Personal professional trajectories of novice and experienced teacher educators in a professional development community

David L. Brody, Linor L. Hadar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Experience in the workforce influences teacher educators’ responses to professional development efforts for adapting new practices. This study examines trajectories of novices and experienced teacher educators in a three-year longitudinal professional development community focused on infusing thinking into college teaching. A four-stage trajectory model for development was used to track changes in practice among the teacher educators. The authors’ analysis identified three distinct patterns of professional development among teacher educators: one characterizing novice teacher educators and two distinct patterns for the experienced group. While novices exhibited openness toward learning, the experienced teacher educators were divided into one group that revealed an inquiry stance examining their practice and a second group that claimed expertise and was less willing to consider changing instructional practice. This initial differentiation at the first trajectory stage led to distinctions in development at later stages, resulting in a reclassification of the educators into three groups: novices, experienced experts, and experienced non-experts. These findings emphasize the importance of teacher educators’ years of experience, attitude towards inquiry, and self-perception of expertise as critical determinants of successful educational reform.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-266
Number of pages21
JournalTeacher Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - 3 Apr 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The goal of our PDC was to infuse thinking into college-level teaching by establishing opportunities in which teacher educators were exposed to various thinking techniques and were encouraged to use them with students. This model of professional development was established in 2008 when the Pedagogic Secretariat of the Israeli Ministry of Education offered grants to colleges and universities to support the infusion of thinking into existing didactic and disciplinary courses as well as initiating new courses. Our examination of current research and case literature in thinking education and professional development led us to establish a professional learning framework combining theory and practice. This endeavor operated continuously for five years through voluntary participation of faculty. The project took place in a small teacher education college in Jerusalem, Israel, with 130 faculty members. The PDC was recognized by the college administration and widely known to the faculty. The first two years of its operation were funded by the Israeli Ministry of Education, and subsequently the endeavor was funded by the college to cover ongoing expenses.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, © 2015 Teacher Development.


  • experienced
  • novice
  • professional development
  • professional learning community
  • teacher educators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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