The importance of school-based teacher learning communities in curriculum implementation and student learning: A multiple case study of five international baccalaureate schools in the Asia Pacific Region

Moo Sung LEE, Philip HALLINGER, Allan David WALKER, Dongyu LI

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

We aim at illuminating how and why school-based teacher learning communities contribute to promoting successful curriculum implementation and supporting student learning. We do so by targeting five International Baccalaureate (IB) schools in the Asia Pacific region, which has evidenced the fastest growth in IB schools across the world. One consequence arising from this rapid growth of IB schools has been a problem of curriculum implementation (and thus, by implication, a concern of student learning). Specifically, there have been a growing number of issues with respect to inconsistency and incoherence between three IB programs—i.e., Primary Years Program, Middle Years Program, and Diploma Program. Our paper explores how and why teachers formally and informally working with other teachers from different IB programs within the same school contribute to improving curriculum implementation and supporting student learning. We utilize qualitative and archival data collected from five IB schools in Hong Kong, China, Thailand,, and Vietnam. We center our analysis on interview data from 68 teachers and administrators and 25 students. We illuminate three distinctive types of cross-program teacher learning (i.e. cross program interaction, involvement, and cooperation) that play a key role in cross-fertilizing information about curriculum, assessment, subject contents, student learning, and programs. Drawing from interview data with students, we further shed light on how and why the three types of cross-program teacher learning support student learning as well as curriculum implementation. Finally, we discuss in-depth how to develop and sustain school-based teacher learning communities from a distributed perspective on instructional leadership.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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Citation

Lee, M. S., Hallinger, P., Walker, A., & Li, D. (2010, December). The importance of school-based teacher learning communities in curriculum implementation and student learning: A multiple case study of five international baccalaureate schools in the Asia Pacific Region. Paper presented at the 2nd East Asian International Conference on Teacher Education Research: Teacher Education for the Future: International Perspectives, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China.