01 SES 02 B, Models and Theories in Teacher Professional Development: The relationship between theories of teacher professional development and their implementation in practice Part 2
Symposium continued from 01 SES 01 B
Teacher professional development is an important factor in the dynamics of contemporary school systems. In the present post-modern reality – where the practice of adding further training to an existing unquestionable teaching expertise - is gone. The idea of lifelong learning (Antikainen, 2001; Day, 1999) and, within an educational context, professional learning (Timperley, 2011) has become paramount. In this perspective, teacher professional development should be considered as a continuing process distributed over three basic stages: pre-service teacher education, induction and continuing professional learning, the latter being the object of the present symposium.
If we look at today’s educational panorama, we are faced both with different cultures/practices and theories dealing with teacher professional learning and development (e.g. Avalos, 2010; Darling-Hammond & Lieberman, 2012; Opfer & Pedder, 2011). In a fast-changing world, there is a pressing request for school continuous improvement, and teacher professionalism – and/or professionality (Hoyle, 1974) – is a key element in this process.
An important aspect of teacher professional learning and development is the relationship between research in education and practice inside the classroom. In fact, if the teacher is to become a true professional, s/he should not only be able to model her/his action in conformity with the more recent pedagogical approaches, for instance from the domain of learning sciences (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 2006; Sawyer, 2005), but also be capable of adapting/transforming and/or creating new knowledge. Therefore, in this perspective, the link between educational researchers and teacher educators and coaches deserves to be further investigated.
Kennedy’s (2014) classification of various models of professional learning and development gave an insight into the ways in which PLD was interpreted in different systems and institutions, from the provision of training, often in a deficit situation, to collaborative models epitomised by professional learning communities, to transformative approaches underpinned by practitioner research and inquiry. Wenger-Trayner et al, (2014) have coined the term ‘landscapes of practice’ and Timperley has developed the concept of professional learning and the implications for leading professional learning cultures. More recently, Boylan et al (2018) have examined the ways in which a range of models of professional learning have informed research and practice.
What is clear is that there is still a variety of practice at individual, institutional, and national levels. Policy varies, terminology varies and practice varies. The symposium “Models and theories in teacher professional development” will explore current approaches to professional learning and development from two perspectives. The first is concerned with how PLD is interpreted and enacted in different national contexts in Europe, providing the basis for comparative analysis by contextualising policy and practice in a selection of European countries. The second deals with the relationship between theories of teacher professional learning and development and their implementation in practice.
Antikainen, A. (2001). Is lifelong learning becoming a reality? The case of Finland from a comparative perspective. European Journal of Education, 36(3), 379-394. Avalos, B. (2011). Teacher professional development in teaching and teacher education over ten years. Teaching and teacher education, 27(1), 10-20. Boylan, M., Coldwell, M., Maxwell, B. and Jordan, J. (2018) Rethinking models of professional learning as tools: a conceptual analysis to inform research and practice Professional Development in Education Vol. 44, No. 1, 120-139 Kennedy, A. (2014) Models of Continuing Professional Development: a framework for analysis, Professional Development in Education, 40:3, 336-351 Timperley, H. (2011) Realizing the power of professional learning Maidenhead: Open University Press Lieberman, A., & Darling-Hammond, L. (2012). Teacher education around the world: Changing policies and practices. Day, C. (1999). Developing teachers: The challenges of lifelong learning. Psychology Press. Hoyle, E. (1974). Professionality, professionalism and control in teaching. London Educational Review, 3(2), 13-19. Opfer, V. D., & Pedder, D. (2011). Conceptualizing teacher professional learning. Review of educational research, 81(3), 376-407. Sawyer, R. K. (Ed.). (2005). The Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences. Cambridge University Press. Scardamalia, M., Bereiter, C. (2006). Knowledge building. The Cambridge Wenger-Trayner, E., Fenton-O'Creevy, M., Hutchinson, S., Kubiak, C., Wenger-Trayner, B. (Eds.). (2014). Learning in landscapes of practice: Boundaries, identity, and knowledgeability in practice-based learning. Routledge.
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