Elementary teachers' perception of professional capital within their community of practice / by Allison Walker
Many teachers, after having worked in isolation for so long and a business capital model of education reform, do not understand the concept of professional capital and its impact for transforming education. The purpose of this study was to examine elementary teachers’ perception of professional capital within their community of practice. The data were collected two ways: completion of the self-assessed Teacher Professional Capital Survey (Hargreaves & Fullan, 2012) and semi-structured interviews. The Teacher Professional Capital Survey (Hargreaves & Fullan, 2012) was administered to glean teachers’ understanding of the concept of professional capital within their community of practice. The survey item data analysis revealed that on thirty-one of the thirty-six self-assessed items the teacher participants had an understanding of the precepts of professional capital within their community of practice. The semi-structured interview data analysis revealed two a priori codes and eight emergent codes. In the process of a priori coding two codes were presented: 1) sharing, and 2) joint work. In the process of emergent coding the interview data eight codes presented: 1) relevant professional development; 2) self-directed learning; 3) trust; 4) freedom of expression; 5) professional to personal relationships; 6) dictated/scripted autonomy; 7) commitment and 8) triadic capital connections. Overall, the results of the study revealed that most elementary teachers, within this community of practice, are aware of the precepts of professional capital as represented by the survey analysis results and the ten coded themes presented from the semi-structured interview data.