The Master's thesis attempts to illuminate the process of a teacher’s professional development and the support of the principal in encouraging it.
In the theoretical part, we first define the teacher’s professionalism and the teaching as a profession. Afterwards we define the professional development and how it relates to the teacher’s professional identity. Since teacher’s professional development has its own theory and starting points in various theorists, we discuss the definition of four established models of their professional development. In-service teacher training programmes are an important factor in teachers’s professional development, as well as their views regarding that topic. In the process of a teacher’s professional development there are professionally based guidelines that help them in the working process. We are interested in how teachers can learn even in less organized and planned everyday school situations, such as learning in the workplace, so we discuss organized and unorganized forms of a teacher's professional development. We also pay special attention to factors that affect a teacher's professional development.
An important place in the process of a teacher's professional development includes the role of the principal, as his role is to provide and set the conditions for a teacher's professional development. In the last part we discuss possibilities of the principal to encourage a teacher's professional development.
With the help of semi-structured interviews, we explore how three primary school teachers experience their professional development. We are also interested in what role the principal takes in that part.
We find that the interviewed teachers recognize the important role of their own professional development, but at the same time perceive many limitations and would like a different form and execution of in-service teacher training programmes.
They are nevertheless motivated for professional development and the identified obstacles do not deter from their willingness to participate in various courses. Their experience with principal's role is very different for the interviewed teachers. The often-highlighted need for better cooperation with the principal stems mainly from the teachers' perceptions of the (too) great ambitions of the principal, which can represent a burden for professional development to them.
The interviewed teachers perceive the role of the principal as an important part of their professional development and want principal’s encouragement, guidance, support, and good communication. For the most part, teacher’s expectations come true, which increases their satisfaction.