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Title: The complexity of teacher professional growth : experiences of professional learning and development, including practice-based inquiry
Author: Taylor, Philip Robert
ISNI:       0000 0004 7431 2568
Awarding Body: Birmingham City University
Current Institution: Birmingham City University
Date of Award: 2018
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In this thesis, teacher professional growth is conceived as complex, relational, adaptive and recursive, comprising processes of learning and development. Teacher learning is considered an ongoing, everyday process of building on experience through interpretation, integration and application. Teacher development is viewed as a continuous, longer-term process of journeying, more outward-facing to encompass professional knowledge, practice and status. Professional growth unfolds within one or more organisational contexts that mediate the external conditions of an educational system currently dominated by performativity. Teacher practice-based inquiry is explored as a vehicle for professional growth. Suggested critical aspects of teacher professional growth are intended purpose, enacted opportunity and lived response, considered intertwined or complex and employed as an interpretive framework. Six secondary teachers have participated in this study, through recorded conversational accounts of professional growth and twenty written accounts of their practice-based inquiries. Unravelling purposes, opportunities and responses in this material suggests categories of description and variation that together form a possibility space, for both interpreting past experience and projecting future potential. Teacher practice-based inquiry offers an expanded space of possibilities for professional growth. This study utilises the theoretical perspectives of complexity thinking and participatory inquiry, complemented by agential realism, enactivism and relational being. Together, these trans-disciplinary approaches challenge representationalist ontologies and epistemologies, embracing axiology, and positioning researcher and participants as part of the phenomena to be studied. A recurring theme is complicity, mutually adaptive change, between teacher and learner, leader and teacher, teacher and context, and researcher and research. The contribution made by this thesis is a re-working of conceptualisations of teacher professional growth, combining identity, experience, learning and development, in a continual and complicit process of being and becoming, sustained through a sense of belonging. The resulting possibility spaces offer exemplary knowledge and tools for re-thinking teacher professional growth as a complex adaptive process.
Supervisor: Kendall, Alex ; Hatcher, Richard Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: X100 Training Teachers ; X300 Academic studies in Education