Professional Learning for 'Teacher Engagers', Facilitators, and Co-learners: Building Skills for Changing Teacher Work Roles within Significantly Innovative Schooling Contexts

By Susanne Owen.

Published by The International Journal of Adult, Community and Professional Learning

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Thesis statement: Professional learning within highly innovative educational contexts and focused on school-based teacher professional learning communities (PLCs) is increasingly being utilised in supporting teachers in refining their skills as facilitators and co-learners with their students. While various researchers (Bolam et al, 2005; Coburg & Russell, 2008; Scott et al, 2011) outline the characteristics of teacher PLCs, there is a gap in the research about the specific learning experiences and processes involved in building relevant skills such as effective facilitation, constructive questioning, constructing assessment rubrics and using gaming and other ICT within curriculum planning processes. The current research focuses on teacher specific learning experiences and skill-building processes relevant to significantly innovative schooling contexts.
Methodology: A mixed methods approach is used involving teacher and leader interviews and school documents and surveys within three case study schools associated with an OECD innovative learning environment project.
Results: Results indicate significant learning within the day-to-day collaborative work, with specific examples of teacher learning and changes in practices occurring through observations, co-planning, co-teaching, co-assessing and co-reflection.
Conclusion: There are implications for policy in regard to skilling leaders in actively nurturing PLCs through provision of time, establishing shared values about teacher learning and guarding against insularity through effectively connecting with other learning opportunities.

Keywords: Theme: Adult, Community, and Professional Learning, Professional Learning, Innovative Schooling

The International Journal of Adult, Community and Professional Learning, Volume 20, Issue 1, March 2014, pp.9-20. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 690.436KB).

Dr. Susanne Owen

Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Education Arts and Social Sciences, DECD, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Dr Susanne Owen is a researcher, also holding other academic positions with the University of South Australia, managing an international project in school innovation for the education department and working as an education consultant for various national organisations. She has previously been a school leader and facilitator of teacher professional learning at a state education level. Her research interests are varied but largely focused on professional learning and educational innovation.