Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2023

Document Type

Dissertation (799 registration)

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Boyd Bradbury


professional development, International Baccalaureate, Diploma Programme, hermeneutic phenomenology, andragogy, heutagogy


The International Baccalaureate (IB) program provides an inquiry- and concept-driven approach to teaching and learning in primary and secondary schools around the world. This educational philosophy is often different to teachers’ previous training and experience, yet little research has been done into how continuing professional development addresses the challenge of understanding and implementing the IB program. The purpose of this hermeneutic phenomenological study was to explore the professional learning experiences of IB Diploma Programme (DP) teachers in international schools. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven teachers from five different schools and all six IB subject groups who had severalyears’ experience of teaching in the IB program. Explication of data showed that DP teachers found aspects of official IB workshops to be helpful, but these trainings were insufficient in themselves for the ongoing, job-embedded learning required to understand and implement the IB educational philosophy. While andragogical principles were found to be beneficial in formal learning sessions to guide teacher growth, heutagogical practice, or self-initiated and -directed learning, leads IB teachers to seek out informal professional growth activities that enable them to develop both individually and collectively in their school contexts.



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