Professional learning and professional careers: theory, evaluation and practice

COLDWELL, Michael (2018). Professional learning and professional careers: theory, evaluation and practice. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

Coldwell_2018_PhD_ProfessionalLearningProfessional.pdf - Accepted Version
Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (791kB) | Preview
Link to published version::


This thesis uses a set of theoretically informed approaches to understand aspects of the professional careers, development and practices of teachers, addressing three questions in particular. Firstly, how can models, and other theorisations, help illuminate the influence of professional development and practice on a range of outcomes? Secondly, how can focussing on the situated nature of professional practice and initiatives improve understanding of professional learning and practices? Thirdly what new empirical research evidence can the approaches described in the first two research questions produce in relation to professional learning and wider professional practice? It does so via a set of eight papers published over eleven years, drawing on seven mainly mixed methods studies conducted over a six year period. In relation to the first research question, the papers use realist understandings of the social world to build a set of path and level models of professional development alongside critiques of these and other models. Additionally, they provide theoretical constructs to support understanding of professional practice, in particular boundary theory and career constructs. In relation to the second, the papers develop a set of features of context which are missing from earlier accounts, indicating that the context for programmes and change processes can be: dynamic, rather than static; agentic, acting causally not just as a backdrop; relational, operating at different points and in concert with or against other contextual factors; historically located; complex and systemic. Finally, relating to the third question, the papers cover a wide range of studies; however, all focus on the relationship between outcomes and change processes in situ, and in particular the various relationships between the programme or change process; individual teachers or leaders; the organisations within which they work; and wider political and other contexts. The findings link to and illuminate aspects of these relationships.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Published works submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of Sheffield Hallam University for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy on the Basis of Published Work
Uncontrolled Keywords: PhD on the basis of published work
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Hilary Ridgway
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2018 08:08
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2021 13:31

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics