Theses Doctoral

Learning and Reflection: An Exploratory Case Study of Singapore Teachers Learning in an Online Professional Development Course

Lee, Florence

Online teacher professional development (oTPD) has gained momentum globally as a mode of teacher professional development (Dede et al., 2009; Lieberman & Mace, 2010), appealing to teachers who prefer the convenience of online learning and/or the autonomy of self-paced learning. With oTPD gaining traction, especially in this climate of COVID-19 pandemic where many face-to-face interactions have shifted to an online space, there is insufficient research done on teachers’ learning experiences and the type of reflective thinking observed during teachers’ participation in oTPD activities. This is compounded by the ubiquitous but poorly defined use of reflection in literature pertaining to learning and professional development (Finlay, 2008; Roessger, 2014).

In Singapore where teachers have access to a range of oTPD opportunities, this problem is similarly observed. Very few studies have been undertaken in Singapore to understand teachers’ learning experiences and how teachers reflect when they engage in TPD or oTPD. In light of the growing popularity of oTPD as a means for Singapore teachers to learn and improve their classroom practice, this exploratory case study sought to contribute to TPD research by studying the oTPD experiences of Singapore teachers. Specifically, this study explored factors that facilitated and/or impeded teacher learning in oTPD and the level of reflective thinking observed in teachers’ oTPD participation. The motivation for this study stems from an appreciation of the complexity of classroom practice and the recognition that what teachers do in their respective classrooms is pivotal to student learning. This study recognizes the crucial need to support teacher learning through oTPD.

Findings from this study may inform the design and implementation of oTPD in Singapore and address the paucity of research in this area by providing qualitative case study data on the understudied area of oTPD and teacher learning. Recommendations pertaining to the design and implementation of oTPD may benefit professional development providers and the teachers they serve, as well as teacher leaders hoping to support teacher learning. This study and the recommendations it proposes will also be of interest to researchers in educational research who seek to understand the phenomenon of oTPD.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Organization and Leadership
Thesis Advisors
Marsick, Victoria J.
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
June 1, 2021