Date of Submission



This thesis, 'Developing a professional learning community for teachers of religious education', aimed to study the learning experiences of teachers involved in professional learning to implement new religious education guidelines. In particular, the study attempted to explore teacher perceptions of the characteristics of effective professional learning and identified factors influencing their professional growth. Following the development of themes and key understandings, further research aimed to study the impact that teacher professional learning had on improving classroom instruction that in turn improved student learning outcomes. Situated within a qualitative paradigm the research design for the study is that of symbolic interactionism. Grounded theory methodology was used to analyse the theory generated from the data which included surveys, guided conversations, and moderation of student work samples. Themes generated from the study included Change and professional learning; The content of professional learning; The structure and design of professional learning in religious education; The context of professional learning in religious education; The reasons for professional learning in religious education; Professional learning that influenced teaching practices; and Professional learning that influenced student outcomes. From these themes, key understanding were developed and discussed against the research literature. The study has the potential to inform educational leaders of effective characteristics of professional learning for teachers of religious education that promote teacher learning and improve student outcomes.


School of Religious Education

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Faculty of Education

Included in

Education Commons