Perceptions and experiences of professional development in the initial years of teaching: A case of B.Ed. (Hons) graduated teachers
Date of Award
Master of Philosophy in Education
Institute for Educational Development, Karachi
Pre-service teacher education plays a key role in the effective preparation of prospective teachers as it aims to prepare prospective teachers for actual classroom teaching. In order to strengthen the pre-service education, the B.Ed. (Hons) has been introduced in different teacher education institutes. After completion the pre-service programme, graduate enters into the actual teaching field where they need continuous professional development facilities to cope with the emerging contextual challenges (Guskey, 2002; Khan & Saeed, 2010). Therefore, the initial years of teachers’ experience in a school context is a critical phenomenon that needs to be explored.
This study aimed to explore perceptions of graduated B.Ed. (Hons) teachers regarding professional development in the initial years of teaching. For exploring this phenomenon, the qualitative case study method was used. The data was collected through semi-structured telephonic interviews and document analysis. The qualitative data were analyzed by following Creswell's (2009) six analysis steps of qualitative data analysis.
The key findings indicate that teachers conceptualized professional development as continuous and ongoing activities that facilitate classroom teaching throughout a teaching career. Novice teachers also perceived that ongoing professional development focuses on individual self-development for addressing the contextual teaching needs. In addition, teachers have experienced formal training and informal self-initiated professional development opportunities. Findings revealed that teachers learned more from contextual-based self-initiated professional development opportunities, such as informal interaction with colleagues, self-reflection, conducting workshops, seeking continuous assistance of senior colleagues, and reading research journals. These informal opportunities influenced teachers’ classroom teaching significantly and facilitated them to achieve desired learning outcomes by addressing contextual challenges efficiently.
For the effective preparation of prospective teachers and classroom practices, it is recommended that there should be a collaboration between the university and practicum school. Also, a school should provide a socially cohesive environment where novice teachers implement their learning into classroom teaching. Further, more studies could be done for getting extensive insights into novice teachers’ initial experiences.
Batool, R. (2020). Perceptions and experiences of professional development in the initial years of teaching: A case of B.Ed. (Hons) graduated teachers (Unpublished master's dissertation). Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.