Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 9

Professional Development Related Publications

9 The Experience of Middle Grade Teachers in a Culture of Collaboration

Authors: Tamara Tallman

Abstract:

Collaboration is a powerful tool for professional development and central for creating opportunities for teachers to reflect on their practice. However, school districts continue to have difficulty both implementing and sustaining collaboration. The purpose of this research was to investigate the experience of the teacher in a creative, instructional collaboration. The teachers in this study found that teacher-initiated collaboration offered them trust and they were more open with their partners. An interpretative phenomenological analysis was used for this study as it told the story of the teacher’s experience. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was chosen for this study to capture the complex and contextual nature of the teacher experience from a creative, instructional collaborative experience. This study sought to answer the question of how teachers in a private, faith-based school experience collaboration. In particular, the researcher engaged the study’s participants in interviews where they shared their unique perspectives on their experiences in relation to this phenomenon. Through the use of interpretative phenomenological analysis, the researcher interpreted the experiences of each participant in an attempt to gain deeper insight into how teachers made sense of their understanding of collaboration. In addition to the researcher’s interpreting the meaning of this construct for each research participant, this study gave a voice to the individual experiences and positionality of each participant at the research site. Moreover, the key findings presented in this study shed light on how teachers within this particular context participated in and made sense of their experience of creating an instructional collaborative. The research presented the findings that speak to the meaning that each research participant experienced in their relation to participating in building a collaborative culture and its effect on professional and personal growth. The researcher provided recommendations for future practice and research possibilities. The research findings demonstrated the unique experiences of each participant as well as a connection to the literature within the field of teacher professional development. The results also supported the claim that teacher collaboration can facilitate school reform. Participating teachers felt less isolation and developed more teacher knowledge.

Keywords: Professional Development, Growth, Collaboration, Teacher

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8 The Use of Webquests in Developing Inquiry Based Learning: Views of Teachers and Students in Qatar

Authors: Abdullah Abu-Tineh, Carol Murphy, Nigel Calder, Nasser Mansour

Abstract:

This paper reports on an aspect of e-learning in developing inquiry-based learning (IBL). We present data on the views of teachers and students in Qatar following a professional development programme intended to help teachers implement IBL in their science and mathematics classrooms. Key to this programme was the use of WebQuests. Views of the teachers and students suggested that WebQuests helped students to develop technical skills, work collaboratively and become independent in their learning. The use of WebQuests also enabled a combination of digital and non-digital tools that helped students connect ideas and enhance their understanding of topics.

Keywords: Professional Development, Digital Technology, Inquiry-Based Learning, mathematics and science education

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7 CoP-Networks: Virtual Spaces for New Faculty’s Professional Development in the 21st Higher Education

Authors: Eman AbuKhousa, Marwan Z. Bataineh

Abstract:

The 21st century higher education and globalization challenge new faculty members to build effective professional networks and partnership with industry in order to accelerate their growth and success. This creates the need for community of practice (CoP)-oriented development approaches that focus on cognitive apprenticeship while considering individual predisposition and future career needs. This work adopts data mining, clustering analysis, and social networking technologies to present the CoP-Network as a virtual space that connects together similar career-aspiration individuals who are socially influenced to join and engage in a process for domain-related knowledge and practice acquisitions. The CoP-Network model can be integrated into higher education to extend traditional graduate and professional development programs.

Keywords: Social Networks, Higher Education, Data Mining, Professional Development, Social influence, community of practice, clustering analysis, new faculty challenges

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6 The Mentoring in Professional Development of University Teachers

Authors: Nagore Guerra Bilbao, Clemente Lobato Fraile

Abstract:

Mentoring is provided by professionals with a higher level of experience and competence as part of the professional development of a university faculty. This paper explores the characteristics of the mentoring provided by those teachers participating in the development of an active methodology program run at the University of the Basque Country: to examine and to analyze mentors’ performance with the aim of providing empirical evidence regarding its value as a lifelong learning strategy for teaching staff. A total of 183 teachers were trained during the first three programs. The analysis method uses a coding technique and is based on flexible, systematic guidelines for gathering and analyzing qualitative data. The results have confirmed the conception of mentoring as a methodological innovation in higher education. In short, university teachers in general assessed the mentoring they received positively, considering it to be a valid, useful strategy in their professional development. They highlighted the methodological expertise of their mentor and underscored how they monitored the learning process of the active method and provided guidance and advice when necessary. Finally, they also drew attention to traits such as availability, personal commitment and flexibility in. However, a minority critique is pointed to some aspects of the performance of some mentors.

Keywords: Higher Education, Professional Development, Mentoring, university teachers

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5 Elaboration and Validation of a Survey about Research on the Characteristics of Mentoring of University Professors’ Lifelong Learning

Authors: Nagore Guerra Bilbao, Clemente Lobato Fraile

Abstract:

This paper outlines the design and development of the MENDEPRO questionnaire, designed to analyze mentoring performance within a professional development process carried out with professors at the University of the Basque Country, Spain. The study took into account the international research carried out over the past two decades into teachers' professional development, and was also based on a thorough review of the most common instruments used to identify and analyze mentoring styles, many of which fail to provide sufficient psychometric guarantees. The present study aimed to gather empirical data in order to verify the metric quality of the questionnaire developed. To this end, the process followed to validate the theoretical construct was as follows: The formulation of the items and indicators in accordance with the study variables; the analysis of the validity and reliability of the initial questionnaire; the review of the second version of the questionnaire and the definitive measurement instrument. Content was validated through the formal agreement and consensus of 12 university professor training experts. A reduced sample of professors who had participated in a lifelong learning program was then selected for a trial evaluation of the instrument developed. After the trial, 18 items were removed from the initial questionnaire. The final version of the instrument, comprising 33 items, was then administered to a sample group of 99 participants. The results revealed a five-dimensional structure matching theoretical expectations. Also, the reliability data for both the instrument as a whole (.98) and its various dimensions (between .91 and .97) were very high. The questionnaire was thus found to have satisfactory psychometric properties and can therefore be considered apt for studying the performance of mentoring in both induction programs for young professors and lifelong learning programs for senior faculty members.

Keywords: Higher Education, Professional Development, Mentoring, university teachers

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4 Practices of Self-Directed Professional Development of Teachers in South African Public Schools

Authors: Rosaline Govender

Abstract:

This research study is an exploration of the selfdirected professional development of teachers who teach in public schools in an era of democracy and educational change in South Africa. Amidst an ever-changing educational system, the teachers in this study position themselves as self-directed teacher-learners where they adopt particular learning practices which enable change within the broader discourses of public schooling. Life-story interviews were used to enter into the private and public spaces of five teachers which offer glimpses of how particular systems shaped their identities, and how the meanings of self-directed teacher-learner shaped their learning practices. Through the Multidimensional Framework of Analysis and Interpretation the teachers’ stories were analysed through three lenses: restorying the field texts - the self through story; the teacher-learner in relation to social contexts, and practices of self-directed learning. This study shows that as teacherlearners learn for change through self-directed learning practices, they develop their agency as transformative intellectuals, which is necessary for the reworking of South African public schools.

Keywords: Professional Development, Self-Directed Learning, Professionalism, professionality

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3 Policies that Enhance Learning and Teaching

Authors: Shannon M. Chance, Pamela L. Eddy, Gavin Duffy, Brian Bowe, Jen Harvey

Abstract:

Educational institutions often implement policies with the intention of influencing how learning and teaching occur. Generally, such policies are not as effective as their makers would like; changing the behavior of third-level teachers proves difficult. Nevertheless, a policy instituted in 2006 at the Dublin Institute of Technology has met with success: each newly hired faculty member must have a post-graduate qualification in “Learning and Teaching" or successfully complete one within the first two years of employment. The intention is to build teachers- knowledge about student-centered pedagogies and their capacity to implement them. As a result of this policy (and associated programs that support it), positive outcomes are readily apparent. Individual teachers who have completed the programs have implemented significant change at the course and program levels. This paper introduces the policy, identifies outcomes in relation to existing theory, describes research underway, and pinpoints areas where organizational learning has occurred.

Keywords: Professional Development, Learning and Teaching, Faculty development, Institutional Policy, Postgraduate Qualification

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2 Voice in Pre-service Teacher Development

Authors: Pintipa Seubsang, Suttipong Boonphadung

Abstract:

Recently, Thai education system is engaged in serious and promising reforms. One of the crucial elements in most of these educational reforms is the teacher professional development. Teachers today are under growing pressure to perform. However, most new teachers are not adequately prepared to meet the expectation. Consequently, this paper seeks to investigate the opinion of mentor teachers and university supervisors about professional development in the aspect of learning management skill of the preservice teachers in Rajabhat Universities, then compare the opinion between the mentor teachers and university supervisors about professional development in the aspect of learning management skill of the pre-service teachers. The study involved a cohort of 40 university supervisors and 77 mentor teachers. The research concludes by showing that mentor teachers viewed pre-service teacher as a professional teacher with an effective learning management skill. However, in the perspective of the university supervisor, pre-service teachers still have inadequate learning management skill.

Keywords: Professional Development, Learning Management, pre-service teacher

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1 Critical Issues Affecting the Engagement by Staff in Professional Development for E-Learning: Findings from a Research Project within the Context of a National Tertiary Education Sector

Authors: J. Mansvelt, G. Suddaby, D. O'Hara

Abstract:

This paper focuses on issues of engagement by staff in professional development related to the delivery of e-learning. The paper reports on findings drawn from a New Zealand research project which is producing a sector-wide framework for professional development in tertiary e-learning. The research findings indicate that staff engaged in e-learning in tertiary institutions is not making the most effective use of the professional development opportunities available to them; rather they seem to gain their knowledge and support from a variety of informal means. This is despite an emphasis on the provision of professional development opportunities by both Government Policies and Institutions themselves. The conclusion drawn from the findings is that institutional approaches to professional development for e-learning do not yet fully reflect the demands and constraints that working in a digital context impose.

Keywords: e-Learning, Professional Development, Engagement, Academic Development, tertiary education

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