Bridging the gap: investigating teachers' perceptions of professional development and the role of the university

Baguley, Margaret ORCID: and Kerby, Martin ORCID: (2012) Bridging the gap: investigating teachers' perceptions of professional development and the role of the university. In: AARE 2011: Australian Association for Research in Education Annual Conference 2011: Researching Across Boundaries, 27 Nov - 1 Dec 2011, Hobart, Australia.

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Although professional development in Australian schools is often part of the mandatory requirement for teachers to remain current with policies, practices and pedagogy, some teachers question the relevance of such programs. As Lieberman and McLaughlin (1992) note, many teachers are critical of conventional staff development ventures with workplace driven in-services traditionally being met with ‘aversion’. The perception that such professional development is of limited worth is exacerbated by the very universality of an experience that often sees an entire staff ‘complete’ many hours of passive learning with little apparent relevance to the core business of teaching.

At least some of these criticisms can be addressed with the forging of mutually beneficial relationships between schools and universities. Professional development programs run by universities expose teachers, who can feel isolated from educational developments as they grapple with the minutia of a school day, to modern educational thinking. The university lecturers maintain links with the practical application of their research, ensuring that they remain credible experts to successive generations of pre-service teachers. The value of establishing communities of practice, particularly during initial teacher training, between the school in which pre-service teachers undertake practicum, and the university cannot be underestimated.

This paper discusses the experiences of two teachers, one working in the school system and the other in the university system in Australia, and their perception of the role of the university in the professional development area. Narrative inquiry methodology has been utilised to provide important insights into the researcher participants’ experiences of professional development in the school and university sector. The findings reveal that there is a disjuncture between the culture of the school and university which are important to their survival but nevertheless also results in partnerships which need to be consistently reviewed.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Paper 462. Paper is copyright © by the individual author or authors and may not be reproduced without permission of the author or authors.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2012 02:59
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2014 02:47
Uncontrolled Keywords: professional development; collaboration; schools; universities; communities of practice; school-university partnerships
Fields of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130108 Technical, Further and Workplace Education
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9304 School/Institution > 930401 Management and Leadership of Schools/Institutions

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