The tacit assumptions of teaching and learning: Using deliberative democratic theory to improve professional development


For decades, researchers and policymakers have looked to professional development (PD) as a promising tool to improve teacher practice and student learning. However, despite its promise, PD is widely perceived as being unable to realize its potential. In this conceptual paper, the author suggests that one reason for this gap between PD's potential and its perceived ineffectiveness is its alignment with a sociopolitical framework that prioritizes efficiency. Numerous past attempts to improve PD have failed to address underlying assumptions about teaching, learning, and human relationships embedded in this efficiency framework. As an alternative, the author proposes a new deliberative framework that is more compatible with learning principles and thus more likely to improve learning across contexts and at scale.

Last updated on 01/15/2018