ERG SES E 09, Leadership and Education
Transforming learner’s role in teacher education and fostering professional learning networks is the envisioned objective for this study’s exploration of an alternative model for continuing professional development (CPD). Through the development of an innovative approach to CPD, this research study aims to identify, through an evaluative case study, Flipped CPD’s impact on teacher learning.
Traditional models of professional development are represented within research (The Edcamp Foundation, 2014) as passive, isolated, top-down approaches to teacher learning. The research undertaken by Banks & Smyth, 2011; Day, 1999; Guskey, 2000; Murchan, Loxley, & Johnston, 2009; and Smith, 2014 suggests that an effective model for CPD should be provided within a blended learning environment, personalised to teachers’ professional practice, continuous, job-embedded, and offer teachers’ opportunities to engage with colleagues so as to build connected learning experiences.
An aim of this research study is to explore the use of a flipped instructional approach within teachers’ professional development; transforming the well known traditional model of CPD so as to encourage teachers as leaders through an innovative, engaging, and personalised experience. An innovative approach, Flipped CPD is informed by research on Flipped Learning, Flipped Leadership and Flipped Professional Development, which, as acknowledged in the work of Bergmann & Sams, 2012; Conley, 2013; DeWitt, 2014; and FLN, 2014, have a shared vision for encouraging collaboration and discussion through the restructuring of a traditional learning environment. Additionally, research by Murchan et. al (2009) cites the value in “providing opportunities for professional dialogue and the sharing of ideas and the role of self- and shared reflection and feedback by teachers” (p.457) that may be supported and integrated through the concept of Flipped CPD.
Embedded within a virtual learning environment, Flipped CPD has the potential to encourage teachers to reflect and re-envision their role as an active learner and teacher amongst their colleagues. Supported by research (Loxley et. al, 2007; INTO, 1993) a teachers’ direct role in the delivery and guidance of a CPD programme places ownership on the teacher and their learning process. “Flipped leadership helped inspire collective thoughts to change stakeholders from being victims in the educational process, to change agents of learning.” (DeWitt, 2014 p.61)
At present, preliminary data collection for Flipped CPD is underway with a sample of secondary teachers from diverse subject areas and teaching experience. As participants of Flipped CPD, teachers are engaged in a program designed to support teachers’ classroom assessment practice, specifically assessment for learning (AfL), in real-time. The contributions to online discussions and a digital resource library, by both teachers and a CPD facilitator, aim to provide continuous support to a professional learning network of colleagues. It is expected that the findings will inform research and practice on AfL and on optimum CPD provision in relation to this important aspect of teachers’ professional role.
Banks, J., & Smyth, E. Continuous professional development among primary teachers in Ireland (pp. 57): Economic and Social Research Institute. Beglau, M., Hare, J. C., Foltos, L., Gann, K., James, J., Jobe, H., . . . Smith, B. (2011). Technology, coaching, and community: Power partners for improved professional development in primary and secondary education. International Society for Technology in Education. Bergmann, J., & Sams, A. (2012). Flip your classroom: Reach every student in every class every day. Eugene, Or: International Society for Technology in Education. Conley, L. (2013). Seven steps to flipped. Principal Leadership, 14(1), 42-46. Day, C. (1999). Developing teachers: The challenges of lifelong learning. London: Falmer Press. DeWitt, P. (2014) Flipping Leadership Doesn’t Mean Reinventing the Wheel. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Department of Education and Skills. (2015). A framework for junior cycle. Retrieved from https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Policy-Reports/A-Framework-for-Junior-Cycle-Full-Report.pdf. EdCamp Foundation (2014). The EdCamp Model: Powering up Professional Learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Flipped Learning Network. (2014). The Four Pillars of F-L-I-P™. Retrieved March 5, 2015, 2015, from http://www.flippedlearning.org/definition Guskey, T. R. (2000). Evaluating professional development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Loxley, A., Johnston, L., Murchan, D. Fitzgerals, H., & Quinn, M. (2007). The role of whole-school contects in shaping the experiences and outcomes associated with professional development, Journal of In-Service Education, 33:3, 265-285, DOI:10.1080/13674580701487034 Murchan, D., Loxley, A., & Johnston, K. (2009). Teacher learning and policy intention: Selected findings from an evaluation of a large-scale programme of professional development in the Republic of Ireland. European Journal of Teacher Education, 32(4), 455-471. doi: 10.1080/02619760903247292 Scott, P. G. t. s. o. (2014). Flipping the Flip. Educational Leadership, 71(8), 73-75. Smith, G. (2014). An innovative model of professional development to enhance the teaching and learning of primary science in Irish schools. Professional Development in Education, 40(3), 467-487. doi: 10.1080/19415257.2013.830274
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