My head is buzzing with ideas and I have a list of at least one hundred more papers and books I want to read. But time is ticking on and I must start to refine my research ideas. In my previous post, I came up with an overarching question that was driving me and that has driven my reading (How can school communities (teachers and leaders) build a shared commitment to and capacity for improved student learning through school-wide professional development). While reading, I've of course wandered in several different directions (and often round in circles) wondering how exactly to focus and structure the research. But this is what I've come up with today:
Building teacher capacity through professional development: a case study.
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of the current programme of professional development at X School in terms of impacting teacher capacity?
- What are the barriers and challenges (to building capacity) at the school?
- What recommendations can be made for the future planning and provision of professional learning at the school, with a view to promoting student learning?
I intend to look at professional development in relation to the following themes:
- the provision of appropriate, relevant learning opportunities
- the development of shared conceptual understandings
- the opportunities and structures for critical reflection in light of evidence about teaching
- the opportunities and structures for collaboration and teamwork
- the use of feedback
I am keen to gain a picture of how teachers perceive the programme and its impact on them as professionals (which I will do through questionnaires and interviews) as well as to see how it is actually affecting their practice (which I will do through observations - of classrooms, professional learning groups, and staff development activities).
While I will begin by looking at these questions in relation to the professional learning at the school as a whole, I will then focus specifically on one initiative in order to triangulate the data in an attempt to improve validity.
My Literature review will be organised around the following themes:
1. Teacher capacity
- What is meant by teacher capacity?
- Why is it important?
- What are the main factors that affect teacher capacity?
- What is its role in building teacher capacity?
- What does effective professional development look like?
- How can it be achieved?
- What leadership style and practices encourage capacity building?
I'm excited! Which will last until I next get myself into a muddle - I'm not good at keeping things simple!