquiry-based group development processes that transform their professional identity and pedagogical practices. Qualitative research data comes from the Livingstone Inquiry Group (LIG) in Vancouver, Canada. It is a longitudinal case study of inquiry-based pedagogies (IBPs) in a community of learners. They started in 2007 with members representing K-12 teachers, resource staff, administrators, higher education, and union organizations. The model outlines generative dynamics between social capital and relational learning which support pedagogical paradigm shifts in the group’s collaboration. Implications of this study provide direction for research regarding inquiry-based learning in higher educational institutions as an important forum for sustainable professional development of teachers as life-long learners.

Details

Inquiry-based Learning for Faculty and Institutional Development: A Conceptual and Practical Resource for Educators
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-235-7

Article
Publication date: 3 July 2017

Kristin Warr Pedersen

The purpose of this paper is to consider an expanded vision of professional development for embedding education for sustainability (EfS) in a higher education institution…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider an expanded vision of professional development for embedding education for sustainability (EfS) in a higher education institution. Through an exploration of a community of practice at the University of Tasmania, this paper examines how collaborative peer learning can sustain and promote continued professional development for staff in higher education who are committed to EfS as an educational paradigm.

Design/methodology/approach

This research was conducted through a mixed methods investigation that involved participant observation and semi-structured interviews and focus groups. Data were analysed and grouped into themes that are discussed in the paper.

Findings

This research reveals that personal values and professional identity were the two driving factors for continued engagement in a collaborative peer learning initiative. Despite institutional challenges and a lack of success of growing membership in the community of practice, participants found a level of job satisfaction and personal connection to the initiative and to each other that has sustained action and impact for this group.

Originality/value

This work contributes an alternative voice to the professional development discussion around EfS. While most professional development activities are aimed at transferring knowledge to individuals and groups that are identified to lack awareness or capacity in a topic, this work highlights the need to include and foster safe learning spaces for continued professional learning. Particular attention is paid to the value of peer learning to support the professional development of sessional staff engaged in EfS.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 18 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Jacalyn M. Griffen and Ronald E. Hallett

The school counselor can reduce barriers to college access for students in underserved communities but there is a lack of focused support and professional development

Abstract

Purpose

The school counselor can reduce barriers to college access for students in underserved communities but there is a lack of focused support and professional development resources to assist them with this task. The purpose of this paper is to gain insight into how a collaborative partnership reframed professional development to increase counselors’ capacities and enrich their role in addressing educational inequities in a local context.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors employed an action-oriented qualitative case study through the lens of social justice to critically consider how urban school counselors took action to address local educational inequities in the postsecondary process. Data were collected over a ten month period and consisted of semi-structured interviews, 17 hours of meeting transcriptions, meeting notes, field observations, numerous field notes, researcher reflections, weekly e-mail correspondence, electronic data, counselor demographic surveys, and document analysis.

Findings

The inter-agency networked learning community model encouraged the school counselors to take ownership for their professional development, starting small led to greater collaboration, the counselors engaged in collective learning and counselors took a responsibility for the broader school community.

Research limitations/implications

Inter-agency partnerships can address social inequities and initiate transformative change but further research is needed to explore how to address what happens as actors move in and/or out of the partnership. Acknowledging and validating the experience of the school counselors empowered them to take risks, invite new ideas, and adapt the new idea to their local school site. Reframing professional development began to transform how the counselors were viewed by the broader school community. Further research is needed to explore how educational systems can be empowered to engage in conversations to embrace change.

Social implications

This study illustrated the transformative power of school counselors in building community, collaborating, and constructing bridges between each other, school administrators, and postsecondary researchers. Unless the current devaluing of school counselors shifts, the benefits associated with networked collaborative partnerships will likely go unrealized. We call on policymakers to reconsider the role of school counselors and call on them to ensure these positions are mandatory in all K-12 schools.

Originality/value

This study demonstrated how an inter-organizational collaboration between a university and a K-12 local education agency initiated transformative change. The collective action of the network equipped counselors with tools to build community with each other, within their individual school sites, and in the local community. Many studies provide models regarding what school counselors should do but few explore how to empower them to use the models to enact change. The action-inquiry approach provided an opportunity to explore how urban school counselors experienced and understood the process of engaging in professional development designed to help them try something new in addressing educational inequities in underserved communities.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2002

Robyn Robinson and Suzanne Carrington

Professional development aims to impact upon teacher knowledge, teacher practice and thus change student outcomes. Some of the most effective examples of professional

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Abstract

Professional development aims to impact upon teacher knowledge, teacher practice and thus change student outcomes. Some of the most effective examples of professional development have focussed on active involvement of staff and administration in the process and have been extensive and progressive in nature. In this paper, we report on the implementation of a model of professional development in which school reculturing, collaboration between teaching professionals and opportunities for individual teacher learning are core themes. This study, undertaken at a disadvantaged primary school in Queensland, Australia, was a collaborative effort between the school and a university. The case study data were collected within the context of a larger research project. Analysis of the data, collected from focus group interviews with 11 teachers at the school and reflective notes taken from the second author’s research journal, revealed four major themes which focus on reflections of the process of professional development: individual focus areas chosen by the teachers; positives about the process; areas for improvement; and ideas for sustaining the professional collaboration. In conclusion, this study has shown that professional development undertaken in a climate of school reculturing and collaboration enhances a teacher’s sense of ownership and relevance of the in‐service.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 16 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

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