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Mind the Gap: Using Lesson Study to Develop Cross-Sector Landscapes of Professional Practice

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Deborah RallsORCiD


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This paper gives an insight into models and theories of CPD that can help to support the development of cross-sector landscapes of professional practice (beyond communities), providing the foundation for inclusive professional relationships across different education sectors and educational institutions. The research project 'Mind the Gap' uses a model of a trajectory of professional development (TOPD) to track educators’ professional development in terms of their collaboration with fellow educators and to better understand their positioning and professional identity within the broader landscape of Science and Engineering education practice. ‘Mind the Gap’ responds to university academics’ interest in further enhancing their opportunities to critically reflect on the teaching and learning of Science and Engineering in university, and to learn from primary and secondary school colleagues and postgraduate students about the pedagogical approaches that can further improve the learning experiences in these subject areas. In using Lesson Study as a model of collaboration, university academics in Science and Engineering, primary and secondary school teachers and postgraduate students work together to research, design and teach evidence-informed university sessions, and in doing so address identify areas of pedagogic development to improve the teaching and learning experience in their area. The research uses the lens of social theories of learning to interpret the data, specifically Holland (1998) and Wenger (1998, 2002, 2014) to consider any shifts in professional and learner identities, to critically reflect on the boundaries surrounding the ‘teaching and learning’ communities of practice that currently exist and to explore the potential for cross-sector landscapes of practice to be further developed. References Holland D., Lachicotte W. Jr., Skinner D., & Cain C. (1998). Identity and agency in cultural worlds. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Wenger, E. (1998) Communities of practice: learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Wenger, E., McDermott, R. and Snyder, W. M. (2002): Cultivating Communities of Practice. Boston, MASS: Harvard Business School Press. Wenger-Trayner, E., Fenton O’Creevy, M., Hutchinson, S., Kubiak,C., Wenger-Trayner, B. (2014) Learning in landscapes of practice. Routledge,

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ralls D, Bianchi L, Harris D

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: European Conference on Educational Research ECER 2018

Year of Conference: 2018

Acceptance date: 09/03/2018

Publisher: European Educational Research Association


Series Title: Symposium: Models and Theories in Teacher Professional Development: The relationship between theories of teacher professional development and their implementation in practice