Quick Fix’ Or ‘Slow Deep Burn’? An Exploration Of The Benefits And Challenges Of Implementing A Joint Practice Development Approach In Further Education Institutions

Prof Doc Thesis

Odell, P. (2020). Quick Fix’ Or ‘Slow Deep Burn’? An Exploration Of The Benefits And Challenges Of Implementing A Joint Practice Development Approach In Further Education Institutions. Prof Doc Thesis London South Bank University School of Law and Social Science https://doi.org/10.18744/lsbu.94989
AuthorsOdell, P.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

The research aimed to explore the benefits and challenges of implementing a collaborative model of professional development where teachers learn from each other, rather than from more traditional approaches where knowledge or good practice is ‘cascaded’ to members of an audience from ‘experts’ outside the workplace. It aimed to examine the extent to which practitioners can take ownership of their professional development and improve their practice through an approach known as joint practice development (JPD) (Fielding et al, 2005). Rather than being concerned simply with the transfer of practice from one teacher to another, this approach provides opportunities for teachers to share and develop their practice with each other in their working context, with the result that all teachers engaged in the process benefit from the interactions, since all of those involved in the process have skills or knowledge to share. Typically, the model involves practitioners experimenting with new ideas, informed by peer observations, professional
discussions and underpinned by relevant literature.
A considerable amount of research has been undertaken to explore how the approach can be implemented in schools. However, there appears to be a lack of studies that have investigated whether JPD is a model that could flourish in further education and skills settings and so this research aimed to address this apparent gap in the knowledge.
Fundamental to the research was to explore the concepts of professionalism, collaborative learning and specifically how teachers learn from one another in ways that enable them to develop their practice. Through a series of one to one interviews, the study explores how improvements in practice are subsequently spread to the benefit of organisations. By studying the activity through the eyes of a cross section of roles in six FE institutions, the research examines the possibilities of developing a model of joint working that can be generalised to other individuals, groups and further education and skills settings. Since FE organisations are often complex hierarchical structures, the extent to which power facilitates or constrains the approach was central to the study.
Focusing on the relationships, interactions and cultural constraints when implementing a version of JPD, the research argues that the approach has the potential to improve practice at an individual level. The findings suggest, however, that JPD is not sustainable as a means to improve practice at the level of an institution in the current climate, due, at least in part, to the prevalence of managerialist cultures in further education organisations.

PublisherLondon South Bank University
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.18744/lsbu.94989
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Publication dates
Print16 Apr 2020
Publication process dates
Deposited31 Jul 2023
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