Understanding teacher collaboration processes from a complexity theory perspective: A case study of a Chinese secondary school

Rui Eric YUAN, Jia ZHANG, Shulin YU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although research on teacher collaboration has proliferated in the last few decades, scant attention has been paid to the development of teacher collaboration in school contexts. Informed by the perspective of complexity theory, this study investigates the complex process of teacher collaboration through qualitative interviews in an English teaching research group (TRG) in a secondary school in China. The findings reveal three distinct stages in the development of teacher collaboration, labeled as 'breaking the ice', 'everything is out of control' and 'learning how to collaborate through collaboration'. The study shows that teacher collaboration is an adaptive, complex system that evolves through internal self-organization and interaction with external stakeholders and systems, such as school management and university researchers. The study provides useful insights into the ways of facilitating and sustaining teachers' collaborative practices to enhance school effectiveness and improvement in specific educational contexts. Copyright © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)520-537
JournalTeachers and Teaching
Volume24
Issue number5
Early online dateMar 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Citation

Yuan, R., Zhang, J., & Yu, S. (2018). Understanding teacher collaboration processes from a complexity theory perspective: A case study of a Chinese secondary school. Teachers and Teaching, 24(5), 520-537. doi: 10.1080/13540602.2018.1447458

Keywords

  • Teacher collaboration
  • Teacher learning
  • Complexity theory

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