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The environment for secondary school science teachers’ continuing professional development in England: policy influencers’ and practitioners’ perspectives

Sissling, Susan; (2021) The environment for secondary school science teachers’ continuing professional development in England: policy influencers’ and practitioners’ perspectives. Doctoral thesis (Ed.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This study explores the environment for secondary science teachers’ continuing professional development (CPD) in England. The rationale is to better understand the situation, in the context of significant on-going investment during the early twenty-first century in CPD programmes for science teachers. Whilst CPD might seem an obvious policy solution to strengthen science education, the premise is not straightforward. Semi-structured interviews were used to gather perspectives from three groups with different niches in national science CPD systems: policy influencers, from organisations with prominent positions in the science education landscape; leaders of school-based science CPD providers; and science teachers. Their perspectives are the basis for interpreting: the rationale for national CPD programmes; ways in which policy is predicated on or experienced as promoting models of science teaching, learning or curriculum, or of effective CPD; and the influence of the wider education context. This study found that CPD is seen as a good thing by policy influencers, yet the purpose varies and the nature of CPD and its intended outcomes are unclear or inconsistent. Local CPD providers interpret and implement national programmes with pragmatism grounded in local knowledge and influenced by contractual drivers. Science teachers value, above all else, opportunity through CPD to connect with other science teachers, with immediate relevance to classroom practice and credible facilitators also important. Their participation is influenced by school factors and often associated with public examinations. The environment for science CPD is fragmented. The rationale and underlying assumptions for policy development, CPD provision and participation vary, and characteristics of CPD which are identified in the literature as important to teacher development are not always evident. The relationship between CPD policy and its enactment is complex and influenced by: economic and workforce drivers; characteristics of the education landscape, particularly school-led improvement; and pragmatic responses to opportunities and constraints.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ed.D
Title: The environment for secondary school science teachers’ continuing professional development in England: policy influencers’ and practitioners’ perspectives
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10132100
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