A longitudinal study of the professional development of teachers – the challenges of comparison

Book chapter


Czerniawski, G. 2015. A longitudinal study of the professional development of teachers – the challenges of comparison. in: Fritzsche, Bettina and Huf, Christina (ed.) The Benefits, Problems an Dissues of Comparative and Cross-Cutural Research: Ethnographic Perspectives London E&E Publishing.
AuthorsCzerniawski, G.
EditorsFritzsche, Bettina and Huf, Christina
Abstract

This chapter considers some of the methodological challenges encountered when
revisiting the professional lives of twenty-seven mid-career teachers (Hargreaves,
2005) from cities in Germany, Norway and England in three nationally distinct public
welfare regimes (Esping-Anderson and Myles, 2009). In this study teachers’
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is situated in a complex amalgam
combining teacher biography, identity work and the values embedded within different
communities of practice (Wenger, 1998). It is, with varying degrees, also situated
within wider international discourses reflecting the marketisation of public sector work
and the development of an audit culture (Apple, 2005) in which the performance of
professionals is increasingly measured by externally determined targets (Wilkins and
Wood, 2009). A longitudinal comparative study is rare within the literature on teachers’
CPD and yet was considered necessary when discussing this complex amalgam
within a wider European context. A context informed by the European Council’s
agenda for improving the quality of teaching and teacher education across all of its
constituent nation states (European Commission, 2010a). All too often international
comparisons are used to legitimate claims and justify radical changes in education
policy based on large-scale survey methods (Alexander, 2000). Yet many such
comparisons avoid the in-depth understanding of educational perspectives and
practices in situ, gained when viewed through the eyes of professionals within their
own cultural context (Osborn, 2004). Exploring the variety and depth of experiences
these teachers have had of CPD, this study examined the extent to which these
experiences addressed their professional needs and/or the professional needs of the
institutions in which they worked. The findings revealed a disparity between the
activities these teachers engage in and the value they place on their own professional
development.

Book titleThe Benefits, Problems an Dissues of Comparative and Cross-Cutural Research: Ethnographic Perspectives
Year2015
PublisherE&E Publishing
Publication dates
Print15 Jun 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited07 Oct 2015
Accepted15 Jun 2015
Place of publicationLondon
ISBN0993108512
978-0993108518
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY
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https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/855vx

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