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Cuadernos de Investigación Educativa

versión impresa ISSN 1510-2432versión On-line ISSN 1688-9304


MELS, Cindy; LAGOA, Leticia; COLLAZZI, Gabriela  y  CUEVASANTA, Diego. Challenges and opportunities for teacher professional development in Uruguay. Cuad. Investig. Educ. [online]. 2023, vol.14, n.2, e209.  Epub 01-Dic-2023. ISSN 1510-2432.

Continuing teacher education is a necessary component of educational systems capable of attending to the demands and educational challenges in a fast-changing world. However, several barriers obstruct teachers' participation in professional development initiatives, particularly in Latin America. The incorporation of ICT in its design may help to overcome certain obstacles. This paper proposes, based on a case study of public secondary education in Uruguay, to (1) explore the obstacles that teachers encounter regarding their participation in initiatives of lifelong professional learning and (2) collect elements that should be considered when designing an online initiative, for it to be considered useful and valid. Fifty-four teachers from 2 secondary schools in Montevideo (59,2 %) and two schools in the country's interior (40,8 %) participated in focus group discussions. Using a thematic framework analysis approach, we established emerging themes referring to the potential of lifelong learning, preferred pedagogical strategies, time investment, teamwork, encounters with others, and specific preferences regarding digital tools and activities. Beyond the concrete recommendations regarding the design of professional development initiatives for teachers incorporating ICT that can be drawn from this study, it also contributes elements for understanding the processes that affect the participation and adherence of teachers in formal professional development activities, contextualized within the structural challenges faced by the teacher profession in the region.

Palabras clave : teacher education; professional development; distance education; South America; qualitative research.

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