School based practitioner enquiry as stepping stones to change

Alma Fleet, Catherine June Patterson, Katey De Gioia, Kate O'Brien, Franceyn O'Connor

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    Abstract

    With increasing recognition of the importance of principles of adult learning in the shaping of early childhood centres and schools as learning communities, practitioner enquiry is being pursued as a valuable piece of the pedagogical puzzle. Within a socio-constructivist frame, case studies of practitioner enquiry sites are useful tools in enabling educational communities to understand more about the processes which support the effective adaptation and sustenance of practitioner enquiry projects. This collaborative pilot study used the resources and expertise of a Catholic Education Office (CEO Sydney Archdiocese) in conjunction with the Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University (IEC) to simultaneously implement and study a cycle of classroom-based professional learning initiatives. As facilitators in the educational change process, the university-based research team investigated its own work in similar fashion to the action research cycles being advocated for school based teams. While recognising that learning in the early years is fundamental to later schooling success and employment opportunity, educational change initiatives have traditionally been content-driven (eg literacy and numeracy programs) rather than focusing on teachers themselves. Given the framework and possibilities offered by practitioner enquiry, however, professionalism grows through the cyclical investigations of a supported learning community and becomes visible. Article Number: FLE091544.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-15
    Number of pages15
    JournalAARE 2009 Conference Proceedings
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    EventAustralian Association for Research in Education Conference - Canberra
    Duration: 29 Nov 20093 Dec 2009

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