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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Rachel Shanks

The purpose of this paper is to introduce this special issue focussing on the mentoring of beginning teachers which supports the professional learning of not only mentees…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce this special issue focussing on the mentoring of beginning teachers which supports the professional learning of not only mentees but also mentors. The paper identifies the varied aims of beginning teacher mentoring programmes, some of the reasons for mentoring and an introduction to the six research papers published in the issue.

Design/methodology/approach

The papers in this issue examine different perspectives relating to the mentoring of student teachers and newly qualified teachers (NQTs). Different types of mentoring relationships are examined in various international contexts. The research, from Australia, the Republic of Ireland, Malta, Norway, Scotland, the USA and Wales, addresses the challenges that can occur in mentoring relationships, and enables us to better understand the professional learning that takes place in successful mentoring relationships.

Findings

The authors of the papers delineate how critical reflective practice, inquiry into professional practice, collaboration and professional learning for both mentees and mentors are key aims for many mentoring programmes. The six studies used different methods to investigate external and/or school-based mentoring programmes for student teachers and NQTs.

Research limitations/implications

A snapshot of current research into professional learning is provided with most studies being small qualitative ones. However, common themes can be identified across countries and contexts. The authors of each paper outline the implications for teacher education for their own contexts, as well as for international contexts.

Originality/value

Teacher education programmes employ mentoring pairs and triads in order to develop particular traits and reflective practices in teachers. Research shows how mentor programmes provide classroom experience and professional learning for student and NQTs as well as professional learning for teacher mentors. University tutors play a key role in supporting not only the mentees and mentors but also the mentoring relationship.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

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Book part
Publication date: 6 April 2018

Abstract

Details

Teacher Leadership in Professional Development Schools
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-404-2

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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 teachersprofessional learning activities in large-scale international…

Abstract

Global focus on reforming teachers has resulted in the inclusion of multiple survey questions about teachersprofessional 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 teachersprofessional learning activities to allow a systematic cross-national analysis. Based on international and U.S. literature, I develop a conceptual model of teachersprofessional 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 teachersprofessional 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: 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: 22 April 2020

Jarrent Tayag and Nunilon Ayuyao

This study aims to investigate the relationship between leadership and teacher professional learning considering two mediating variables – teacher trust and teacher agency.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the relationship between leadership and teacher professional learning considering two mediating variables – teacher trust and teacher agency.

Design/methodology/approach

The study utilized structural equation modeling in analyzing the responses from 1,654 secondary public teachers from 43 schools in the Philippines.

Findings

Leadership does not have a direct relationship with teacher professional learning. The established relationship of leadership and professional learning from literature exists through the mediation of teacher trust and teacher agency.

Originality/value

The results point out that school leaders must affect teacher trust and teacher agency to influence the engagement of teachers to professional learning. Contrary to what has been accepted in educational management that leaders can directly impact teachers, the findings of this study dictate that the full effects of leadership are coursed through mediating pathways.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 34 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 27 July 2020

Dhirapat Kulophas and Philip Hallinger

Research on school leadership has confirmed that principals influence teacher and student learning by building an “academic-focused ethos” in their schools. In this study…

Abstract

Purpose

Research on school leadership has confirmed that principals influence teacher and student learning by building an “academic-focused ethos” in their schools. In this study, our objective was to examine if and how the learning-centered leadership of principals influenced academic optimism of teachers and the resulting effects on their engagement in professional learning. More specifically, we examined this hypothesized set of leadership effects among teachers and principals in high schools located in Thailand.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was conducted with 1,763 teachers and 152 principals from 159 randomly selected, medium size secondary schools located in Thailand. The research employed multi-level structural equation modeling and bootstrapping analyses in order to test and explore these relationships in a mediation model of school leadership effects on teacher professional learning through academic optimism.

Findings

Results of this study reinforce prior research which has found that principal leadership can have significant direct and indirect effects on the professional learning of teachers. This finding is important because, as elaborated earlier, scholars believe that teacher professional learning is a key to sustainable improvement in schools. More specifically, our results extend prior research in two ways. First, as the first study to link Learning-Centered Leadership with Academic Optimism, this study extends findings that point to the role of school leadership in sustaining a culture of academic optimism in schools. Second, this study also established Academic Optimism as a mediator through which school leadership supports Teacher Professional Learning.

Research limitations/implications

Although our results support a positive conclusion concerning the effects of school leadership and academic optimism on teacher learning, this was a cross-sectional study. Therefore, caution must be exercised before drawing causal attributions. For example, research has also found that teachers who work in schools that evidence features of a professional learning community are more likely to have a greater sense of collective teacher efficacy, a variable that is also associated with Academic Optimism. Therefore, although our study proposed Academic Optimism as the mediator and teacher professional learning as the dependent variable, it is also possible that this relationship could be reversed or reciprocal (i.e. mutually reinforcing). Future research should continue to examine these possibilities using longitudinal and/or experimental research designs that enable clearer delineation of causal relationships. We also suggest the utility of qualitative and mixed methods studies capable of exploring in greater depth the mechanisms through which school leadership contributes to productive teacher learning.

Practical implications

There is a need in Thailand, and elsewhere, to redefine the formal roles and professional standards of school leaders to include learning-centered practices. These standards should be embedded into the redesign of pre-service and in-service education programs for teachers and principals. We believe that, at present, relatively few school leaders in Thailand genuinely understand the meaningful impact they can have on teacher learning, and by extension, on student learning. Thus, there is a need for systemic change that recasts the nature of leadership expected from principals as well as the level of lifelong learning expected of teachers.

Originality/value

The findings from this research contribute to an evolving knowledge base on how school leaders influence teacher learning in different national contexts. The research also extends prior research by exploring the role of academic optimism as a mediator of school leadership effects on teacher learning.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 58 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2014

Jennifer Charteris and Dianne Smardon

Dialogic peer coaching as leadership can enable teachers to influence each other's professional learning. The purpose of this paper is to shift the emphasis from the role…

Abstract

Purpose

Dialogic peer coaching as leadership can enable teachers to influence each other's professional learning. The purpose of this paper is to shift the emphasis from the role associated with the designated title of leader to the purpose and relevance of teacher leadership in the context of dialogic peer coaching.

Design/methodology/approach

The research was undertaken as a small qualitative case study embedded in a school-based, teacher professional development project. Nine groups of peer coaches from five unrelated schools engaged in a formal process of collaborative inquiry over two years. Interview data from 13 volunteer teacher participants were analysed using the constant comparison method and themes determined.

Findings

The study revealed that there was growth in teacher leadership capabilities as they become dialogic peer coaches to each other.

Practical implications

Through their collaborative peer coaching dialogue teachers have the transformative space to articulate their thinking. They can engage in dialogic feedback where they are positioned as experts in their own practice.

Social implications

The teachers in this study are positioned within communities of practice as co-constructers of knowledge and co-learners. On the basis of the findings the authors suggest that this can support the development of high capacity leadership in schools. This stance contrasts with a technicist approach to teacher professional learning in which teachers are situated as absorbers or recipients of knowledge constructed elsewhere.

Originality/value

The research reported in this paper addresses three key elements of leadership: individual development; collaboration or team development; and organisational development. It outlines a means by which teacher leadership can be strengthened to address these elements in schools.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

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Article
Publication date: 9 January 2020

Lisa Maree Buxton

When providing professional development for teachers, certain factors should be considered and included to ensure it is effective and enhances teacher practice and…

Abstract

Purpose

When providing professional development for teachers, certain factors should be considered and included to ensure it is effective and enhances teacher practice and outcomes for children in their classes. While this is achieved in many curriculum areas, there has been little written about effective professional development for teachers in relation to Aboriginal education in Australia, enhancing teacher confidence in meeting the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. This paper aims to describe a study concerned with the ongoing development of a professional learning framework empowering primary school teachers to infuse Aboriginal ways of seeing and being into their classroom practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Design-based methodology, using semi-structured interviews with teachers, allowed for iterative amendment and improvement of the professional learning experiences. A description is provided linking the elements of successful professional development for teachers to the implementation of this study’s professional learning.

Findings

Key findings are that if the elements noted in the literature pertaining to successful professional learning for teachers are included, change in practice does take place and is sustained, to the benefit of the children they teach. This study demonstrates the vital importance of ongoing collaboration and support for teachers undertaking professional development if they are going to change practice in the longer term.

Originality/value

The pedagogy described in this paper goes beyond content to an Aboriginal way of teaching children through modelling and how this can be infused into teaching practice.

Details

Journal for Multicultural Education, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2053-535X

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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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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: 4 December 2018

Pamela Osmond-Johnson

The purpose of this paper is to explore the use of a mentored model of gradual release to build social capital and support teachers as they adopt new identities as leaders…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the use of a mentored model of gradual release to build social capital and support teachers as they adopt new identities as leaders of professional learning.

Design/methodology/approach

Data for the paper were collected as part of a case study which explored the Provincial Facilitator Community (PFC) in Saskatchewan, Canada as one approach to creating a collaborative culture of teacher-led learning and leadership.

Findings

The findings suggest that becoming a leader of professional learning is a complex process of gaining confidence, building capacity and transitioning into a new professional identity. In the PFC, this process was markedly supported through a structured and intentional system of modeling and peer-mentorship that promoted the development of social capital across the group.

Originality/value

The paper provides new insights around the use of a mentored model of gradual release to create opportunities to develop social capital that, in turn, helped prepare and sustain teachers in adopting new roles as leaders of professional learning.

Details

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

Keywords

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