Grow Your Own Professional Development: Faculty Self-Study

Anastasia Samaras, Tamie Pratt-fartro

Session Information

Year: 2010 | Time: 3:30pm-4:20pm | Location: Observatory Showcase


Teaching begins with you. The power of your personal narrative to define the parameters of your own classroom inquiry is at the forefront of your academic and professional development. This does not mean that there should be no outside accountability. It does, however, bring to mind that change that is demanded by others is less powerful, less meaningful, and less sustainable than change that is self-initiated and self-motivated. You are a generator of knowledge who can learn about your teaching and its impact on students’ learning by studying your own classroom. For the last decade, I have been practicing what is called self-study teacher research which applies to all practitioners who are interested in studying and improving their practice with colleagues. Self-study is a methodology to critically examine one’s own practitioner-based practice as a way of developing a more consciously driven mode of professional activity (Samaras, 2002); that is you are examining your own teaching from the inside and sharing it with others outside of your classroom for alternative perspectives as you grow your own professional development. Ann Lieberman and Desiree Pointer Mace in their article, Making Practice Public: Teaching Learning in the 21st Century, [2010, Journal of Teacher Education, 61 (1-2), 77-88], call for a “local teaching” movement where “Growing your own professional development” means giving value to your efforts to shape teaching and learning in your classroom; “Just as a local-foods gardener is invested in the daily care to grow food that will grace the tables of his or her community, teachers can assess a greater investment in their own knowledge and expertise by sharing their fruits of their labors with each other” (p. 86). The key is to belong to a learning community in practice which is essential to your professional practice and the scholarship of teaching at the university. Come learn about the steps involved in getting you started in self-studyship.


inquiry-based learning; learning spaces; pedagogy


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