Wither teacher professional development? The challenges of learning teaching and constructing identities across boundaries in China

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Abstract

Teacher professional development (TPD) is regarded as crucial to fostering teacher improvement. Recent calls for the internationalization of teacher education and professional development, including teachers undertaking courses taught abroad, have enhanced the scope of TPD opportunities. Yet, little is currently known about how such international experiences of TPD shape the perspectives of these teachers. It is also unclear how the learning these teachers experience in foreign settings is reflected in their engagement in the practices and activities of schools and classrooms upon returning to their home country. Therefore, this paper reports the results of a study that explores the perspectives and experiences of one group of in-service mainland Chinese teachers who undertook professional development in Hong Kong. Grounded in a theory of teacher identity construction and using in-depth interviews, results suggest that the teacher’s identities were shaped by the learning they experienced during professional development. However, following their return to teaching positions in mainland China, relations of power within their schools blocked the construction of their preferred teacher identities in practice. Suggestions are made for supporting the identity construction aims of teachers who undertake international professional development and implications for future research are considered. Copyright © 2020 National Institute of Education, Singapore.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-329
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Education
Volume40
Issue number3
Early online date20 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Citation

Trent, J. (2020). Wither teacher professional development? The challenges of learning teaching and constructing identities across boundaries in China. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 40(3), 315-329. doi: 10.1080/02188791.2020.1717438

Keywords

  • Teacher development
  • Teacher identity
  • Boundary-crossing
  • Discourse analysis
  • Teacher education

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