An examination of continuing professional development experiences for physical education teachers in Kurdistan Region-Iraq

Amin, Choman (2020). An examination of continuing professional development experiences for physical education teachers in Kurdistan Region-Iraq. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The purpose of the present research was to examine the PE teachers’ CPD experiences in KRI. The research sought to answer the following research questions: (i) how do specialist supervisors in KRI support PE teachers to grow as professionals (i.e., develop their knowledge and practice)?; (ii) in what formal CPD opportunities do PE teachers in KRI participate and, what do they fined effective?; (iii) what informal CPD activities do PE teachers engage in and, what do they fined effective in KRI?. A mixed method was employed in order to address the research questions. Data were collected through three overlapping data collections phases such as semi-structured interviews with eight supervisors; 450 surveys distributed to PE teachers in both basic and preparatory schools and 302 returned with (67%) return rate; 16 interviews with PE teachers who working in both basic and preparatory schools.
One of the key findings was that supervisors are not adequately prepared to supervise PE teachers under their remit. It appears that there is very little guidance on what their role and entails (at a policy level) and how best to undertake it (lack of training). Despite some deficiencies identified in the current system, most PE teachers involved in the study either as survey respondents or case studies appeared to value the potential of meaningful supervisory support and demanded more and better support from their supervisors. PE teachers’ years in the profession (level of experience) did not appear to be a factor shaping their views. There was consensus from both male and female PE teachers across different stages in their career that supervisors can play an important role. They however acknowledged that supervisors need to be in a position to offer them new ideas, new ways of teaching to expand their teaching repertoire. They believed that more support of the same (i.e. what is already available) is not adequate and better-quality support was vital.
Results suggested that PE teachers are overall positive about the purpose and importance of formal CPD, despite a clear decline in the number of formal CPD pursued in recent years. Their actual participation in formal CPD was, on average, less than one formal CPD per year. Lack of funding was a concern discussed. Especially after the financial crisis which has had a powerful impact on the limited provision of formal CPD as well as the quality of CPD provision. The role of the CPD providers was also discussed as concern have been raised by PE teachers in relation to the content and relevance of PE-CPD in KRI to ensure that public funds are used wisely and CPD is relevant to teachers’ need. Findings regarding the patterns of the available formal CPD suggested that training programmes appeared to vary in terms of content, duration and providers. especially, half of the PE-CPD provided to PE teachers was relevant to curriculum content. However, only one-tenth of them were related to teachers’ pedagogical knowledge. Duration of the available PE-CPD was also varied. Half of the CPD programmes which PE teachers could recall were short duration within 1-6 hours, and the one-day programme was prevalent at 37%. However, the majority of the available formal PE-CPD were delivered in a practical, applied way and universities have delivered most of the CPD programmes.
Findings from the study three indicated that PE teachers in KRI in overall were positive about the purpose and importance of informal CPD. However, the analysis also showed that there was great variation in teachers’ perceptions. Almost one fifth on the teachers did not believe engaging in informal learning is important to the reasons of sharing unreliable information among teachers and non-input from experts directly within teachers' informal professional learning. However, informal learning was perceived as beneficial to the PE teachers’ pedagogical knowledge such as enhancing teaching practice, exploring a new way of teaching and, understanding their mistakes by analysing their own and other teachers’ work. Concerning the nature of informal CPD undertaken by PE teacher in KRI, evidence form study three identified that teachers appeared to have a preference (overall) for the individual compared to social learning. While teachers’ responses to the purpose and importance of informal learning were more related to the social aspect (e.g., interaction with colleagues), the actual informal activities that undertaken by these teachers were more in the individual level. Specifically, teachers believed that reflection was more influential compared to other individual and social forms of learning.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
Funders: Other
Other Funders: KRG
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education


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