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Professional Practice and Learning

Professional Practice and Learning

Professional Practice and Learning

Professional Practice and Learning concerns itself primarily with the day to day and long term applied research opportunities arising from within the broad field of education, other practice-based professions and the workplace more widely.

Learning from professional practice arises from the adoption of a range of methodological approaches, including individual or group-led practitioner enquiry, with the intention of understanding, informing and improving the systems and processes which impact on professional engagement and development. The group also provides a forum for the discussion and exploration of issues and other matters associated with initial teacher education.

Research Projects

Professional Learning Communities

This project is concerned directly with teachers’ collaborative professional learning and has so far focused on Learning Rounds in Scottish schools, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of the West of Scotland. In the coming phases of the project and in collaboration with colleagues from Adiyaman University in Turkey, attention will turn to the Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) in schools in England and Turkey. This phase of the project will focus on the ways in which national-level factors influence PLCs and how they function. One particular aspect of the project explores the relationship between PLCs, evidence-based teaching and medical models applied to teachers’ learning. It is hoped this research will enhance teachers’ ability to form and maintain effective PLCs.

Academic lead:Professor Carey Philpott

Trainee Teachers’ Identity-Agency with Progressive Writing Pedagogies

This research project focuses on engaging trainee teachers in creative writing and explores what happens when they adopt the identity of a writer in the English primary school classroom. The research focuses on a growing evidence-base which indicates that teachers adopting the identity of the writer in the classroom is the most effective way of raising pupil standards in writing. The idea of identity as participation in figured worlds is being adopted in some schools. Findings to date suggest that while trainees struggle to put these ideas into practice, reflecting upon their writing pedagogy and writer identity can help bolster their teacher agency, something considered of great importance to the future of the teaching profession.

Academic lead: Dr Tom Dobson

The Adaption of Professional Identity Through Problem-Based Learning

Although problem-based learning is being adopted by many institutions around the world as an effective model of learning in higher education, there is a surprising lack of critique in international literature in relation to its impact in terms of identity formation and adaption. This project has been developed to research professional identity formation and adaption within teacher education. Using adaptive theory, our research employed coding to analyse interview and reflection data from 10 trainees in order to identify the ways in which their professional identity was formed and adapted in light of critical incidents. Findings point to the potential of problem-based learning as an organising structure that promotes critical and reflective pedagogies to impact positively on the formation and adaption of professional identity within a safe, supportive and critical environment - essential in contemporary teaching.

Academic lead Dr Graham Parton

Published Research

Publications