Rethinking models of professional learning as tools: a conceptual analysis to inform research and practice

BOYLAN, Mark, COLDWELL, Michael, MAXWELL, Bronwen and JORDAN, Julie (2017). Rethinking models of professional learning as tools: a conceptual analysis to inform research and practice. Professional development in education.

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One approach to designing, researching or evaluating professional learning experiences is to use models of learning processes. Here we analyse and critique five significant contemporary analytical models: three variations on path models, proposed by Guskey, Desimone and Clarke and Hollingsworth; a model using a systemic conceptualisation of learning by Opfer and Pedder; and a cognitive learning model by Evans. To do this, we develop and illustrate an analytical framework focused on model components, purposes, scope, explicit and implicit theories of learning and change processes, agency and philosophical underpinnings. We identify similarities, differences, inconsistencies and limitations in the models. This provides the basis for reconceptualising models as tools to be deployed alongside other relevant constructs and thus the analytical framework can support a more informed selection of theoretical models by researchers and practitioners.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Professional development; professional learning; models of professional learning; evaluation methodology
Departments: Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities > Teacher Education
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Depositing User: Mark Boylan
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2017 15:13
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2018 16:47

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