What’s in it for me? – How does a professional development programme meet science teachers’ career expectations?

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Relationships between teacher professional development programmes (PDP) and the teachers involved in PDP have been investigated for many years. The research accentuates a growing awareness that “one-size fits all” PDP does not meet the contemporary requirements for PDP’s. Programmes must be designed to adapt more effectively to individual teachers’ needs. We present a case study of the Danish PDP QUEST that was designed to meet the individual teachers’ need for professional development activities that was easily adaptable to their own teaching practice. QUEST intended to balance top-down and bottom-up processes in order to integrate local and individual intentions and expectations of the participating teachers in the overall programme. But does QUEST actually achieve this? That depends on how you assess teachers’ outcome! Data regarding the teachers’ participation in collaborative elements in the PDP and the teachers’ individual reflections on these elements relates to their individual narrated career foregrounds. A systemic assessment using questionnaires indicated that participating teachers found QUEST rewarding as well as challenging and fulfilled their needs for professional development. Using narrative inquiry with the participating teachers as an alternate assessment approach revealed four different career foregrounds: (1) Increasingly convergent foreground, (2) Mutually enriching but parallel personal and systemic foreground, (3) Open-ended foreground, which keeps different career options open, and finally (4) Challenged foreground that limits options for fulfilling the objectives of the PDP and makes the participant want to change teaching tasks. The different assessments bring forward two different descriptions of the teachers’ outcomes in the PDP – together they supplement one another.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date23 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2017
EventESERA - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 21 Aug 201725 Aug 2017
Conference number: 17



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