The relationship between teachers' conceptions of "globalisation" and professional learning.
At present globalisation has engulfed the world in what has been described as a whirl wind effect, in that is has swirled around the globe and encapsulated it; almost to the extent that the effects of globalisation appear completely inescapable to most nations and citizens. One can assume thus that the influence of globalisation on education, and in particular teacher education, is inevitable. This study focuses on teachers' conceptions of globalisation and its relationship to teacher professional learning with an aim to understand how six teachers exposed to global discourses conceive globalisation and its effect on their professional learning. Given that an effect of globalisation is the merging of various ideas and the exertion of simultaneous influences on such ideas from a variety of sources, a single focus group discussion was used for the generation of dat in this study to produce an environment very similar to the one achieved by globalisation (i.e. an environment in which various ideas are generated simultaneously and are subjected to influences from a variety of sources). From this, rich data emerged highlighting that the teachers in this study have very similar and in some cases very different conceptions of globalisation, teacher professional learning, and the relationship between the two. Interestingly, what stands out is the teachers involved in this study conceive that context, plays an integral role in contemporary teacher learning. The analysis generated theses such as retrogression, inequity, contradictions as well as the experiences of these teachers in learning and not learning. In essence, globalisation and teacher professional learning are shown to be inseparable in this area in which teachers are currently forced to learn for specific contexts and in most cases have to relearn as their contexts change in accordance with the ever evolving nature of globalisation. Indeed teacher professional learning at present is placed under tremendous strain, and so an understanding of the links between globalisation and teacher professional learning is expressed in this study. In addition, what emerges as a plausible solution to the problem of how teacher professional learning may keep up with globalisation, appears to be a need for teachers to take charge of their professional learning and to move away from positions of dependency and passivity to a position of active agency.