Transcending Teacher Professional Development from Deterministic to Complexity


The multiplicity of factors and actors that come at play to make teacher professional development (TPD) a strategic and powerful scheme for improving teacher practices is mounting and evident in educational practices and theories. Consequently, the traditional perspectives that view TPD as events and methods for teacher learning in isolation with other factors and actors are deemed problematic. To better understand how TPD can bring about change in teacher practices –transforming teacher learning, there is a need to transcend the causal, individualistic assumption about factors and actors that influence TPD. Here, I argue that an effective TPD is neither determined nor directed but rather emerged. It emerges from many interconnected factors or actors (elements) and that these elements interact and combine in different ways depending on the situation, are reciprocal and are always nested. TPD is a complex enterprise. As a show case, TPD in the Indonesian context will be scrutinised by highlighting the interplay of learning activities, teacher characteristics, and school-level influences in teacher learning. This presentation borrows the perspectives, concepts and principles of complexity theory to examine this complex phenomenon.

Author Information
Abdul Rahman, University of Wollongong, Australia
Garry Hoban, University of Wollongong, Australia
Wendy Nielsen, University of Wollongong, Australia

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2014
Stream: Professional concerns

This paper is part of the ACE2014 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon