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ERIC Number: EJ1172536
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1740-8989
An Investigation into the Complex Process of Facilitating Effective Professional Learning: CPD Tutors' Practices under the Microscope
Makopoulou, Kyriaki
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v23 n3 p250-266 2018
Background: Research evidence on what makes CPD effective is accumulating. Yet, fundamental questions about the specific features that lead to programme success. Furthermore, very little research investigates the nature and quality of CPD providers' (tutors) practices. Taking a closer look at how CPD providers support teachers to learn is therefore an important direction for research in order to offer specific guidance on how to design and deliver future CPD programmes for maximum impact. Purpose: The present study aimed to advance this line of inquiry by seeking to examine tutors' perceptions and practices in the context of a short course on Inclusive Physical Education. Two research questions were addressed: (1) What were the tutors' "perceptions" of effective CPD delivery? And (2) How were these interpretations "evidenced" in practice? The short course, delivered by 40 different tutors across the country, was part of a National CPD programme which reached and educated over 5000 school staff in England. The scale of this programme thus offered an ideal setting in which to address the research questions. Participants and setting: A case study design was adopted where the case was identified at the level of individual courses. A cluster sampling procedure was adopted (one cluster for each of the nine geographical areas in England). Where possible, systematic sampling within the nine clusters was employed (i.e. collect evidence from the first two courses delivered in each cluster each year). A total of 27 courses, delivered by 20 tutors across eight geographical areas in England, were selected as cases and all tutors involved in their delivery were invited to participate in the study. Data collection: To explore tutors' perceptions of effective CPD delivery (research question 1), qualitative data were collected via an online questionnaire and individual interviews. To examine how these interpretations were "evidenced" in practice (research question 2), both quantitative and qualitative data were collected via systematic observations and ethnographic field notes. Data analysis: Qualitative data were analysed using a constructivist approach to grounded theory. Quantitative data from the observations were entered into SPSS version 21 (IBM Statistics) for analysis.Findings: Findings indicate that tutors' perceptions and beliefs did not always materialise. Data from the observations suggest variation in the ways tutors structured, supported and facilitated professional learning. This variation was evident not only in the actual time dedicated to practical vs. theoretical activities and active vs. passive learning opportunities but also in tutors' ability to facilitate professional learning. This finding suggests that there is a significant set of skills involved in supporting, nurturing and challenging professional learning in CPD contexts. It is therefore important to consider how tutors can be best supported to develop and implement these skills effectively. Conclusion: The results consolidate existing understandings about the importance of (inter)active and practical learning opportunities in CPD; but also add nuance and detail on the diverse ways in which tutors engaged participants in the learning process. Findings draw our attention to the important issue of the selection and continuing education of CPD tutors.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A