Congratulations to the new PhD  Natalija Kaunickienė on the successfully defece of her doctoral dissertation “Personal Professional Development in Schools: Teachers’ Experiences of Professional Development ”  (Education (S 007), scientific  supervisor –  prof. dr. Remigijus Bubnys)  and acquirung  the degree of  PhD of Social Sciences in the field of Education.

The dissertation  is avaitable at at the libraries of Vilnius University, Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuanian University of Sport and on the VU website at: The dissertation can be accessed at:

A short annotation is presented  below:

The dissertation analyses teachers’ experiences of professional growth in the context of the personal professional development (PPD) system in school, revealing the content of the concepts of professional development and professional growth, and the analysis of models of professional development. A theory-based model of PPD is presented, covering the individual, group, and institutional levels and the key areas of professional development, which provides the basis for the implementation of a school-based PPD system for effective teacher personal and professional development.

Phenomenographic research (Marton, Säljö, Svensson, Åkerlind) has enabled the identification of categories illustrating teachers’ experiences of professional development at different levels: individual – reflective individual change; group – collegial collaboration to achieve goals; and organisational – system-enabled personal professional development. The hierarchical relationships between the categories and the space of results presented confirmed the fundamental idea of personal professional development in the context of the school system: the teacher experiences professional growth through changes in his/her behaviour, thinking and attitudes, through learning in the form of acquiring new knowledge, through systematic individual and group reflection, through collaboration, through the development of a distinctive teaching methodology, etc. The essential ways in which teachers learn, promoting professional growth, linking individual and organisational development practices. The identified mechanisms for effective personal professional development enable the modelling and design of unique and effective conditions for professional development, learning and growth in schools through the development of professional capital.

Dissertation Defence Council:

Chair – prof. dr. Aušra Kazlauskienė (Vilnius University, Social Sciences, Education – S 007),
Prof. dr. Romualdas Malinauskas (Lithuanian University of Sport, Social Sciences, Education – S 007),
Assoc. prof. dr. Asta Meškauskienė (Vilnius University, Social Sciences, Education – S 007),
Prof. dr. Brigita Janiūnaitė (Kaunas University of Technology, Social Sciences, Education – S 007),
Prof. habil. dr. Joanna M. Łukasik (Pedagogical University of Kraków, Social Sciences, Education – S 007).