Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Professional Development Models

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Leadership for Learning and Innovation

DESCRIPTION This study-unit deals with professional development models. In particular, it will focus on the professional development of educators through five key models: the workshop (seminar and session) model, mentoring and coaching, co-teaching, community of practice approaches and blended learning (online & face-to-face and workshop & community learning).

This study-unit becomes an essential component for educational leaders who intend to transform and develop the practices of educators. It is through the effective and purposeful use of professional development that practices may be better understood, implemented, sustained and improved.

Students will learn about models of professional development that leaders may use to support the learning and development of educators. Each model has its benefits, challenges and pitfalls and these will be deal with through online discussion. Participants will, hence, investigate each of these models in-depth and explore how each of these may be used within the context that they work in.

Study-Unit Aims:

This study-unit aims to:
- Provide an understanding of continuing professional development and a range of models for the design of professional learning opportunities;
- Offer opportunities for discussion linking research literature to personal experiences;
- Enable participants to appreciate the effectiveness of the social aspect within professional development;
- Identify benefits, pitfalls and challenges with the use of different models of professional develpment;
- Enable participants to discuss professional learning opportunities that are purposeful for educators at different levels.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Classify different professional development models;
- Identify how different models of professional development serve different purposes;
- Demonstrate knowledge of resources and support structures required in the design, implementation and evaluation of each different models of professional development.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Discuss appropriate strategies for the implementation of professional development opportunities;
- Explore professional development opprtunities and practices that are beneficial for different educators;
- Examine and contrast scenarios for the use of different models of professional development;
- Design opportunities for collaborative and blended models of professional development.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:
- Attard, K. (2012) Public reflection within learning communities: an incessant type of professional development, European Journal of Teacher Education, 35(2), 199-211.
- Bezzina, C. (2002). Rethinking teachers' professional development in Malta: agenda for the twenty-first century. Journal of In-Service Education, 28(1), 57-78.
- DuFour, R. (2004). Leading edge: The best staff development is in the workplace, not in a workshop. Journal of Staff Development, 25(2), 63-64.
- Guskey, T. R. (2002). Professional development and teacher change. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 8(3/4), 381-391.
- Kennedy, A. (2005). Models of continuing professional development: a framework for analysis. Journal of in-service education, 31(2), 235-250.
- Rhodes, C., & Beneicke, S. (2002). Coaching, mentoring and peer-networking: Challenges for the management of teacher professional development in schools. Journal of in-service education, 28(2), 297-310.
- Walther-Thomas, C. S. (1997). Co-teaching experiences: The benefits and problems that teachers and principals report over time. Journal of learning disabilities, 30(4), 395-407.

Supplementary Readings:
- Attard, K. (2017) Personally driven professional development: reflective self-study as a way for teachers to take control of their own professional development, Teacher Development, 21(1), 40-56.
- Attard, K. (2016) Teachers perceived as professionals or technicians: a longstanding contemplation that impacts the type of professional development offered and/or sought. In, T.Norton (Ed.) Professional Development: recent advanced and future directions (ppl.103-119). New York: Nova Science.
- Bezzina, C. (2006). " The Road Less Traveled": Professional Communities in Secondary Schools. Theory Into Practice, 45(2), 159-167.
- Bubb, S., & Earley, P. (2013). The use of training days: Finding time for teachers' professional development. Educaional Research, 55(3), 236-248.
- Caena, F. (2011). Literature Review: Quality in teachers’ continuing professional development. European Commission: Education and Training 2020.
- Earley, P., & Bubb, S. (2004). Leading and Managing Continuing Professional Development: Developing people, developing schools (Vol. A). London: Paul Chapman.
- Joyce, B., & Calhoun, E. (2010). Models of professional development: A celebration of educators. Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press.
- Koellner, K., & Jacobs, J. (2015). Distinguishing models of professional development the case of an adaptive model’s impact on teachers’ knowledge, instruction, and student achievement. Journal of Teacher Education, 66(1), 51-67.
- Putman, R. T., & Borko, H. (2000). What do new views of knowledge and thinking have to say about research on teacher learning? Educational Researcher, 29(1), 4-15.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Fieldwork, Ind Online Learn, Ind Study & Lectures

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Fieldwork SEM1 Yes 40%
Portfolio SEM1 Yes 60%

LECTURER/S Karl Attard
Michelle Attard Tonna
James Calleja (Co-ord.)
Ivan Riolo

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.