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Title: Facilitating improvements in teaching and learning through self-directed professional development
Author: Turner, Gillian Ann
ISNI:       0000 0001 3538 3484
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2001
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In post-compulsory education settings opportunities for more appropriate interpersonal communication between a teacher and their students are required. However, reflective practice, proposed as a means of empowering teachers to enhance the process of teaching and learning, is neglected or ineffective and action research, suggested as a way of facilitating reflective practice, may not always be appropriate or possible. Thus, there is a need to better understand how to encourage teachers' participation in, and enable their accomplishment of, reflective practice aimed at self-directed improvements in teaching and learning. Volunteer teachers in post-compulsory education settings used a Communication Styles Questionnaire to identify the pattern of interaction between themselves and their students with a view to developing, where desired, a wider, more flexible style of communicating to enhance teaching and learning. Using an action research methodology and a case study method, these instances of reflective practice were examined to establish the process involved in, and the influences on. improving teaching and learning. In addition, previous experiences of selfdirected professional development engaged in by these teachers were Investigated, to illuminate ways in which desires and attempts to improve teaching and learning are generally facilitated and hindered. The findings indicate that a majority of teachers engage in self-directed professional development on at least an occasional basis and, therefore, in principle, may be favourably disposed towards reflective practice; reflective practice may be facilitated primarily by collaboration, time, teacher autonomy and cultural change within the institution; the process of accomplishing self-directed improvements in teaching and learning through reflective practice may be best guided by a revised action research model. Recommendations are put forward to enable reflective practice and the development of teaching and learning to be a natural and integral part of a teacher's experience and expectations.
Supervisor: Harkin, Joe ; Carnibella, Giovanni ; Hallam, Sue Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral