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Title: An evaluation of the transferability of the interpretive approach to teachers’ continuing professional development
Author: Miller, Joyce
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2009
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This is a practitioner research project set in the humanities faculty of a school in a northern town where riots took place in 2001. The aim was to evaluate the transferability of the interpretive approach to teachers’ continuing professional development and to see how far it increased their understanding of and relationship with their local communities. Qualitative data were gathered using a range of methods including participant observation, semi-structured interviews and questionnaires. The teachers engaged in ethnographic-type activities in their participant observation of groups and interviews with representatives and their students. The principles of the interpretive approach – representation, interpretation and reflexivity – underpinned the design of the programme and the data analysis. The research found that teachers’ understanding of the diversity of communities was increased. There was little evidence of increased understanding of ‘the group’ in relation to individuals and the tradition. There was little formal evidence of a deeper understanding of concepts, of ‘oscillation’ or of personal edification. There were significant professional benefits in increased confidence, dealing with controversial issues and in developing community education. The teachers demonstrated open-mindedness and a positive attitude to pluralism. Further questions about the inter-connectedness of religion and culture and the interpretation of religious texts were raised and there was critical engagement with aspects of community life, including the place of women. The research identifies the need for a more informed critique of and engagement with the presuppositions that underpin discourse on minority communities. The teachers recognised the need for the whole school staff to undergo the same process and understood that this would be a long-term enterprise. The conclusion is drawn that the interpretive approach can be applied to teachers’ CPD and that it increases their understanding of and relationship with their communities, though some anticipated outcomes were not realised.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LC Special aspects of education