Teachers’ perceptions of the impact of professional development on teaching practice : the case of one primary school

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Authors
Aminudin, Nurul Aini
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Degree
Master of Educational Leadership and Management
Grantor
Unitec Institute of Technology
Date
2012
Supervisors
Collins, Jennifer
Piggot-Irvine, Eileen
Type
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Keyword
professional development
primary teachers
qualitative research
Citation
Aminudin, N. A. (2012). Teachers’ perceptions of the impact of professional development on teaching practice: The case of one primary school. A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Educational Leadership and Management Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Abstract
RESEARCH QUESTIONS: 1. What are teachers’ perceptions of the impact of professional development on their teaching practice? 2. What factors influenced teachers’ perceptions of effective professional development? 3. What are the challenges or difficulties experienced? This research examines teachers’ perceptions of the impact of their professional development experience on teaching practice. Teachers’ professional development is often regarded as the key to successful education reforms. Hence, teachers are expected to experience continuous professional development to keep abreast with the relentless change taking place in the education system. However, problems arise when too much emphasis is placed on making sure that teachers take part in professional development initiatives. To some teachers, professional development is seen as a burden and not as an opportunity to improve their practice as the reforms has intended. This happens as the teachers are made to take part in various standardised professional development programmes that are not tailored to their specific needs. As a result it has become less effective in helping the teachers improve their own practice. This research takes the form of a qualitative study that employs three research instruments: document analysis, questionnaires that are filled in by all the teachers and five semi-structured interview sessions. This research study is guided by three key questions: What are teachers’ perceptions of the impact of professional development on their teaching practice? Secondly, what factors influenced teachers’ perceptions of the impact of professional development on their teaching practice? Finally, what are the challenges or difficulties experienced? The findings reveal that the participants have issues with sustaining changes to their practice; they experience external professional development overload while at the same time they are also struggling to create more opportunities for school-based professional development. In addition, the findings from this study also indicate that the participants want to have some say for their own professional learning. In addition, this study also stresses on the need for to the participants to experience one professional development programme at a time and to have sufficient support and follow-up during that time to ensure that changes in teaching practice are best sustained.
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