CHANGES IN TEACHERS’ KNOWLEDGE AND BELIEFS ABOUT SELF-REGULATED LEARNING DURING THEIR ENGAGEMENT WITH A GUIDED PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITY

Author: Shyam Barr

  • Thesis download: available for open access on 26 Apr 2019.

Barr, Shyam, 2017 CHANGES IN TEACHERS’ KNOWLEDGE AND BELIEFS ABOUT SELF-REGULATED LEARNING DURING THEIR ENGAGEMENT WITH A GUIDED PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITY, Flinders University, School of Education

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Abstract

Studies have raised concerns regarding the quality of knowledge and beliefs that teachers hold about self-regulated learning (SRL) and their consequent ability to adequately meet the needs of students and prepare them with the necessary skills to succeed today and in the future (Dignath-van Ewijk & van der Werf, 2012; OECD, 2005, 2016). A consensus exists in the research literature (e.g. Bowe & Gore, 2016; Desimone & Garet, 2015; Vangrieken, Meredith, Packer, & Kyndt, 2017) that professional learning communities are an effective method to improve teachers’ professional competence (e.g. teachers’ knowledge and beliefs). Responding to the concerns, the present study investigated changes in the quality of teachers’ knowledge and beliefs about SRL whilst they engaged in a guided professional learning community about SRL. Four science teachers from an Independent Girls Grammar School undertook six 40 minute professional development sessions, reflective discussions with the researcher, and a collaborative process of progressive refinement of an SRL teaching approach. Following each professional development session, participants delivered an SRL teaching approach (explicit teaching about SRL and the implementation of a learning protocol) to their Year 8 classes. Data was collected from teachers through in-depth individual interviews, before and after the intervention period. Data was analysed using a combination of deductive and inductive coding methods. All participants showed substantial increases in knowledge about SRL between pre- and post- intervention interviews; however, although large effect sizes are reported, results were not statistically significant due to the small sample size. Changes in participants’ beliefs were less consistent, with substantial changes noted only in the category of teacher self-efficacy. Still, results indicate that a guided professional learning community is an effective method to enhancing teachers’ knowledge and beliefs about SRL. This study has implications for teacher education, and how it can prepare teachers with the necessary knowledge and beliefs to foster SRL in the classroom. Subsequently preparing students with a range of “how to learn” skills so that they can adapt to the rapidly changing job landscape and succeed in this ever-changing world.

Keywords: Self-regulated learning, Teachers' knowledge, Teachers' beliefs, Professional Learning Communities
Subject: Education thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2017
School: School of Education
Supervisor: Associate Professor Helen Askell-Williams