1st Edition

Non-Linear Perspectives on Teacher Development Complexity in Professional Learning and Practice

Edited By Kathryn J. Strom, Tammy Mills, Linda Abrams Copyright 2023

    Despite the multifaceted complexity of teaching, dominant perspectives conceptualize teacher development in linear, dualistic, transactional, human-centric ways. The authors in this book offer non-linear alternatives by drawing on a continuum of complex perspectives, including CHAT, complexity theory, actor network theory, indigenous studies, rhizomatics, and posthuman/neomaterialisms. The chapters included here illuminate how different ways of thinking can help us better examine how teachers learn (relationally, with human, material, and discursive elements) and offer ways to understand the entangled nature of the relationship between that learning and what emerges in classroom instructional practice. They also present situated illustrations of what those entanglements or assemblages look like in the preservice, induction, and inservice phases, from early childhood to secondary settings, and across multiple continents. Authors provide evidence that research on teacher development should focus on process as much (if not more than) product and show that complexity perspectives can support forward-thinking, assets-based pedagogies. Methodologically, the chapters encourage conceptual creativity and expansion, and support an argument for blurring theory-method and normalising methodological hybridity. Ultimately, this book provides conceptual, theoretical, and methodological tools to understand current educational conditions in late capitalism and imagine otherwise. It was originally published as a special issue of the journal Professional Development in Education.


    Ken Jones

    1. Introduction: Illuminating a continuum of complex perspectives in teacher development

    Kathryn J. Strom, Tammy Mills and Linda Abrams

    2. Towards a complex framework of teacher learning-practice

    Kathryn J. Strom and Kara Mitchell Viesca

    3. Supporting expansive learning in preservice bilingual teachers’ zone of proximal development of the activity system: an analysis of a four-field model trajectory

    Sharon Chang

    4. ‘The ability to lay yourself bare’: centering rupture, inherited conversations, and vulnerability in professional development

    Elizabeth Mendoza, Victoria Hand, Elizabeth A. van Es, Shannon Hoos and Michelle Frierson

    5. Exploring cultural logic in becoming teacher: a collaborative autoethnography on transnational teaching and learning

    Taeyeon Kim and Heather L. Reichmuth

    6. Embracing complex adaptive practice: the potential of lesson study

    Paul McMillan and Mike Jess

    7. A complex dynamic systems approach to the design and evaluation of teacher professional development

    Joanna K. Garner and Avi Kaplan

    8. Mobilising new understandings: an actor-network analysis of learning and change in a self-directed professional development community

    Jessica Cira Rubin, Charlotte L. Land and Stacia L. Long

    9. Exploring the role of curriculum materials in teacher professional development

    Nick Moore, Mike Coldwell and Emily Perry

    10. ‘Crossing the bridge’: land education teacher professional development

    Dolores Calderon, Anna Lees, Renée Swan Waite and Cynthia Wilson

    11. Unravelling effective professional development: a rhizomatic inquiry into coaching and the active ingredients of teacher learning

    Brandon Sherman and Annela Teemant

    12. Exploring student teachers’ ‘stuck moments’: affect[ing] the theory-practice gap in social justice teacher education

    Erica Eva Colmenares

    13. Being before: three Deleuzian becomings in teacher education

    Erin Adams

    14. ‘It’s all there.’: Entanglements of teacher preparation and induction

    Maria F.G. Wallace, Julie Rust and Elisabeth Jolly

    15. Diffraction as an otherwise practice of exploring new teachers’ entanglements in time and space

    Louise Lambert

    16. Aesthetic-ethical-political movements in professional learning: encounters with feminist new materialisms and Reggio Emilia in early childhood research

    Stefania Giamminuti, Jane Merewether and Mindy Blaise

    17. 2-Curious: jarring representations of the two-year-old in transformative continuous professional development (CPD)

    Kerry-Jane Moakes

    18. Teacher subjectivities and multiplicities of enactment: Agential realism and the case of science teacher learning and practice with multilingual Latinx students

    Shakhnoza Kayumova and Cory Buxton

    19. Entanglement, evaluation and practice in a professional learning innovation

    Mark Boylan

    20. What does making produce? Posthuman insights into documenting relationalities in maker education for teachers

    Amélie Lemieux

    21. ‘I don’t want them to feel like we’re part of the establishment’: teachers’ learning to work with refugee families as entangled becomings

    Alexandra Kendall, Mary-Rose Puttick and Louise Wheatcroft

    22. Reconceptualizing teacher professional learning about technology integration as intra-active entanglements

    Mary Frances Rice

    23. What if?: becoming response-able with the making and mattering of a new relationships and sexuality education curriculum

    EJ Renold, Max R Ashton and Ester McGeeney


    Kathryn J. Strom is Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at California State University, East Bay, USA. She employs critical, complex theories to study teacher and leadership development, as well as advocate for different ways of thinking in education more broadly, with broad goals of disrupting inequities for minoritized populations.

    Tammy Mills, Assistant Professor at the University of Maine, USA, draws from complex theories and self-study methodologies to study situated teacher learning broadly and help both preservice and practicing teachers understand the interaction among their geopolitical locations, socio-ethical imperatives, and the dynamic development of their teacher identities.

    Linda Abrams, Lecturer at New Jersey City University, USA, is a retired teacher and administrator with over three decades of experience in K-12 education systems. Her expertise lies at the intersections of complex, relational theories and mentoring knowledge and practice.