Improving the Quality of Teaching and Learning: A Teacher-as-learner-centred Approach

By John Buchanan.

Published by The Learner Collection

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

Much of what is called quality management is imposed on teachers from above. This paper adopts the argument that if we accept the mantra of student-centred learning (however we might define that), we should be willing to apply it to teacher professional development, assuming the needs and existing expertise of the teacher to be central to the process. In short, such an approach seems to ignore what many believe to be central to effective learning, in this case, professional learning. Much current teacher professional development is imposed on teachers, with little acknowledgement of the expertise, experience and professional knowledge they bring to their work. Such is likely to undermine teacher confidence and leave teachers feeling disempowered, which would appear to be contrary to an enhancement of their work. The paper proposes some elements of teacher professional development that are designed to build community among teachers, and to provide a safe forum in which they can experiment and take risks.

Keywords: Teacher Professional Development, Professional Learning, Teaching and Teacher Quality, Community of Practice

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 10, pp.345-356. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 825.177KB).

Dr. John Buchanan

Senior Lecturer, Education, University of Technology, Sydney, NSW, Australia

John Buchanan is a senior lecturer in education in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Technology, Sydney, where he lectures in Social and Environmental Education. He has more than ten years’ experience as an academic, and has previously taught at both primary and secondary levels. His main research interests include the evaluation and enhancement of teacher quality as well as intercultural education, including studies of religion, transitions and perspectives, such as the different perspectives of teachers, students and managers in their interactions. He is currently President of the New South Wales Institute for Educational Research.

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