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Professional development of teacher educators through informal learning

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Professional development of teacher educators through informal learning

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

Samenvatting

Introduction and theoretical background
Professional development of teacher educators is an important issue because in order to be able to teach the teachers of the future, teacher educators have to keep their own knowledge and skills 'future proof' (Kools, 2011a). A lot of professional development takes place at work (workplace-learning) (Eraut, 2004;Tynjälä & Heikkinen, 2011). In an attempt to typecast this type of learning, Eraut introduces a continuum of formal and informal learning. At the informal end of the continuum we find 'implicit, unintended, opportunistic and unstructured learning and the absence of a teacher' (Eraut, 2004, p250). At the formal end, opposite types of learning can be found. In between the two ends of the continuum, all kinds of fusions of formal and informal learning exist.

Research goals
In our study, we intend to take a closer look at informal forms of learning as a means of professional development. The purpose of our study is to recognize the possibilities and to appreciate the value of informal forms of learning with regard to teacher educators' professional development, both by teacher educators themselves as well as by their managers.
In a quick-scan at our Teacher College (Kools, 2011b) teacher educators were asked to mention which activities they had undertaken in the past two years to develop themselves professionally. In this quickscan, informal forms of learning were often ticked off. These findings might indicate that informal forms of learning do take place and can be recognized retrospectively.
In our study we focus on the recognition of informal learning processes by teacher educators. We are investigating ways to stimulate teacher educators' awareness of informal learning processes. The question for this part is: 'in what ways do writing logbooks and the analysis of these logbooks help teacher educators to become aware of their own informal learning processes?'

Proposed design of the study
In our study we would like to invite teacher educators to participate and study their own informal learning processes. We would like them to describe their learning experiences and learning outcomes in a logbook. Logbook entries are made on the basis of regular time intervals such a daily entries, weekly entries or entries every six weeks.
After 6 weeks we ask them to look at their own logbooks and analyse how and what they have learned and what they experienced in the process writing log entries. We will ask them to express this in a learner-report. For this task, we provide them with an analysis-tool, consisting of a checklist with critical questions. These learner reports form the input for an overall analysis in which we would like to answer the research question.
The design of the study leads to two types of outcomes: (1) awareness of their informal learning processes of the participating teacher educators and (2) insights into the processes of stimulating awareness of informal learning processes.
At the conference In Coimbra we hope to present our first experiences and some results of this approach.

References
Eraut, M. (2004). Informal learning in the workplace. Studies in Continuing Education, Vol 26, N0, July 2004, 247-273
Kools, Quinta H. (2011). Future proof! Professionaliteit van leraren en lerarenopleiders. Lectorale rede, Fontys Hogescholen.
Kools, Q.H., J. Dengerink, K. Melief and M. Lunenberg (2011). Professional development activities of teacher educators. Paper presented at the annual ATEE conference Riga, August 2011
Tynjälä, Päivi, and Hannu L.T. Heikkinen (2011). Beginning teacher's transition from pre-service education to working life. Theoretical perspectives and best practices. Published online: 29.03.2011, © VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften 2011

Toon meer
OrganisatieFontys Hogescholen
AfdelingFontys Lerarenopleiding Tilburg
LectoraatLectoraat Professionalisering van leraren en lerarenopleiders
Gepubliceerd inbook of abstracts of the 4th ATEE winter conference
Jaar2012
TypeConferentiebijdrage
TaalEngels

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