1st Edition

Improving Learning in a Professional Context A Research Perspective on the New Teacher in School

Edited By Jim McNally, Allan Blake Copyright 2010
    240 Pages
    by Routledge

    238 Pages
    by Routledge

    Improving Learning in a Professional Context provides vital new evidence on exactly how teachers learn to be teachers; evidence that is likely to affect and influence the profession for many years to come. Demonstrating that learning in schools is more than simple ‘cognitive’ knowledge of the curriculum and teaching skills, this book suggests that we need to pay more attention to the emotional, relational, ethical, material, structural and temporal dimensions of the teaching experience. Based on empirical research, including interviews with new teachers, by teachers themselves, on a scale rarely seen before, the book reveals the complexity of learning in a professional context and gives some basic truths about what really matters in teaching.

    This book offers a fundamental critique of policy but also the prospect of constructive change for the better as the authors present accounts of what the ‘real’ experience of beginning teaching may be like, as well as lines for future research. Key questions are answered, such as:

    • Do we really understand what beginners go through in the workplace?
    • What is the experience of new teachers as they join one of the largest workforces in the developed world?
    • What do teachers learn in the school, one of our universal institutions?

    Becoming a teacher is a transformative search by individuals for their teaching identities and, with this book, teachers and teacher educators can at last begin to understand this complex developmental process.


    The Improving Learning series supports evidence-informed professional practice and policy-making in education. Each book showcases findings from the Teaching and Learning Research Programme (TLRP) - one of the world’s largest coordinated educational research initiatives. For those with a commitment to the improvement of outcomes for learners, these books are essential reading.

    Series Editor’s preface  1. Linda’s story: a new teacher’s tale Lesley Walker  2. The early professional learning of teachers: a model beginning Jim McNally, Allan Blake, Nick Boreham, Peter Cope, Brian Corbin, Peter Gray,Ian Stronach  3. A new concept of teacher-researcher? Colin Smith and Lesley Easton  4. Feeling professional: new teachers and induction Brian Corbin  5. Who can you count on? The relational dimension of new teacher learning Jim McNally  6. Making room for new teachers: the material dimension in beginning teaching Phil Swierczek  7. The temporal, structural, cognitive and ethical dimensions of early professional learning Brian Corbin, Allan Blake, Ian Stronach & Jim McNally  8. Job satisfaction among newly qualified teachers in Scotland Nick Boreham  9. Fun in theory and practice: new teachers, pupil opinion and classroom environments Peter Gray  10. Design of the times: measuring interactivity, expert judgement and pupil development in the early professional learning project Allan Blake  11. An age at least to every part: a longitudinal perspective on the early professional learning of teachers David Dodds  12. The implications of early professional learning for schools and local authorities Colin Smith  13. The invention of teachers: how beginning teachers learn Ian Stronach



    Jim McNally is Professor of Teacher Education at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

    Allan Blake is Research Fellow in Education at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.