Reconceptualising continuing professional development as individualised professional learning

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

This research is concerned with the professional learning of new teachers, in particular, their informal and formal learning, the workplace learning environment, and the individual induction year teacher. Building on the work of Fuller and Unwin (2003) and Hodkinson and Hodkinson (2005) on expansive and restrictive learning environments for teachers, this study investigates learning at both the social and individual level. Furthermore, it provides an in-depth understanding of the concept of individual learning disposition. The research suggests that a policy-driven formal programme of induction for new teachers should be augmented by experience of an expansive learning environment with supportive colleagues. Schools need to demonstrate flexibility in order to tailor induction year experiences, thus enabling rich and complementary professional learning to take place within a supportive workplace community.
The study provides insights into how new teachers engage with professional learning and the influence of contextual and individual personal factors on this engagement. The study points to the importance of informal learning, along with more formal approaches, and highlights how the nature of more formal approaches has implications for new teacher learning. At a time when policy makers are focussed on promoting lifelong learning for teachers, within a constrained financial climate, the evidenced development of more flexible, accredited, cost-effective models of continuing professional development (CPD) drawing on a network of opportunities from across the educational landscape are being sought. The experiences of the study sample may provide some useful indicators to underpin discussions about such policy developments, whilst challenging a range of stakeholders to evaluate their role in supporting the learning of individual new teachers.
The author suggests that, rather than fitting new teachers into existing arrangements, schools must recognise new teachers’ individual learning dispositions, namely their learning biography, attitude towards and engagement with learning opportunities. Schools need to demonstrate flexibility in order to create individualised induction year experiences, thus enabling rich and complementary professional learning to take place within a supportive workplace community.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2012
EventFirst International ProPEL Conference “Professions and Professional Learning in Troubling Times: Emerging Practices and Transgressive Knowledges" - University of Stirling, Stirling, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 May 201211 May 2012

Conference

ConferenceFirst International ProPEL Conference “Professions and Professional Learning in Troubling Times: Emerging Practices and Transgressive Knowledges"
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityStirling
Period9/05/1211/05/12

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