01 SES 05 C, Teachers' professional learning in school networks
Introduction and theoretical framework
Continuous Professional Development (CPD) can play a crucial role in qualifying teaching, in particular if acknowledging that some of the most powerful teacher learning experiences are based on facilitated inquiries from the teachers’ own classrooms (Borko, 2004; Timperley, 2011). Extant research suggests a broad consensus pertaining to the core features of effective CPD, which include content focus, active learning, coherence, duration, collaborative activities and collective participation (Desimone, 2009; van Driel, Meirink, van Veen, & Zwart, 2012). But most teachers still only meet one-shot workshops detached from their daily practice, and even in CPD-programs referring to these consensus criteria the sustainability of the effects has not yet been investigated to a considerable extent (Avalos, 2011). According to Darling-Hammond (2005) neither pure top-down nor bottom-up initiatives provide sustainable conditions, she argues the most successful implemented reform initiatives are those that provide top-down support for bottom-up development.
QUEST (Qualifying in-service Education of Science Teachers) is a large-scale, long-term (2012-15) CPD-project involving 42 schools from 5 Danish municipalities. QUEST activities are designed referring to the consensus criteria, with CPD-activities embedded in the teachers’ daily work (Luft & Hewson, 2014), acknowledging principles of teachers’ situated learning inProfessional Learning Communities (PLCs) (Stoll, Bolam, McMahon, Wallace & Thomas, 2006). The overall purpose is to develop a sustainable model for CPD, supporting professional capital and bottom up development (Darling-Hammond, 2005; Heargreaves & Fullan, 2012). Primary and lower secondary teachers participated in one or more of 4 half-year modules organized in a rhythm of full day seminars followed by individual and collaborative inquiries at local schools. The themes at seminars have for example been inquiry based methods (Rocard, 2007), and how to address students’ pre-conceptions and support their knowledge of what it means to do science (Bransford & Donavan, 2005). The QUEST-rhythm aims to support the teachers in trying out such (new) approaches at local schools, but also in developing individual and collective agency (“confidence and capacity to change a context”) emphasized by Bandura (1997) as crucial for changes to be sustainable.
Taking a sociocultural view continuity and transformation in learning must be seen as an on-going relation between changing individuals and changing social context (Beach, 1999). Individual and collective agency can be expected to intertwine, and this necessitates giving priority to the social context and cultural tools when studying the development of individual teachers’ beliefs and ways of acting (Lasky, 2005; Wertsch 1991). With reference to this, and to Beach (1999), a focus is therefore various kinds of transitions, rather than just studying transfer as application of “something” acquired at the seminars to the local classrooms.
The research questions are:
- What are the participating teachers’ perceived outcomes from QUEST?
- How is the relation between perceived effect on teaching and effect on collaboration?
- How do the teachers refer to the QUEST-rhythm and initiatives at their local schools, and what insight does this give into the transitions?
- How do case-teachers’ reflect on experiences from QUEST, changing own classroom teaching, and collaborating with colleagues?
- What changes over time are observed in local classrooms at case-schools?
References Avalos, B. (2011). Teacher professional development in teaching and teacher education over ten years. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27(1), 10-20 Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy – the exercise of control. New York: Freeman. Beach, K. (1999). Consequential Transitions: A Sociocultural Expedition beyond Transfer in Education. Rewiew Research in Education 24 Borko, H. (2004). Professional development and teacher learning: Mapping the terrain. Educational Researcher, 33(8), 3-15. Bransford, J.D. & Donovan, S. (2005). How students learn – science in the classroom. Washington DC: The National Academic Press Creswell, J.W. & Clark, V.L.P. (2007). Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2007). Research methods in education. New York: Routledge. Darling-Hammond, L. (2005). Policy and change: Getting beyond bureaucracy. In A. Heargreaves (Eds.), Extending educational change (pp.362-387). Dordrecht: Springer Day, C. (2002). School reform and transitions in teacher professionalism and identity. International Journal of Educational Research 37(8), 677-692 Desimone, L.M. (2009). Improving impact studies of teachers´ professional development: Toward better conceptualizations and measures. Educational Researcher 38(3), 181-199. Heargreaves, A. & Fullan, M. (2012). Professional capital – transforming teaching in every school. New York: Teachers College Press Lasky, S. (2005). A sociocultural approach to understanding teacher identity, agency and professional vulnerability in the context of secondary school reform. Teaching and Teacher Education, 21(8), 899-916 Luft, J.A. & Hewson, P.W. (2014). Research on teacher professional development programs in science. In: N.G. Lederman & S. Abell (eds.). Handbook of research in science education. Volume II, (pp. 889-909). New York: Routledge. Rocard, M. (Chair) (2007). Science education NOW: A renewed pedagogy for the future of Europe. Brussels: European Commision Directorate-General for Research, Science, Economy and Society. Stoll, L., Bolam, R., McMahon, A., Wallace, M., & Thomas, S. (2006). Professional learning communities: A review of the literature. Journal of Educational Change, 7(4), 221-258. Timperley, H. (2011). Realizing the power of professional learning. Maidenhead: Open University Press Van Driel, J., Meirink, J.A., van Veen, K., & Zwart, R.C. (2012). Current trends and missing links in studies on teacher professional development in science education: a review of design features and quality of research. Studies in Science Education, 48(2), 129-160. Wertsch, J. V. 1991. Voices of the Mind – A Sociocultural Approach to Mediated Action. Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf.
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.