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Exemplary teachers: Conditions of success

Michalak, Joanna

Year: 2006

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Abstract: The paper presents the key findings of a recent study which looks in depths at the work and life of 'exemplary teachers' from Poland and explores the factors that were decisive in attaining professional successes by these teachers. The study was guided by the following research question: What factors have an impact on achieving professional success by teachers? In order to find out what conditions have influence on attaining professional successes by teachers, both 'internal' and 'external' factors were taken into consideration. The former ones are connected with personal factors influencing achieving successes (professional beliefs and theories on teaching, job perception, motivation, personal qualities, personal and professional values). Whereas the latter ones are linked with a broadly understood environment in which a teacher works, with all extra-personal, cultural, organizational and material factors having a bearing on the quality, course and effects of teacher's work (context: classroom, school, educational system, society). In conducting this research I referred to the collective case study. Studying a few cases simultaneously, I aimed at examining the conditions of teachers' professional successes. In the research conducted, the following sources of information were used: teachers' documents, participating observation in the classroom and semi-structure interviews.

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