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ERIC Number: EJ1124893
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1047-6210
Reworking or Reaffirming Practice? Perceptions of Professional Learning in Alternative and Flexible Education Settings
Plows, Vicky
Teaching Education, v28 n1 p72-87 2017
The success of alternative and flexible education settings, serving young people for whom mainstream schooling has not worked well, rests on the practices of their staff. This paper explores interview and survey data on the professional learning experiences and perceptions of staff working in flexible learning programmes across Victoria, Australia. These settings are often associated with innovative educational practice, as well as a freedom to act outside of dominant neoliberal logics governing teachers' work and limiting possibilities for "transformative" professional learning. This paper shows staff engaged in a diversity of professional learning activities mediated through interactions with colleagues and responsive to locally determined needs. The paper focuses on three core components -- "external events", "internal stuff" and "cross program" -- to explore what staff perceive to be valuable professional learning in supporting their practice. Themes of authenticity, collegiality and trust, as well as tensions between reworking and reaffirming practice are considered. The highly collaborative nature of professional learning and apparent privileging of internal "within sector" knowledge is argued to bring possibilities for strong support for staff and expeditious cross-fertilisation of practice whilst also posing risks in terms of endangering innovation, flexibility and diversity. Areas of fruitful future research are identified.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A