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Peer-Based Professional Development Viewed Through the Lens of Transformative Learning

Eisen, Mary-Jane EdD

Professional Transformations

The goal of professional development is improved practice through change—changes in ways of doing or thinking about one's work. Traditional approaches, including group instruction and individualized coaching, emphasize the unidirectional flow of information from expert to novice. This article foregrounds a nontraditional peer-based modality, the peer learning partnership, which promotes joint reflection and reciprocal learning between professionals. A qualitative case study of a peer-based community college faculty development initiative reveals participants' perceptions of the role peer partnering played in their learning. Findings are discussed relative to selected theories, specifically transformative learning. Recommendations are offered on using peer-based approaches for professional development and transformation.

Director, Workforce Development, Connecticut Technology Council, Adjunct Faculty, Teachers College, University of Hartford, Saint Joseph College, West Hartford, Connecticut

Copyright © 2001 by Aspen Publishers, Inc.