Development planning as professional development

Year: 1995

Author: Logan, Lloyd, Sachs, Judith

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

School Development Planning (SDP) is an externally imposed procedure nested within a set of management strategies used by successive governments to restructure Australian school systems. Drawing on survey and case study data from primary schools, both state and catholic, in all Australian states we argue that SDP offers the potential to combine four powerful forms of professional development, namely, narrative, writing, reflection and action research. Together, we maintain, these four forms of professional development provide the means for individual and collective creation and validation of professional knowledge, and in so doing contribute to the dialogical development of teachers and school administrators. These four forms of professional development share the common features of forming and testing hypothesis through discussion and implementation.

Elsewhere (Logan and Sachs 1994) we have argued that the processes of declaration, discussion, application and reflection are the primary means by which teachers individually and collectively, come to understand and control their practice and knowledge base. These processes constitute effective planning. They extend teachers by making them recontextualise and reconceptualise their everyday language, situation, processes and relationships. Planning in such a context enables teachers to test out the possible and to deliberate on the probable within their own work context. In this way they generate the professional practical knowledge that is the basis of their daily activity.