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Dialogue, Professional Change and Leadership

Women professionals sit talking and smiling while working on a tablet

About this research strand

This strand focuses on professional learning and change in and through dialogue in organisational settings: schools, hospitals and beyond, addressing current challenges in the UK and globally, relating to policy, practice, theory and methodology. There is a known knowledge gap regarding the translation of new ideas, policies and professional learning outcomes into institutional practice and the barriers to implementation are poorly understood. Research on collaborative practices and professional dialogues in schools and healthcare settings is being undertaken to advance understanding of how, and to what effect, new ideas are understood, evaluated and adapted in organisations, and what processes and mechanisms support or hinder change. The conditions for innovation in risk-averse high accountability systems, now commonplace in education and healthcare in many countries, are also being examined.

Strand Leaders

Riikka Hofmann and Sue Swaffield (with others including Pete Dudley, Sara Hennessy & Ruth Kershner).

Projects include

Barriers and facilitating factors to impacting change in clinical practice through CPD.
FoE R&D Fund and the Royal College of Anaesthetists: 2016-18. Hofmann, with N. Jones & A. Rubino [Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust], & L. Blaskova

This project seeks to analyse and conceptualise the barriers to professional change in clinical practice subsequent to professional development, and the processes and mechanisms by which change can become possible in collaborative professional practice, including professional dialogues.

Evaluation of the Chief Residents’ Clinical Leadership and Management professional development programme.
Cambridge University Health Partners: 2016-17. Hofmann & Vermunt).

The project evaluates the effectiveness of a clinical leadership professional development programme, and seeks to develop a conceptual model of the mechanisms of learning to lead and the collaborative processes through which leadership is exercised in frontline clinical settings.

Teacher learning and Lesson Study in Mathematics Higher Order Teaching and Learning.
London Schools Excellence Fund: 2014-2016. Vermunt, Warwick, Mercer, Vrikki & Dudley).

The Lesson Study project is concerned with raising standards attained in the new curriculum mathematics by creating a self-sustained Lesson Study community of teachers and Lead Mathematics Practitioners. The investigation had a specific focus on teachers’ professional learning through dialogue in the Lesson Study context.

epiSTEMe project [Effecting Principled Improvement in STEM Education].
ESRC: 2008-13. Ruthven, Howe, Mercer, Taber, Hofmann, Luthman, Guardia, Ilie & Riga.

This large-scale field trial on the effectiveness of dialogic teaching and learning to improve students’ learning and engagement in secondary science and mathematics involved the development and trialling of a research-informed professional development programme to teachers to support dialogic pedagogy in lower secondary school.