Transformative Professional Learning: Embedding critical literacies in the classroom

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This article reports on part of a wider study in which a group of teachers opted for a new model of continuing professional development (CPD) that was offered by one local authority (LA) in Scotland. In collaboration with the LA, the teachers selected the topic of critical literacy and the critical pedagogies that develop from a critical literacy approach. This CPD, which involved teachers, LA representatives and university lecturers, lasted two years and comprised a combination of sessions with all participants, focused input in participants’ schools on topics of their own choosing and individual support as their critical literacy projects developed. Data were gathered from in-depth interviews with participants and the teaching programmes they produced. Analysis revealed that, despite experiencing some difficulties with declarative knowledge, participants demonstrated secure procedural knowledge in their own teaching projects which revealed clearly their understanding of the transformative nature of critical pedagogical approaches. Participants reported very high levels of satisfaction with the CPD model and its content and delivery, and found it transformative in that it shaped and centrally informed their subsequent pedagogical practices and the learning opportunities they created for their students. These findings are discussed and recommendations are made.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-637
Number of pages23
JournalProfessional Development in Education
Issue number5
Early online date21 Jan 2013
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • critical literacies
  • critical pedagogies
  • transformative professional learning

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