01 SES 07 B, Understanding Professional Identity
The demand for highly qualified teachers has been growing in response to challenges of lifelong learning society as well as higher and higher expectations of students, parents, employers or policy makers on teachers, schools and educational systems. According to many European policy papers on the quality of teachers of the 21st century (see e.g. European Commission, 2012; Commission of the European Communities, 2007), teachers should be well grounded in their subject matter, have the necessary pedagogic skills to teach them, use learning materials from various sources, and apply research-based knowledge in educational practice. Besides, the professional model of teacher education stresses the importance of teachers as researchers and authors of their own knowledge (Buchberger, Campos, Kallos, & Stephenson, 2000).
This has generated the necessity to develop teachers' professional skills, to stimulate and intensify their research activities through, for example, participation in postgraduate (doctoral) education (Erixon, Frĺnberg, & Kallós, 2001; European Doctorate in Teacher Education, 2013; Zgaga, 2013). National governments and universities have invested on in-service teacher education, notably developing and funding post-graduation courses in Educational Sciences – Master and PhD -, towards the qualification and specialization of teachers.
At the same time and all over the world what a PhD is and what for has really changed. If in the past, the leading goal of PhD programmes was to prepare the individual to conduct research in the scientific field of his/her PhD, today, notably in the field of education, there is a growing number of professionals involved in a PhD to improve their professional practice or status. Indeed, the need to include in PhD programmes in educational sciences the relations between research and educational practice is more and more often emphasized (EDiTE, 2013).
Despite the increasing number of debates surrounding the curricula and expected outcomes of doctoral studies for teachers (see e.g. EDiTE, 2013) and the growing interest in doctoral studies in educational sciences, still little is known about how teachers’ participation in doctoral studies or completing them influences such individuals as professionals and the school as an organization (Burgess & Wellington, 2010; Scott, Brown, Lunt, & Thorne, 2004; Wellington & Sikes, 2006). Surprisingly, there are few national statistics or educational reports concerning teachers participating in doctoral programmes. Most of the research projects refer to motivations, aspirations, employment and careers of doctoral students in general or in other areas of science (see e.g. Appel & Dahlgren, 2003; Raddon & Sung, 2008) and the impact the studies have on individuals, organizations or institutions (Canal-Domínguez & Wall, 2014; Platow, 2012; Raddon & Sung, 2008). In these contexts, teachers are a relatively rare object of research.
This paper comes from a collaborative research project on the impact of doctoral studies on teachers as professionals and their workplaces, carried out in Poland and Portugal, intending to respond the following research questions: Why do teachers decide to undertake PhD studies? What is the impact of completing a PhD on the individuals as professionals and on the school environment? What differences can be found according to national contexts and educational systems, teaching sectors or scientific areas of the PhD? The main goal of this paper is to present and discuss the project findings concerning those teachers who have completed a PhD in educational sciences.
Appel, M.L., & Dahlgren, L.G. 2003. ‘Swedish doctoral students’ experiences on their journey towards a PhD: obstacles and opportunities inside and outside the academic building. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research 47(1), 89–110. Buchberger, F., Campos, B.P., Kallos, D., & Stephenson, J. 2000. Green paper on teacher education in Europe: High quality teacher education for high quality education and training. Umea: TNTEE. Burgess, H., & Wellington, J. 2010. Exploring the impact of the professional doctorate on students’ professional practice and personal development: Early indications. Work Based Learning e-Journal 1(1), 160–176. Canal-Domínguez, J.F., & Wall, A. 2014. Factors determining the career success of doctorate holders: evidence from the Spanish case. Studies in Higher Education 39(10), 1750–1773. Commission of the European Communities. 2007. Improving the quality of teacher education. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52007DC0392&from=EN. European Doctorate in Teacher Education. 2013. European Doctorate in Teacher Education. Progress report. http://www.edite.eu/files/2012_3214_PR_EDiTE_pub.pdf. Erixon, P., Frĺnberg, G. M. & Kallós, D. 2001. Studies and Research in Teacher Education within the European Union. In P. Erixon, G. M. Frĺnberg, & D. Kallós (Eds.), The role of graduate and postgraduate studies in teacher education reform policies in the European Union (pp. 47–60), ENTEP. European Commission. 2012. Supporting the teaching professions for better learning outcomes.http://eurlex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=SWD:2012:0374:FIN:EN:PDF. Halse, C., & Mowbray, S. 2011. The impact of the doctorate. Studies in Higher Education 36 (5), 513-525. Mayring, P. (2000). Qualitative content analysis. Forum: Qualitative Social Research 1(2). http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1089/2386. Platow, M.J. 2012. PhD experience and subsequent outcomes: a look at self-perceptions of acquired graduate attributes and supervisor support. Studies in Higher Education 37(1), 103–118. Raddon, A., & Sung, J. 2009. The career choices and impact of PhD graduates in the UK: A synthesis review. Swindon: ESRC. Scott, D., Brown, A., Lunt, I., & Thorne, L. 2004. Professional Doctorates. Integrating Professional and Academic Knowledge. Maidenhead: Open University Press. Wellington, J., & Sikes, P. 2006. ‘A doctorate in a tight compartment’: why do students choose a professional doctorate and what impact does it have on their personal and professional lives? Studies in Higher Education 31(6), 723–734. Zgaga, P. 2013. The future of European teacher education in the heavy seas of higher education. Teacher Development: An international journal of teachers' professional development 17 (3), 347-361.
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