How Cypriot primary school teachers promote their professional development through reflective practice

  • Florentia Loizou

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Education (EdD)


This study aims to examine whether and to what extent Cypriot primary school teachers understand and engage in reflective practice and the implication of this for their professional development. In particular this study explores the Cypriot primary school teachers’ understanding of professional development; their engagement in and understanding of reflective practice; the changes brought about in practice through reflective practice; the factors associated with these changes; and the extent to which Cypriot primary school teachers set themselves long term goals for professional development as an outcome of reflection. The study is qualitative and uses semi-structured interviews in which 18 Cypriot primary school teachers describe and explain their experiences and illustrate these with examples from their practice. The analysis of the interviews revealed that Cypriot primary school teachers perceive professional development as the receipt of knowledge from an official authority, mainly the Ministry of Education and Culture (MOEC). Whereas the Cypriot primary school teachers use reflective practice to compare their practice with performance outcomes, comparison of their practice with espoused beliefs is either ignored or limited. Espoused beliefs are only analysed through reflective practice in relation to teaching methods. The study reveals how changes in practice, which are brought about as an outcome of reflective practice, are associated with the following factors: a) length of teaching experience; b) theories in use which can either restrict or promote the critical examination of practice and change; c) the kind of professional exchange in which the teachers engage. In addition a mismatch emerged between the Cypriot primary school teachers’ views of reflection and their long term goals for professional development. This study concludes by discussing the implications of the findings and suggests ways in which Cypriot primary school teachers can be encouraged to recognize the knowledge which they develop from their own practice and to increase their understanding and use of reflective practice. It also identifies the need for changes in the organizational environments in Cypriot primary schools in order to support the developmental needs of its teachers including the reconsideration of the dual role of inspectors who are responsible for both professional development and evaluation.
Date of Award1 May 2008
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorYolande Muschamp (Supervisor)


  • primary school teachers
  • espoused theories
  • theories in use
  • reflective practice

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