01 SES 16 B, Teacher Leadership and Professional Agency
Examples of teachers designing and organizing learning and professional development initiatives beyond their own schools have been noted internationally. Research has paid attention to the leadership the teachers’ activities present (Boylan, 2018), to the complex, multi-level and multi-dimensional nature of teachers’ learning (Korthagen, 2017), to the motivations driving teachers’ search for learning and professional development opportunities (Appova, Arbaugh , 2018; Louws et al, 2017) etc. This form of professional agency needs further undersanding, along with the learning that it proposes and what could be done to support both.
This is a report on the initial findings of a study aming at understanding learning and professional agency in the various forms of activity designed by teachers for their peers, and following routes alternative to the mainstream offers for continuing professional development and learning.
Data in the proposed study is to be collected over the duration of two years starting Jannuary 2019, and following the activites designed by two teachers promoting professional learning and development tailored to the needs of various categories of professionals in education. Data is to be collected through questionnaires, interviews and written reflections, observations, analysis of video-recordings of classroom activites carried by attendees at the professional learning and develpment activities. The estimated number of participants in the study is set to reach 800 teachers from Romania, including the teachers promoting learning activities and the teachers attending them. This presentation reports on the initial findings from interviews and questionnaires with 120 teachers.
Prompting a reading of their own of what is needed, what can be done and by whom when it comes to teachers’ professional learning and development, some teachers position as pro-active designers of professional learning and development trajectories, taking responsibility for creating learning opportunities beyond their school. There is a need to understand what drives the decision to exercise such form of professional agency along with what are those attending the proposed activities experiencing as ‚professional learning and development’. Initial findings in this study indicate that what prompts teachers to search for learning and professional development opportunities outside the mainstream offer of universities, various governmental bodies, etc. are professional concerns associated with curriculum and instruction; the aim of what is being offered as a learning experience is to meet beneficiaries individual concerns, and not at all focused on whole school/ organization development and learning.
Appova, A., Arbaugh, F. (2018) Teachers’ motivation to learn: implications for supporting professional growth. Professional Development in Education, 44 (1), 5-21. Boylan, M. (2018). Enabling adaptive system leadership: teachers leading professional development. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 46 (1), 86-106. Korthagen, F. (2017). Inconvenient truths about teacher learning: towards professional development 3.0, Teachers and Teaching, 23 (4), 387-405.
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