Proceedings of The 4th International Conference on Innovative Research in Education
Flexible Professional Communities (FPCs): An Alternative for Teacher Expertise Development
Lip Vi Teoh
Professional development has always been promoted and encouraged to improve the quality of teachers, especially in this 21st century at which there are various changes in teaching and learning, and numerous expectations on teachers. This study intends to explore Malaysian English teachers’ expertise development by delving into the influencing factors and ways of deciding on professional development activities. Based on the recommendation of Malaysian Ministry of Education officers, 3 teachers were approached to be the participants of the study. Narrative inquiry was chosen as the method of research by conducting narrative interviewing and episodic narrative interviewing. The findings showed that teacher expertise development is dynamic and non-linear. Participants expressed that support from family, friends, colleagues, and school administrative teams are significant in considering professional development opportunities. They also shared and explained the factors leading to the choice of their professional development activities which help improve academic knowledge and practical knowledge. In addition, the development of their attributes as teachers will also be discussed. Various aspects of professional and personal lives need to come together for effective expertise development. Hence, flexible learning communities are proposed to facilitate/promote non-linear and dynamic expertise development opportunities based on their available support system and preferred knowledge.
keywords: professional learning communities (PLCs), professional development, support system, dynamic.