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Title: Let’s Talk… : Improving engagement and collaboration in continuous professional learning and development for teachers in further education
Authors: Thornton, Theresa
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: The professionalism and continuous development of teachers in the further education sector is an ongoing debate which has challenged government both past and present. As a result, numerous policies on developing teachers and their professionalism have been introduced along with recommendations on how teachers in the further education sector should develop their practice. As a newly appointed learning, teaching and assessment co-ordinator, in a further education college in the north of England I decided to carry out an action research project. This role held the responsibility of the professional learning and development of teachers across the organisation. The main aim of the research was to increase the engagement and collaborative learning of teachers using cultural historical activity theory (CHAT) as the theoretical framework. Conversely, a greater understanding of teachers’ perceptions of professional learning and development was a fundamental starting point for the research. A new approach to the continuous professional development of teaching staff across the whole organisation was introduced. This involved the whole college teaching community, with teachers from each curriculum department attending training needs analysis meetings at the beginning of the academic year. A sample group of 23 teachers and 5 managers from across various curriculum areas were additionally, and directly, involved as research participants, completing questionnaires and interviews. The research findings highlighted the complexities of collaborative learning which resonates with Engeström’s activity theory and learning at work. There was greater engagement and collaboration identified. Yet this was more evident with some, but not all, teachers. There was a variation in circumstance which may have influenced whether a teacher chose to engage or not. These included established departmental cultures, the impact of government policy on practice as well as individual perceptions of self and how the experiences encountered were interpreted.
Description: D. Ed Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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