Cultivating a teacher community of practice for sustainable professional development: beyond planned efforts

Barley MAK, Shuk Han PUN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This ethnographic study-cum-action research documents the cultivation of a community of practice for sustainable professional development among a group of 18 teachers of English as second language in Hong Kong through a series of planned efforts over 10 months. By juxtaposing the theory-driven planned efforts and the spontaneous actions and interactions of the teachers, we aim to chart the way or ways teachers learn and develop as a professional and as a community of practice. Extrapolated from field notes, reflective journals, position papers, and evaluative comments, the authors learn that sensitivity, self-awareness, honesty, and facilitation helped iron out tensions and dissonances arising out of different personalities and different teaching approaches. Unexpected group synergy arising from interactions of experienced and novice teachers, and of teachers from different backgrounds helped bring out the expertise from each teacher. Yet, their communal responsibility faded when they returned to their respective schools. Selected experiences demonstrate that sustainable teacher professional development requires strong individual commitment and support from schools, parents, and the wider educational community. Copyright © 2014 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-21
JournalTeachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice
Volume21
Issue number1
Early online dateJul 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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teacher
community
self awareness
interaction
synergy
Professional Development
Communities of Practice
action research
school
Hong Kong
personality
parents
expertise
Group
commitment
responsibility
Teaching
language
experience
Interaction

Citation

Mak, B., & Pun, S.-H. (2015). Cultivating a teacher community of practice for sustainable professional development: beyond planned efforts. Teachers and Teaching: theory and practice, 21(1), 4-21.

Keywords

  • Community of practice
  • Teacher learning
  • Sustainable teacher professional development
  • Hong Kong ESL teachers