We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Developing great teachers through professional development: a comparative international case study in England, Israel, South Korea, and Turkey

OZYUREK, EMRAH (2024) Developing great teachers through professional development: a comparative international case study in England, Israel, South Korea, and Turkey. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This comparative international case study explores teacher quality, that is, how teachers, who are regarded as great, train and develop. In particular, the thesis investigates ways in which participation in professional development programmes contributes to teachers’ professional knowledge and the personal virtues involved in teaching chemistry at secondary school level in England, Israel, South Korea, and Turkey as case study nations.
The study employs a comparative case study approach. Empirical data collection was preceded by a document analysis and a comprehensive literature review which revealed three themes, namely community of practice, pedagogical content knowledge, and professional beliefs and virtues as impacting teachers in becoming great teachers. These themes were explored in practice utilising qualitative data collection methods, namely semi structured interviews with science teachers (mainly chemistry) who participated in professional development programmes and through observing lessons and professional development activities of teachers teaching science to 14-18-year-olds. Data was collected in South Korea, Israel, Turkey, and the United Kingdom (England) over a 1-year period. A volunteer sample of 40 science teachers (10 teachers for each country) were interviewed. Ten professional development activities were observed. The total length of observed PD activities was 1500 minutes. Nine science teachers were observed in four countries. The total length of observed lessons was 525 minutes. Four focus group interviews with the participation of 18 teachers were conducted. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data.
The data shows that great teacher appears differently in the four nations. A great teacher is identified variously as an amalgamation of a lifelong learner (South Korea), a moral exemplar (Turkey), a reflective practitioner (England), and an educator (Israel). Great teachers as lifelong learners promote students’ practical wisdom and wise decision-making ability, skills which are required to live a good life. Moral exemplars transmit their personal moral values to their students. Reflective practitioner teachers demonstrate intellectual and performance virtues in practice. As educators, great teachers motivate their students to be good human beings. The results of the study reveal that practical wisdom is an essential lens for making teachers educationally wise people. Great teacher is perceived to empower practical wisdom, which helps teachers establish mutual understanding and let them have more space to draw
upon intellectual, social, moral and performance virtues through collaboration, mutual engagement and sharing in community of practice. The teachers in the study who participated in community-based professional development programmes enhanced the intellectual, moral, performance, and social virtues, pedagogical content knowledge associated with being a great teacher. The study finds that nations whose educational systems build strong connections between teachers through development and application of learning communities tend to generate a higher proportion of great teachers and that those teachers have positive and extensive influences on each other’s intellectual and personal development. This research also found that one of the most important dispositions that enable teachers to become responsible for students' learning is passion in science teaching. The teachers' passion, motivation, and love for teaching helped them to expand their professional knowledge and techniques of instruction in distinctive manners. The character traits that a great teacher must possess should receive a lot of consideration. Emphasise also should be on developing character strengths in the professional development. Community of practice has potential to achieve this through mutual engagement, shared repertoire and joint enterprise.
The research emphasizes the vital role of teachers' passion for science teaching in enabling them to take responsibility for their students' learning. It advocates for the development of character strengths in teacher professional development, particularly through the cultivation of community of practice, characterized by mutual engagement, shared repertoire, and joint enterprise. This comparative study offers valuable insights into the dynamic interplay of teacher development, enhancing the quality of education across diverse contexts.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2024
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:17 Jan 2024 13:06

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter