Teacher Educators’ Professional Learning in Communities explores teacher educators' professional development in the communal model of learning. Learning in groups has proved to be a major avenue for supporting such development and change among teachers and other professions, but one which has received sparse attention with regards to teacher educators’ development. This book aims to examine such communities in order to identify factors that promote or hinder professional learning for teacher educators.
Blending research on communal learning with seven years of practical experience in these contexts, the authors present their analysis of the communal professional development process and provide a conceptual basis for understanding this type of professional learning for teacher educators. The book addresses organizational aspects of teacher educators’ learning in communities, such as creating a safe environment, group reflection, feedback and discussion about student learning. Personal professional learning aspects are also explored, including the reduction of personal isolation, the process of transition towards change, and withdrawal from the goals of the community. Finally, influences and implications for professional learning among teacher educators are discussed.
Teacher educators stand at the crux of the entire educational enterprise, because of their responsibility in training the next generation of teachers. As such, their professional development is increasingly important in promoting and advancing educational practice. Integrating current literature with pictures of practice about the use of the communal model in professional development in educational settings, it will be of key interest to researchers and postgraduate students in several fields: professional development, teacher educators, and communities of learners. Practitioners who are involved with the professional development of teacher educators will also find this book extremely useful.
Introduction: Teacher educators and their professional learning Part 1. Building and exploring communities for professional learning of teacher educators 1. The use of communities for the professional development of teacher educators 2. A Picture of Practice 3. Researching a professional learning community Part 2. Organizational features of professional learning communities for teacher educators 4. Creating a safe environment for learning 5. Talk about student learning 6. Group reflection and feedback 7. Continuity 8. Engaging teacher educators in research 9. The role of the facilitator Part 3. Teacher educators’ individual processes within the community 10. Breaking of professional isolation 11. How change and transition occur in the community 12. Withdrawal from the goals of the community and individual defenses to learning Part 4. Influences and implications for the professional learning among teacher educators 13. How in house communities affect the culture of the institution 14. Conclusions and implications about professional learning
‘This book is unique in that it extends the study of teacher learning in community to an audience of critical players in learning to teach: teacher educators. I was particularly impressed by the way in which the chapters of the book unfold and conceptualize seven years of research, taking the reader through a critical and introspective exploration of the organizational, personal and interpersonal conditions by which learning interactions are created and sustained in a professional learning community over time. The emergent insights from this journey underscore the value of systematic, reflective analysis of ‘the local’ for informing the global and broader discourse of professional learning communities. Undoubtedly, this book opens new theoretical, methodological and programmatic paths to the study of communal professional development amongst teacher educators.’
Lily Orland-Barak, Dean of the Faculty of Education, University of Haifa, Israel
‘This book is timely, comprehensive and relevant for all teacher educators, researchers in and with teacher education, deans of teacher education programmes, and not least, for policy makers. The authors have discussed the professional complexity of teacher educators' professional roles, strongly supported by updated and relevant literature. The reference made to the authors׳ personal experience makes the book readable and trustworthy.’
Kari Smith, Academic Leader of the Norwegian Research School in Teacher Education, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
‘What Hadar and Brody have done is draw the best research in the field together with their own experience of supporting teacher education faculties toward systemic change and the result is a remarkable text that should be useful to deans, department chairs, researchers, and others who are interested in supporting change in the field of teacher education.’
Frances Rust, Visiting Professor and Interim Director of Teacher Education Programs, University of Pennsylvania-GSE, USA