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Teachers as lifelong learners

Sally Boyd

How can we support teachers to develop a lifelong learning orientation for themselves and for students?  This question is highly pertinent today as we examine the outcomes for education in the light of the changes to society in the knowledge era. 

This paper is part of a series of three that draw on insights gained about lifelong learning from the evaluation of the Curriculum Innovation Projects.  This evaluation charted the journeys of four secondary schools and a school cluster over 2003-2004 as they developed professional communities to support them to implement local solutions to address some of the challenges of today's educational environment.

This paper explores the different ways schools in the Curriculum Innovation Projects attempted to increase the lifelong learning orientation of teachers through developing communities between school staff or with other members of the wider education or business communities.  It discusses the impact of these communities on teachers' sense of collegiality and their practice, and considers the complexities and challenges inherent in developing new forms of relationships and collaborations at the school level.  This paper will also comment on how, at the national level, the current ecology of schooling can support or inhibit the functioning of these communities.

Paper presented at the New Zealand Association for Research in Education (NZARE) conference, Dunedin, 6-9 December 2005.

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