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This interpretative study of teachers as learners explored the continuing professional learning of teachers in a range of Australian schools. While teacher learning is regarded as a cornerstone of school reform, knowledge of how and why teachers engage in ongoing learning is scant. Research participants completed an open-ended questionnaire about their professional learning experiences and participated in semi-structured interviews in which they shared their learning narratives. The study found three sets of major influences on teachers’ engagement with professional learning and the quality of that learning. These influences were isolation (both geographic and professional), cost (both educational and emotional), and the professional and personal life stages of teachers. A new descriptive framework through which to understand the intricate interconnections between teacher-learners, professional learning and learning contexts across teaching careers is proposed.


School of Education

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Journal Article

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