Pathways to teachers' professional development
Date of Award
Master of Education (M. Ed.)
Institute for Educational Development, Karachi
The value of teachers' professional development tends to be taken for granted. Most teachers in Pakistan can comment on professional development at the level of rhetoric but it is debatable whether they fully engage in active professional development. There has been little systematic study done to find out how practicing teachers learn from the practice of teaching. The study, therefore, set out to explore ways in which practicing teachers develop their professional knowledge base of teaching. The teachers in this study perceive professional development as an ongoing process. The study revealed that teachers' motivation to develop a knowledge base of teaching is engendered by three main reasons. These are: the teachers' desire to keep abreast with ever-increasing knowledge, showing responsibility to students by seeking ideas that can enable teachers to provide answers to students' questions and teachers' wish to emulate role models. The study indicated that teachers' professional development takes place in the following ways: lesson observation, collaboration with peers, in-service training, reading literature, engaging in reflective practice, analyzing students' work, influence from the media and learning from family and community members. The study indicated that school administration can guide and support teachers' professional learning in positive ways. The study also revealed some factors that hinder practicing teachers from learning. These are: personal ego, lack of time, family commitments and restrictions, marital status, salary and unavailability of reading materials. The findings of the study draw implications for the school, teachers and educational institutions. For example, implications for teachers who have hit the plateau' and involving teachers in professional development activities. Last, the study's findings offer recommendations to teacher training institutions and researchers to further underline and research the importance of learning from the practice of teaching.
Fred, T. (2000). Pathways to teachers' professional development (Unpublished master's dissertation). Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.