Attention: This site looks better in the latest Mozilla or Internet Explorer.

The Learning Conference 2003

Home | Newsletter | Call for Papers | Register

Presentation Details


Professional Development: Western Australian Secondary Teachers’ Experiences and Perspectives

Dr Shelley Scott.

This research was undertaken to explore professional development in Western Australian Government secondary schools from the perspective of the classroom teacher. A study that bridged quantitative and qualitative methodology, it drew upon teachers’ perspectives and reports of professional development activities in which they participated over an eighteen-month period. The teacher was the central point of reference in this study due to his/her importance in the classroom as the architect of the learning experiences for students (Fogarty, 1999). The findings of this study indicated that teachers were expending significant amounts of time engaged in professional development. Teachers’ rationale for choosing professional development was explored and their perceptions of the effectiveness of the various activities were also examined. Teachers’ career stage did appear to influence their choice of professional development, perception of effectiveness and quality, their personal teaching philosophies, and perception of the school and educational culture. Equity in accessing professional development emerged as a distinct issue for rural and information technology teachers in this study. Gender differences in perceptions and choices of professional development were displayed by respondents. As a result of this research a model of systematic professional development has been proposed that encompasses the expressed needs of teachers in this study, the literature on effective professional development to improve student learning, and the quality assurance and accountability mechanisms required by the employer.


Dr Shelley Scott  (Australia)
Coordinator of Teaching and Learning, Division of Business
Academic Development
Curtin University of Technology

Dr Shelleyann Scott is the Coordinator of Teaching and Learning in Academic Development (Business Division) at Curtin University of Technology. She is an experienced tertiary and secondary high school teacher. Her expertise includes simple and complex teaching models, cooperative and collaborative learning strategies, science, and information technology. Her research interests include professional development within educational environments, business and government; lifelong learning; the creation and maintenance of learning communities, and the use of Information Technology to support ongoing reflection and learning for teachers and students. Evaluating the effectiveness of professional development activities with a view to ensuring high quality outcomes for students is also one of her interests.

  • Professional development.
  • Teacher perspectives
  • Choice
  • Career stage
  • Gender differences
  • School culture
  • Educational culture.

(30 min Conference Paper, English)