About the project

Rationale and objectives

One of the key factors that determine the effectiveness of education and student performance is teachers’ professional learning; however, it is not yet adequately understood what supports and what hinders teachers’ continuous professional development and increasing the effectiveness of their teaching. In order to be able to support teachers’ development in an appropriate way, we need to understand the process of their continuous professional development (CPD). 

Our research project titled MoTeL - Models of Teacher Learning. Investigation of Teacher Continuous Professional Development Models at the Level of the Education System, the Organisation and the Individual aims to explore these relationships. That is, we aim to explore existing models of CPD and their impact on the effectiveness of teachers’ work. As part of that, the objective is to theoretically and empirically explore the system, organisational and individual level factors influencing teachers’ professional development, their characteristics and relationships. Our aim is also to contribute to the integration of modern learning theory and the complex conceptualisation of knowledge in understanding the process of professional development. The study explores which forms of system level and organisational support can make the process of CPD more effective, and in what ways the individual, organisational and system-level effectiveness of the various stages of CPD can be measured. 

Research questions

Our research focuses on answering the following questions: 

(1) How can the effectiveness of continuous professional development and learning be conceptualized, and what aspects of it can be differentiated at individual, organisational and system level?

(2) Which individual, organisational and system level factors facilitate and impede teachers’ continuous professional development and learning?

(3) What role do the formal, non-formal and informal learning elements play in teachers’ continuous professional development and learning and how do they link to each other? 

Expected results

Overall, the proposed research may contribute to a better understanding of teachers’ professional development, its differentiated interpretation, planning of support and evaluation processes, and through all these, to improving the quality of teaching and the effectiveness of education. 

At system level, it will be possible to identify latent development models supported by education policy and its expectations, the impact of the regulatory context and content on teachers’ CPD and opportunities for optimizing this impact. 

At the organisational level, it will contribute to a better understanding and identification of the processes and crucial actors through which learning communities/communities of practice support teachers’ professional development. In particular, it will identify elements of a school leadership strategy that support individual teachers’ development by a tool set that has an impact on the learning culture of the whole organisation. 

The investigation of CPD focusing on the individual can contribute to the professionalization of the teaching profession in Hungary by developing a strategy and a system for increasing the effectiveness of CPD in relation to pre- and in-service training as well as professional communities, based on evidence obtained by exploring the learning paths, learning forms and learning outcomes in the different stages of the teacher career. 

Our research is unique also from an international perspective in terms of its planned large-scale empirical research based on complex methodological tools, simultaneously investigating the system, organisational and individual levels. 

The research project is financed by the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund of Hungary.