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Teacher Professional Development: Who is the learner?

One of the challenges in in-service teacher education is how teachers can be given professional development (PD) that enables them to respond to national curriculum and policy change. In recent years primary teachers in New Zealand have been inundated with Ministry of Education-funded professional development programmes to help them implement a plethora of curriculum policy and reform initiatives. This paper explores how the design and delivery of one PD programme, the Physical Activity Initiative (PAI), positioned and supported teachers as learners. An evaluation of the programme sought data from 25 teachers and 14 advisers to schools. The focus was the impact of the PD on how and what teachers learnt about teaching physical education and how their learning impacted upon their classroom practices. The data highlight the difficulty of accommodating the teacher as a learner, within a “one size fits all” PD model. Little attention was paid to the learning differences among the teachers. It is argued that providers of PD need to understand the unique complex web of contextual factors that impacted upon each teacher, and that each teacher’s learning needs and learning approaches vary and this needs to be accounted for in the design and the delivery of PD.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Petrie, K. & McGee, C. (2012). Teacher Professional Development: Who is the learner? Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 37(2), 59-72.
Edith Cowan University
This article has been published in the journal: Australian Journal of Teacher Education. © 2012 Author(s).