This paper describes preliminary findings from a study of teacher and professor learning. Using narrative inquiry, the author interviewed expert teachers and examined the process of teacher and professor learning. The study focused on how teachers learn as a form of self-study in informal action research. The study examined (1) the challenges requiring resolution during the early stages of a career, (2) experiences of struggle, (3) the principles and practices leading to expertise, and (4) the long lasting effects of teacher and professor learning on professional practice. Using threshold theory (Meyer & Land, 2003/2005) and a model of informal action research called REAL (Noonan, 2013), the author illustrates how the experiences of expert teachers during the early phases of their career result in permanent changes in practice and the development of a professional identity.
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