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Teachers’ experiences of autonomy in Continuing Professional Development: Teacher Learning Communities in London and Hong Kong

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This paper examines teachers’ experiences of autonomy as they undertook Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in the form of Teacher Learning Communities (TLCs) to develop Assessment for Learning (AfL). Participant teacher interview data were used from two parallel TLC projects, one in Hong Kong and one in London, UK. Autonomy was defined in terms of taking initiatives, acting independently and making critical inquiries. Links between autonomy and effective CPD were argued and the findings indicated that some teachers in both the projects experienced limited autonomy in terms of taking initiatives and being critical, although several described a new sense of professional independence as they attended TLCs. Their limited autonomy looked likely to inhibit the long-lasting impact of the projects, although one TLC in London seemed likely to shape teachers’ AfL principles and practices more profoundly because attendance was voluntary and egalitarian.
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Keywords: Assessment for Learning; Continuing Professional Development; Teacher Learning Communities; autonomy; interview

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment, Institute of Education, University of London, London, UK 2: Hong Kong Institute of Higher Education, Hong Kong, China 3: Institute of Education, University of London, London, UK

Publication date: February 1, 2013

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