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ERIC Number: EJ950052
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 52
ISSN: ISSN-1740-8989
Teachers' Professional Learning in a European Learning Society: The Case of Physical Education
Makopoulou, Kyriaki; Armour, Kathleen
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v16 n4 p417-433 2011
Background: In the contemporary "knowledge-driven" European society, the quality and relevance of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for teachers and Physical Education teachers (PE-CPD) has come under scrutiny. National contexts within Europe vary considerably, however, so there is a need to gain analytical insights into PE-CPD structures and practices in these contexts. The Greek PE-CPD context has been under-researched in contrast to other countries. Purpose: To report data from a study on PE-CPD undertaken in Greece. The study analysed national PE-CPD policy within a wider European framework, and sought the insights of teachers and CPD providers on the nature and quality of existing provision and suggested improvements that could better support teachers' learning. Participants and setting: A qualitative and descriptive research design was selected and the study was conducted in three overlapping phases. In phase one, nine PE teachers were identified as in-depth case studies in order to gain a detailed understanding of their career-long CPD experiences; in phase two, these data were used to design in-depth CPD profile questionnaires that were distributed to 70 PE teachers working in both primary and secondary schools (returned by 58); and in phase three, six CPD stakeholders (e.g. school advisor, university tutors) were interviewed in order to understand how the study participants' experiences were shaped by key stakeholders and the broader Greek policy context. Research design: The study design took account of Borko's suggestion that an understanding of the professional development process must be based on a thorough analysis of all elements of a professional development system (e.g. policy, teachers and CPD providers). Data analysis: Interview data were analysed using a constructivist version of "grounded" theory in combination with thematic analysis. Findings: Data showed that there was a strong sense of teacher frustration because of inadequate and limited structured support. The majority of the research participants also claimed that PE-CPD opportunities were narrow in scope, limiting these PE teachers' ability to address their pressing questions and to meet the philosophical expectations underpinning education and physical education in the Greek system. There was also a shared understanding that PE teachers were treated as "passive learners", a key factor that shaped their ability to learn and change their practices. An innovative PE-CPD programme was identified illustrating, however, the diverse nature of provision. The CPD stakeholders' accounts revealed that, at the time of the research, the local PE-CPD system could be in a transition phase. Conclusion: The findings from this study suggest that if the goal is to create knowledge-driven, evidence-based teaching professionals, PE-CPD implementation must be regularly monitored and evaluated with a clear focus on building teachers' capacity for career-long learning.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Greece