Teaching is becoming increasingly complex in the 21st Century, creating a need for more sophisticated frameworks to support teachers’ professional learning. Action learning is one such framework and has been used for workplace learning in business settings for many years. It is now becoming increasingly popular in school and university settings, but it is often misunderstood. This book clarifies what action learning is, linking key concepts to illustrate that it is not merely a process, but a dynamic interaction between professional learning, communities, leadership and change. The book brings together more than a decade of the authors’ research in school-based action learning.
Rich and diverse, the research draws on more than 100 case studies of action learning by teams of teachers in schools. The authors:
- provide practical advice on how to initiate and sustain action learning;
- explain the interaction between action learning, teacher development, professional learning, community building, leadership and change; and
- illustrate how action learning can link to classroom practice so closely that it becomes part of what teachers do, rather than an added impost.
Addressing the highs and lows, the successes and failures, and their underlying causes, Action Learning in Schools provides insights into theories of cooperation, innovation, leadership and community formation to inform individual projects and large-scale school improvement initiatives. It will be of interest to teacher educators, pre-service and experienced teachers alike, as well as school and education system managers and policymakers keen to enhance teacher professional learning and educational outcomes for students.
1. Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie (Introduction) 2. Positioning Action learning 3. Enabling action learning, Getting Started (with Stephen Dinham) 4. The Dynamics of Action Learning 5. Community 6. Facilitating Action learning: The Academic Partner’s Role 7. Gathering and learning from evidence 8. Ethics 9. Sustaining professional learning through action learning 10. Epilogue: extending action learning
"Drawing on more than one hundred case studies of action learning by teams of teachers in schools, the authors provide advice and explain the proper relationship between adult learning and sustained pedagogy for student success….There is no question that teaching has become an extremely complicated profession, and with a revised framework such as action learning, teachers can feel successful and encourage feedback in order to better their pedagogy. If change in teacher behavior is desired, then support structures such as action learning need to be offered so that educators can grow and develop into the professionals they wish to become….Recommended."--CHOICE