Action Learning in Schools: Reframing teachers' professional learning and development

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Routledge, Aug 21, 2012 - Education - 160 pages

Teaching is becoming increasingly complex in the 21st Century, creating a need for more sophisticated frameworks to support teachers’ professional learning. Action learning is one such framework and has been used for workplace learning in business settings for many years. It is now becoming increasingly popular in school and university settings, but it is often misunderstood. This book clarifies what action learning is, linking key concepts to illustrate that it is not merely a process, but a dynamic interaction between professional learning, communities, leadership and change. The book brings together more than a decade of the authors’ research in school-based action learning.

Rich and diverse, the research draws on more than 100 case studies of action learning by teams of teachers in schools. The authors:

  • provide practical advice on how to initiate and sustain action learning;
  • explain the interaction between action learning, teacher development, professional learning, community building, leadership and change; and
  • illustrate how action learning can link to classroom practice so closely that it becomes part of what teachers do, rather than an added impost.

Addressing the highs and lows, the successes and failures, and their underlying causes, Action Learning in Schools provides insights into theories of cooperation, innovation, leadership and community formation to inform individual projects and large-scale school improvement initiatives. It will be of interest to teacher educators, pre-service and experienced teachers alike, as well as school and education system managers and policymakers keen to enhance teacher professional learning and educational outcomes for students.


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Chapter 2 Positioning action learning
getting started
Chapter 4 The dynamics of action learning
Chapter 5 Community
the academic partners role
Chapter 7 Gathering and learning from evidence
Chapter 8 Ethical action learning
Chapter 9 Sustaining professional learning through action learning
extending action learning

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About the author (2012)

Peter Aubusson is Associate Professor in Education and Head of Teacher Education Programs at University of Technology, Sydney.

Robyn Ewing is Professor of Teacher Education and the Arts and Acting Dean in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney

Garry Hoban is Associate Professor of Science Education and Teacher Education at the University of Wollongong.

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