Document Type

Book chapter

Publication details

Phelps, R & Graham, A 2012, 'Exploring teacher professional development through the lens of Complexity Theory: the technology together story' in B Boufoy-Bastick (ed.), The international cultures of professional development for teachers: collaboration, reflection, management and policy, Analytrics, Strasbourg, France. ISBN: 9791090365025


Facilitating teacher professional development in complex and dynamic school environments continues to be a challenge for school leaders. This is particularly the case in the area of information and communication technology (ICT) integration, where a constant and rapid rate of change, expanding pedagogical possibilities, and the influence of individual teachers’ values, attitudes, beliefs and skills mean that simplistic approaches to teacher learning are unlikely to be successful. This chapter explores the potential of Complexity Theory, including notions of causality, self-organised adaptation, sensitivity to initial conditions, bifurcation and redundancy, for understanding teacher professional learning. Issues of collaboration, reflection, management and policy are considered through the lens of Complexity and these ideas are illustrated through discussion of Technology Together, a whole-school ICT professional development and culture change program for primary and secondary schools.

Additional information

Copyright © 2012 Béatrice Boufoy-Bastick. Some Rights Reserved. "The International handbook of cultures of professional development for teachers " is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution -Noncommercial Share Alike world-wide usage license. You are free to share - to copy, distribute, display and perform the work. You are free to remix, to make derivative works. However, you must attribute the work in an accepted academic style - e.g. citing the author(s), editor(s) and publisher. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform or build on this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one. See ( 3.0/).