A systems thinking perspective on change processes in a Teacher Professional Development programme

  • Bruce Brown Rhodes University


This article discusses the developing practice of Foundation Phase teachers involved in a three-year
professional development programme. A number of substantive changes in practice were noted
over this period and these changes were supported and maintained by the interaction of a number of
different factors. The article takes a systems thinking perspective to formulate and analyse these
changes and their interactions, as a complex system of change. This analysis enabled the
identification of a number of closed loop interaction effects that supported and maintained the
changes in practice. As well as providing insight into the particular change processes in this
professional development programme, the article demonstrates the efficacy of this analytical
perspective both for the analysis of the complex systems of change arising in professional
development, and for the identification of processes and principles relevant to professional
development programmes in general.

Research Articles