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Unleashing the Powers Within: Delving Into Our Own Talents to Provide Effective CPD

Rosemary Keegan


Teaching is a dynamic process and requires teachers to be become lifelong learners who can demonstrate their ability to change their instruction practice in line with educational needs. Continuing professional development (CPD) is the means by which teachers develop the knowledge and skills to enhance their teaching and learning experience of their students. CPD has the potential to provide the tools to enable the smooth implementation of new pedagogical methodologies and subject content. Due to my current geographical location, there were few CPD courses or programs available for me to attend. Through this research, I wanted to complete a self-reflective study, by developing my own knowledge and skills in the area of action research (AR), and to establish if AR was an effective form of CPD. If I successfully concluded that AR was an effective form of CPD, I subsequently wanted to establish if AR could contribute to a lifelong structured program of CPD. As a result of self-reflection and research, I identified AR as a skill that had the potential to satisfy the shortcomings in my own CPD. In collaboration with students and colleagues, an AR study was implemented in the physical education program to bring about enhancements in my teaching strategy. This case study demonstrates that I became a skilled reflective practitioner, and by embedding an AR approach into my teaching strategy, I could provide enhancements in teaching and in the learning experience of students. By developing my skills of a practitioner researcher, I could use AR as a means to support and complement my own CPD requirements. AR proved to be a useful form of CPD in physical education. It supported and complemented the role of CPD to give me the opportunity to update my skills and knowledge, to engage in reflection, and to collaborate with students and colleagues. It satisfied my need to implement enhancements in my teaching and in the learning experience of my students. AR appears to support a model of effective CPD that could contribute to a lifelong and sustained program of development for a teacher. But it should only be undertaken in conjunction with a broader structured program of CPD.

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Continuing professional development; physical education; action research; teacher as researcher

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