31 May 2017

Studies conducted in a Western context have shown that there are multiple factors coming into play to make Teachers Professional Development (TPD) a strategic and powerful tool for improving teacher instructions. However, there have been few studies in In

Laila Refiana Said, 2005
The University of Western Australia

Abstract

Studies conducted in a Western context have shown that there are multiple factors coming into play to make Teachers Professional Development (TPD) a strategic and powerful tool for improving teacher instructions. However, there have been few studies in Indonesia to also confirm the existing literature. Common influential factors identified by Opfer and Pedder (2011a) that influence TPD are learning activities, teacher characteristics and school conditions. The purpose of this study was to develop an understanding of the nature of teacher professional development (TPD) in an Indonesian context by investigating the three factors identified by Opfer and Pedder (2011a) that influence TPD — learning activities, teacher characteristics and school conditions. Three research questions were posed to guide data collection in the study: 1) What are the features of TPD learning activities in which teachers participate and what are teachers’ perceptions about their TPD learning activities?; 2) What teacher characteristics influence their learning and change in the context of TPD as a complex system?; and 3) At the school level, what influences support, or impede, teacher learning and change in the context of TPD as a complex system?.

The methodology involved conducting case studies in three schools in three different regions in South Sulawesi province in Indonesia. This study employed a holistic multiple case study design in which questionnaires and interviews were used to collect data about teachers’ experiences and perceptions toward their professional learning. A case study for each school was constructed as well as a cross-case analysis to compare findings from the three case study schools.

This study provided several key findings about the nature of TPD in the three case study schools. First, consistent with the existing literature, learning activities, teacher characteristics and school conditions were present and influential for teacher professional learning in each of the case study school. Second, the influences of these three factors varied in emphasis across the three case study schools. That is, one factor had a stronger influence on teacher professional learning than others on each school in regard to TPD operated similar to a complex system. Third, another influence on TPD in the three case study schools, which added to the factors identified by Opfer and Pedder (2011a), was the socio-political context of Indonesian education system. In Indonesian context, the bureaucratic control and authoritarian structure has long been entrenched in Indonesia’s education system which also significantly influences the practice of TPD. The main implication of this study is that although the TPD in each school was influenced by the learning activities, teacher characteristics and school conditions, these did not occur equally in the schools. Whilst they vary in emphasis, it is the combination of different influences that make each school a complex TPD system and this needs further research to understand the dynamics and interrelationships of factors influencing TPD.

 

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