University Of Tasmania

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Designing professional development for teachers teaching out-of-field

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 03:31 authored by John KennyJohn Kenny, Hobbs, L, Whannell, R
Learning to teach out-of-field is a challenge that many teachers worldwide face at some time in their career. Whether they aremotivated to seek formal professional development as additional qualifications in this area, however, depends on many factors. Alignment between the specific professional development needs of out-of-field teachers and the planned learning experiences is essential to maximise sustained learning and applicability to teachers’ classrooms. This paper reports on a government-funded program designed to support teachers teaching ‘out-of-field’ in science and mathematics. The initial design of the program drew on existing literature on effective teacher professional learning. Using the theoretical lens of ‘boundary crossing’ this paper reports on the perceived discontinuities that teachers ‘brought with them’ in order to understand where the potential for learning lay, and compared this to teachers’ perceptions of their changed practice. Growth in teachers’ confidence and relational understandings of content, pedagogy and curriculum was evident. Implications for future programs to support out-of-field teachers are provided.


Publication title

Professional Development in Education






Faculty of Education



Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Workforce transition and employment; Teacher and instructor development