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Issues in Educational Research, 2022, Vol 32(4), 1548-1566.
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Teacher professional learning in large teaching spaces: An Australian case study

Vaughan Prain
Deakin University, Australia

Tracey Muir
University of Tasmania, Australia

Valerie Lovejoy and Cathleen Farrelly
La Trobe University, Australia

Sherridan Emery
University of Tasmania, Australia

Damon Thomas
University of Queensland, Australia

Craig Deed
La Trobe University, Australia

Russell Tytler
Deakin University, Australia

While researchers broadly agree on what enables and constrains teacher professional learning, reconfigured large teaching spaces potentially create new processes and content for this learning. In this paper we draw on six years of study of teacher adaptation to these settings in 10 schools in regional Australia to identify the nature of, and key influences on, this learning. Our analyses are based on a theoretical framing of relational agency illustrated in two case studies of sustained teacher interventions. We found that teachers' professional learning (TPL) in these contexts entailed learning new roles, developing new practices, and understanding the warrants for these practices. TPL was enabled by (a) extensive improvisation and intensive collaboration; (b) opportunities for teachers to observe teacher practices in other schools, and customise them for their own schools; and (c) extended partnerships between teachers and researchers.
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Authors: Vaughan Prain (corresponding author) is a Senior Research Officer in the School of Education, Deakin University.
Email: vaughan.prain@deakin.edu.au

Tracey Muir is an Associate Professor in Mathematics Education, University of Tasmania.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6305-0679
Email: tracey.muir@utas.edu.au

Valerie Lovejoy is a Research Officer, La Trobe University.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6981-688X
Email: valovejoy@bigpond.com

Cathleen Farrelly is a former lecturer in Health Education, La Trobe University.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2851-257X
Email: cathleenf5@gmail.com

Sherridan Emery is a Research Fellow, University of Tasmania.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2949-2793
Email: sherridan.emery@utas.edu.au

Damon Thomas is a Senior Lecturer in Literacy Education, University of Queensland.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6400-6901
Email: damon.thomas@uq.edu.au

Craig Deed is an Associate Professor in Curriculum Design, La Trobe University.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5894-5408
Email: c.deed@latrobe.edu.au

Russell Tytler is an Alfred Deakin Professor in Science Education, Deakin University.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0161-7240
Email: russell.tytler@deakin.edu.au

Please cite as: Prain, V., Muir, T., Lovejoy, V., Farrelly, C., Emery, S., Thomas, D., Deed, C. & Tytler, R. (2022). Teacher professional learning in large teaching spaces: An Australian case study. Issues in Educational Research, 32(4), 1548-1566. http://www.iier.org.au/iier32/prain.pdf

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Created 11 December 2022. Last correction: 11 December 2022. Website: Roger Atkinson [rjatkinson@bigpond.com]