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Journal of Educational Change

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 95–112 | Cite as

School data as mediators in professional development

  • Ruth JensenEmail author
  • Jorunn Møller
Article

Abstract

International research documents a variety of approaches for fostering the professional development of principals. These studies mainly draw upon survey and interview data. Less attention has been paid to observing professional development processes. This article aims to examine how professional learning is played out empirically in the interactions among members of a school improvement team in a Norwegian context by paying special attention to school data as the departure for professional development of principals. Cultural Historical Activity Theory frames the analysis. The findings suggest that video clips of teaching practices stimulate engagement among team members and, hence, mediate professional learning processes beyond the situations presented in the workshops. These video clips triggered analyses of how to understand and improve teaching practices. In addition, external facilitation seemed crucial for anchoring the analysis theoretically, and for highlighting implications for leadership in the workshops.

Keywords

Professional development Mediation Principals Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors thank Professor Andreas Lund and Professor Sten Ludvigsen for helpful comments on an early draft of this article. The authors are also indebted to colleagues participating in the LiKE project (Learning Trajectories in Knowledge Economies) at the Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Oslo.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Teacher Education and School ResearchUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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