Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Towards an understanding of the factors that influence teacher engagement in continuing professional development
Author: O'Connell, Joseph
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2010
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
The aim of the research reported in this thesis is to examine the factors that Irish post-primary teachers report as influencing their decision making regarding engagement in continuing professional development (CPD) and to present a conceptualisation of what I call engagement. The study examines the current research and theorising about CPD and from this develops an analysis and argument about how there is a need, within the context of CPD, to examine the relationship between the agency of the professional and the structuring context in which they are located. The study offers, through case study work with teachers in six post-primary schools in Ireland, new understandings of teachers' personal views, opinions and reflections with regard to the factors that influence their decision making regarding engagement in CPD. The analysis of the data leads to a number of outcomes, firstly, it offers a conceptualisation of these factors as a contribution towards a refinement of understanding of a model of engagement in CPD, secondly, consideration is given to what engagement means for professionalism and professionality and the implications that arise for both the policy makers and for post-primary teachers in Ireland. In pursuit of these aims the following research questions are addressed:1. What are the factors that influence teacher decision making regarding engagement in CPD?2. What does this mean for CPD and professional practice?The findings presented in this study are twofold. Firstly, in general, Irish post-primary teachers recognise the need for, and appreciate the potential value and benefit of professional learning in developing their understanding of the learning processes and its potential to improve the student experience and learning outcomes. Secondly, within the current Irish context individual teachers’ decision making with regard to engagement in CPD is influenced by a variety of factors but none more so than that of the impact of their decision to engage on their own personal lives. Consequently, it shows that there are emerging tensions between teachers and the Government in light of recent Government policy to locate more and more CPD events in an after school-time elective context. These issues combine to an examination of how teachers are being positioned and are positioning themselves for the reform process and what this means for the professionalism and professionality of Irish post-primary teachers.
Supervisor: Ainscow, Mel ; Gunter, Helen Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Teacher engagement ; continuing professional development