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Effective professional learning communities? The possibilities for teachers as agents of change in schools

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... PLCs have as foundation: (a) the assumption that knowledge is situated in daily experiences and teachers learn better when they reflect critically about their experiences and (b) the enhancement of teacher and pupil learning (Vangrieken et al., 2017;Vescio et al., 2008). It is acknowledged that within PLCs, diverse characteristics might contribute to weakening the collaboration inside communities (Toole & Louis, 2002) and reinforce callous habits rather than enabling transformative learning (Keay, 2009;Watson, 2014). It is argued, however, that despite the recognised challenges, PLCs might hold the key to real transformation once change in institutions is initiated by the conscious confrontation of competing values (Kennedy, 2014;Watson, 2014). ...
... It is acknowledged that within PLCs, diverse characteristics might contribute to weakening the collaboration inside communities (Toole & Louis, 2002) and reinforce callous habits rather than enabling transformative learning (Keay, 2009;Watson, 2014). It is argued, however, that despite the recognised challenges, PLCs might hold the key to real transformation once change in institutions is initiated by the conscious confrontation of competing values (Kennedy, 2014;Watson, 2014). ...
... In this movement for change, the facilitators or the revolutionary leaders, according to Freire, have an important role. In this project, instead of reinforcing old habits in school, the facilitator's role was to support the PLC to achieve social transformation at a micro level, enabling transformative teachers' learning (Keay, 2009;Watson, 2014). The facilitator created spaces for teachers' empowerment through dialogue, respect and solidarity. ...
Article
Physical education (PE) researchers demonstrate the benefits of collaborative continuing professional development (CPD) through the cultivation of professional learning communities (PLCs). Furthermore, this body of research reflects teachers' empowerment as a current concern in the literature about PLCs. Although the importance of teachers' empowerment in PLCs is recognised, there is much to learn about the facilitator's actions to create spaces for empowerment. The purpose of this paper is to explore the facilitator's actions in supporting PE teachers' empowerment in a PLC. Action research framed this project in Brazil. Participants included six PE teachers, a facilitator, and a critical friend. Data sources included daily observations and reflections from weekly meetings with the teachers and the critical friend. Data were analysed using inductive and thematic methods. By engaging a Freirean view as a theoretical framework, it was understood that the teachers needed to empower themselves to survive in their reality, learn in order to be recognised at school, and act to change their micro-context. Accordingly, three themes represented the facilitator's actions to support teachers' empowerment: (a) creating a horizontal relationship with teachers through dialogue; (b) understanding and respecting teachers' learning and (c) struggling with teachers in their reality as an act of solidarity. These facilitator actions contributed primarily to building a democratic space where the teachers could name, critique and negotiate the barriers they faced. Although creating spaces for teachers' empowerment provided the opportunity for improving teachers' PE knowledge, these spaces fundamentally supported teachers in seeking better professional conditions, organising themselves as a community and pursuing social change. ARTICLE HISTORY
... The idea of belonging was important to all of the teachers. This was also found by Watson (2014) who stated, 'the idea of community embodies notions of belonging and this necessarily involves consideration of identities.' In many contexts PLC's are designated only for the lead teachers or 'expert teachers', while the assistant level teachers receive more top-down forms of professional development. ...
... Very few papers point to the issues of trust within a PLC. Creating the right level of trust within a learning community is difficult (Watson 2014). In order to be truly collaborative, teachers much make their own assumptions and beliefs public (Benade 2015). ...
... Very few papers point to the issues of trust, belonging, and power roles within a PLC. Creating a space where teachers identify themselves as valued and professional while being about to negotiate themselves within the space is difficult (Wenger 1998/2006, Watson 2014. ...
Article
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Considerable research has shown professional learning communities (PLC) within schools as a beneficial way for teachers to develop professionally within the context of their own work environment. Although the positives are often highlighted in PLC’s, there is limited information as to how teachers function within these spaces. This qualitative case study seeks to gain an understanding of preschool teachers’ experiences in a PLC. The data were constructed from three sources over a period of four months to include interviews with teachers, observations of PLC sessions, and classroom documentation. The data were analysed through a process of generating codes and grouping codes into categories. Through this analysis, identity and negotiability emerged as central tenants to teachers interacting within this space. We describe and interpret the processes of identifying as a member of and negotiating meanings in this PLC using Wenger’s (1998/2006) work as a lens to decipher these ideas. We argue that teacher learning is a matter of creating and sustaining communities comprised members who, to varying degrees, own and are responsible for a shared picture of practice.
... PLCs have as foundation: (a) the assumption that knowledge is situated in daily experiences and teachers learn better when they reflect critically about their experiences and (b) the enhancement of teacher and pupil learning (Vangrieken et al., 2017;Vescio et al., 2008). It is acknowledged that within PLCs, diverse characteristics might contribute to weakening the collaboration inside communities (Toole & Louis, 2002) and reinforce callous habits rather than enabling transformative learning (Keay, 2009;Watson, 2014). It is argued, however, that despite the recognised challenges, PLCs might hold the key to real transformation once change in institutions is initiated by the conscious confrontation of competing values (Kennedy, 2014;Watson, 2014). ...
... It is acknowledged that within PLCs, diverse characteristics might contribute to weakening the collaboration inside communities (Toole & Louis, 2002) and reinforce callous habits rather than enabling transformative learning (Keay, 2009;Watson, 2014). It is argued, however, that despite the recognised challenges, PLCs might hold the key to real transformation once change in institutions is initiated by the conscious confrontation of competing values (Kennedy, 2014;Watson, 2014). ...
... In this movement for change, the facilitators or the revolutionary leaders, according to Freire, have an important role. In this project, instead of reinforcing old habits in school, the facilitator's role was to support the PLC to achieve social transformation at a micro level, enabling transformative teachers' learning (Keay, 2009;Watson, 2014). The facilitator created spaces for teachers' empowerment through dialogue, respect and solidarity. ...
Conference Paper
Background and purpose:There is a growing body of literature highlighting the benefits of learning communities (LC) as a means to achieve an effective continuing professional development (CPD) (Parker & Patton, 2017). From a situated learning perspective (Lave & Wenger, 1991), in communities teachers learn to be teachers in a social context, together with their colleagues, by reflecting on their practice. While this type of professional learning has become common in many parts of the world, it is not in Brazil. The aim of this study is to explore the CPD of physical education teachers in a full-time Brazilian school. Methods: Participants included 10 physical education teachers from one full-time school in Brazil.This study is a two-phased project. During Phase 1, through non-participant observation, the aim was to understand how the CPD of participants occurred. During the second participatory action research phase the aim was to explore the implementation of a learning community as CPD strategy. Data collection included: (a) weekly observations, (b) weekly collaborative teacher meetings, (c) teacher interviews. Data analysis was inductive using constant comparison methods. Results: In phase 1, only a few core features of effective CPD described by Patton et al. (2015) were observed; namely, CPD was ongoing, sustained, and focused on improving learning outcomes for students. During this time, the teachers worked full-time and had weekly meetings aimed at planning their classes and discussing possible challenges. We also observed that one teacher had the role of mediating the meetings and negotiating the teachers’ needs with the school administrators. Conclusion and applications:We concluded that while a few core features of effective CPD existed, these features did not guarantee the creation of a LC. Future studies should encourage the development of LCs in Brazilian schools to further enhance teacher professional learning and development.
... The term teachers' PLCs was frequently mentioned in professional educational discourse. According to the professional literature, a PLC is a group of people who, in a reflective, and comprehensive manner, examine their professional activity over a long-term period, with the overall goal of learning, expanding their knowledge, and advancing their professional development (Aubusson et al., 2007;Dumitru, 2012;Watson, 2014). Some researchers have focused their studies on the interactions among the teachers in these groups, their cooperation, and the development of mutual reliance and trust, whereas other scholars have focused on the component of teachers' peer-or self-assessments (Admiraal et al., 2012;Bolam et al., 2005;Huffman & Jacobson, 2003). ...
... (1) Shared educational vision and common principles -in each community, members formulate a shared educational vision (Bolam et al., 2005) and feel a deep personal commitment to this vision; hence, their participation in the PLC becomes an important part of their professional identity (Stoll et al., 2006). (2) Cooperation and trust -trusting relationships lead participants to willingly and openly talk about their work, their difficulties, and areas in which they feel they lack knowledge (Harris & Jones, 2010;Watson, 2014). Trust is created over time, based on relationships characterized by mutual respect, listening, assistance, and mutual support among the group members (Darling-Hammond & Richardson, 2009;Stoll et al., 2006). ...
... In other words, in this field, professionals have very few opportunities to take on leadership roles in addition to their routine jobs, which at the same time suggests that those who do so could have a significant effect on the field in general and on the meaning of leadership in this field in particular (Muijs et al., 2004). (4) Responsibility -members of the community feel that they have a shared responsibility and the goal that they pursue is to improve their professional efficacy (Bolam et al., 2005;Talbert, 2010;Watson, 2014). (5) Self-reflection and professional investigation -the community analyses its activities, discusses the data collected, examines possible interpretations, and engages in problem solving based on this interpretation (Andrews & Lewis, 2007;Talbert, 2010). ...
Article
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The goal of the study was to examine the factors that drove early childhood teachers to accept a leadership role in professional learning communities (PLCs), their perceptions of the role’s characteristics and the implications of taking on an additional role beyond the teaching of kindergarten-age children. This qualitative study included 30 Israeli early-childhood teachers who were actively leading a PLC. Analysis of the data revealed that their PLC-related objectives were driven by internal and external motivations. The findings also indicate their sense of having to manage a dual role: the traditional role of early childhood educators and that of PLC leaders.
... Research, both locally and internationally, carried out over the last three decades reveals the potential educational benefit of collegial communities for teachers as opposed to isolated practices (Bezzina & Camilleri, 2001;Coburn & Stein, 2006;Cochran Smith & Lytle, 1999;Little, 1990;Lotter, Yow, & Peters, 2014;Watson, 2014). Moreover, research has shown that the social aspect of community is key towards teacher enactment of reform practices (Blignaut, 2008;Golding, 2017;Spillane, 1999). ...
... Research into CPD gives considerable insights to the impact that community plays within teachers' learning to teach and implement innovative practices (Barab, Barnett, & Squire, 2002). In particular, CPD taking the form of teacher learning community (Little, 1993;Watson, 2014) is considered appropriate to initiate, support and sustain teacher change. This social aspect of teacher learning highlights that teachers learn more effectively when they collaborate with others rather than when working in isolation (Levine & Marcus, 2010). ...
... Researchers interested in teacher professional communities have drawn on the community of practice (CoP) perspective (see Jaworski, 2006;Lave & Wenger, 1991;Wenger, 1998) -also referred to as learning communities (Attard, 2012) or professional learning communities (DuFour, 2004;Watson, 2014) -to explain the social processes shaping teacher learning. Communities of practice are dynamic with participants engaging in learning through "actions whose meaning they negotiate with one another" (Wenger, 1998, p. 73). ...
Chapter
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Teachers learn in different contexts. This paper reports on the learning experiences of a small group of Maltese secondary school teachers of mathematics as they engaged in a continuing professional development (CPD) programme, designed as part of a doctoral research study, aimed to support them in Learning to Teach Mathematics through Inquiry (LTMI). This paper explores learning-on-the-job within their school context and learning-off-the-job within the community of practice (CoP) offered through LTMI. A qualitative design using thematic analysis was used to investigate teachers' views and experiences of learning both within the school and the CPD context. The data reported here was taken from a focus group held with teachers at the end of the CPD programme, and three interviews held with the same teachers before, during and after their participation in LTMI. Findings reveal that, during the CPD course, teachers experienced two contrasting learning contexts: an individualistic school culture and a collaborative CoP culture. Within such learning cultures teachers voiced divergences between practice within the school which was isolated, individualistic and competitive with learning within the CoP being collaborative, supportive and empowering.
... It is also argued, albeit less frequently, that these contrived communities, when imposed on teachers, have the potential to 'function as a means to silence dissatisfaction through the hegemonic appeal to "community" and its normalising function as arbiter of ideological control' (Watson, 2014: 27). Despite the tensions and challenges associated with cultivating and participating in LCs, they can initiate change in institutions by the conscious confrontation of competing values (Watson, 2014) and contribute to microchange in schools (Gonçalves et al., 2020). ...
... Within education literature, LCs are referred to using a variety of terms including professional LCs (PLCs), communities of learners, school communities, teacher communities, and communities of practice (CoP). Community has become an overused term (Patton et al., 2005) and PLC as an all-encompassing term has lost much of its original meaning (Armour et al., 2017;Watson, 2014). Acknowledging that PLC and CoP are the main theoretical constructions adopted to define LCs (Blankenship and Ruona, 2007;Vangrieken et al., 2017), the definitions and characteristics of each are pivotal. ...
... This uncertainty contributes to a misunderstanding about LCs (Vangrieken et al., 2017), and the varied use of the terms CoP and LC is problematic. When discussing PLCs, Watson (2014) warned that the term has been used as a kind of catch-all phrase that has lost much of its original meaning. Future research, therefore, should detail the nature of community and fidelity to the theoretical framework. ...
Article
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Learning communities (LCs) in a variety of formats are touted as an effective strategy for continuing professional development (CPD) in physical education. This study’s purpose was to provide an overview of the research on LCs in physical education for professional development between 1990 and 2020. A scoping review undergirded the research process and search parameters included full-text empirical studies in 12 languages. Ultimately 95 studies were found. A descriptive analysis revealed teachers as the focus in 75% of the studies; fewer studies focused on initial teacher education students, teacher educators, and facilitators. The largely qualitative studies reflected an international database (18 countries; four multinational studies) with South Korea, the US, and England dominating the literature. Four features spotlight thematic findings: (a) facilitation, (b) the process of community development, (c) the focus of the group and (d) the product(s) of the group. Learning communities as a CPD approach in physical education appear to be effective in a variety of ways. Little evidence, however, exists regarding their sustained nature over time, or how teacher engagement in LCs may result in substantive student learning. Contributing to the scattered nature of literature to date was the interchangeable use of communities of practice (CoP) and other forms of LCs. Often communities were not theoretically aligned, the development process of communities not explained, nor evidence provided as to how the community studied contained the qualifying features of a CoP or LCs. Future research, therefore, should detail the nature of community and fidelity to the theoretical framework.
... School development occurs because of the interaction between individual skills, interpersonal interactions, and organizational structures where collective skills are improved (Mitchell & Sackney, 2001). Existing studies provided evidence about teachers in PLCs and their endeavors to solve teaching issues and share expertise and knowledge that fosters their growth and learning (Maloney & Konza, 2011;Printy, 2008;Watson, 2014). Enhancing the capacity of PLCs improves teaching and learning, supporting collegial relations, encouraging teachers' ideas, individual and collective continuing professional development, and promoting a school culture of trust (DeMathews, 2014). ...
... Studies have shown that PLCs represent an educational approach that enhances the professional growth of teachers (Maloney & Konza, 2011;Watson, 2014). Although PLCs are an understudied area in Kuwait, how they have been implemented during the pandemic has not been exhaustively explored. ...
... The study adopted a qualitative approach to provide an in-depth description of PLC practices in the Kuwaiti context by collecting data via standardized open-ended interviews, ensuring that all participants answered the same questions and minimized possible bias. Altogether, 14 interview questions were designed to investigate participants' more profound experiences of PLCs during the first month of transition to online learning, as per the model dimensions of Stoll et al. (2006), which were consistent with previous studies (Andrews & Lewis, 2007;King & Newmann, 2001;Louis et al., 1994;Watson, 2014). The interview contained two open-ended questions related to every PLC feature (i.e. ...
Article
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The pandemic vastly disrupted education dissemination worldwide and catalyzed a shift toward online teaching. Hence, this paper aims to describe how professional learning communities (PLCs) in Kuwait’s public schools foster successful changes in online teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic, in tandem with the leaders’ involvement in PLCs and the challenges confronted as a result. Following the COVID-19 quarantine, qualitative open-ended interviews were conducted with 59 teachers, lead teachers, and school principals upon the reopening of schools. The findings confirm that all participants practiced PLCs through shared values and vision, collective responsibility, professional reflective inquiry, collaboration, individual and group learning, and support relationships, significantly facilitating the transition to online teaching during the pandemic. Principals and department heads engaged in PLCs by providing training, supervision, instructional support, empowerment, and distribution of power. Still, challenges exist in terms of educational resources, Internet coverage, and workload during the pandemic.
... I draw from critical feminist perspectives, in particular, the writings of Freire (1970Freire ( /2018, Greene (2017), and hooks (1994) as a novel lens to theorise TPL differently, taking a holistic, emancipatory and nuanced perspective that goes beyond a "what works" and "what counts" approach of certainty implied by preset norms and empirical consensus. I then use this lens to conduct a critical scrutiny of a select literature in teacher development: mainstream best-evidence research syntheses (Diehl, 2019;Hattie & Timperley, 2007;Muijs et al., 2014;Timperley & Alton-Lee, 2008;Timperley et al., 2007); reports from one transnational policy influencer, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD, 2005; and counternarrative studies concerned with reductionist analytics (Bourke et al., 2015;Mockler, 2013aMockler, , 2013bOpfer & Pedder, 2011;Watson, 2014). ...
... In addition to a mainstream view of the framing of TPL scrutinised above, with its clarity of definition, coherence, an a priori pathway towards a fixed and predetermined future, there is also a counter-narrative literature that vigorously contests this reductive analytics. Watson (2014) contests the mainstream framing of TPL from the contestable position of the terminology found in new constructs of teacher development, such as professional, learning, community. Watson is concerned with the unfolding normative and empirical consensus that, in her opinion, is prematurely concluding that Teacher Professional Learning Communities will of themselves, successfully change teachers' activities and yield measureable impact in student outcomes. ...
... Counter-narrative studies question this mainstream descent into a hyper-rational framing, and the often missing, hidden, unintended or overlooked affordances for teachers' meaning making and engagement with change, and their necessity for reading, if not troubling the world. Watson (2014) expressed concerns that a policy imperative for shared vision and values, instead of bringing the coherence desired by policymakers may simply push TPL into the slippery slope of "group-think" and intellectual stagnation. Opfer and Pedder (2011) argued that framing TPL as a wicked problem recognises the nested and multilayered nature of this dynamic problem. ...
Article
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In this article, I conduct a critical scrutiny of how best to frame Teacher Professional Learning (TPL) in a time of uncertainty, to what extent, contemporary mainstream literature provides a complete description of this construct and, if not, what might be missing, hidden, unintended or otherwise overlooked. I draw from critical feminist perspectives as a novel lens to theorise TPL differently, taking a holistic, emancipatory and nuanced perspective that goes beyond a "what works" and "what counts" approach and the certainty implied by preset norms and empirical consensus. I then use this lens to conduct a critical scrutiny of a select literature, a mainstream framing of TPL using best-evidence syntheses, reports from one transnational policy influencer, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and counter-narrative studies concerned with reductionist analytics. Findings reveal two limitations with the current mainstream framing of TPL as a data-driven system of performance management. The first limitation concerns TPLs reified from the many unsolvable dilemmas and contradictions of teachers' developmental practices when framed as linear processes of adoption, integration and problem solving. The second limitation is the ethico-political question of whose knowledge counts in an evidence-based practice that underplays , and often denies, other ways of knowing. The study contributes to a novel theorisation of TPL and raises important questions for teacher professional learning and development worthy of further research and consideration.
... Professional learning communities (PLC) have their roots in the literature related to communities of practice and situated learning (Owen, 2014). In these communities, colleagues work together in an open environment where membership is inclusive, and interactions demonstrate mutual trust and respect (Watson, 2014). ...
... • Solving authentic problems or joint purpose (Barab & Duffy, 2000;Wenger, 1998) • Support and scaffolding (Barab & Duffy, 2000;Stephenson, Bower, Falloon, Forbes, & Hatzigianni, 2019) • Individual and group learning (Barab & Duffy, 2000;Owen, 2014;Watson, 2014) • Community develops over time (Stephenson et al., 2019;Wenger, 1998) • Communal resources/artefacts (Wenger, 1998) • Distributed leadership (Wenger, 1998) • Shared values and purpose (Bolam, McMahon, Stoll, Thomas, & Wallace, 2005;Newmann, 1996;Watson, 2014). ...
... • Solving authentic problems or joint purpose (Barab & Duffy, 2000;Wenger, 1998) • Support and scaffolding (Barab & Duffy, 2000;Stephenson, Bower, Falloon, Forbes, & Hatzigianni, 2019) • Individual and group learning (Barab & Duffy, 2000;Owen, 2014;Watson, 2014) • Community develops over time (Stephenson et al., 2019;Wenger, 1998) • Communal resources/artefacts (Wenger, 1998) • Distributed leadership (Wenger, 1998) • Shared values and purpose (Bolam, McMahon, Stoll, Thomas, & Wallace, 2005;Newmann, 1996;Watson, 2014). ...
Article
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Makerspaces are locations where people with common interests can work on projects, share ideas, tools and expertise to make or create. There is an abundance of “how to” guides and research studies on physical makerspaces, little research focuses on describing the virtual making processes and the experiences therein. This qualitative study explores the experiences of seven participants who engaged in a synchronous virtual makerspace. Meeting once a month over 16 weeks, members of the International Maker Educator Network participated in the making of a robot. This case study describes how the virtual making occurred, the personal experiences of the makers, technology used to support virtual making, and the affordances and inhibitors of virtual making. Data are analysed through the lens of a professional learning community and the People, Means and Activities makerspace framework. The paper concludes with implications for virtual making in practice and future research opportunities. Lay Description • Makerspaces are locations where people with common interests can work on projects, share ideas, tools and expertise to make or create. • Little is known about virtual making in formal or informal makerspaces. • Participants had positive perceptions of their online virtual making experiences. • Affordances of virtual makerspaces • Inhibitors of virtual makerspaces • Considerations must be made for scaling up and sustainability. • Effective design and facilitation of authentic learning for virtual making is key. • Access and use of technology affords virtual making across geographical boundaries.
... With a continuous increase of people moving around the globe for various reasons (immigration, work, refugees, etc.), we (the authors) wanted to explore how we could work in a collaborative way to improve our professional learning and practice. We also wanted to engage our ITE students in a cultural exchange experience that would better prepare them to include multicultural music in their future teaching (Abril, 2006;Anderson & Campbell, 2010;Bates, Swensen, & Jones, 2011;Joseph & Southcott, 2009;Trust, Krutka, & Carpenter, 2016;Watson, 2014). We use the term collaboration in this article to articulate the ways in which we communicated and planned our study "See, Listen and Share: Exploring Intercultural Music Education in a Transnational Experience" across three universities (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology [RMIT] University, Australia; Deakin University, Australia; and Universitat Jaume I of Castelló, Spain). ...
... While working enthusiastically and professionally across the three sites proved a worthy initiative for all concerned, it did take time to set up (Colley, Eidsaa, Kenny, & Leung, 2012;Holdhus & Espeland, 2013;Kezar, 2005). As authors, the study supported our professional learning (Bates et al., 2011;Trust et al., 2016;Watson, 2014). It also helped us prepare our ITE students to be culturally responsive (Abril, 2006;Anderson & Campbell, 2010;Joseph & Southcott, 2009). ...
Article
Establishing strong connections between universities within initial teacher education (ITE) programs not only takes time, but it also presents opportunities and challenges. Tertiary music educators are called to prepare ITE students/pre-service teachers to be culturally responsive. This article forms part of our wider study “See, Listen and Share: Exploring Intercultural Music Education in a Transnational Experience Across Three Universities (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University, Australia; Deakin University, Australia; and Universitat Jaume I of Castelló, Spain). For this article, we draw on student web survey data, anecdotal feedback, and our reflections. We employ Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis as a tool to thematically group our surveys into three broad overarching themes to inform our findings and discussions. We argue that music education is an effective vehicle for exploring culture and diversity through song. Our findings show that our ITE students built positive attitudes about using songs in their generalist primary and early childhood classrooms. They also recognized the importance of collaborative sharing using face-to-face and Skype. This project proved a worthy experience for all concerned, it formed a rich part of our professional learning. We encourage others to consider the approach as one way to promote multicultural music and cultural diversity within ITE programs and across other educational settings.
... Our study examines the effects of principal leadership practices on teacher commitment to kindergartens, and the mediating roles of PLC characteristics in Hong Kong kindergartens. Following PLC researchers' recommendations on clarifying the conceptualization of PLCs through the professional-learning-community triplex (Hairon et al., 2017;Watson, 2014), the current study examined how collective focus on student learning, reflective dialog, and collaborative activities mediated the effects of leadership practices on teacher commitment to kindergartens. Quantitative data were analyzed by multilevel structural equation modeling (MSEM) to address the multilevel and multidimensional natures of PLCs and leadership practices following recent suggestions (Hairon et al., 2017;Sleegers et al., 2013;Yin et al., 2019). ...
... Second, the meaning and relationships between these characteristics were in need of further clarifications. As Watson (2014) identified in his analysis of the tensions embedded in the conceptualization of "professional," "learning" and "community," the meaning of collaboration in the community would change into "means to silence dissatisfaction" (p. 27) when the shared visions were imposed on teachers instead of as attempts to reconcile the conflicting values. ...
In response to the needs for kindergarten principals to foster teachers’ capacities and commitment, this study examined the relationships between professional learning communities, principal leadership practices, and teacher commitment to kindergartens among 2106 teachers from 153 Hong Kong kindergartens, analyzing by using multilevel structural equation modeling. The result showed that principal leadership practices facilitated the development of professional learning communities at school and teacher levels, and exerted a direct effect on teacher commitment at the teacher level. However, the mediating effects of different professional-learning-community components were found distinctive. Implications for leading kindergartens in the reform time are discussed.
... Case studies have been used extensively in teacher pre-service education and inservice professional learning. They have been used, often, in professional learning communities to support teachers' ongoing learning (Watson, 2014). Case studies have been particularly helpful in supporting learning about special education (Calder Stegemann & Aucoin, 2018;Maich & Hill, 2017). ...
... It is a clearly evident that there is a tendency to examine special education as a separate and isolated entity (Sider et al., in press). While case studies have been used extensively in teacher pre-service education and in-service professional learning as well as in professional learning communities to support teachers' ongoing learning (Watson, 2014), there has been limited use of case studies to examine situations involving children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. However, research has revealed that case studies have been particularly helpful in supporting learning about special education (Calder Stegemann & Aucoin, 2018;Maich & Hill, 2017). ...
Article
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Gaps between research and practice exist in the field of inclusive and special education, especially around school-based leadership (e.g., principals). Research-based case studies are a way to teach and learn about disability, especially stigmatized issues such invisible disability (e.g,. intellectual disability), which may be complex with multiple stakeholders, yet difficult to access. This article reviews the collaborative process of developing and disseminating authentic case studies built on lived experiences of school principals as an example of bridging the gap between research and practice with multiple, engaging knowledge mobilization activities. Future knowledge mobilization activities, such as the development of interactive, online case-based based learning around inclusive classrooms and schools, are discussed.
... The ESD perspective has in recent time put forward a perspective that aligns to school improvement and the knowledge of change agents (Blossing, 2016;Harris, 2001), associating successful schools with the development of a professional learning community or PLC (Bolam, McMahon, Stoll, Thomas, & Wallace, 2005). The field of change agents and organisational development (OD) originated in the 1970s (Burnes & Cooke, 2012), while the field of professional learning communities emerged in the 1990s; however, both fields were consolidated during the first decade of the 2000s (Carpenter, 2015;Hord, 2004;Watson, 2014). Research in the field of OD and PLCs has shown empirically how organisational change and professional learning in schools are promoted by a type of collaboration characterised by participation and empowerment, as well as by inquiry processes and action orientation (Muijs et al., 2014;Timperley, Parr & Bertanees, 2009;Timperley, Wilson, Barrar & Fung, 2007). ...
... Applying the four-stage model from Mourshed et al. (2010), the school organisations seem to be in the first stage concerning professional development: poor to fair-ensuring basic standards. The preschool organisation, on the other hand, displays the characteristics of a professional community (Carpenter, 2015;Hord, 2004;Watson, 2014), with pedagogical leaders representing the functions of change agents. ...
Article
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Sustainability is increasingly being understood as vital for school improvement. The objective of this study is to expand our knowledge of practice architectures that enable and constrain the realisation of sustainable development by restructuring school organisations to facilitate professional learning. In this follow-up study, we return to one of the three municipalities that were involved in an earlier project from 2009 to 2011. The theory of practice architectures is used as an analytic tool to identify and analyse actions that have an impact on the municipality’s efforts to realise sustainable school improvement. The results reveal dissimilarities between the investigated municipality’s school organisation and the preschool organisation. In the case of the school organisation, the dominating practice architectures disrupt the realisation of sustainable development, while in the case of the preschool organisation they are continuous and foster the same. One disruptive practice architecture in the school organisation is the idea of the autonomous principal, which disturbs the progression of a distributed leadership. In the preschool organisation, the superintendents are crucial for facilitating participation in professional learning.
... In addition, the teacher educator always refers to her student teachers as agents of change. According to Pillay (2015), such a reference enables student teachers to become effective future teachers who are able to assume responsibility for "school reform and renewal" (Cochran-Smith, 1991;Von Esch, 2018;Watson, 2014), and help them grow not only in terms of competence, but concurrently developing empowerment as they are learning to teach (Hammond, 2018;Lane, Pierson, & Givner, 2003;Mardapi & Herawan, 2019). ...
... As PLCs become even more common in educational circles (Watson, 2014), understanding how facilitators can shape professional discussions is of great importance, especially amongst science teachers who might normally be isolated for various reasons. Although a small sample of only six sessions was studied, the data point to a potential tension for optimizing the PLC facilitator model. ...
Article
Teachers continuously engage in the relational work of sensemaking with students, but they generally do so isolated from colleagues, making individual decisions about their classrooms. Professional learning communities (PLCs), provide opportunities for collaborative professional reflection and development among peers centered on the analysis of teaching practice. However, PLCs can be difficult to implement in ways that reflect theories of adult learning and are manageable in light of the responsibilities of a teacher. We conducted a year-long case study of a PLC that engaged a group of middle school science teachers using artifacts from a digital portfolio and a framework for high-quality science teaching to explore their teaching practice. The PLC was divided into sessions facilitated externally by a member of the research team and sessions facilitated internally by the teachers themselves. Videos of all PLC sessions and baseline and final interviews indicated that unlike some PLCs described in the literature, participants focused their conversation and interactions on the content of science teaching regardless of who facilitated the session. The discussion was mediated by the digital portfolio tool, its artifacts and an introduced analytical framework. However, externally facilitated sessions revealed far more analysis of practice, compared to extensive reporting on portfolio artifacts when facilitated internally. The findings suggest that digital portfolios, when combined with analytical frameworks of practice can be important tools for teacher reflection, but attention must be paid to PLC structures and norms that move teachers past ‘show and tell’ and toward more in-depth conversations about practice.
... PLCs in the school setting also help to break the feeling of isolation experienced by many teachers by creating opportunities for collaboration and mutual support that nurture growth and the adoption of new teaching strategies (De Neve & Devos, 2017;Roy & Hord, 2006). This work method has also been found to improve the overall teaching experience, as is evidenced by a greater level of personal satisfaction and well-being among teachers (Hord & Sommers, 2008) and a greater sense of self-efficacy through professional development activities (Andrews & Lewis, 2002;Watson, 2014;Tam, 2015). By creating an environment that favors discussion and collaboration within the school, the PLC makes it possible to better monitor and support student achievement (Bouchamma et al., 2019;DuFour, Dufour, & Eaker, 2008;Dufour, 2004;Carpenter, 2018). ...
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The professional learning community (PLC) is considered to be an effective school improvement strategy centered on student achievement. The goal of this study was to introduce the PLC approach in a few public elementary schools in Cameroon to evaluate the causal impact of this organizational model on student learning. A quasi-experimental approach was used involving an experimental group and a control group. Student pre- and post-tests were administered in two core subjects (French and mathematics) at both the beginning and the end of the first year of operation as a PLC. Our findings show a significant improvement in the students’ results between the pre- and post-test. The PLC was qualified as being in its initiation stage of development, when members focus on their students’ outcomes and collectively engage in solving the latter’s learning-related difficulties.
... This intention was translated through the Program Pembangunan Berterusan which emphasized aspects of implementing the PLC as one of the most effective ways to improve professionalism among teachers (PPB, 2014) [33]. The PLC is a collaborative group of teachers whose objectives and goals are to be achieved in an area to make improvements in teaching and learning methods (Muhammad There are some findings indicate that there is a significant relationship between distributive leadership practices and the improvement of teacher professional development practices through the implementation of the PLC (Kurt, 2016;Sentocnik, 2012) [64][69]. Overall, the lack of empirical data on distributive leadership of principals and PLCs and no studies on the relationship between distributive leadership and PLCs has prompted researchers to identify whether there is any influence on distributive leadership practices and PLC implementation in schools. ...
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According to Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025, Distributed Leadership was suggested as one of leadesrship style should be practices among head teachers at primary and secondary school to enhance the school improvement. Besides that, professional learning community was identified as a techniques to improve teachers professional development in teaching and learning. The main purpose of this study is to identify the influence distributed leadership practices towards the level of Professional Learning Community implementation in Kelantan Secondary school. This research used quantitative methods using questionaires that were distributed randomly to 371 reSDondents involved teachers from Kota Bharu secondary school. The Distributed Leadership Readiness Scale (Gordon, 2005) were used to measure the principals leadership practicers while the Professional Learning Community-Revised instrument (Oliver & Hipp, 2010) was used to measure the PLC practicers. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 25.0 (Statistical Package for Social Sciences for Windows Version 25.0). The findings reported that were significance relation between distributed leadership practices towards the PLC implementation in Kota Bharu Secondary School.
... According to Mulcahy et al. (2015), achieving the change processes requires continued negotiations in which the school community challenges the cultural meanings embedded in practices (Alterator and Deed 2016;Mulcahy 2018;Woolner et al. 2012). Social relations between teachers have been investigated because teachers' professional learning communities provide multiple opportunities for professional development (Owen 2016;Watson 2014) and learning from each other (Campbell et al. 2013). ...
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The aim of this study was to gain a better understanding of the change from physical spaces to learning environments by examining how, and through which processes, learning spaces are transformed, produced and developed. For this purpose, we used a comparative ethnography approach and collected observation material from two Finnish schools at different development phases. The material was supplemented by focus-group interviews with teachers and individual interviews with principals. The results suggest that no ready-made models exist which fit into a new context. Rather, practices are constructed in physical spaces through active negotiations and meaning- making in three cyclic interaction processes (i.e., interaction between teachers, interaction between students and teachers, and interaction between students). Hence, through cyclic processes with strong support from teachers, students managed to find tools to build learning environments suited to their needs, which further enabled the expansion of learning environments inside and outside school walls. Nevertheless, changes in practices required an overall change in every aspect of the school. Focusing on the processes of change, results provide information from a systemic perspective on how schools can manage continuous change when developing physical spaces into learning environments.
... He has also defined CoPs as 'groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly' (Wenger, 2011, p. 1). Teacher CoPs are often described using the terms professional learning communities (PLCs) (Watson, 2014) and teacher communities (Vangrieken, Meredith, Packer & Kyndt, 2017). Wenger and Wenger-Trayner (2015) note that the precise format of CoPs can vary significantly. ...
Technical Report
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This report examines the British Council’s use of a model of continuing professional development (CPD) called Teacher Activity Groups (TAGs). Drawing on evidence from six projects in different countries, the analysis reviews the implementation of TAGs, their impact on teachers and students and the challenges that TAGs may give rise to. Recommendations for setting up TAG projects are also provided. Although the projects reviewed here mainly involved teachers of English as a foreign language in primary and secondary state schools, TAGs can support the CPD of teachers of any subject at all levels of education. The insights provided here will, therefore, be relevant to the use of formal communities of practice for teacher development more generally.
... Por ello, el liderazgo compartido "debería ser una característica prioritaria […] de una comunidad profesional de aprendizaje efectiva" (Carpenter, 2015, p. 685). Asimismo, sólida evidencia demuestra resultados positivos cuando el profesor deja de ser un agente únicamente pedagógico para constituirse como un agente de gestión mediante la promoción del liderazgo docente (Bolívar, 2011;Watson, 2014;Lai y Cheung, 2015;Diamond y Spillane, 2016). ¿Cómo y mediante qué organismos se gesta el liderazgo docente en el SEP? ...
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"Las comunidades profesionales de aprendizaje (CPA) constituyen una de las estrategias de desempeño escolar más importantes. Sin embargo, la mayoría de las escuelas en las que se han aplicado pertenecen a sistemas educativos de alto desempeño, como los de Japón, Corea de Sur, Finlandia o Singapur, lo que deja por fuera la realidad educativa de América Latina. Mediante un estudio exploratorio, basado en observación etnográfica y entrevistas semiestructuradas, esta investigación vincula teoría y práctica para discutir la aplicabilidad de las CPA en escuelas públicas pertenecientes a sistemas educativos de bajo desempeño. Como conclusión, se halló que los componentes principales de las CPA (estructuras organizativas flexibles, liderazgos distribuidos, valores compartidos y culturas escolares colaborativas) están presentes, pero son precarios y no soportan la implementación de la estrategia." "Professional learning communities (PLCs) are one of the most significant school performance strategies. Yet, most of the schools that have applied them belong to highperformance educational systems, such as those of Japan, South Korea, Finland or Singapore, leaving out the educational reality of Latin America. Through an exploratory study based on ethnographic observation and semi-structured interviews, this research links theory to practice to discuss the applicability of PLC to public schools in low-performance educational systems. In conclusion, it was found that the main components of PLCs (flexible organizational structures, distributed leadership, shared values, and collaborative school cultures) are present but precarious and do not support the implementation of the strategy."
... Supervision is the single most important and effective factor in developing professionalism and more important than other methods [5]. Supervision helps schools and tries to find problems and solve them [6]. Or it can be approved by supervision as a joint effort to study the factors that influence student growth and development [7]. ...
... In this regard, a conception of the school as a learning organization [22,23], over and above the combination of multiple agents whose actions may lead to individual school improvements, implies an essential point in achieving effective pedagogical leadership [24,25]. ...
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This paper analyzes the Spanish school principal figures and their future patterns of leadership and development, according to educational policies in Europe. The first part presents a comprehensive overview of the situation of school principals in Spain, according to the Spanish policy; in the second part, its real practice in a secondary school is evidenced based on the results of a conducted research. The tensions and dilemmas currently faced by school principals in Spain will be analyzed: pedagogical leadership versus management-oriented principals. The interviews carried out reveal the meaning that the different agents give to “leadership”. A climate of trust and collaboration has been established between the management team, middle leaders and teaching staff, necessary conditions for the development of a shared school project and ensure its sustainability for achieve school improvement.
... The construct of 'professional learning communities' (later PLCs) has become a prevailing framework for teachers' professional learning and development (Watson, 2014;Turner et al., 2018). Evidence suggests that teachers' work within successful PLCs improves instruction which may lead to improved student achievement (Lomos et al., 2011;Jones et al., 2013) and contribute to the effectiveness of schools (Louis et al., 2010;Hofman et al., 2015). ...
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Building professional learning communities (PLC) has become a widely recognized strategy for school development and for student achievement. Four Finnish comprehensive schools were identified as being ready to be PLCs in a previous quantitative study, and the purpose of this study was to investigate practices of PLCs in these schools. In this paper, we used data from qualitative multiple-case study, which investigated practices of leadership, culture, teacher collaboration, professional learning, and development. The results showed that the principals had played the main role in the progression of schools as PLCs. Principals were described as visionary leaders who had started positive progression, shared the leadership, and created commitment to common goals. The results indicated also that a change of leaders can have a positive effect. Decision-making processes were participative, inclusive, democratic, and collaborative, aiming for a satisfactory level of consensus. Relationships among staff were reported as being based on mutual trust and openness, and members were encouraged to express their opinions. Common responsibility of students, peer support, encouragement, and co-teaching were practiced. Co-teaching practices were identified as an effective form of collaborative work-embedded professional learning which is related to the core principles of professional learning communities. Structural conditions were reported as barriers to schools’ development as PLCs.
... Moreover, it has been debated that these communities may 'function as a means to silence dissatisfaction through the hegemonic appeal to "community" and its normalising function as arbiter of ideological control' (Watson 2014, 27). On the other hand, CoPs have been defended, that even though challenges exist, these communities can hold the key to real transformation by being 'a locus of engagement in action, interpersonal relations, shared knowledge, and negotiation of enterprises' (Wenger 1998, 85), and can initiate change in institutions by the conscious confrontation of competing values (Sachs 2001;Watson 2014). To contribute to micro change in schools, the CoP can be a democratic space for teachers' CPD (Sachs 2001;Tannehill and MacPhail 2017). ...
Article
Background: Physical Education (PE) teachers around the world often struggle with different experiences of precarity such as job insecurity, high workloads, lack of infrastructure in schools, and others. Communities of practice (CoP) are recognised as an important democratic strategy for teachers’ continuing professional development (CPD). A democratic CoP seeks to promote spaces where teachers can empower themselves by taking risks and collectively struggle to overcome their challenges. The majority of studies regarding CoPs and PE have, however, been conducted in privileged, global north countries with PE teachers who were predominantly white and middle-class. Much less attention has been paid to critically examining PE-CoPs with teachers in precarious contexts in the global south countries. Purpose: This study investigated the process of nurturing a democratic PE-CoP in a precarious, Brazilian school context. Methods: Ethnography and action research framed this 2-semester study. Participants included six PE teachers, a facilitator, and a critical friend. Data collection/analysis: Data sources included: (a) lead researcher observations collected as field notes; (b) weekly teachers’ meetings and researchers’ meetings; and (c) teachers’ interviews. Data were analysed using an inductive and iterative thematic process. Findings: Results indicated the development of a democratic PE-CoP in a precarious situation through an ongoing and dynamic progression where teachers built their own practice to overcome the marginalisation of PE and were supported to exist. In this untenable context, the nurturing of a democratic CoP focused on teachers’ survival and ‘defending themselves’ while learning to struggle together to change their micro-context. Implications: Nurturing a democratic CoP created a space for the negotiation of what was meaningful and useful for these teachers in their reality. In these contexts, we suggest that teachers’ CPD must include not only content knowledge but also the quest for better professional conditions.
... This paper resounds with our 'polyvocality' (Hernandez, Chang, and Ngunjiri 2017) which does not become a cacophony or a contentious complexity. Instead, this empowers us with the hope of becoming agents of change (Watson 2014) guiding students through a process of querying their own learning, thus addressing Boler's (1999, 176) 'call to action'. In attempting to co-create knowledge and question hegemonic epistemologies within classroom practice through our similar yet different positionalities within academia, we also seek to create a polyvocal space for women academics of colour within an arena that is currently in a state of disruption and flux (Joseph 2013). ...
Article
This paper is based on personal narratives of three transnational women academics of colour, within education faculties in Australian universities. As postcolonial subjects we focus, on providing spaces for future educators, to find multiple ways of knowing, being, and relating. Reflecting upon our pedagogic practices, we analyse the empowerment afforded by our individual positionings in facilitating a deeper understanding of social justice and inclusion in our classrooms. Using collaborative autoethnography, we outline our endeavours to raise critical queries through Freire’s notion ofconscientizacao. We unpack our own pedagogic frailties while enacting ‘pedagogy of discomfort’, as we subvert the proliferation of educational hegemonies considering it may lead to erasures of certain epistemologies. This paper conclusively highlights our efforts to ensure the creation of conscientizacao, in ourselves and our students, while concomitantly abnegating ‘pedagogy of rupture’ and being mindful of our individual positionings and our students’ varied contexts.
... Effectively implemented PLC programs will have positive correlation with the effectiveness in achieving school's objectives [5]. In realizing such effectiveness, teachers must act as agents of change in implementing PLC [11]. Therefore, to realize a high quality school, PLC should be able to stimulate the development of teachers' confidence, their perspective on reality and problems, their skills, and their organizational capabilities [2]. ...
... Su atención se centra en el entorno que fomente el aprendizaje y cambio de cada miembro de la comunidad, operando de forma abierta y solidaria en un ambiente de trabajo. Watson (2014) considera que una CPA tiene un papel potencialmente importante que desempeñar en los procesos organizativos, desestabilizando la rigidez que caracteriza a la escuela como institución. ...
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Este estudio buscó responder ¿Qué acontece cuando profesores y directivos se involucran en una comunidad de aprendizaje profesional para efectuar su planeación escolar? Bajo un enfoque de casos múltiples cualitativo, participaron directivos y profesores de cinco escuelas públicas de educación básica, en los estados de Nuevo León, Chihuahua y Sonora en México. La investigación inició con un seminario como detonador que permitió establecer la misión y visión de cada escuela, y acorde con estas y sus necesidades crear las temáticas de las comunidades y concretar sus acciones de planeación. Se efectuaron observaciones participantes in situ de cada comunidad, entrevistas a profesores y directivos y revisión documental. Los hallazgos se organizaron en las fases de inicio, desarrollo y terminación del proceso de implementación de la comunidad, dentro de las cuales se identificaron las categorías: proceso de comprensión de la comunidad de aprendizaje, organización, trabajo colaborativo, facilitadores y barreras, así como los beneficios percibidos. Se encontraron en general algunas semejanzas y diferencias en las cinco escuelas, entre las primeras destacaron las resistencias y desconcierto inicial de los profesores para trabajar en una comunidad, la sobrecarga de trabajo, el desconocimiento de metas en algunas de las escuelas, así como la falta de tiempo para participar. Sin embargo, reconocieron haber tenido un espacio y oportunidad de interacción y comunicación para el trabajo colaborativo, y la importancia de la comunidad para aprender y compartir, mientras que las directoras destacaron su utilidad como un medio que puede apoyar su gestión. Cada escuela como caso particular presentó características distintivas, dado que mientras una de las escuelas fue exitosa en su organización y concreción de acciones en sus comunidades, otras tuvieron dificultades para obtener resultados debido a carecer de un ambiente de trabajo óptimo y liderazgo de la dirección.
... Se deduce de lo anterior que para que una organización educativa sea considerada "digitalmente competente" se necesita una combinación equilibrada entre liderazgo y gobernanza fuertes, por un lado, y personas interesadas, por otro, capaces de asumir responsabilidades propias y comunes a la hora de abordar acciones estratégicas. Se observa que este concepto de organización digitalmente competente está relacionado con el de "organizaciones de aprendizaje" y "organización basada en competencias" (Antal et al., 2014;Stoll y Kools, 2017;Tejada y Navío, 2005;Watson, 2014), con el concepto de "aprendizaje organizacional" (Hong et al., 2017) o incluso con el de "comunidades de aprendizaje profesional" (Thompson et al., 2004). En todos ellos subyace la idea de una cultura de trabajo colaborativo con un fin común que trasciende lo individual y se traslada al ámbito de organización. ...
Article
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El Marco Europeo para Organizaciones Educativas Digitalmente Competentes (DigCompOrg) tiene como finalidad apoyar a las organizaciones educativas para proceder a su digitalización de manera sistemática y estratégica. Este trabajo presenta una investigación evaluativa sobre el grado de desarrollo de la competencia digital de un centro de enseñanza secundaria (estudio de caso) a partir de las dimensiones recogidas en este modelo. El diseño de la investigación se sustenta en el modelo ADDIE. Se opta por un método mixto en el que se combinan técnicas de recolección de datos de tipo cuantitativo (cuestionario SELFIE) y cualitativo (entrevista semiestructurada, grupo de discusión y observación participante). Los resultados que se exponen en este artículo toman en cuenta la información cuantitativa recogida entre los principales agentes educativos: el equipo directivo, el profesorado y el alumnado. A partir de la primera etapa de análisis de necesidades se proponen, a continuación, diferentes acciones y estrategias de mejora que permitan al centro educativo avanzar como organización digitalmente competente Entre las principales conclusiones se demuestra que se invierten más esfuerzos en promover prácticas dirigidas al proceso de enseñanza y aprendizaje en el alumnado o a la formación docente
... In this category, two subcategories were identified: (1) teacher efficacy and (2) instructional mastery. The respondents stressed that the intervention, in a form of being a professional learning community, allowed them to re-examine their teaching practices and further hone them by adopting to the appropriate teaching approaches as applied in other specialized disciplines (Vescio et al., 2008;Watson, 2014). ...
Article
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Out-of-field teaching continues to be a persisting problem in the Philippine educational system – similarly evident in the rural school where this study was conducted. As an intervention, the researchers organized a professional learning community in the form of a school learning action cell (SLAC) to provide assistance to the teachers. They were then interviewed to determine the perceived effects of the intervention. Results of the study revealed that SLAC sessions contribute to the general well-being of the teachers in their view of the profession as it ‘reduced their tasks’ and ‘promoted workplace collaboration.’ On the other hand, it also impacted their pedagogy, which was found to have contributed to their ‘instructional mastery’ and ‘teacher efficacy.’ The researchers, however, caution that, though the intervention was found to be successful, it should be taken in its suggestive nature when out-of-field teaching is unavoidable. When feasible, the idyllic educational landscape should assign teachers according to their respective specialized fields.
... Although Watson (2014) criticized the role of professional learning communities, Voelkel & Chrispeels (2017) found that it helped teacher collective efficacy and further improved students' achievements. Similarly, Mitchell & Sackney (2016) examined teachers' practices in a 'living system', which found to support authentic teaching and learning for students' well-being. ...
... 3) Whether the teacher leader is a lifelong learner: someone who is curious, open minded or has a growth mindset and is willing to try new approaches (Ali, 2014;Beauchamp, 2015;Bourn, 2015;Schleicher, 2012;Schleicher, 2015;Watson, 2014 3) An effective relationship builder with colleagues within their school, and also externally: bottom-up change agents engage with key local stakeholders (parents, community groups and so forth) to co-construct the difference they are seeking to achieve and the means of achieving it (Butler & Schnellert, 2012; ...
Article
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Change agents are individuals who can successfully transform aspects of how organisations operate. In education, teachers as change agents are increasingly seen as vital to the successful operation of schools and self-improving school systems. To date, however, there has been no systematic investigation of the nature and role of teacher change agents. To address this knowledge gap, we undertook a systematic review into five key areas regarding teachers as change agents. After reviewing 70 outputs we found that current literature predominantly positions teacher change agents as the deliverers of top-down change, with the possibility of bottom-up educational reform currently neglected.
... Si nos centramos en el marco DigCompOrg, por ser objeto del estudio, se presenta un modelo diseñado para ser utilizado por diferentes organizaciones educativas (educación primaria, secundaria y formación profesional o educación superior) que quieran realizar un diagnóstico sobre el uso que hacen de las tecnologías en el proceso de enseñanza y aprendizaje. El concepto de organización digitalmente competente se relaciona con el concepto de "organizaciones de aprendizaje" y "organización basada en competencias" (Stoll y Kools, 2017;Watson, 2014) o con el concepto de "aprendizaje organizacional" (Hong et al., 2017) cuyo objetivo es optimizar el ejercicio de las organizaciones por medio del trabajo colaborativo. En todos estos conceptos subyace la idea de organización digitalmente competente que consigue mejores resultados desde diferentes ángulos. ...
... lesson study) to make sure that their students achieve such outcomes. That contemporary role of educators makes them adopt the critical role as the agents of change (Watson, 2014) and makes them participate in various practitioner inquiries such as lesson and/or learning study. The authors of this book discuss that "the soul of lesson study" (2021, p. 26) is to present professional learning opportunities for teachers so that they can be empowered to make decisions regarding their own classroom practices. ...
... Professional learning communities have been thoroughly examined in the past two decades not only in the context of teacher professional development but also as a significant space in which to develop and test new pedagogical practices (Stoll, Bolam, McMahon, Wallace, & Thomas, 2006;Vangrieken, Meredith, Packer, & Kyndt, 2017) and to empower teachers as agents of school development (Watson, 2014). These expectations are strengthened by the belief that the teachers' cooperation is predominantly supportive, has pro-developmental potential, and focuses attention and commitment on shared values, visions, and goals (Gallagher, Griffin, SŁAWOMIR KRZYCHAŁA is an associate professor in the Faculty of Education, University of Lower Silesia, ul. ...
Article
This article focuses on the teacher community as an agent of school development, and in the context of teacher engagement in new educational practices, it discusses how school change can be analyzed as a process of creating and transforming professional knowledge (orientation pattern). The qualitative research was conducted in 2015–2016 at 12 schools participating in an innovative tutoring program in Wrocław (Poland). A total of 12 group discussions and 52 individual interviews were interpreted using Mannheim’s documentary method. As a result, a typology of the four forms of new professional orientation patterns—niche, instrumental, apparent, and synergic activities—was elaborated, and in a case study, they were applied as a theoretical model to the sociogenetic analysis of the school development process.
... The PLC concept is contentious. Mention was made of weak conceptualisations, inadequate definitions of the PLC characteristics (Doğan and Adams 2018) and the need to re-examine assumptions underpinning PLCs (Watson 2014). Hairon et al. (2015) identified gaps in the research base, the concept of community and the effects of PLCs. ...
Article
For investigating a comprehensive PLC framework, instruments are needed that capture the multi-layered PLC characteristics and that take into account the complex influencing educational context. Such instruments are currently lacking. This study aims at describing the development and validation of two qualitative classification instruments usable for systematically identifying changes in PLCs. The 11 characteristics and accompanying behavioural and attitudinal indicators of a recently designed PLC framework were converted into codes and measuring values. For this conversion the ‘directed content analysis approach’ was used. The result is two classification instruments that can be used to collect and classify behavioural and attitudinal data from interviews and observations. The instruments cover all the characteristics, respectively indicators of the PLC framework and are suitable for validation by triangulation. This study contributes to the methodology for investigating PLCs by presenting two theoretically grounded and validated sets of codes, and two sets of measuring values. The latter is important for systematically developing knowledge on PLCs in educational practice. In everyday educational practice the instruments can be used to determine the state of the PLC and steps can be taken to stimulate its development.
Article
The educational improvement is sustained by developing the teaching practice and strengthening collaborative work. The scarce information and the limitations of educational policies have reduced the possibilities of transcendent innovations in Chilean teaching practice in this area. Considering the above, this research is based on a model of collaborative teaching work: The Professional Learning Communities (CPA) (Dufour, 2004), considering their development in Chilean educational establishments. With this purpose in mind, a qualitative study on the experience of collaborative work was carried out among teachers from two educational establishments. Based on the teachers' experience, the spaces allocated for management and the schools internal dynamics, the implementation of the model was reviewed considering the context. The results allowed us to assess the possibilities of establishing the model based on the components of the experience studied, such as professional recognition and the value of collaborative work among peers.
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سعت الدراسة للوقوف على بعض العوامل المؤثرة في فاعلية تأسيس مجتمعات التعلم المهنية بمدارس التعليم الثانوي العام، وتحقيقا لهذا الهدف استخدم الباحث المنهج الوصفي وقام بتصميم استبانة تضمنت عشرة محاور مثلت العوامل المحددة بالدراسة والتي تؤثر في مجتمعات التعلم المهنية ، وهي (الهيكل التنظيمي، القيادة المدرسية، قدرات المعلمين، التنمية المهنية، الثقة التنظيمية، الثقافة التعاونية، التعلم التنظيمي، الذاكرة التنظيمية، الشراكة المجتمعية، وإدارة الوقت) طبقت على عينة من معلمي مدارس التعليم الثانوي العام بمحافظة الدقهلية. وتوصلت الدراسة إلى أنّ توافر العوامل العشرة اجمالا كان بنسبة لم تتجاوز (64%) مما يؤشر على احتمالية وجود معوقات قد تقلل من فاعلية تأسيس مجتمعات التعلم المهنية. وقد جاء عامل "قدرات المعلمين" في الترتيب الأول، يليه عامل "الذاكرة التنظيمية" وكلاهما بدرجة توافر كبيرة، وجاء في الترتيب الأخير عامل "التنمية المهنية" بدرجة توافر متوسطة ونسبة توافر لم تتجاوز (56%). وانتهت الدراسة بوضع تصور مقترح لمتطلبات تأسيس مجتمعات تعلم مهنية فعالة بمدارس التعليم الثانوي العام.
Chapter
This chapter investigates the impact and relative advantages of two engagement models for delivering science-specific PD: school-led partnerships and external-led PD delivered by STEM experts. Traditionally professional development (PD) led by professional education experts has been used to improve the quality of science teaching and learning in primary schools. Over almost 10 years in the UK, there has been a drive to school-led collaborative partnerships providing PD as part of an overall policy change to a school-led self-improving system. Using data collected from two exemplar programmes for subject-specific PD in primary schools, we examine the effectiveness, advantages and disadvantages of these two models of PD. Both programmes were successful in improving the leadership and teaching of science with some evidence of impact on pupil outcomes, yet they also demonstrated different advantages and challenges. The suggested solution for effective PD is to develop a ‘blended’ approach that incorporates the stronger elements of each of the models.
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هدف البحث إلى وضع تصور مقترح لآليات تحول المدارس الثانوية إلى مجتمعات تعلم مهنية لتنمية رأس المال الفكري المدرسي، ولتحقيق ذلك حلل الباحثان الإطار الفكري والمفاهيمي لمتغيري البحث، واستقصيا العلاقة بين مجتمعات التعلم المهنية ورأس المال الفكري المدرسي، وسعت الدراسة الميدانية للبحث للوقوف على آليات تحول المدارس الثانوية إلى مجتمعات تعلم مهنية لتنمية رأس المال الفكري المدرسي، والكشف عن الفروق بين متوسطات استجابات أفراد العينة والتي تعزى لاختلاف: ( طبيعة العمل، الوظيفة، سنوات الخبرة، الدورات التدريبية). وتحقيقا لأهداف البحث، استخدم الباحثان المنهج الوصفي التحليلي، وقاما بإعداد استبانة تضمنت ثلاثة محاور(الهيكل التنظيمي والقيادة، بناء القدرات البشرية، الدعم المادي والتقني)، طبقت على فئتين: الأولى: عينة عشوائية من أعضاء هيئة التدريس التربويين بالجامعات السعودية، وعينة من القيادات التربوية من مديري المدارس الثانوية ، والمشرفين التربويين بإدارة التعليم في محافظة جدة، حيث تم الحصر الشامل للمديرين، وأسلوب العينة الطبقية العشوائية للمشرفين. وتوصل البحث إلى العديد من النتائج، منها: اتفاق أفراد العينة من أعضاء هيئة التدريس الجامعيين والقيادات التربوية على الأهمية الكبيرة لآليات تحول المدارس الثانوية إلى مجتمعات تعلم مهنية لتنمية رأس المال الفكري المدرسي، وجاءت آليات بناء القدرات البشرية في مقدمة الآليات من وجهة نظر أعضاء هيئة التدريس الجامعيين، في حين جاءت آليات الدعم المادي والتقني في المرتبة الأولى من وجهة نظر القيادات التربوية، واتفقت الفئتين على الترتيب الثالث والأخير لآليات الهيكل التنظيمي والقيادة، وجاءت الفروق في الاستجابات بين أعضاء هيئة التدريس الجامعيين والقيادات التربوية حول أهمية الآليات لصالح أعضاء هيئة التدريس وذلك على كل آلية من الآليات الثلاثة والمجموع. وفيما يتعلق بالقيادات التربوية نفسها من مديري المدارس والمشرفيين التربويين، لم تلاحظ فروق دالة احصائيا عند مستوى (0.05) حول أهمية الآليات بين القيادات التربوية تعزى لسنوات الخبرة في التعليم، في حين وجدت فروق دالة احصائيا عند مستوى (0.01) بين القيادات التربوية حول أهمية الآليات تعزى للوظيفة لصالح المشرفين التربويين، ووجدت فروق كذلك تعزى للحصول على دورات تدريبية لذلك الذين حصلوا على دورات تدريبية في مجتمعات التعلم أو رأس المال الفكري. ووضع البحث نموذج تصوري للعلاقة بين متغيري البحث، وانتهى بوضع تصور مقترح لآليات تحول المدارس الثانوية لمجتمعات تعلم مهنية لتنمية رأس المال الفكري.
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A strongly identified workforce presents a paradox during times of radical organizational change. Though it may bind people together behind the change initiative, strong organizationwide identification often blinds and potentially blocks the view of new possibilities. Prior research on identity change has tended to either ignore the paradox or resolve it by advocating some middle ground such as hybrid organizational identities or group-level identifications. This paper presents an identity transformation model that capitalizes on the paradoxical tensions over time by unpacking the processes by which individual and organizational levels of identity interact. It operationalizes the model by suggesting linguistic markers that describe the different stages of the process and rhetorical techniques that leaders can use to guide people through the process. To illustrate the model and its application, the paper highlights moments across a 10-year period at Tech-Co, a high-technology company undergoing a significant identity transformation.
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This essay introduces a new form of social ontology and sketches its bearings on the analysis of organizations. The essay begins by contrasting the two social ontological camps — individualism and societism — into which social theory has been divided since its inception. It then describes the new approach, called site ontology, according to which social life is tied to a context (site) of which it is inherently a part. Examples of such ontologies are presented, as is my own thesis that the site of social life is composed of a nexus of human practices and material arrangements. The bearing of the latter ontology on the character, origin, and perpetuation of organizations is then considered, using an academic department as an example. Contrasts are also drawn with various approaches in organizations theory, including rational organizations, neoinstitutionalism, systems theories, and selection theories. A final section considers the complex psychological structure of organizations, working off Karl Weick and Karlene Robert’s notion of collective mind in organizations.
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The author suggests that we apply recent research knowledge to improve our conceptualization, measures, and methodology for studying the effects of teachers' professional development on teachers and students. She makes the case that there is a research consensus to support the use of a set of core features and a common conceptual framework in professional development impact studies. She urges us to move away from automatic biases either for or against observation, interviews, or surveys in such studies. She argues that the use of a common conceptual framework would elevate the quality of professional development studies and subsequently the general understanding of how best to shape and implement teacher learning opportunities for the maximum benefit of both teachers and students.
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Some action research today lacks a critical edge. This article identifies five inadequate forms of action research, and argues that action research must be capable of ‘telling unwelcome truths’ against schooling in the interests of education. It reasserts a connection between education and emancipatory ideals that allow educators to address contemporary social challenges. It suggests how educational trends in recent decades may have led to the domestication of educational action research, and concludes with three messages about quality in educational action research. It re‐thinks educational action research initiatives as creating intersubjective spaces for public discourse in public spheres.
Article
The purpose of this article is to bring together findings developed from the Schools and Continuing Professional Development in England – State of the Nation Study. This large-scale national study, commissioned by the Training and Development Agency for Schools, investigated the range and kinds of continuing professional development (CPD) activities in which teachers at primary and secondary schools in England participate and the kinds of support provided by schools. Teachers’ professional learning practices and perspectives were researched in relation to three main themes: the benefits, status and effectiveness of CPD; the planning and organization of CPD; and access to CPD. The research was based on a review of the UK literature related to teachers’ CPD for the period 2004–2007, qualitative research (school snapshots) at nine primary and three secondary schools, and a survey of a national representative sample of teachers. Our analysis concludes that teachers’ professional learning in England is generally ineffective and lacks school-level systems and supports. As such, the potential of teachers’ professional learning for enhancing the quality of classroom teaching and learning in schools remains largely untapped.
Article
This article provides an overview of the background and recent developments leading to the current reshaping of teacher education in Scotland, starting with the developments emanating in the past decade from the McCrone Report and finishing with the recent Donaldson Report, Teaching Scotland’s Future. It documents the key features of the report and the impact that this will have on current teacher education provision in Scotland.
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Our understanding of the kinds of knowledge demanded for the practice fields is intimately connected to a broader set of ideas linking practice, inquiry, and learning. This article aims to illustrate two mental models or frameworks, each of which carries different assumptions about the meaning of practice, knowledge, inquiry and learning.
Article
Examines the correlation between the exploration of new possibilities and the exploitation of old certainties in organizational learning. Also discusses the difficulty in balancing resource management between gaining new information about alternatives to improve future returns (i.e., exploration) and using information currently available to improve present returns (i.e., exploitation). Two models which evaluate the formation and use of knowledge in organizations are developed. The first is a model of mutual learning in a closed system having fixed organizational membership and stability. The second is a model which considers the ways in which competitive advantage is affected by knowledge accumulation. The analysis indicates that the choice to rapidly develop exploitation over exploration might be effective in the short term, but is potentially detrimental to the firm in the long term. (SFL)
Article
One of the core constitutional questions for national constitutional courts in the EU in the past decades has been whether to accept the claim made by the Court of Justice that EU law is the supreme law of the land, taking primacy even over conflicting national constitutional provisions. With the inclusion in the recently adopted Constitutional Treaty of a clause explicitly confirming the 'primacy of EU Law' appearances suggest that the EU is about to establish a characteristic of mature, vertically integrated, federal states such as the USA. This article argues that this view is mistaken. It develops a comprehensive jurisprudential framework for addressing constitutional conflicts, 'Constitutionalism Beyond the State' (CBC). CBS detaches the discussion of supremacy and constitutional conflict from a statist framework; provides a jurisprudential account that explains and justifies the highly differentiated, context-sensitive and dynamic set of conflict rules that national courts have in the past adopted; and provides the lacking theoretical basis for the more attractive, but undertheorised sui generis accounts of European constitutional practice that have recently gained ground in the literature. CBS provides a jurisprudentially grounded reconstructive account of why the issue of constitutional conflict is as rich and complicated in Europe as it is and why it is likely to remain so even if the Constitutional Treaty is ratified. The article then goes on to make concrete proposals addressed to national constitutional courts and the Court of Justice respectively about how, in application of the developed approach, constitutional conflicts ought to be addressed doctrinally. It includes a proposal to read the new 'constitutional identity' clause as authorising Member States as a matter of EU Law to set aside EU Law on constitutional grounds under certain circumstances.
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to introduce and illustrate the insights of the sociology of worth as advanced by sociologist Luc Boltanski and his collaborator economist/statistician Laurent Thévenot in their works, including their path-breaking book De la justification published in 1991. Design/methodology/approach – The paper explores the basic tenets of this “new sociology” and draws on it to render a reinterpretation of Ansari and Euske's study of cost accounting in a military depot. Findings – The sociology of worth complements extant sociological approaches to accounting by providing a language and a conceptual tool-box for understanding the multiple rationalities in which accounting is implicated. In addition, given its pragmatic micro level approach to accounting, it has the potential to act as a bridge between institutional theory and practice theory. Originality/value – This paper is the first known to render an extensive discussion of Boltanski and Thévenot's work in the accounting literature and to apply insights from this work to accounting research.
Article
After an overview of the characteristics of professional learning communities (PLCs), this manuscript presents a review of 10 American studies and one English study on the impact of PLCs on teaching practices and student learning. Although, few studies move beyond self-reports of positive impact, a small number of empirical studies explore the impact on teaching practice and student learning. The collective results of these studies suggest that well-developed PLCs have positive impact on both teaching practice and student achievement. Implications of this research and suggestions for next steps in the efforts to document the impact of PLCs on teaching and learning are included.
Article
Recent ethnographic studies of workplace practices indicate that the ways people actually work usually differ fundamentally from the way organizations describe that work in manuals, training programs, organizational charts, and job descriptions. Nevertheless, organizations tend to rely on the latter in their attempts to understand and improve work practice. We examine one such study. We then relate its conclusions to compatible investigations of learning and of innovation to argue that conventional descriptions of jobs mask not only the ways people work, but also significant learning and innovation generated in the informal communities-of-practice in which they work. By reassessing work, learning, and innovation in the context of actual communities and actual practices, we suggest that the connections between these three become apparent. Witha unified view of working, learning, and innovating, it should be possible to reconceive of and redesign organizations to improve all three.
Article
This paper sets out to examine educational policy and practice in Scotland, showing how the 'comprehensive and coherent programme to promote social inclusion' - inculcating 'readiness to learn', ensuring that education equips the young for adult life, creating a demand for lifelong learning, above all through the presumption of mainstreaming - is indicative of and constitutive of a change in the way in which we are subject to governance in Scotland. This shift can be read as consistent with a move from a predominantly 'disciplinary' society as set out by Michel Foucault towards the 'control society' as elaborated by Gilles Deleuze - a society which does not operate through confinement but continuous control made possible by cybertechnology. Although it specifically draws on Scottish legislation and policy, it should be recognised that this is itself subject to emergent global education policy and so its relevance goes beyond these borders.
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