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Personally driven professional development: reflective self-study as a way for teachers to take control of their own professional development

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This article is about personally driven professional development through the use of reflective self-study. The argument that teachers need to take responsibility for their own learning while also taking decisions on how and in what areas to develop is strongly made throughout the article. Data for this article were gathered over a 10-year period where the author engaged in several studies using self-study as methodology. Between studies, the author kept using reflective self-study as a professional development tool, and it is these data between various studies that were analysed using thematic and reflective analysis. Such analysis resulted in various overarching themes that show how reflective self-study can be of benefit if used by teachers researching their own classrooms. Benefits include teachers taking full ownership of their learning, relevance of learning, learning that is ongoing and not restricted to specific times and places, taking problematic situations as learning opportunities and how other sources take on new relevance through reflective self-study. Some implications for teacher-education programmes and current school structures are also discussed.
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Keywords: Personally driven professional development; reflective self-study; relevance of learning; teacher led research; use of educational literature

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of Education, University of Malta, Msida, Malta

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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