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Ki te Aotūroa - Improving Inservice Teacher Educator Learning and Practice. Ministry of Education.

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What did Delwynne believe about supporting teachers to critique their own practice?

Because learning in schools is traditionally dominated and controlled by adults, students seldom make decisions about their own learning (Goodlad, 1984). Even though our philosophies of education purport to graduating students who are responsible citizens capable of participating thoughtfully in a democracy, our educational practices have a tendency to foster dependence, passivity and a “tell me what to do and think” attitude.

Barell, 1995, page 1

"I agree with Barell. I believe that teachers should promote self-efficacy in their students. And, in turn, I believe that my practice should support teachers’ self-efficacy and help them to manage their own learning, by co-constructing new knowledge with them. That’s the kind of practice that leads to sustained improvement.
I know that I, as a learner:

  • despise being told what to do
  • prefer to be autonomous
  • need my prior knowledge and experiences to be valued
  • want my needs to be the starting point for new learning
  • expect new learning to contribute to my everyday reality.

But was I giving my learners the same consideration? I expected teachers to support self-efficacy in their students, but had I fallen into the trap of seeing teachers as passive learners and of actually inhibiting teacher efficacy?"

One of the most challenging aspects of Delwynne’s inquiry was identifying the mismatch between what she believed and what she actually did, that is, between her espoused theory and her theory-in-use.

She achieved this by viewing her existing practice on video, determining what was really happening, and being open to what trusted colleagues and friends had to say about it.

Clip 3: Espoused theory vs theory-in-use

Clip 3: Espoused theory vs theory-in-use - 1:36

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Helen Timperley

Helen Timperley

Helen Timperley gives her perspective on the case thus far and on the parallels that exist in learning for teachers and students.

John Loughran

John Loughran

John Loughran gives an alternative perspective on the case thus far and on how open-mindedness is key to effective self-study.

What do you believe about supporting teachers to critique their own practice?

How do you relate to Delwynne’s preferences as a learner? What are your  preferences?

How important to you is “self-efficacy” in teachers’ and students’ learning? Many educators argue that self-efficacy is more likely to lead to deep and sustained improvements. Do you agree? Why or why not?

Whose ideas do you base your responses on?

If teachers’ and students’ self-efficacy are important to you, how should this be reflected in your practice?

How were your beliefs about self-efficacy evident in the practice situation you outlined earlier?

Engaging with the literature

Self-efficacy by A. Bandura (1994) (Web link)

Sustainable change (pages 150–154)

What works for whom to sustain improved student outcomes? (section 11.2 of the TPLD BES) by  H. Timperley et al. (2007) (Web link)

Espoused theories and theories-in-use (pages 107–109)


Barell, J. (1995). Critical Issue: Working toward Student Self-direction and Personal Efficacy as Educational Goals. Oak Brook, Illinois: North Central Regional Educational Laboratory.

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