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ERIC Number: EJ984810
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1881
Teachers' Professional Development: A Theoretical Review
Postholm, May Britt
Educational Research, v54 n4 p405-429 2012
Background and purpose: The article reviews studies that focus on the professional development of teachers after they have completed their basic teacher training. Teacher professional development is defined as teachers' learning: how they learn to learn and how they apply their knowledge in practice to support pupils' learning. The research question addressed in the article is: "How do experienced teachers learn?" Main argument: The review is framed by theories within the constructivist paradigm. From this perspective, knowledge is perceived as the construction of meaning and understanding within social interaction. The social surroundings are seen as decisive for how the individual learns and develops. It is argued that courses and lectures, or "times for telling", and teachers' development of a metacognitive attitude are decisive factors for teachers' learning within a constructivist frame of reference. Sources of evidence and method: To attempt to answer the research question, a search was conducted of the subject of pedagogy in the ISI WEB of Science (search undertaken 9 August 2011) using the search strings "teacher learning", "teacher development" and "teacher professional development", and covering the period from 2009 to 2011 to probe the most recent decade of research. Articles that dealt with basic education, primary and secondary school, were selected, and articles that dealt with learning using digital tools and the internet and newly trained teachers were rejected. A set of 31 articles was selected from this search. To ensure width and depth of coverage, this was supplemented by a selection of review studies and research on further education in respect of teachers' learning. The texts were analysed by means of open and axial coding, developing main and sub-categories. Conclusions: The review of articles shows that both individual and organisational factors impact teachers' learning. Teacher co-operation has importance for how they develop, and some of the teachers can lead such learning activities themselves. Moreover, a positive school culture with a good atmosphere and understanding of teachers' learning, in addition to co-operation with external resource persons, may impact the professional development of teachers. The article concludes with the reflection that learning in school is the best arena for further development of teachers. (Contains 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; California; Canada; Finland; Hong Kong; Israel; Lithuania; New Zealand; Norway; Russia; Spain; United Kingdom (England); United Kingdom (Scotland); United States