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Growing Concerns: practitioners’ positions on engaging in Continuing Professional Development in a deregulated FE and Skills sector

Principal focus of the project

This thesis investigates why, despite approximately 66% of teachers reporting that they had not undertaken CPD (ETF Workforce Data 2015-16), some teachers do feel motivated to engage in informal professional dialogues online, and to explore what impact it has had, and how it might be modelled to inform future CPD offers in the FE sector. 

Areas of learning
What is this about and what were the main findings?

This research centred around three key questions: how FE teachers who participate in online educators’ networks consider that they are engaging in meaningful professional learning; how the topics addressed during these dialogues could be regarded as key development areas for FE teachers by recognised sector bodies; and what evidence educators report of any formal recognition of impact from these learning opportunities. The findings confirm that FE’s highly contextualised learning scenarios are not a one-size-fits all, and suggest that teachers need to be allowed to exercise agency in decisions and actions around their professional learning, including the constructive use of social-media.

Number of participants who worked with the project
Name(s) of authors

Lynne Taylerson

Name of associate programmes

ETF/sunCETT, Practitioner Research Programme


A doctoral thesis exploring the extent to which FE teachers' engagement in informal online social-media discussions might be a path to overcoming the resistance to traditional CPD in a demoralised sector, and result in valuable professional learning.

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