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ERIC Number: ED533090
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 128
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1248-5996-5
A Hermeneutic Phenomenological Study of the Experience of Teacher-Learners
Bechtel, Patricia L.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Idaho
Teachers who choose to participate in professional development to acquire new instructional methods or enhance their content knowledge are teacher-learners. For this study, data consisted of the reflective writings of 19 secondary mathematics and science teacher-learners in an 11-month professional development project. These writings provided a window through which to understand the essence of their experience as teacher-learners. Teachers' experiences in professional development provide a window into their underlying beliefs about teaching and learning. Beliefs, in turn, provide the framework for the thinking that guides teacher practice. However, current professional development research focuses on the context and content of professional development with little attention to teacher experiences and beliefs. The purpose of this hermeneutic phenomenological study was to identify and interpret themes in the experience of teacher-learners and the corresponding beliefs embedded in teachers' written reflections. This study is patterned after van Manen's (1990) interpretive approach to phenomenology. The three dominant themes identified were: (a) risk taking is important to learning, (b) teacher satisfaction is positively linked to student engagement and (c) writing is a valuable tool for learning. Composite descriptions were formulated for each of the themes, and the significance of each theme was discussed. Designers of professional development can benefit from research studies of the experiences of teacher-learners and teachers' beliefs about teaching and learning. This study also points to the value of written reflection as a learning tool and as a component of effective professional development. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Adult Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A