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Pathways and possibilities in professional development: Case studies of effective teachers of literacy

Poulson, L. and Avramidis, E. (2003) Pathways and possibilities in professional development: Case studies of effective teachers of literacy. British Educational Research Journal, 29 (4). pp. 543-560. ISSN 0141-1926

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This article reports part of an empirical research project investigating the professional development, knowledge and beliefs of a number of teachers working in primary schools throughout England who were identified as effective at teaching literacy. The larger study employed a range of approaches, including a survey, interviews and observation of lessons. The article presents a detailed case study analysis of the literacy-related professional development experience of a subsample of the effective teachers of literacy. The case studies highlight the interwoven nature of experience gained within a range of professional contexts, including classroom, school, local education authority and national loci. The importance of meso-level support for professional learning and development, such as that provided by local education authority advisers, is highlighted. The case studies indicate the importance of the affective and personal dimensions within longer-term professional development, and also the creative interplay between autonomy and collegiality. The non-linear, and often long-term, nature of career development is also emphasised: particularly in relation to primary schools, where teachers may change subject or phase orientations over time. It is argued that the long-term nature of professional development poses particular challenges for policies that focus increasingly on measurable impact and outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Education (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2009 08:50
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2009 08:50
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01411920301846
Status: Published
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Identification Number: 10.1080/01411920301846
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/5694

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