Professional development and mid-career teachers : an administrative project submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Educational Administration at Massey University, November, 1995

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Massey University
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The last decade has brought extensive changes to secondary schools and this will continue into the next century. Like the majority of New Zealand teachers, the participants in this study are in mid-life and mid-career, a time when supposedly motivation is at an ebb. This study seeks to identify apropriate and effective professional development which may enable these experienced teachers to change thier practice to meet the requirements of new curricula, new qualifications and a new learning environment. This case study of a small integrated secondary school was conducted between July 1994 and August 1995 and found these teachers committed to improving their teaching practice. Professional development based on adult learning theory and meeting developmental needs of teachers was found to be motivating and effective for these teachers. Contrary to the crisis of motivation and self doubt depicted in the literature, teachers in the study were focused, and committed to ongoing professional development, particularly in improving their performance of core instructional tasks. While these experienced teachers value autonomy in their work and professional development, including the selection of in-service training, they also enjoy collaboration with other colleagues over a period of time to implement new instructional practice. It is acknowledged that the nature of a small school environment may have had a very positive effect on motivation.
New Zealand, High school teachers -- In-service training