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Title: Professional learning re-constructed through narrative inquiry in the United Arab Emirates
Authors: Robison, Shaun
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Research on teacher educators’ professional learning within the United Arab Emirates is an emerging field. My roles as a senior educational professional have inspired my interest in the professional learning of teacher educators and specifically in reflecting on my own professional learning. This study adopts a narrative inquiry approach to my personal and professional learning in the United Arab Emirates. As a teacher educator, I operate within a complex cultural and economic environment that is underpinned by Emirati culture, Islamic values and a neo-liberal, market-based approach to education. As a result, I have worked in various professional roles with a high degree of uncertainty, and I have navigated unfamiliar professional boundaries to achieve personal agency. There are three main phases of this study which has taken place over a six year period; the first phase captures my thinking as an early career teacher, before progressing to a teacher educator role working across schools, and then working in a senior role, juggling a range of commercial and educational responsibilities. In order to make empowering decisions about my professional learning, I have needed to develop a set of researcherly dispositions, which has emerged from my awareness of the contextual challenges and opportunities within the UAE education sector. My narrative as a teacher educator is illustrated with cameos of two teacher educators and a teacher with whom I have worked, each with unique profiles and development needs that have informed my approach to the design of professional learning opportunities. Through my work with these educators I explore the conditions that have supported my professional growth and outline the impact this has had on me. This narrative study, which draws on European models, namely the Dutch Standards (VELON) and the Flemish Teacher Educator Development Profile (VELOV) and also Kelchtermans ‘Dynamics of Learning’ model (2018), demonstrates that I have been required to exhibit certain dispositions that are relevant to the UAE education context in order to perform in a variety of professional roles. The findings of this study reveal that I have examined my professional contexts in pursuit of personal agency, and attempted to capture the nuances of my professional learning, and the professional learning of
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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