Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Faculty of Education
Murray, Margaret J, A cybernetic view of teacher learning, PhD thesis, Faculty of Education, University of Wollongong, 2003. http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/179
This study examines teacher learning through a cybernetic lens, exploring the questions: what is learning and who do people learn; why do people learn this and not something else; how does learning happen and what is the role of communications and the environment. It investigates teacher learning in the context of the NSW Department of Education and Training�s Technology in Learning and Teaching (TILT) teacher development program. It takes as a starting point teacher learning in TILT evidenced by statewide research since 1995 and discusses this research and the on-going development of the program in the context of change theory and teacher development literature. According to this literature the program was developed on sound principles and could be said to have had partial success. However partial success of the program in these terms indicates little about the nature of the learning of individual teachers. To address this silence the research focuses on the learning of two TILT participants over a nineteen-month period. Their participation in a series of TILT workshops was video taped, they were interviewed after each workshop and visited in their schools. Data collected from interviews were transcribed and together with observations of the workshops and classroom visits provided a rich source of information for close analysis. Close analysis wad conducted using a process of categorisation of data into themes and issues. The picture emerging from this process, although interesting, revealed little new about teacher learning. However when viewed through a cybernetic leans a different picture emerged. Following extensive reading in the literature dealing with cybernetics, emotion and cognition the data were then examined a second time using a cybernetics lens in order to answer the research questions. A theory of learning emerged out of this process that is grounded in the learning of two teachers. As well as providing answers to the research questions this grounded theory of learning has implications for program development and the success of teacher learning.