Teachers' professional development: a biographical perspective

Geert Kelchtermans, Roland Vandenberghe
1994 Journal of Curriculum Studies  
The main aim of this project was to understand teachers' professional development by reconstructing their career experiences. The study examined the ways in which 10 experienced primary school teachers from 4 different Flemish schools experienced their careers, focusing on the personal perception and the subjective meaning of these experiences. Data were analyzed in two steps: (1) vertical analysis, which imposed a fixed structure to each teacher's data concerning formal career, professional
more » ... graphy, professional self, and subjective educational theory; and (2) horizontal analysis, which identified commonalities, differences, and patterns among the data from all respondents. The analysis examined teachers' self-image, self-esteem, job motivation, task perception, and future perspective. Recurring themes included teachers' perceived vulnerability and their need to cope with the limitations of their impact on pupils' results. The paper concludes that the study showed the usefulness of the biographical perspective for a better understanding of why teachers act the way they do. However, teachers' stimulated reflection on their career and personal development did not automatically change or improve their teaching practice. (Contains 51 references.) (JDD)
doi:10.1080/0022027940260103 fatcat:rc5ezwkq6bgsjgwpho6wewyede