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Article
Publication date: 26 October 2021

Hayley Weddle, Mariko Yoshisato and Megan Hopkins

Although schools across the United States are becoming increasingly linguistically and culturally diverse, many teachers remain underprepared to work with students…

Abstract

Purpose

Although schools across the United States are becoming increasingly linguistically and culturally diverse, many teachers remain underprepared to work with students classified as English learners (ELs), especially at the secondary level. Acknowledging the importance of developing systems of support for teachers of ELs, this paper examines the district- and school-level factors shaping secondary teachers' access to EL-focused professional learning in one large urban school district.

Design/methodology/approach

To examine teachers' access to EL-focused professional learning, the authors draw on 49 in-depth interviews with district leaders and staff from nine secondary schools. Data analysis was guided by a structure, culture and agency theoretical framework.

Findings

Findings revealed that decreased structural support, in terms of both fiscal and human resources, constrained teachers' access to EL-related professional learning. Further, the district culture was characterized by limited understanding of ELs' backgrounds and assets. While some school leaders exercised agency to bolster EL-focused professional learning for teachers, such supports were rare.

Practical implications

Findings help to contextualize secondary teachers' feelings of unpreparedness to serve ELs, illuminating several factors that district and school leaders should attend to in order to bolster the development of professional capital for teachers of ELs at the secondary level.

Originality/value

While prior research outlines the importance of designing systems of support for EL-focused professional learning, this study highlights specific structural and cultural factors shaping such systems.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 8 September 2021

Amanda L. Lizier

This paper aims to draw on data from a study of professionals’ experiences of work and learning framed by a complex adaptive systems approach to examine the nexus of work…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to draw on data from a study of professionals’ experiences of work and learning framed by a complex adaptive systems approach to examine the nexus of work and learning in complex adaptive organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used an adapted phenomenographic approach and the complex adaptive systems conceptual framework (CAOCF) to analyse data from semi-structured interviews with fourteen professionals from a variety of organisations and industry sectors within Sydney, Australia.

Findings

The findings highlight that work in complex adaptive organisations is best described as fluid work. Further, the findings suggest that fluid work influences professionals towards flexible learning approaches that take place in the flow of work.

Originality/value

This paper empirically demonstrates the nexus of work and learning as experienced by professionals in their day-to-day work, as well as the ways in which fluid work influences flexible and adaptable learning through participation in work.

Details

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

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Book part
Publication date: 26 October 2015

Motoko Akiba

Global focus on reforming teachers has resulted in the inclusion of multiple survey questions about teachers’ professional learning activities in large-scale international…

Abstract

Global focus on reforming teachers has resulted in the inclusion of multiple survey questions about teachers’ professional learning activities in large-scale international studies. A cross-national analysis of these survey data will likely enhance our understanding and inform the future direction regarding teacher professional development policy and practice. Yet we do not know whether these surveys measure the key features and their contextual factors of teachers’ professional learning activities to allow a systematic cross-national analysis. Based on international and U.S. literature, I develop a conceptual model of teachers’ professional learning activities in global context and analyze relevant survey items used in three major international studies – TIMSS, PIRLS, and TALIS. I conclude the chapter with a discussion of the coverage of these survey items and a direction for improving data collections of teachers’ professional learning activities in large-scale international studies.

Details

Promoting and Sustaining a Quality Teacher Workforce
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-016-2

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Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2014

Barbara de la Harpe and Thembi Mason

The promise of Next Generation Learning Spaces appears to remain unfulfilled. This chapter explores why and how the design of professional learning for academics teaching…

Abstract

The promise of Next Generation Learning Spaces appears to remain unfulfilled. This chapter explores why and how the design of professional learning for academics teaching in such spaces can and should be transformed. It takes a fresh look at why old professional development is failing and proposes a new way to engage academics in their own professional learning. Rather than continuing with traditional professional development that is most often, ad hoc, formal and centrally driven, comprising mandated professional development workshops and a website that may only be visited once, the chapter explores the move from ‘old’ professional development to ‘new’ professional learning. It draws on the fields of organisational theory, cognitive theory and behavioural economics.

New professional learning is characterised by a ‘pull’ rather than a ‘push’ philosophy. Academic staff themselves drive their own learning, choosing what, when and how they want to learn to become better teachers. Multiple and various learning opportunities embedded in day to day work are just-in-time, self-directed, performance-driven and evaluated within an organisational system. In this way the institutional setting influences behaviour by ‘nudging’ habits and setting defaults resulting in academics making the ‘right’ decisions and doing the ‘right’ thing. By addressing the compelling issue of how to enhance academic staff teaching capability, this chapter can help university leaders to think beyond the professional development approaches of yesterday. Aligning with this new direction will result in enhanced learning and teaching in the future.

Details

The Future of Learning and Teaching in Next Generation Learning Spaces
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-986-7

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Book part
Publication date: 24 June 2013

Beatrice Avalos

A review of publications in teaching and teacher education over 10 years (2000–2010) on teacher professional development is the subject of this chapter. The first part…

Abstract

A review of publications in teaching and teacher education over 10 years (2000–2010) on teacher professional development is the subject of this chapter. The first part synthesises production referred to learning, facilitation and collaboration, factors influencing professional development, effectiveness of professional development and issues around the themes. The second part selects from the production nine articles for closer examination. The chapter concludes by noting how the production brings out the complexities of teacher professional learning and how research and development have taken cognizance of these factors and provided food for optimism about their effects, although not yet about their sustainability in time.

Details

From Teacher Thinking to Teachers and Teaching: The Evolution of a Research Community
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-851-8

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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2016

Deborah M. Netolicky

Situated within the conversation of the global push for teacher quality and for professional learning that positively shapes teaching practice in order to improve student…

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5643

Abstract

Purpose

Situated within the conversation of the global push for teacher quality and for professional learning that positively shapes teaching practice in order to improve student learning, the purpose of this paper is concerned with transformational learning that actively shifts cognition, emotion, and capacity (Drago-Severson, 2009).

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is set against the backdrop of one independent, well-resourced Australian school during its professional learning intervention. It draws together findings from a narrative study that examined the lived experiences of 14 educators. The educators interviewed for this study included the researcher (also an educator at the school), two teachers, and 11 school leaders at middle and executive levels.

Findings

While the study set out to explore how educators’ experiences of professional learning (trans)form their senses of professional identity, it found that it is not just professional learning, but epiphanic life experiences that shape professional selves and practices. Learning is highly individualized, not one-size-fits-all. It is that which taps into who educators see and feel they are that has the most impact on beliefs, thoughts, behaviors, and practices.

Originality/value

This study suggests that transformational professional learning can occur in a wide range of life arenas. It recommends that the definition of professional learning be broadened, that teachers and schools think more expansively and flexibly about what it is that transforms educators, and about who drives and chooses this learning. Schools and systems can work from their own contexts to design and slowly iterate models of professional learning, from the bottom up and the middle out.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 1 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2001

Graham Cheetham and Geoff Chivers

Reviews a range of theories, concepts and learning approaches that are relevant to the development of professionals. Goes on to take a look at how professionals actually…

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13626

Abstract

Reviews a range of theories, concepts and learning approaches that are relevant to the development of professionals. Goes on to take a look at how professionals actually learn, once they are in practice. The latter is based on empirical research conducted across 20 professions. Reports on the range of experiences and events that practitioners had found particularly formative in helping them become fully competent professionals; this point often not having been reached until long after their formal professional training had ended. An attempt is made to relate the formative experiences reported to particular theoretical approaches to learning. The experiences are classified into a number of general kinds of “learning mechanism” and these are placed within a “taxonomy of informal professional learning methods”. The results of the research should be of use both to professional developers and to individual professionals. They should assist developers in their planning of placements or post‐formal training. They should help individual professionals to maximise their professional learning, by seeking out particular kinds of experience and making the most of those that come their way.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Article
Publication date: 25 February 2014

Sari Metso and Aino Kianto

The purpose of this study is to identify factors that influence vocational students' development of professional skills during workplace learning and to examine the…

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1374

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to identify factors that influence vocational students' development of professional skills during workplace learning and to examine the effects and relationships of these factors.

Design/methodology/approach

The results were based on the responses of 285 graduating Finnish vocational students. The confirmatory factor analysis and structural equations were conducted using Lisrel.

Findings

Motivational factors, including performance orientation and self-efficacy, and organizational factors, including guidance, psychological climate and knowledge acquisition, had a direct and positive impact on the students' development of professional skills. The attitudinal factor measured through work alienation had a partial mediating effect on the relationship between the organizational factors and the development of professional skills. The cognitive factor consisting of prior work experience in the studied field, however, had no effect on skill development

Research limitations/implications

The study was based on students' self-appraisal of the studied factors. Future research should consider workplace instructors' and vocational teachers' viewpoints regarding students' development of professional skills.

Practical implications

Managers are encouraged to plan a structured orientation period for students and to help workplace instructors design their work in order to facilitate a successful workplace learning period.

Originality/value

This study highlights the importance of organizational factors and workplace instructors to students' development of professional skills through work. Furthermore, it provides empirical evidence on the special characteristics of these factors.

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Article
Publication date: 16 January 2017

Rebecca Lowenhaupt and Todd D. Reeves

Changing immigration patterns in the USA have led to a growing number of “new immigrant destinations.” In these contexts, opportunities for teacher learning are crucial…

Abstract

Purpose

Changing immigration patterns in the USA have led to a growing number of “new immigrant destinations.” In these contexts, opportunities for teacher learning are crucial for developing the school capacity to serve the academic, linguistic and socio-cultural needs of immigrant students. In response, the purpose of this paper is to examine how schools in Wisconsin provided both formal and informal teacher learning opportunities to develop the instructional capacity to support recent immigrants, specifically Spanish-speaking English language learners (ELLs).

Design/methodology/approach

Using descriptive analyses of teacher and administrator survey and interview data, this study examined the focus and within-school distribution of formal professional development, as well as teacher collaboration as a mechanism for informal learning.

Findings

Most commonly, professional development focused on concrete strategies teachers might enact in their classrooms, rather than developing broader understandings of the needs of immigrant students. In addition, formal professional development commonly targeted particular groups of teachers, rather than faculty as a whole. Finally, general education-ELL teacher collaboration was most often deployed “as needed” and focused on particular student needs, rather than systematically.

Research limitations/implications

Future work might address the limitations of this study by examining teacher learning opportunities in new immigrant destinations in other locales, the quality and effectiveness of such opportunities, and other mechanisms for the distribution of expertise.

Originality/value

Findings suggest the need for more systematic and integrated approaches to teacher learning in new immigrant destinations, with an emphasis on pushing beyond the short-term need for instructional strategies to develop more holistic, collaborative approaches to integrating ELLs into schools and classrooms.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

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Article
Publication date: 16 December 2019

Hanifi Parlar, Mahmut Polatcan and Ramazan Cansoy

Professional learning communities that merge under the same goal in schools where social relationship networks are strong can contribute to creating an atmosphere which…

Abstract

Purpose

Professional learning communities that merge under the same goal in schools where social relationship networks are strong can contribute to creating an atmosphere which provides a basis for innovativeness. In this study the relationships between social capital, innovativeness climate and professional learning communities were examined through the views of teachers working at public schools. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

The data of this study, which utilised correlational survey model, were collected from 734 teachers who work in the Umraniye district of Istanbul, Turkey.

Findings

The findings revealed that there is a positive and statistically significant correlation between social capital, innovativeness climate and professional learning communities. The results demonstrated that teachers’ perceptions of social capital in schools affected their perceptions of innovativeness climate and that professional learning communities had an intermediary role in this relationship. These findings showed that the richness in social relationship networks provided a basis for the development of innovative teaching practices in schools and the professional learning environments created in schools contributed to this process.

Research limitations/implications

In this study, the intermediary role of professional learning communities on the effect of social capital on innovativeness climate was analysed via teachers’ views. In the literature no study studying the relationship between social capital, innovativeness climate and professional learning communities was found.

Practical implications

It can be put forward that there is a need for studies that analyse the effect of the roots of social capital on innovativeness culture to identify other variables that may potentially be relevant. In addition, this study may be a contribution to the literature by providing a study on the concepts of social capital and innovativeness climate, which were studied in the fields of social sciences extensively, in educational settings and this supports the field through theoretical and empirical studies.

Originality/value

This study demonstrated the effects of the concept of social capital on innovativeness climate which provides a basis for innovativeness in educational institutions. This topic is currently on the agenda of the OECD and World Bank. Moreover, this study aims to show the intermediary role of professional learning communities in the relationship between social capital and innovativeness climate.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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