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Conditions for Effective Teachers’ Professional Development in a School as a Learning Organization

Oskars Kaulēns
University of Latvia, Latvia

Abstract. Changes in the structure of the labor market determine new needs for further education and actualizes lifelong learning as a precondition for sustainable development of the whole society. This means that in general education in Latvia, new learning outcomes are defined, which refer not only to the curriculum, which students have to learn at school, and learning approach which is used for educational purposes, but also for the objectives of teachers’ professional development. The context of societal changes also determine different models for school governance, transforming schools into learning organizations, where effective teachers’ professional development is one of the most important characteristics of that kind of organization.
The aim of the qualitative research conducted by the author is to find out what are the preconditions for effective professional development of teachers, transforming a school into an effective learning organization. Within the framework of the research, an analysis of the scientific literature has been performed, defining criteria, the implementation of which can increase the efficiency of teachers’ professional development and promote the development of the school into an effective learning organization. Within the framework of the research, 2 focus group discussions have been conducted with 8 teachers’ professional development experts in Latvia in order to find out the opinion of which professional development criteria mentioned in the scientific literature could have the greatest impact on teachers’ performance in working with students. The Delphi method has been used to obtain qualitative data, the method of qualitative content analysis has been used for data analysis, and the collection of expert opinions has been performed using the method of interpretive phenomenological analysis.
The data obtained in the research show that the effectiveness of teachers’ professional development is increased by the autonomy of teachers to choose what learning content they want to acquire and what kind of learning activities they want to attend; linking the study content with the specifics of a particular subject; availability of feedback and opportunities for reflection during professional development; learning from outside expertise and good practice; regularity of learning and long-term learning, as well as the opportunity to learn inside the school through formalized system of professional development and methodological support.

Keywords: efficiency, learning organization; professional development; teachers

In: Human, Technologies and Quality of Education, 2022. Proceedings of Scientific Papers = Cilvēks, tehnoloģijas un izglītības kvalitāte, 2022. Rakstu krājums
Riga, University of Latvia, 2022. 1135 p. Ed. L. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-18-911-1