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Browsing by Author "Kulmala, Satu"

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  • Kulmala, Satu (2020)
    Target: This study examines school culture, teachers’ professional development and school’s development needs through teachers’ experience. The aim of the study was to examine the following three themes: 1) How do the teachers’ experience the school culture, 2) How do teachers’ experience their professional development and expertise and 3) What kind of development needs do the teachers bring out in the interviews. Method: The research data was gathered from a school located in the Helsinki Metropolitan area and it consisted of semi-structured interview material from 12 teachers’ of the target school. The data was analysed by qualitative content analysis. I grouped and thematised the interview data, coded and categorized meanings related to the themes identified, and finally, analysed the interdependencies between the categories and meanings. Findings and conclusions: The findings of this study indicated that teachers’ experience the school culture as collaborative in terms of working closely together, helping each other and sharing knowledge. The culture is based on inclusion, supported by versatile working methods, like group pedagogy and co-teaching. Phenomenon-based learning assists in integrating teachers’ knowhow across subject and class levels and engages students in the planning and implementation of teaching. The teacher expertise is a process that progressively develops both at individual and community levels. Teacher activity plays a major role both in expanding professional development and in creating a personal network. The school’s development needs were related to every challenge, such as limiting the burden of developmental projects and operational goals, and utilizing digitalization in teaching. The result of this research indicated that at best, the school functions as a learning community that is open, reflective and willing to learn, utilizing diverse working methods and delivering transversal competence. The learning community creates the conditions for professional development and knowledge sharing. Based on the results of this research, the school’s culture can be further developed, supporting the involvement and well-being of both teachers and students.