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Transforming practice through a professional learning program: barriers and enablers
journal contributionposted on 2019-01-01, 00:00 authored by Andrea NolanAndrea Nolan, Karen GuoKaren Guo
Critical reflection on practice is a hallmark of professionalism in early childhood education. In the Australian context, reflection is highlighted as a principle in the national curriculum framework. This paper focuses on the professional learning of early childhood educators by drawing on a pedagogy of discomfort, an approach that aims to disorientate learners through unsettling their taken-for-granted assumptions and engaging them in collegial deliberation. Interview data from 13 early childhood educators who participated in a Reflective Practice Research Project was analysed to identify disjuncture, deliberation and moments of transformational learning. The findings point to the changes in practice reported by the participants. Barriers and mediators to learning and participation in the project are noted along with the important role reflection plays in teachers’ professional learning. We argue that a well-designed and well-delivered professional learning program can lead to a change in disposition and accordingly transformative learning for participants.