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Teacher Educators' Professional Learning Described Through the Lens of Complexity Theory


by Michal Zellermayer & Ilana Margolin — 2005

In this study we review our own experience of coordinating learning in a professional community of student supervisors in the context of curricular change that took place in the elementary school program of our teacher education college. We present an analysis of four excerpts of conversations about change selected from a larger corpus of data, consisting of transcripts of the weekly department meetings that took place during an entire academic year in which the curricular change was implemented, representing four critical events that brought about the emergence of the interactive dynamic of this self-organizing community. We explain the catalytic power of these events through the theoretical framework of complexity theory. We show how complexity theory can be used for focusing on the dynamics of professional learning at work, as a process of influencing each other's learning and development, possibly leading to the reciprocal transformation of the members of the community.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 107 Number 6, 2005, p. 1275-1304
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11911, Date Accessed: 12/15/2017 3:25:32 AM

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About the Author
  • Michal Zellermayer
    Levinsky College of Education
    E-mail Author
    MICHAL ZELLERMAYER is an associate professor and the coordinator of academic relations at Levinsky College of Education. Her research interests include teacher learning, collaborative action research, narrative inquiry, and the sociocultural study of learning environments. She is an associate editor of Teachers and Teaching and the cocoordinator of the Teaching and Teacher Education SIG in the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction.
  • Ilana Margolin
    Levinsky College of Education
    ILANA MARGOLIN, a senior lecturer at Levinsky College of Education, is the head of the School-College Partnership and the student supervision program. Her research focuses on teacher learning, initiating and sustaining professional learning communities, and leading change. Her article (together with Michal Zellermayer) “Transitions to Partnership: A Phenomenological Inquiry,” will appear shortly in Journal of Educational Change.
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