The Thinking and Learning of Highly Skilled Teachers in Professional Development Situations

Dr. Rebecca Cooper, Senior Lecturer in Science Education, Faculty of Education, Monash University
Dr. Jared Carpendale, Lecturer in STEM Education, Faculty of Education, Monash University
Professor Amanda Berry, Professor in STEM Education, Faculty of Education, Monash University

Much literature on teacher professional learning and development includes models that try to capture what is considered a highly complex set of processes. Often within this literature, however, there is insufficient attention on the thinking and learning of highly skilled teachers in professional development situations. Our study investigated the experiences of nine highly skilled teachers following their participation in an international residential professional development institute. This presentation draws on interview data to examine how these nine teachers interpreted their experiences of the institute and how it influenced their knowledge and practice. Findings highlight the considerable variation in how these teachers experienced the institute, how they interpreted ideas, and how the institute affected their knowledge and practice. We argue there are important additions needed to the literature on professional development for highly skilled teachers, for example, highlighting the role of agency and how highly skilled teachers draw on and amplify ideas.

Professional Development, Professional Learning, Highly Skilled Teachers, Teacher Professional Growth

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