Professional learning and school leadership in a digital age
thesisposted on 2022-03-29, 00:18 authored by Michael Stevenson
In the digital age, technology is playing an important role in changing how, when, where and why educators learn professionally. Newer forms of professional learning stand in contrast to more traditional forms of professional development. This shifting paradigm has implications for educators in all contexts. While there are now many technology tools that promote learning beyond school and system contexts, many argue that the professional learning that takes place within these contexts remains largely imposed, defined by the twentieth century paradigms of print media and information scarcity, and rarely sensitive to the needs of the individual teacher. In the context of these realities, for school leaders seeking to leverage the affordances of technology there remains a challenge. This study explores the changing nature of professional learning in a digital age. With recourse to models such as the Personal Learning Network (PLN), Participatory Cultures and the Technological, Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (TPaCK), the study employs a mixed research design that examines the dimensions of contemporary technology-enabled teacher professional learning and investigates its impact on the school community. Findings are drawn from three distinct samples of educators that include preservice teachers, classroom teachers, technology mentors and principals. These findings challenge educational leaders to build future capacity for professional learning that is autonomous, learner-centred and authentic.