An Effective Model for Professional Development: A Case Study of a Mathematics Teacher Change in Australia

By Stephen Keast.

Published by The International Journal of Humanities Education

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: August 22, 2014 $US5.00

There continues to be ongoing calls in Australia and internationally for reform in secondary teaching, particularly in mathematics. Such calls often encourage teachers to move from teacher-centred approaches to more collaborative student-centred teaching. Professional Development (PD) programs are often seen as a platform to change teachers to be more progressive in their teaching. This study investigated two different teacher research based professional development programs (Project for Enhancing Effective Learning and Quality Teacher Program) in mathematics in both primary and secondary schools in Melbourne, Australia. Participating teachers were interviewed twice over a 12 month period, recordings were transcribed, field notes of conversations at PD meetings were collected and the data analysed formed case studies of the participants. What emerged from the case study analysis were several identifiable teacher types. This paper only reports the findings of one case analysis as an example of significant teacher change in the way mathematics was taught and the pedagogical reasoning the teacher brought to the classroom. The discussion presents the PD model and demonstrates the change experienced by this primary teacher. Her teaching changed from teacher-centred and worksheet dominated to problem based student-centred learning. This is as example of one teacher who moved through the three stages of the model: Activity Consumer, Thinking Adapter and Reflective Engager. I argue that by careful planning of what teachers expect to learn and how they engage, PD programs can encourage teachers to explore changes in their teaching which leads to long term adoption of reform priorities.

Keywords: Pedagogy, Learners, Teacher Education and Training

The International Journal of Humanities Education, Volume 12, Issue 2, January 2015, pp.1-11. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: August 22, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 605.856KB)).

Dr. Stephen Keast

Lecturer, Education Faculty, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia