Teachers, Teacher Education, Professional Learning and Development: A Focus on Pedagogical Mobility

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2023) | Viewed by 23014

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Education, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia
Interests: educational leadership; professional learning and development; teacher education; out-of-field teaching phenomenon; teacher well-being
Faculty of Education, North-West University, Potchefstroom, North West 2520, South Africa
Interests: education law; human rights; social justice, teacher education; service-learning; work integrated learning; experiential pedagogy

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Guest Editor
School of Teacher Education, University of South Africa, Pretoria, Gauteng 0003, South Africa
Interests: curriculum studies (theory and development); teaching and learning in a community of practice; distance education; ODL environment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue—‘Teachers, Teacher Education, Professional Learning and Development: A Focus on Pedagogical Mobility’—strongly connects professional learning and professional development with the pedagogical mobility of teachers. The theoretical framing of initial teacher education (ITE) preparation and teachers’ professional learning and development needs to move beyond generalised workshops to add value to the development of specialised skills and knowledge. This Special Issue aligns theory and practice to improve preparedness and readiness for the teaching profession beyond ITE while highlighting pedagogical mobility across specialist areas.

The scope and purpose of the Special Issue

 The challenges teachers face at work across different disciplines, fields and subject areas, and the implications these challenges have for quality education, need to be identified and discussed. The purpose of this Special Issue is to highlight a one-size-fits-all concept for professional development, teacher support and ITE’s focus (or absence of focus) on what preparedness might look like in specific areas. Luke, Luke and Mayer (2000) have discussed the debate surrounding the reinvention and re-envisioning of teacher education. This inspired this Special Issue to focus its attention on the pedagogical mobility of teachers. The expectation that ITE will be able to prepare prospective teachers for the teaching profession so that they will be ready for what is waiting for them in the workplace is placed under the magnifying glass. Power (2011) claims that the extent to which teachers influence quality education is aligned with effective professional learning and development. Discussions surrounding education quality improvement, accountability, and the role of initial teacher education in connection with further professional support should consider teachers’ professional learning and what pedagogical mobility might look like, both in the workplace and in ITE.

Outline of the Special Issue:

1. Focus:

Teachers and pre-service teachers’ awareness of professional learning and development within the frame of context-consciousness, pedagogical mobility and related challenges.

2. Scope:

This Special Issue will focus on the extent that teachers, pre-service teachers, teacher educators, and school leaders across discipline fields and areas are impacted by targeted support or a lack thereof. This includes the influence that tailored professional learning and development—or the absence thereof—has on quality education and improvement strategies for quality education.

3. Purpose of the Special Issue:

We hope that this Special Issue will highlight the need to develop specific context-consciousness in order to enhance effective professional learning and development within the teaching profession.

Dr. Anna Elizabeth Du Plessis
Dr. Elize Kung
Prof. Dr. Elize (E.C.) du Plessis
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • pedagogical mobility
  • quality teaching
  • quality education
  • context-consciousness
  • professional learning
  • professional development
  • support needs

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Editorial

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7 pages, 199 KiB  
Editorial
Challenges for Pedagogical Effectiveness in an Ever-Changing Education Landscape: Conceptualisation of Pedagogical Mobility and Flexibility as a Context-Consciousness
by Anna Elizabeth du Plessis, Elize Küng and Elize du Plessis
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 349; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040349 - 26 Mar 2024
Viewed by 576
Abstract
The challenges to maintaining pedagogical effectiveness in an ever-changing education landscape not only turn focus on the professional development of teachers and their teaching practices but also emphasise the preparation of pre-service teachers and their skill development to practice pedagogical flexibility and mobility [...] Read more.
The challenges to maintaining pedagogical effectiveness in an ever-changing education landscape not only turn focus on the professional development of teachers and their teaching practices but also emphasise the preparation of pre-service teachers and their skill development to practice pedagogical flexibility and mobility while focusing on context-consciousness [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial

12 pages, 2260 KiB  
Article
A Case Study of Effective Classroom Assessment Adjustments for a Student with Disability: The Role of Teacher Pedagogical Mobility in Assessment Adjustments
by Maryam Razmjoee, Joy Cumming and Claire Wyatt-Smith
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1178; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121178 - 23 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1091
Abstract
This study investigated how teachers’ pedagogical mobility influences classroom assessment adjustments to support mathematics achievement for a student with disability. Structured and semi-structured surveys and artefacts associated with the student’s mathematics assessment tasks for two Terms were used. Data were analyzed using qualitative [...] Read more.
This study investigated how teachers’ pedagogical mobility influences classroom assessment adjustments to support mathematics achievement for a student with disability. Structured and semi-structured surveys and artefacts associated with the student’s mathematics assessment tasks for two Terms were used. Data were analyzed using qualitative inductive analysis. A scribe, a different place for the examination, and extra time were the adjustments provided for two mathematics assessment tasks. The results showed that in Term 1, the scribe’s lack of familiarity with discipline knowledge in terms of mathematics terminology resulted in a low mathematics outcome. However, in Term 2, when the student had access to an appropriately knowledgeable scribe, mathematics achievement improved. The implications of these findings for future research and practice are discussed. Full article
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18 pages, 463 KiB  
Article
Self-Authorship: A Pedagogical Tool for Pre-Service Teachers to Develop (Pre)Professional Identity
by Carolina Botha, Elma Marais and Maryna Reyneke
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1067; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111067 - 24 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 939
Abstract
This article reports on the use of self-authorship as a pedagogical tool to develop pre-service teachers’ professional identities. Pre-professional identity is considered a dynamic, less mature version of professional identity. Such a notion of fluidity in the professional self necessitates the integration of [...] Read more.
This article reports on the use of self-authorship as a pedagogical tool to develop pre-service teachers’ professional identities. Pre-professional identity is considered a dynamic, less mature version of professional identity. Such a notion of fluidity in the professional self necessitates the integration of both personal and professional life experiences in the process of becoming, rather than already being, a teacher. A random sample of 56 pre-service teachers from a population of first-year students at a South African university was selected for this qualitative interpretivist study. Thematic analysis of personal reflections after a professional orientation programme indicates that the pre-professional identity of first-year pre-service teachers is mostly based on external cues and naïve perceptions rather than on well-thought-through personal ideology. The authors draw on Baxter-Magolda’s theory of self-authorship to highlight this influence of past life experiences that shape the pre-professional identity that first-year pre-service teachers bring to initial teacher training programs. Self-authorship is defined as a person’s ability to conceptualise and apply their own beliefs, identity, and social relations in various contexts. Findings confirm that most first-year pre-service teachers place themselves within the first phase of self-authorship. It is postulated that higher education institutions could, through platforms such as Work Integrated Learning, shift the structure and focus of pre-service teacher training programmes away from passive observation and instruction to active partnership, engaged reflection, and critical thinking. Such an approach can then contribute to professional and personal development through the remainder of the pre-service teacher programme. It is further argued that a longitudinal study is needed to explore this required movement towards and through the three phases of self-authorship. Full article
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10 pages, 225 KiB  
Article
The Contribution of Educational Psychology to South African Preservice Teacher Training and Learner Support
by Motlalepule Ruth Mampane
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(10), 1047; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13101047 - 19 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1930
Abstract
Teacher education programmes are developed around the theoretical and practical understanding of child development, learning, assessment, behaviour management and motivation, which are areas of expertise in educational psychology. This paper aims to (a) critically investigate the contribution of educational psychology in the training [...] Read more.
Teacher education programmes are developed around the theoretical and practical understanding of child development, learning, assessment, behaviour management and motivation, which are areas of expertise in educational psychology. This paper aims to (a) critically investigate the contribution of educational psychology in the training of preservice teachers at South African universities and (b) understand the distribution of educational psychologists in public schools to support teaching and learning. A narrative literature review and email requests for unpublished documents from four educational psychologists were used as methods to collect literature in order to answer the following questions: What contribution does educational psychology make to training preservice teachers at public universities in South Africa? What contributions do educational psychologists make to support learners in South African public schools? Analysis was carried out by identifying recurring patterns in the literature reviewed. This study found that of the 26 public universities in South Africa, there are only 6 universities that offer educational psychology programmes. Educational psychology programmes in higher education institutions are in decline, leading to a decrease in the number of qualified educational psychologists. This decline negatively affects the involvement of educational psychologists in training preservice teachers in educational psychology modules or courses. Therefore, the inclusion of educational psychology as a core or fundamental module in the curriculum of preservice teachers to avoid dependence on the decreasing number of educational psychologists in higher education institutions is key. An increase in teacher training programmes in higher education should be merged with an equal increase in educational psychology core or fundamental courses in the curriculum of preservice teachers. Full article
12 pages, 981 KiB  
Article
ChatGPT and Generative AI: Possibilities for Its Contribution to Lesson Planning, Critical Thinking and Openness in Teacher Education
by Geesje van den Berg and Elize du Plessis
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(10), 998; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13100998 - 29 Sep 2023
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 9854
Abstract
Although artificial intelligence (AI) has been part of our lives for some time, the launch of the Generative Pretrained Transformer (ChatGPT) has given it renewed attention. While most of these debates are about higher education in general, this article focuses on schoolteacher education [...] Read more.
Although artificial intelligence (AI) has been part of our lives for some time, the launch of the Generative Pretrained Transformer (ChatGPT) has given it renewed attention. While most of these debates are about higher education in general, this article focuses on schoolteacher education and teacher training. This research aimed to determine the contribution of generative AI tools such as ChatGPT in lesson planning, critical thinking and openness in education. The research used a qualitative approach and document analysis following an interpretative paradigm. The findings reveal that generative language models such as ChatGPT can provide specific materials and support mechanisms, such as lesson plans, to schoolteachers and student teachers. It also showed that ChatGPT has levelled the playing field by opening access to lesson plans to all teachers. However, to unleash their full potential for education, it is crucial to approach these models with caution and critically evaluate their limitations and potential biases, understanding that they are tools to support teaching and learning and do not replace teachers. The study’s contribution lies in ChatGPT-generated lesson plans’ implications and the enhancement of critical thinking for teacher education, and it also underscores the need for further research to explore best practices for integrating ChatGPT in lesson planning. Full article
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14 pages, 262 KiB  
Article
The Preparedness of Student Teachers in Open and Distance Learning Environments for the Classroom
by E. C. Du Plessis
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(9), 934; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13090934 - 14 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 999
Abstract
Teaching practice is crucial to preparing teachers for teacher education globally. Studies on open and distance learning (ODL) environments, in which collaboration and discussion play a crucial role, ought to inform the design of distance learning. They should also force a more in-depth [...] Read more.
Teaching practice is crucial to preparing teachers for teacher education globally. Studies on open and distance learning (ODL) environments, in which collaboration and discussion play a crucial role, ought to inform the design of distance learning. They should also force a more in-depth examination of and interest in teaching practice in higher education. Learning is seen as a positive experience, whether entirely lecturer-room-based or distance-based. It is essential to combine theory and practice with efficient distance training as part of work-integrated learning. Consequently, this study aimed to determine the perceived classroom skills of ODL student teachers during the teaching practice sections associated with their Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) course. The objective of ascertaining the preparedness of ODL student teachers after their PGCE program carries substantial importance in guaranteeing the quality, efficiency, and influence of the education system by cultivating competent and well-equipped teachers. A qualitative research approach was used to gather, analyse, and interpret data. Fifteen (15) student teachers registered at a College of Education of an ODL organisation were invited to participate in the research voluntarily. In the light of the research findings, it is suggested that extra care be given to the collaboration between academic lecturers, mentor teachers and student teachers, as well as to the expectations and duties of these role-players. Full article
16 pages, 295 KiB  
Article
Teachers’ Perceptions and Experiences of Navigating Continuing Professional Development during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Tyrone Dempsey and Raj Mestry
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(9), 933; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13090933 - 14 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1721
Abstract
Using social constructivism as a theoretical framework, we examined the perceptions and experiences encountered by South African teachers of their professional development during the COVID-19 pandemic. Translating teacher experiences into explicit learning contexts for learners remains an ongoing pedagogical challenge. For teachers to [...] Read more.
Using social constructivism as a theoretical framework, we examined the perceptions and experiences encountered by South African teachers of their professional development during the COVID-19 pandemic. Translating teacher experiences into explicit learning contexts for learners remains an ongoing pedagogical challenge. For teachers to be effective, they must be prepared for changes and adapt swiftly to changing conditions. The need for pedagogical mobility to adopt a perspective of introspective teaching practice that engages learners in meaningful learning environments was crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic. Teachers were compelled to change their pedagogical approach; they were obliged to become digitally literate and apply advanced technology that would enable learners to access a wide range of activities and resources. Using a generic qualitative research design within an interpretivist paradigm, data were collected through semi-structured interviews with six teachers and analysed using Tesch’s method of coding. We applied a generic qualitative methodology within an interpretivist paradigm to explore teachers’ perceptions and experiences. Six teachers, purposefully selected from various schools, participated in this research. Our findings revealed that lack of guidance and support from educational authorities and school management teams negatively infringed on teachers’ practice and professional development. However, teachers collaborated with peers and community members, engaged in knowledge-sharing, and adopted a trial-and-error approach to finding solutions. CPD programmes focusing on classroom management and pedagogical skills are highly recommended to foster the development of more proficient teachers. Full article
12 pages, 256 KiB  
Article
Addressing the Teacher Exodus via Mobile Pedagogies: Strengthening the Professional Capacity of Second-Career Preservice Teachers through Online Communities of Practice
by Sarah Oluk
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(9), 887; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13090887 - 1 Sep 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 831
Abstract
In recent years, the discourse from media outlets around the globe, including Australia, has narrated a teacher supply crisis and highlighted the need to address an ever-growing teacher shortage. In Australia, a recent exodus of accredited teachers has seen a rapid change in [...] Read more.
In recent years, the discourse from media outlets around the globe, including Australia, has narrated a teacher supply crisis and highlighted the need to address an ever-growing teacher shortage. In Australia, a recent exodus of accredited teachers has seen a rapid change in the stability of the teaching workforce. School leaders are significantly challenged to find suitable teachers, especially in hard-to-staff schools in rural and remote communities. To fill the supply gap, governments have targeted career professionals looking to segue into a second career in education. Initial teacher education (ITE) preservice teachers trying to balance their external commitments and studies have necessitated a more flexible and versatile online learning platform and community. This paper discusses the need for ITE providers to pivot from the traditional modes of on-campus teaching and to establish a more accessible and highly engaging pedagogical approach to preservice teacher education to prepare this cohort of future teachers to be educators in schools. With a focus on the well-established pedagogical approach of collaborative communities of practice, this paper explores new narratives surrounding collective engagement and the link to academic accomplishment. The findings and thematic analyses unveiled a teaching-focused lecturer’s lived experiences while creating and delivering collaborative and authentic pedagogically mobile curricula. The goal is to prepare preservice teachers for their new careers while creating authentic learning experiences that build their capacity to become pedagogically adaptable beginning teachers. Full article
13 pages, 395 KiB  
Article
Excursions as an Immersion Pedagogy to Enhance Self-Directed Learning in Pre-Service Teacher Education
by Josef De Beer
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(9), 862; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13090862 - 23 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1223
Abstract
Pre-service teacher education should be underpinned by pedagogies that would enhance self-directed learning. Future teachers need to create contexts in the classrooms that would enable learners to, as self-directed learners, identify individual learning goals for themselves, search for appropriate resources, and monitor and [...] Read more.
Pre-service teacher education should be underpinned by pedagogies that would enhance self-directed learning. Future teachers need to create contexts in the classrooms that would enable learners to, as self-directed learners, identify individual learning goals for themselves, search for appropriate resources, and monitor and assess their own learning. Self-directed learning is essential to adequately prepare learners for a complex and changing world. This paper focuses on the affordances of a first-year student teacher excursion to scaffold learning and the development of a professional identity, and to address the ‘apprenticeship of observation’ that could prevent optimal learning. Pre-service teachers often enter the Bachelor of Education degree with a naïve understanding of the teaching profession. Furthermore, they come from school contexts that often do not enhance self-directed learning. The faculties of education from three different universities have engaged in excursions for first-year student teachers, where the student teachers, as Homo ludens (the playing human), engage in problem-based and cooperative learning activities, exploring the complexities of the teaching profession. Social constructivism underpins the excursion. Findings over 17 years (2007–2023) across three universities—the University of Johannesburg, North-West University and the University of the Western Cape—show that such immersion pedagogy is a high-impact educational practice, in which student teachers learn from practice. The findings show that the excursion provides pre-service teachers with a more nuanced understanding of the teaching profession, enhanced sensitivity to diversity, social justice and inclusivity, an understanding of the value of reflection, and a sense of belonging as a student in the higher education sector. The findings also highlight the affordances of excursions to enhance self-directed learning, an important attribute to ensure continued professional development. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, higher education institutions had to rethink teaching and learning, and this article also explores the transformation of face-to-face excursions to virtual online excursions. Full article
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21 pages, 562 KiB  
Article
A Comparison of Pre-Service Science Teacher Education in Myanmar, the Philippines and Japan
by Wai Wai Kyi, Denis Dyvee Errabo and Tetsuo Isozaki
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(7), 706; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13070706 - 12 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2408
Abstract
Teacher education is the very first step for preparing quality teachers and it is crucial to provide quality teacher training. This research aims to analyze and compare pre-service teacher education policies and programs in Myanmar, the Philippines, and Japan, focusing on secondary science [...] Read more.
Teacher education is the very first step for preparing quality teachers and it is crucial to provide quality teacher training. This research aims to analyze and compare pre-service teacher education policies and programs in Myanmar, the Philippines, and Japan, focusing on secondary science teachers. A case study research design was employed by utilizing Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework. The result shows that TPACK components found in national education policies and programs in Myanmar were Content Knowledge (CK), Pedagogical Knowledge (PK), and Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK). On the other hand, TPACK found in the Philippines and Japan were CK, PK, Technological Knowledge (TK), PCK, Technological Content Knowledge (TCK), and Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK). In all three countries, limited provision of Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (TPACK) was found. It is interpreted that provision of a balanced and sufficient knowledge of TPACK is essential to well equip pre-service teachers with required knowledge and skills considering internationalization and transnational education. This research uncovered the general patterns and trends in pre-service teacher education for science in three Asian countries as well as their uniqueness and best practices. Full article
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