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Harnessing Professional Dialogue, Collaboration and Content in Context: An exploration of a new model for Teacher Professional Learning

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This paper investigates a new model for teacher professional learning that harnesses professional dialogue, the power of collaboration and a series of teacher learning contents, which occur in the teacher’s teaching context, for whole of school teaching practice effect. In more specific terms the paper examines the Collaborative Teacher Learning Model (CTLM) at St Augustine’s Primary School for key points of reference. In examining the model the paper reveals a series of key elements, which when orchestrated through a process that teachers feel comfortable with, generates capacities for teachers to improve their teaching practices.
International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change. www.ijicc.net
Volume 1, Issue 3, May 2014
Harnessing Professional Dialogue, Collaboration and
Content in Context: An exploration of a new model for
Teacher Professional Learning.
David Lynch, Southern Cross University, Jake Madden, St Augustine's Primary School and Bruce Allen Knight,
Central Queensland University
This paper investigates a new model for teacher professional learning that
harnesses professional dialogue, the power of collaboration and a series
of teacher learning contents, which occur in the teacher’s teaching
context, for whole of school teaching practice effect. In more specific
terms the paper examines the Collaborative Teacher Learning Model
(CTLM) at St Augustine’s Primary School for key points of reference. In
examining the model the paper reveals a series of key elements, which
when orchestrated through a process that teachers feel comfortable with,
generates capacities for teachers to improve their teaching practices.
International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change. www.ijicc.net
Volume 1, Issue 3, May 2014
Introduction
Schooling and the teaching practice of teachers have come into sharp focus in recent years
(Hattie, 2011, 2009; Knight & Van der Zwan, 2013; Lynch, 2012). Changes in the global
economy, powered by exponential technological growth and convergence, require new skills of
workers, thus generating a call from various quarters (i.e. business and industry, government,
think tanks) for a rethink on schooling and the teaching practices of the teachers (Lynch, 2012;
Opfer & Pedder, 2011).
Numerous reports such as OECD, 2013a; OECD, 2013b; MACER, 2004; and MCEETYA,
2008 indicate that education and training have positive effects on a nation’s social outcomes and
economic growth, and thus report them (education and training) as key drivers in a
technologically rich global world. As technological innovation increases so too does the skill level
required of the workforce (OECD, 2013a, 2013b). This circumstance has an effect on
Government educational policy such that it implicates schools and their teachers for a
commensurate response: a response which invariably questions the quality of the school’s
teaching. This is made more so by researchers, such as Hattie (2009), Marzano & Heflebower
(2012) and Hargreaves & Fullan (2012), who argue that it is the quality of the teacher’s teaching
that matter when the goal is to enhance the learning gains for all students (Hattie, 2009.
Therefore, teaching capability must be cultivated so students “gain the competencies and
dispositions that will prepare them to be creative, connected, and collaborative life-long problem
solvers” (Fullan & Langworthy, 2014, p. 2).
The challenge for education systems then is how to prepare teachers for such a changed circumstance
so that it delivers enduring skilling commensurate to high quality teaching. This paper proposes a
model of teacher professional learning premised on coaching, mentoring and feedback, known
as the Collaborative Teacher Learning Model (CTLM).
Teacher Professional Development
Traditional approaches to teacher professional learning (or as it is known in the system of
teaching, ‘teacher professional development’) are based on teachers being released from their
classroom teaching duties to attend some kind of seminar or ‘PD session’. These sessions are
often on topics not directly related to the teacher and their specific teacher development needs,
International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change. www.ijicc.net
Volume 1, Issue 3, May 2014
but aligned to the strategic intent of an education system or the school as a whole. On another
plane the prevailing teaching regulatory environment often mandates minimal teacher
professional development hours, further strengthening the continuance of such approaches,
which are largely viewed as efficient means (Avalos, 2011; Hanushek, 2005). In any case the
resulting level of teacher skilling is ‘minimal at best’ and offer ‘nothing’ tangible once time passes
and the teacher returns to the demands of their classrooms (Roseler & Dentzau, 2013; Avalos,
2011; Garet, Porter, Desimone, Birman & Yoon, 2001). As Taylor, Yates, Meyer & Kinsella
(2011) argue, current professional development for teachers has “not necessarily acknowledged
that teachers are not a homogeneous population but represent diverse perspectives, experience,
expertise, receptiveness to new ideas, and potential for leadership roles” (Taylor et al., 2011,
p.85). Further, Campbell & McNamara (2010), highlight the ability of teachers to be able to
contextualise professional knowledge and learning if such professional development is to have an
enduring positive change effect on teacher practice.
A review into the effective teacher professional development literature reveals three key themes.
These themes are; the role of professional dialogue (Cheng & Winnie, 2012; Cochran-Smith and
Donnell, 2006; Helmer, Bartlett, Wolgemuth & Lea, 2011), the power of collaboration (Ferguson-
Patrick, 2010;, Garet et al, 2001, Cohen & Hill, 2001; Anderson & Kumari, 2009; Aubusson,
Steele, Dinham & Brady, 2007; Ferguson-Patrick, 2010; Glazer & Hannafin, 2006; Hipp,
Huffman, Pankake & Olivier, 2008) and the ‘to be learnt’ content embedded in the teacher’s teaching
context (Ferguson-Patrick, 2010; Helmer, et al, 2011).
For reference purposes we briefly outline these three themes. Before we commence the
discussion, it is important to emphasise that while we deal with each item individually, each relies
on the others for effect in programs such as the CTLM and thus we argue in a later section that
it is the orchestration of all three that represents the attributes of an effective teacher learning
model. We turn first to the role of professional dialogue.
1. Professional Dialogue
While the premise of ‘teacher reflection’—where the teacher questions their own practice with a
view to think differently about their classroom practice (Fullan, 1999)--- has been described in
the literature and evidenced in teacher behaviour over many years, there has been a movement in
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Volume 1, Issue 3, May 2014
more recent times towards the use of ‘professional dialogue’ in teacher learning activities. For
clarification purposes, ‘professional dialogue’ differs from ‘teacher reflection’ in that while it
involves teachers reflecting, it incorporates a teaching colleague as participant. Further it is
designed to “feature the depiction of practice and scrutiny of different approaches in a critical
and attentive manner(Cheng & Winnie, 2012, p.326). Nelson et al. (2010), cited in Cheng and
Winnie (2013, p 326), reports that in professional dialogue processes teachers have to go
beyond simply sharing practice, and that they have to emphasise investigating their practice in
order to bring about positive changes to their teaching and pupils’ learning”. Research indicates
that there are good theoretical and empirical grounds to believe that on-the-job participation in
reflective dialogue is an effective method for the professional development of teachers”
(Kruiningen, 2013, p.110). While professional dialogue has similarities to that of a ‘critical
friend’, a further difference is the incorporation of ‘teacher collaboration’ and a joint
commitment on behalf of teachers in the arrangement to work together to effect change in each
other’s practice (Baskerville & Goldblatt, 2009). It is from collaboration that the elements of
coaching and mentoring have their genesis in the CTLM.
2. Collaboration
‘Collaborative teacher approaches’ are the antithesis of what can be termed ‘the traditional
approach’ to classroom teaching. In the traditional teacher world a classroom teacher works in a
single classroom environment--- solo as it were-- doing their teaching work. While they may
engage in teacher reflection with a view to improving their practice, the premise of collaboration
is minimal and where it does exist, it is focused largely on whole school functions and events
(Lynch, 2012,). ‘Feedback’ of any kind is neither sort out nor is it well received when it is
suggested, a reflection of the ‘private’ or ‘closed’ culture that exists in the traditional teacher
approach (Baskerville & Goldbatt, 2009). The reasons for this circumstance are involved and
beyond the scope of this paper save to say, elements such as trust and professional dialogue---
key elements--- are negated by the privatised nature of the one teacher, with a closed door in a
single classroom situation (Costas & Kallick, 1993).
‘Collaborative teacher approaches’ can thus be described as teaching environments where the
boundaries of teacher work have been challenged and thus redefined (Madden, 2012). While the
notion of teachers jointly teaching is not new, the premise of two or more educators taking joint
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Volume 1, Issue 3, May 2014
responsibility for the planning, teaching, and monitoring of the success of a cohort of students
(i.e. a complete year level and multi curriculum areas therein) as well as the teaching performance
of each other is new (Plinter, , Iuzzini & Banks, 2011; Zhou, et al, 2011). In these arrangements,
professional dialogue becomes a critical feature because it is through such processes that teachers
begin to share ideas, harness capacities and experiences, take calculated risks, try something new;
knowing all the time they will be supported and guided by their fellow teachers in their goals for
teaching improvement. The additional collaboration capacity such arrangements represent is an
added feature that encourages teachers to be involved. Further, as Plinter et al (2011, p. 44)
argue, “teachers when collaborating in such ways, develop:
1. an awareness and understanding of self in relation to socially constructed identities,
2. an awareness and understanding of self in relation to a collaborator’s socially
constructed identities, and
3. a shared awareness and understanding developed by collaborating faculty of the
potential impact of their identities and their students’ identities on the processes of
teaching and learning.
Taken together, teacher collaborative approaches expand the professional learning of teachers
but also the potential for authentic student learning (Plinter et al, 2011; Cheng & Willie, 2013).
3. Learning Teaching Content in Context
According to researchers, such as Opfer & Pedder (2011) and Wayne, et al, (2008) professional
learning developed to meet, for example, ‘minimal teacher registration hours’ and focused to
systemic priorities --- the traditional approach --- is insufficient when collaboration and
professional dialogue predominate the teacher culture. Opfer & Pedder (2011) go on to assert
that teacher learning must be conceptualized as a complex system rather than as an event
(Opfer & Pedder 2011, p.378). By this they suggest “one (has to) consider the sort of local
knowledge, problems, routines and aspirations that shape or are shaped by individual practice”
(Opfer & Pedder 2011, p.379) and thus design professional learning accordingly. Such teacher
learnings must recognize the overwhelmingly multicausal, multidimensional, and
multicorrelational quality of teacher learning and its impact on instructional practices(Opfer &
Pedder, 2011, p. 394). In simple terms, once professional dialogue and collaboration come into
play the ‘learning content’ for teachers needs to match their context.
International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change. www.ijicc.net
Volume 1, Issue 3, May 2014
To this point we have argued that current teacher professional development approaches do not
fit the aspirations of a reformed system of education. The brief review of literature reveals that
three key elements lie at the heart of teacher professional learning in such an environment:
professional dialogue, coupled with teacher collaboration, where the chief focus is the content to
be learnt as applicable to the teacher’s teaching context. The confluence of these three elements
is exemplified in the ‘Collaborative Teacher Learning Model’ (or CTLM) embedded at Saint
Augustine’s Primary School, located in northern New South Wales, Australia.
Fullan and Langworthy (2014) argue that in models such as the CTLM, “partnering relationships,
connecting student aspirations, the right kind of feedback and learning to learn are all essential in
the new pedagogies because they set the context in which teachers can more deeply know their
individual students and, through that analyse student progress to understand which teaching and
learning strategies best activate an individual student’s learning” (Fullan & Langworthy, 2014, p.
19). Importantly, these strategies need to be integrated into teaching practices to engage students
in their learning.
Having made these foundation comments we now turn to a detailed outline of the CTLM.
The Collaborative Teacher Learning Model
In light of changes occurring in the global economy and the technological convergences that it
embodies, Saint Augustine’s Primary School has had a renewed focus on learning. This has
resulted in a teaching philosophy that argues ‘the teacher’, like their students, has also to be a
continuous learner. It is further argued that it is through such a philosophy that the teacher
comes to fully appreciate the learning circumstance of their students (Madden, 2012). Taking
this philosophy one step further the CTLM essentially works to enable the teacher to improve
their teaching practice. Let us elaborate this circumstance further.
Taking its reference from the Australian Teacher Performance and Development Framework
1
the CTLM has effectively created a culture of continuous professional improvement for teachers
by essentially enabling teacher collaboration and professional dialogue to occur and then
1
See http://www.isq.qld.edu.au/australian-teacher-performance-and-development-framework
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Volume 1, Issue 3, May 2014
targeting through them the professional learning content to specific areas of individual teacher
need.
At Saint Augustine’s Primary School, classroom walls have been removed to create large ‘multi-
use learning environments’ (a number of classrooms re-engineered so as to accommodate a
number of teachers and strategic groupings of students around ability and teaching requirements)
and a ‘teaching regime’ developed such that opportunity exists for teachers to regularly meet and
discuss--- known as ‘professional learning team meetings’--- what’s happening in their ‘multi-use
learning environment’: chiefly in a context of each teacher’s teaching. This is aided by a
collaboratively developed classroom curriculum plan for each cohort (for example 100 Year 3
students and 4 teachers) that requires teachers to focus on each student as an individual learner,
as a cohesive and strategic teaching team.
Interestingly this arrangement had the dual effect of enabling teachers to informally observe each
other in (teaching) action and thus progressed to more formal observations as we outline in a
later section. To get to this starting point, however the school’s leadership team had to
establish a culture of trust within ‘teaching teams’ and as such initial ‘professional learning team
meetings’ were designed solely to enable teachers to get to know each other professionally, with
open ended agendas. As times progressed ‘professional learning team leaders’ were asked to
enact more focused conversation pieces--- meaning a framework for professional dialogue was
introduced to guide teams in the process and to build on the informal observations through a
process of structured coaching, mentoring and feedback. This process is known as ‘Teacher
Learning Steps’ (TLS), and is discussed in more detail in a section which follows.
In the CTLM, the expectation has come to a point today that every teacher now undergoes twice
termly, teaching observations through a strategy of using TLS. This process leads to follow-up
feedback and professional dialogue sessions which are supported by plans for professional
learning when required. TLS’s are conducted by an assigned teacher coach/ mentor, who is
usually the team’s leader and is based on the Australian Teacher Performance and Development
Framework’ and the associated ‘Professional Standards for Teachers’
2
.
2
See http://www.qct.edu.au/PDF/PSU/QCT_AustProfStandards.pdf
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Volume 1, Issue 3, May 2014
Bringing points thus far together, the CTLM’s key aim is to gather a combination of student
learning outcome and teacher performance data, which in turn is used to prompt and provoke
professional dialogue about a teacher’s teaching practice. The model relies on strategic
opportunities for teachers to collaborate and engage in professional dialogue but also
opportunities for teachers to view each other’s teaching and thus engage in professional learning
that involves, an inter-play of coaching, feedback and mentoring.
Teacher Learning Steps
In Teacher Learning Steps process (TLS), teachers are able to reflect on their own practice and
to challenge their own thinking in a non-threatening way. When participating in TLS teachers are
able to examine how students respond to instruction, collect evidence of effective learning and
revise their own practice based on this knowledge. The logic is that ‘teachers as learners’ will
learn more from reflecting on their own practice using feedback than from just their engagement
in the experiences. As Madden (2012) argues, all learners benefit from effective feedback and this
is an essential part of the Teacher Learning Steps process.
What Does Teacher Learning Steps Look Like?
In raw terms the TLS involves small groups of teachers, and with a designated team leader
(known as the ‘Lead Walker’), conducting a focussed visit (meaning there is a specific and
negotiated intent)--- or what is known colloquially in the school as a ‘walk’--- to a particular ‘year
level learning space’ followed by feedback to and guided reflection with the (focal) teacher
involved. The visit is considered ‘collaborative time for all the teachers involved, not just the
‘focal’ teacher and as such it is viewed as a time for all teachers involved to learn something new
from the process. The emphasis is not so much about evaluating a teacher’s performance but on
deciding what needs to be improved, what needs to be celebrated and how such findings can be
actioned for the effect of all teachers and all students. Consequently teachers take turns; to
observe each other’s instructional practice in action, to gather classroom data and to reflect upon
the experience with the view of not only improving student learning, but also informing each
teachers’ teaching practice. The ‘focus’ for the visit is derived from prior teacher group
discussions, where the school’s overall development plan, current available data or trends,
aspects of the Professional Teacher Standards or specific teacher development plans, are
considered and planned for.
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Volume 1, Issue 3, May 2014
The Elements of Teacher Learning Steps
The TLS has five elements that drive the process. We discuss each in turn. Before proceeding
we need to point out that as the key aim of the TLS is to gather data, which in turn is used to
prompt and provoke dialogue about instruction between teachers, the process begins with the
end point in mind. That is, focusing the TLS process so that it enables improved teaching
practice to take place. Thus the first element lays the foundation for the ‘teacher learning step’
process.
Element One
: Pre walk discussion lead by the Lead Walker (Professional Dialogue)
Initially, a member of the school’s leadership team takes on the role of Lead Walker. It is
important that the Lead Walker, at the implementation stage, is competent with the process of
TLS and its various protocols and considerations as the enduring success of implementing TLS
relies on their skills. The Lead Walker chiefly facilitates the pre walk and post walk discussions
as well as the feedback sessions to cohort teachers and the whole staff as applicable. The
accompanying visiting teachers --- ‘the walkers’---must be clear on the focus of the walk (a visit
and the enacting of the TLS process in a learning environment) and the evidence to be collected.
Key points that are discussed prior to a visit include:
a. revisiting TLS protocols,
b. the profile of the learning space to be visited and the reasons for the ‘walk’,
c. establishing the focus for the visit.
Element Two:
The Cohort Areas Walk (Learning Content in Context)
The premise of the TLS process is enmeshed in a belief that a teachers learning occurs best
when they have a chance to visit other teachers classrooms and to later engage in reciprocal
processes of coaching, mentoring and feedback. This more intimate approach to professional
learning attempts to open the eyes of participating teachers to what ‘good teaching is’, the need
for ongoing improvement and for consistency in teaching standards. During the actual visit---
‘the walk’--- the visiting teachers, using a TLS proforma, are required to:
a. Observe the layout of the learning space (i.e. the mutli-use learning environment
outlined earlier), the nature of the learning taking place and to listen to the
interaction between teacher and students.
b. In considering the focus of the Teacher Learning Steps, the visiting teachers take
notes and asks questions like:
1. Is the objective of the lesson clear to the students?
2. What instructional strategy is the teacher using?
3. Is this an appropriate strategy to use with the lesson?
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Volume 1, Issue 3, May 2014
4. What conditions present in classrooms enable students to improve their
learning and achievement levels
c. Conversation with students, when/if appropriate, enable the visiting teachers to
delve more deeply into the learning and to understand the planning/programing
undertaken by the cohort teachers. (eg “What are you learning? Why are you
undertaking this task?)
Element Three:
Post Walk Discussions (Professional dialogue; Collaboration)
The post walk stage provides opportunities for collaborative feedback and associated
discussions: to establish a focus on what is working and what is not in terms of teaching and
learning. It includes:
a. Sharing information about what was observed in the learning space
b. Self-reflection on how the observation informs one’s own teaching noting
implications for own practice/cohort organisation
c. Formulation of ideas for improving teaching practice
d. Identifying and naming a personal goal based on reflections and discussions
e. Planning follow-up coaching and mentoring sessions as applicable.
Element Four:
Reflection and Feedback (Professional dialogue; Collaboration)
Self-reflection and sharing experience/findings with colleagues is the underpinning concept for
this element. Such discussions provide opportunity for teachers to share what they have learned.
The focus for this element is on the connection to student learning and how instructional
practice impacts learning and thus how it can be improved. This element has three parts.
1. Teacher Observer’s Self Reflection. From this point in the TLS process the focus shifts
to specific action that each teacher will embark on as a result of the ‘learning walk’ activity.
Discussion on how one measures their professional learning is central to the process. For
TLS to make a difference, it must be focused on bridging the nexus between teacher
learning and classroom practice. This includes:
i. Visiting teachers reflecting on their own personal teaching practice and how they
interact with their own cohort during the teaching session and discuss
implications for their (and each other’s) own teaching.
ii. Discussion leads to teachers creating their own personal goals to work on leading
up to the next TLS. This collaboration promotes teacher accountability for
performance.
2. The second part of this element focuses on the teachers being observed. Teachers need
relevant, real-time data on their instruction and the feedback provided by the lead walker
to the learning space teachers is specific to observed behaviours, focused, and descriptive
of the teacher performance observed (that is guided by professional teacher standards).
The features of this section of the model include:
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Volume 1, Issue 3, May 2014
i. Feedback is provided to the teachers being observed and is based on the
evidence discussed at “Post Walk Discussion” from the Lead Walker after school
on the day of the Teacher Learning Steps.
ii. Observed teachers are able to debrief on the experience and share
insight/explanations of teaching practices used.
iii. Further cohort goals are discussed as part of the reflection process.
3. Whole Staff Feedback. As the TLS involves each cohort of teachers undertaking two
TLS per term, the lead walkers meet at the end of the designated week to share insight
from leading the TLS. Consequent discussion allows for a whole of staff feedback on the
collation of the seven Teacher Learning Steps at the next staff meeting following the TLS
week. This is important so as to:
i. Enable sharing of teaching practice across the whole school,
ii. To allow teachers to situate their own learning within the context of the whole
school.
iii. Create a whole school plan for sustaining/improving performance
Element Five
: Improvement through Coaching, Mentoring and More Feedback
The final element in the TLS process returns teachers to the central premise of the Collaborative
Teacher Learning Model (CTLM) by involving them in an inter-related and coordinated series of
coaching, mentoring and feedback activities. These activities are embedded in the earlier
principles of ‘professional dialogue’, ‘collaboration’ and ‘learning to teach in context’ and use the
‘trail’ laid by the TLS as the enabler for teachers to learn and continuously improve.
Anecdotal results from the CTLM indicate (as collated from the post walk discussions, PMIs
with staff and leadership team meetings):
Teachers are sharing best practices;
An increased awareness by the leadership team of what is happening in the learning
spaces;
An increase in teacher time on task;
A more informed teacher understanding of curriculum gaps and inconsistencies;
A more targeted teacher understanding of individual teacher professional learning needs;
An improvement in the standard/quality of student work;
An improved quality of conversations about teaching practice and instruction; and
The beginnings of a common language around pedagogy.
3
3
Based on the St Augustine’s Primary School five yearly review: “School Review and Development” in
2013.
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Volume 1, Issue 3, May 2014
Conclusion
A key advantage of this professional learning experience is that it occurs within the school ‘work’
environment. It is grounded in day-to day teaching practice and occurs regularly. It is not only
aligned with the learning philosophy of the school but more importantly, engages staff in a
targeted and personalised professional dialogue and follow-up coaching and mentoring around
improving each teacher’s teaching.
For improved teaching practice to occur, the CTLM argues teachers need to analyse and reflect
on how students learn best and make corresponding changes to improve their teaching practice.
Because the Teacher Learning Steps takes place in teaching teams across the school, a collective
responsibility for improved student outcomes promotes a more comprehensive focus on
learning. It also holds, in a positive way, staff members accountable for their own personal
teaching, but provides them with constructive and supportive means through which to improve.
The Teacher Learning Steps is, in effect, an opportunity for teachers to collaborate with and
learn from each other in a meaningful and relevant way. Throughout each stage of the Teacher
Learning Steps model there is a purposeful sharing of instructional practice and adoption of
pedagogical practices that improve student learning.
Early anecdotal data suggests the CTLM and its associated Teacher Learning Steps is creating a
school wide picture of learning that enables teachers to improve their teaching practice.
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... The potential of school leadership to foster a culture of collaboration, which seems to be a factor conducive to teacher learning, motivating teachers to work interdependently rather than dependently, is worth consideration (Tam, 2015a, b). Teacher collaborative approaches expand the potential of professional learning to improve teacher practices (Lynch, Madden, & Knight, 2014). Although suggested in the context of networks, Munby and Fullan's (2016) directive that we move from collaboration to co-responsibility to a position of shared professional accountability appears to be sound advice. ...
... Principals follow this up by creating and stimulating opportunities for high-level teacher debate, and an expectation of and resources for collegial learning, all of which can change teacher beliefs and thus classroom practices (Owen, 2016). This learning culture can be supported by ensuring that professional learning is grounded in the day-to-day teaching practices, it occurs regularly, and takes place within the school environment (Lynch et al., 2014). Providing opportunities for, and encouragement of, active learning and collaborative learning with teachers who are co-constructors of their own learning is powerful professional learning. ...
... The professional development research literature indicates that school embedded professional learning is the preferred option (Lynch et al., 2014;Schleicher, 2016). ...
Chapter
There are many evaluation frameworks for blended teaching; however, there are few suitable frameworks for Blended Learning (BL). This chapter presents an evaluation framework that was designed to span school and university BL, including Initial Teacher Eduction (ITE). An appropriate evaluation framework must show how effective each BL design and implementation is, at the level of a term or semester of study, and at the larger scale, such as across primary, middle, or secondary school, or programmes of study such as an ITE bachelor or master’s. This chapter first identifies eight features from the literature that are necessary for a BL evaluation framework, and shows that existing models do not satisfy these requirements. Next, the chapter introduces the Blended and Engaged Learning Zones (BELZ), designed specifically for BL across schooling and university studies, and that satisfies these eight features. An example follows of a version of BELZ used to evaluate BL in the years prior to a substantial three-term long inquiry task. BELZ addresses the imbalance in the literature, as well as the needs in teaching practice, for an evaluation framework for BL across schooling and university study.
... It has been established in literature that sharing of information, knowledge, capability, and resources help to overcome the barriers of innovation (Asswad et al., 2016;Egbetokun et al., 2017;Casprini et al., 2017;Aquilani et al., 2017;Jegede, 2020b). Literature also highlights the successes of firms entering inter-organisational arrangements and clusters (Lynch et al., 2014;Shamsudin et al., 2019). These businesses often operate within a value adding network of suppliers' customers, complementors and competitors. ...
Article
Even though the informal sector is the largest contributor to African economies, very little empirical research has been done on determinants of and barriers to product innovation in the informal sector. The study assessed how informal businesses overcome barriers to product innovation by econometric analysis of 996 informal enterprises in a township in KwaZulu-Natal Province in South Africa. Analysis showed a significant positive relationship between technological challenges and product innovation, but a significant negative relationship between social challenges and product innovation. Also, there was a significant positive relationship between percentage of family members in the business and product innovation, but a significant negative relationship between educational qualifications and product innovation. The study concludes that, based on their high level of flexibility due to their smallness, proximity to another and to their customers, these informal sector businesses found suitable alternatives to their technology related barriers.
... In a professional teaching culture the teacher role is expanded. Establishing effective teaching practices is a collective as well as an individual responsibility (Lynch et al., 2014). This entails teachers working from the same set of principles and operating collaboratively for taking responsibility for planning the curriculum and instruction, for ensuring that their teaching is effective, for monitoring student learning and development and for stimulating each other's professional learning (Plinter et al., 2011). ...
Article
Student performance in general subjects such as language and mathematical skills is poor in secondary vocational education. A professional culture of teaching—including recruitment of well qualified teachers, effective teacher collaboration and effective teaching practice—could be the key to success. To what extent is there a professional culture of teaching in vocational education? Do differences in the professional culture of teaching affect student achievement? National achievement tests on functional language skills, mathematical skills and information processing were administered to third grade students (N = 3,381) in 116 secondary schools offering vocational education across Flanders. Their teachers (N = 184) completed an online questionnaire about their collaboration and teaching practice. We found evidence that teacher collaboration and effective teaching practices are strongly correlated. Positive correlations were found between combinations of characteristics of a professional culture of teaching and student achievement. However, in many schools a professional culture of teaching is not yet a reality. Our findings demonstrate a need for continually providing support within a professional culture of teaching to prevent teachers from leaving. Improving professional growth for teachers and their teaching teams is also needed, as well as a shift in education policies to support these needs.
Article
z Özel eğitim, merkeze aldığı öğrencilerin bireysel farklılıkları nedeni ile özel eğitim öğretmenlerinin farklı alanlardan gelen uzmanlarla sıkça iş birliği kurmasını gerektiren bir disiplin alanıdır. Bu çalışmada özel eğitim öğretmeni adaylarının iş birliğine yönelik metaforik algıları ve oluşturdukları metaforların gerekçeleri incelenmiştir. Araştırmada 93 özel eğitim öğretmeni adayının iş birliğine yönelik oluşturduğu metaforlar ve metaforlarının gerekçeleri incelenmiştir. Verilerin toplanması için araştırmacılar tarafından oluşturulan Metaforik Algı Anketi kullanılmıştır. Ankette "Özel eğitimde iş birliği…………gibidir, Çünkü, ……" şeklinde yarı yapılandırılmış bir soru yer almıştır. Araştırma sonunda özel eğitim öğretmen adaylarının iş birliğinin yapısı, iş birliğine yönelik tehditler, iş birliğinin gereklilikleri, önemi, amacı olmak üzere toplam beş farklı temada 56 farklı metafor ürettikleri sonucuna ulaşılmıştır. Elde edilen sonuçlar alanyazında var olan çalışma sonuçları ile karşılaştırılarak yorumlanmıştır. Abstract Special education is a field that requires special education teachers to collaborate frequently with specialists from different fields due to the individual differences of the students. This study examined the metaphorical perceptions of preservice special education teachers about collaboration, as well as the reasons for the metaphors they created. The study examined metaphors created by 93 special education teachers prior to collaborating, and their reasons. Metaphoric Perception Survey, created by researchers, was used for data collection. The questionnaire has a semi-structured question such as "Collaboration in special education …………". Because …… ". At the end of the study, the preservice special education teachers' structure in five different themes, the structure of the collaboration, the threats to collaboration, the requirements of the collaboration, the importance of the collaboration and the purpose of the collaboration.
Article
Full-text available
Learning facilitators play a strategic role in improving quality and service of education programs based on the dynamic and development of societal learning demands. It is important, therefore, to have professional and competent learning facilitators who maintain conversancy with this dynamic and evolving development. This research aims to describe and analyze: (1) the implementation of workshop programs for learning facilitators; and (2) the improvement of learning facilitator competency before and after attending workshops. This research is the pioneer in this field in its discussion of learning facilitators or non-formal educator, competency in Indonesia. A quantitative approach is used. The population of the research are learning facilitators in Malang City who attend the workshop detailed in this research, which amounted to 500 participants. Sampling technique used was simple random sampling with Slovin Formula. The condequent result sample was 131 persons comprising 90 men and 41 women with varying education backgrounds. Data are collected with the use of such research techniques as questionnaire, test, observation and documentation. The collected data are analyzed with descriptive statistic and t-test. Results of the research are presented as follows: (1) Workshop implementation for learning facilitators has entered into good category with mean score of 3.09; and (2) Learning facilitator competency has been improved by 17.3% after attending the workshop. Competency improvement among learning facilitators is found to be affected by factors such as education level, teaching experience, and participation in training & education.
Chapter
This chapter focuses on the influence of principal leadership on practising teachers’ continuous professional learning. It adopts a qualitative methodology and reviews the findings and recommendations of recently published peer-reviewed journal articles and the occasional international policy report, which explicitly refer to principal leadership and its role in teacher professional learning to enhance student learning. The results of this systematic review suggest that leadership is a crucial element in impactful teacher professional learning. The chapter provides a list of strategies that school leaders can employ to increase the likelihood of more effective teacher professional learning in their schools. Some considerations for principals include adopting a blend of transformational and instructional leadership approaches; building trust and credibility; making the learning of teachers, as well as students, their focused priority and providing a range of support mechanisms to ensure that allocated professional learning delivers improvements in teaching quality and practices that will result in increased student learning outcomes. This chapter adds to the research knowledge that suggests that leadership has an indirect impact on student learning and that teachers’ continuous professional learning must become more effective if it is to deliver the necessary positive growth in student learning.
Article
Full-text available
This article reports on findings from the application of BL to a school improvement project involving two K-12 international schools in Japan. These findings relate to six research questions concerning how involvement with this project impacted teachers’ ICT confidence, how change management was perceived for the project, how this project sought to repurpose teaching and learning arrangements, how the project was aligned with the mission and goals of the schools’ improvement agenda, how it affected student achievement and how it was contextualised as a particular response to the imperatives of the Knowledge Economy. The implications of these findings are that successful BL implementation requires an involved and consistent leadership team, specific teacher training to build confidence, a means of directing the repurposing elements of teaching and learning, being able to evaluate alignment between the implementation of BL and school improvement, dedicated achievement measures for student learning and some way of being able to position the purpose and function of applied BL in relation to the Knowledge Economy. A key recommendation of the report is that schools need to intentionally contextualise BL in order to maximise its success. Suggestions concerning how to do this are provided.
Article
Emphasising the professional development of early career teachers, with an emphasis on pedagogy, is an obvious priority in improving student outcomes. Surprisingly then, in all the rhetoric around mentoring early career teachers (ECTs) this emphasis appears to be missing. This study explores the implications of professional development for ECTs in a particular pedagogical skill, in this case cooperative learning (CL), and the impact of this on the quality of teaching of two early career teachers. An abundance of research literature, over a significant number of years, argues that by focussing on cooperative learning as a pedagogical strategy, students' social and academic outcomes will improve. This paper advocates ECTs expert use of CL to ensure this increase in both social and academic outcomes. The importance of this focus on pedagogy for ECTs as they use CL more in their classrooms is explored by analysing pre and post classroom observations, both in CL and in Quality teaching, as well as semi-structured teacher interviews. These are analysed to investigate teachers' implementation of the cooperative learning strategy, to evaluate their understanding of classroom practice in CL and its impact on the quality of their teaching. The teacher with more years of experience made gains in both cooperative learning and quality teaching demonstrating an emphasis on pedagogy was significant in enhancing her professional accomplishment. The teacher with less experience struggled with other aspects of beginning teaching, such as school context and burnout, which had an effect on the overall quality of her teaching.
Book
Accession Number: 2012-07127-000. Partial author list: First Author & Affiliation: Hattie, John; Melbourne Education Research Institute, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia. Release Date: 20120611. Publication Type: Book (0200). Format Covered: Print. ISBN: 978-0-415-69014-0, Hardcover; 978-0-415-69015-7, Paperback; 978-0-203-18152-2, Electronic. Language: English. Major Descriptor: Academic Achievement; Learning; School Based Intervention; Teachers; Teaching Methods. Minor Descriptor: Classroom Management; Meta Analysis; Preservice Teachers; Student Teachers. Classification: Curriculum & Programs & Teaching Methods (3530). Population: Human (10). Age Group: Childhood (birth-12 yrs) (100); Adolescence (13-17 yrs) (200); Adulthood (18 yrs & older) (300). Intended Audience: Psychology: Professional & Research (PS). References Available: Y. Page Count: 269.
Book
This unique and ground-breaking book is the result of 15 years research and synthesises over 800 meta-analyses on the influences on achievement in school-aged students. It builds a story about the power of teachers, feedback, and a model of learning and understanding. The research involves many millions of students and represents the largest ever evidence based research into what actually works in schools to improve learning. Areas covered include the influence of the student, home, school, curricula, teacher, and teaching strategies. A model of teaching and learning is developed based on the notion of visible teaching and visible learning. A major message is that what works best for students is similar to what works best for teachers - an attention to setting challenging learning intentions, being clear about what success means, and an attention to learning strategies for developing conceptual understanding about what teachers and students know and understand. Although the current evidence based fad has turned into a debate about test scores, this book is about using evidence to build and defend a model of teaching and learning. A major contribution is a fascinating benchmark/dashboard for comparing many innovations in teaching and schools.
Article
Reform in science education is a slow process. Current professional development experiences may slow the process even more if modeled after traditional top down approaches. The common practice of inviting “experts” to deal with specific local issues supports a covert message that classroom teachers are not capable of meeting the challenges of reform with the resources and expertise provided by their immediate community or network. What is being proposed here is not radical but merely an adjustment in thinking about learning at any level. In any given teacher network, the teachers overall are both highly educated in content and pedagogy, it makes sense to allow them the opportunity to address the obstacles of reform and provide assistance when requested; not mandate professional development that may or may not address the needs of teacher, school or district.
Article
The aim of this methodological paper is to expound on and demonstrate the value of conversation-analytical research in the area of (informal) teacher learning. The author discusses some methodological issues in current research on interaction in teacher learning and holds a plea for conversation-analytical research on interactional processes in teacher encounters. As an illustration, an analysis is presented of the way university lecturers manage intersubjective understanding in an inter-professional meeting. With a micro-analytical focus on the architecture of turns, turn taking and the sequential organization of the interaction, the analysis shows how intersubjectivity is reached interactionally by the participants.
Article
Although extensive research has been carried out on university–school partnerships, there is a lack of evidence and discussion about how universities or external parties may promote professional development through professional dialogue in schools. Based on a two-year university–school partnership project on enquiry learning, this study aims at empowering teachers to cultivate students’ ability in enquiry learning through professional dialogue. The findings show that the university support team created the fundamental basis for professional dialogue by conveying information regarding enquiry learning, introducing new pedagogies, conducting lesson observations and reviewing school-based teaching materials. In addition, the support team sustained the dialogue by promoting collaborative work, including analysing students’ assignments and configuring ways to address diverse student needs with the teachers. Through professional dialogue, the teachers in this study were able to familiarise themselves with enquiry learning and gain confidence in adopting new pedagogies to facilitate student learning.