Sowing the Seeds for Potential Growth

  • Kathleen Smith
Part of the Self-Study of Teaching and Teacher Education Practices book series (STEP, volume 18)


This chapter explores literature that sheds light on the thinking and action that has traditionally framed approaches to teacher professional development. A review of relevant research highlights the limitations of these practices in terms of producing meaningful teacher learning and sustainable educational change. This carries implications in terms of the effectiveness of such approaches to address the nature of teacher learning – in particular the complex interrelatedness between teaching, thinking, experience, context and action. This chapter then explores an alternative role of the teacher in the learning process by examining three key ideas emerging from literature in the area of professional learning: (1) professional learning must be personal; (2) it must be about noticing; and (3) it inevitably challenges teachers because it involves hard work. This chapter then explores the literature which frames some important considerations around the ownership of expert knowledge, in particular teachers’ professional knowledge of practice and the value and place of this expertise in teacher education. The chapter concludes with a call for more research into the operational conditions conducive to meaningful teacher learning.


Professional Development Teacher Education Professional Learning Professional Knowledge Professional Development Programme 
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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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