Professionally developing teachers or teachers developing professionally? A narrative inquiry into the professional development experiences of three primary school teachers in North Queensland

Mensinga-Payard, Christine Margot (2007) Professionally developing teachers or teachers developing professionally? A narrative inquiry into the professional development experiences of three primary school teachers in North Queensland. PhD thesis, James Cook University.

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Abstract

Professional development for teachers has long been seen as a major way in which student learning outcomes can be improved and as a way in which new educational practices can be instituted within the education system. Education Queensland policy documents, statements and reports indicate a concerted effort needs to be made in Queensland to ensure that change practices yield successful and consistent results across the state in order to provide quality educational outcomes for all Queensland students. However, considerable research has demonstrated that reform strategies and change practices often yield mixed results in terms of effectiveness. According to a wide body of research, the most effective form of educational change requires the participation of teachers not only as receptors and conduits of reform, but as determiners and mediators of change. So, what really happens in the professional development of our teachers, particularly in regional Queensland?

This research project describes professional development experiences of three primary school teachers in a regional setting in 2001/2002 using a narrative inquiry approach described by Clandinin and Connelly (2000). The narratives of these participants indicate that professional development is an individual experiential process that is ongoing and occurring within a complex professional landscape incorporating biographical, social, historical and systemic contexts of operation. Teachers’ professional development is integrally associated with stories of identity over time and incorporates negotiated relationships with others who share the educational landscape they inhabit. This narrative inquiry includes not only the participants’ perspectives of their experiences, but also mine as a researcher using a narrative inquiry process. The reader is invited to view teachers developing professionally from the individual’s perspective and consider the value of such perspectives when considering teachers’ professional growth within our schools.

Item ID: 2081
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: teachers, professional development, primary schools, narrative inquiry, experiences, perspectives, change, policy, North Queensland
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2009 06:19
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION @ 0%
Downloads: Total: 1098
Last 12 Months: 125
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