ERIC Number: EJ721385
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Sep
Reference Count: 76
How Teachers Value and Practise Professional Learning
Pedder, David; James, Mary; MacBeath, John
Research Papers in Education, v20 n3 p209-243 Sep 2005
If teachers are to sustain engagement with the challenges involved in promoting Learning How to Learn in classrooms they need to continue learning, and to be supported to do so by their schools. This article addresses the research question, "How do teachers value and practise professional learning?" Data are reported from the ESRC TLRP Learning How to Learn project's Staff Questionnaire in 2002; 1018 Questionnaire returns were obtained from primary and secondary teachers and managers at 32 schools: a return of 73%. Theoretical and empirical insights that influenced the construction of Questionnaire items are discussed. Four hypotheses about teacher learning were developed on the basis of a review of over 30 years of research into teachers' learning: (1) teachers' learning is an "embedded" feature of teachers' classroom practice and reflection; (2) teachers' learning is "extended" through consulting different sources of knowledge; (3) teachers' learning is "expanded" through collaborative activity; (4) teachers" learning is "deepened" through talking about and valuing learning. Item specific analysis, and factor and cluster analysis were carried out. The strong factor structure provides support for the hypotheses. Our main findings are: (1) teachers appear to differentiate between learning that takes place in the classroom and learning that takes place outside the classroom; (2) teachers tend to value a wide range of individual and social learning as important for creating opportunities for pupils to learn; (3) levels of practice for classroom-based learning tend to be lower than for out-of-class learning. This was particularly marked for learning that involves engaging with research and pupil ideas and feedback. We conclude by arguing that, despite the risks involved, teachers' classroom-based learning and the institutional support for it are indispensable to the sustained provision of high quality education in schools.
Descriptors: Educational Improvement, Teacher Attitudes, Administrator Attitudes, Attitude Measures, Foreign Countries, Social Capital, Staff Development, Learning, Teacher Influence, Program Effectiveness, Teaching Methods
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Primary Education; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland