Evaluating professional learning and development programmes in Solomon Islands with open-ended questioning
journal contributionposted on 2022-03-14, 08:30 authored by Kabini SangaKabini Sanga
When professional learning and development (PLD) is provided for educators, those responsible for programme design and delivery seek to offer an experience that is appropriate, challenging and helpful, with the aim of improving education by changing thinking and therefore professional behaviour. However, appropriateness, challenge and the kinds of thinking capable of constructing improvements in education vary according to context. In order to better tailor PLD, it is helpful to understand not only what educators think about their PLD experiences, but also the frameworks through which they respond to, appreciate and describe their learning experiences. In this article, we offer insights into the value of open-ended questions in programme evaluation to reveal the reactions and comprehension frameworks of PLD recipients through a case study of Solomon Island teachers. The research deals with responses to and appreciations of PLD experiences in a leadership programme and subsequent qualification offered to principals across education sectors throughout the Solomon Islands. Analysis of responses to a single open-ended question, “Any other comments?”, reveals the importance of factoring in worldview, the fit between delivery mode and cultural practice, and contextual factors such as isolation when evaluating educators’ accounts of learning and perceptions of PLD.