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The Theory and Practice Divide in Relation to Teacher Professional Development

The Theory and Practice Divide in Relation to Teacher Professional Development
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Author(s): Shelleyann Scott (University of Calgary, Canada)
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 21
Source title: Online Learning Communities and Teacher Professional Development: Methods for Improved Education Delivery
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): J. Ola Lindberg (Mid Sweden University, Sweden) and Anders D. Olofsson (Umea University, Sweden)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-780-5.ch002

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Abstract

The 21st century is a time of rapid change and increasing accountability within education contexts and teacher professional development (TPD) is frequently perceived to be crucial in instituting reforms. This chapter explores the divide between theories of effective TPD and the realities of practice within educational contexts. Two case studies, one from Australia and the other from Canada are presented to illustrate the positives and negatives inherent within professional development approaches in these contexts. A number of key dimensions are identified, which when coalesced inform the establishment and sustainability of effective programmes. Online technologies present innovative ways to overcome the impediments to effective professional development. Online communities of practice utilising socialnetworking technologies provide new opportunities for initiating “webs of enhanced practice’ (Scott, 2009), where individuals around the globe can engage in collegial collaborations that enhance the passion of teaching.

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