Giving Pupils Licence to Lead: Supporting Teachers’ Continuing Professional Development in the use of ICT

Prof Doc Thesis

Morris, A. 2017. Giving Pupils Licence to Lead: Supporting Teachers’ Continuing Professional Development in the use of ICT. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London CASS
AuthorsMorris, A.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

This study investigates the effects of reconceptualising approaches towards teachers’ Continuing Professional Development [CPD] through an action research project which enabled a situation to develop where the pupils became the educators and teachers the learners. The study, which became known by the pupils and staff involved as the Teach a Teacher project, took place in one secondary school in England over an eighteen-month period between 2013 and 2015. The cohort of participants was self-selecting and involved sixteen Year 8 pupils (aged 12–13) and eight teachers. Working in pairs, pupils then negotiated and delivered an individual programme of Information and Communication Technology [ICT] CPD for their chosen member of staff.

During the period of this study, I undertook observations of pupils training their teachers, carried out interviews with the teachers and conducted focus groups with the pupils. Through gathering this data, I was able to evaluate how the exchange of technological expertise not only brought about a step-change in teaching and learning, but also brought about a change in the relationships between teachers and pupils. To articulate these converging themes, this research draws upon the theoretical bodies of work on student voice, and teachers’ CPD. In the interest of developing a deeper understanding of the social dynamics that underpin these educational landscapes, the literature on school leadership, as well as the debates concerning digital ‘natives’ and digital ‘immigrants’, and therefore perceived generational divisions, are also briefly explored.

The most compelling and substantive outcome of the research was not just the extent to which the process of role reversal was openly embraced, but how this led a mutual empathy to develop between pupils and their teachers. Research on pupils providing ICT CPD for their teachers in English secondary schools is essentially non-existent. This thesis is the only study which presents both pupils’ and teachers’ perspectives on their involvement in providing a highly effective and supportive, yet underestimated model of teachers’ CPD.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Publication dates
PrintMar 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited19 Oct 2017
Publisher's version
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