Developing a model for a self-study professional learning community
Although the term self-study may suggest an individual teacher educator studying his or her own practice, most self-studies involve pairs or small groups of teacher educators working together in what is often called collaborative self-study. An extension of an informal collaboration is to formalize self-study as professional learning for teacher educators. This means that a group of teacher educators and other academics can study their practices over an extended period of time and share experiences as a community. This chapter identifies and explains the nature of a professional learning framework that underpins a group of academics becoming a self-study community. The framework is developed from previous research with teachers in schools and is adapted for self-study of academic teaching practices. The framework is based on the dynamic interaction of three professional learning influences: (1) content, (2) process, and (3) conditions that support such a community. Development of the framework is based on the progress of a group of ten academics, mostly teacher educators, over a 12-month period. Refinement of the framework is supported by case studies of the experiences of two of the participants in the self-study community.