Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Promoting Teacher Professional Learning in Tanzanian Schools: Lessons from Chinese School-Based Professional Learning Communities

Rehema J. Mwakabenga, Mjege Kinyota, Patrick Severine Kavenuke

Abstract

This paper reports on the history, features, and challenges of School-Based Professional Learning Communities (SBPLCs) in China to elicit lessons for Tanzania towards improving in-service teacher professional development. Based on the Chinese SBPLCs, this review aims to provide some insights to educational planners and teachers in Tanzania on how to establish and maintain effective school-based professional learning. This analysis used 30 journal articles published over the past twelve years (2006-2017) to provide research-based evidence. The findings indicate that Chinese schools have registered significant achievements in SBPLCs by supporting teacher collaborative learning and research in both rural and urban areas. As Tanzania strives to promote school-based teacher professional development, several lessons are worth learning. Thus, the study recommends that the country endorse professional learning at the school level by developing explicit in-school policies, allocating time for teacherlearning, offering financial and material support to teachers, and encouraging teachers to take charge of their professional learning.

Keywords

Chinese school-based professional learning; professional learning communities; Tanzania; teacher professional development

Full Text:

PDF

References

Anangisye, W. A. 2011. Developing Quality Teacher Professionals: A Reflective Inquiry on the Practices and

Challenges in Tanzania. Retrieved from http://aadcice.hiroshima-u.ac.jp/e/publications/sosho4_2-

pdf.

Avalos, B. 2011. Teacher Professional Development in Teaching and Teacher Education Over Ten

Years. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27: 10–20. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2010.08.007

Bowen, G. A. 2009. Document Analysis as a Qualitative Research Method. Qualitative Research Journal,

(2): 27–40. https://doi.org/10.3316/QRJ0902027.

Charmaz, K. 2010. Grounded Theory: Objectivist and Constructivist Methods. In W. Luttrell (Ed.),

Qualitative Educational Research: Readings in Reflexive Methodology and Transformative practices (pp.

–207). New York: Routledge.

Cheng, X., & L. Wu, 2016. The Affordances of Teacher Professional Learning Communities: A Case

Study of a Chinese Secondary School. Teaching and Teacher Education, 58: 54–67.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2016.04.008.

Cochran-Smith, M., & S. L. Lytle, 2001. Beyond Certainty: Taking an Inquiry Stance on Practice.

Teachers Caught in the Action: Professional Development That Matters, 45–58.

Croft, A., J. G. Coggshall, M. Dolan & E. Powers. 2010. Job-Embedded Professional Development: What

it is, Who is Responsible, and How to Get it Done Well. Washington, DC.

Darling-Hammond, L. 2008. Teacher Learning that Supports Students Learning. Teaching for

Intelligence, 2(1): 91–100.

Desimone, L. M. 2009. Improving Impact Studies of Teachers’ Professional Development: Toward

Better Conceptualizations and Measures. Educational Researcher, 38(3): 181–199. https:// doi.

org/doi:10.3102/0013189X08331140.

DuFour, R. & R. Eaker,2009. Professional Learning Communities at Work: Best Practices for Enhancing

Students Achievement. Solution Tree Press.

Eraut, M. 2011. Informal Learning in the Workplace: Evidence on the Real Value of Work-Based

Learning (WBL). An International Journal, 25(5); 8–12.

Gaible, E. & M. Burns. 2005. Using Technology toTrain Teachers: Appropriate Uses of ICT for Teacher

Professional Development in Developing Countries. Washngton DC: World Bank.

Gu, L. & J. Wang. 2006. School ‐ Based Research and Professional Learning: An Innovative Model to

Promote Teacher Professional Development in China. Teaching Education, 17(1): 57–73. https://

doi.org/10.1080/10476210500528079.

Gu, Q. 2013. The Work, Lives and Professional Development of Teachers in China. Asia-Pacific Journal

of Teacher Education, 4(1): 235–238. https://doi.org/10.1080/1359866X.2013.809057.

Guskey, T. R. 2014. Planning Professional Learning. Educational Leadership, 71(8): 10.

Hardman, F. & H. Dachi. 2012. Evaluation of School-Based INSET Pilot Programme. Retrieved from

https://www.york.ac.uk/media/iee/documents/Final report.

Hardman, F., J. Hardman, H. Dachi, L. Elliott, N. Ihebuzor, M. Ntekim & A. Tibuhinda. 2015.

Professional Development in Education Implementing School-Based Teacher Development in

Tanzania. Professional Development in Education, 41(4): 602–623. https://doi.org/ 10.1080/

2015.1026453.

Hargreaves, A. & M. Fullan. 2012. Professional Capital: Transforming Teaching in Every School. New

York: Teachers College Press.

Hargreaves, E., R. Berry, Y. C. Lai: Leung, D. Scott, E. Hargreaves, …: Leung. 2013. Teachers’

Experiences of Autonomy in Continuing Professional Development: Teacher Learning Communities in

London and Hong Kong. 4530. https://doi.org/10.1080/13664530.2012.748686.

Herbert, S. & M. Rainford. 2014. Developing a Model for Continuous Professional Development by

Action Research. Professional Development in Education, 40(2), 243–264. https://doi.org/doi:

1080/19415257.2013.794748.

Hiebert, J. & J. W. Stigler. 2017. Teaching Versus Teachers as a Lever for Change: Comparing a

Japanese and a US Perspective on Improving Instruction. Educational Researcher, 46(4): 169–176.

Hoekstra, A., F. Korthagen, M. Brekelmans, D. Beijaard & J. Imants. 2009. Experienced Teachers’

Informal Workplace Learning and Perceptions of Workplace Conditions. Journal of Work Place

Learning, 21(4): 276–298.

Huang, R. & J. Bao. 2006. Towards a Model for Teacher Professional Development in China:

Introducing Keli. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 9: 279–298. https://doi.org/ 10.1007/s

-006-9002-z.

Ingvarson, L. 2003. Professional Development for Teachers: Building a Learning Profession.

Australian Council for Education Research, 3: 1–29.

Joyce, B. R. & E. Calhoun. 2010. Models of Professional Development: A Celebration of Educators.

Califonia: Thousand Oaks.

Kafyulilo, A. 2013. Collaborative Design in Teams to Develop Science and Mathematics Teachers’

Technology Integration Knowledge and Skills. Universiteit Twente, Netherlands.

Karugaba, A. 2015. Effectiveness of Teachers Performance Appraisal Feedback in Secondary Education

Performance: The Case of Selected Public Secondary Schools in Bukoba Municipal Council. Mzumbe

University.

Koda, G. M. 2012. Teacher Resource Centres: A Strategy for Secondary School Teachers Professional

Development in Tanzania. Journal of Education, Humanities and Science (JEHS), 1(2): 78–92.

Kolb, D. A. 2015. Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Development and Learning (2nd ed.).

New Jersey: Pearson Education Ltd.

Komba, W. & E. Nkumbi. 2008. Teacher Professional Development in Tanzania: Perceptions and

Practices. Journal of International Cooperation in Education, 11(3): 67–83.

Lee, K., C. Chalmers, V. Chandra, A. Yeh & R. Nason. 2014. Retooling Asian-Pacific Teachers to

Promote Creativity, Innovation and Problem Solving in Science Classrooms and Problem Solving

in Science Classrooms. Journal of Education for Teaching, 40(1): 47–64. https://doi.org/10.1080/

2013.864017.

Leu, E. 2004. The Patterns and Purposes of School-Based and Cluster Teacher Professional

Development Programs. Issues Brief, 1.

Livingston, K. 2016. The SAGE Handbook of Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment: Two Volume Set.

London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

McLaughlin, M. W. 1997. Rebuilding Teacher Professionalism in the United States Beyond Educational

Reform: Bringing TeachersBack in. 77–93.

Moeini, H. 2008. Identifying Needs: A Missing Part in Teacher Training Programs. Seminar.Net: Media,

Technology & Life-Long Learning, 4(1), 1–12.

Msonde, M. 2011. Enhancing Teachers Competences on Learner-Centred Approaches Through Learning

Study in Tanzanian Schools (University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong). Retrieved from

http://hdl.handle.net.10722/146125.

Mwakabenga, R. J. 2018. Developing Teacher-Led Professional Learning in a Tanzanian Secondary Schools.

Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 2009. The Professional

Development of Teachers.

—. 2010. Teacher Professsional Devlopment: Europe in International Comparison.

—. 2012. What Students Knows and Can Do: Students Performance in Mathematics, Reading and Science.

Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/pisa/keyfindings/PISA-2012-results-snapshot-Volume-IENG.pdf.

Owen, S. 2014. Teacher Professional Learning Communities: Going Beyond Contrived Collegiality

Toward Challenging Debate and Collegial Learning and Professional Growth. Australian Journal

of Adult Learning, 54(2): 54–78.

Pang, N. S., T. Wang & Z. L. Leung. 2016. Educational Reforms and the Practices of Professional

Learning Community in Hong Kong Primary Schools Educational Reforms and the Practices of

Professional Learning. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 36(2): 231–247. https://doi.org/ 10.1080/

2016.1148852.

Qiao, X. & S. Yu. 2016. Enhancing Professional Learning Communities Through Knowledge Artefacts

in Mainland China. Journal of Education for Teaching, 42(1): 110–113. https://doi.org/

1080/02607476.2015.1135229.

Robinson, W. 2014. A Learning Profession?: Teachers and Their Professional Development in England and

Wales 1920-2000. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Sargent, T. C. & E. Hannum,2009. Doing More With Less: Teacher Professional Learning

Communities in Resource-Constrained Primary Schools in Rural China. Journal of Teacher

Education, 60(3): 258–276.

Schleicher, A. 2012. Preparing Teachers and Developing School Leaders for the 21st Century: Lessons from

Around the World. ERIC.

Song, H. 2012. The Role of Teachers’ Professional Learning Communities in the Context of

Curriculum Reform in High Schools. Chinese Education and Society, 45(4): 81–95. https://doi.org/

2753/CED1061-1932450406.

Sumra, S. & J. K. Katabaro. 2014. Declining Quality of Education, Suggestions for Arresting and Revising

the Trend. Retrieved from http://www.thdr.or.tz/docs/THDR-DP-63.pdf.

Tallerico, M. 2005. Supporting and Sustining Teachers’ Professional Development: A Principal’s Guide.

California: Thousand Oaks.

Timperley, H. 2011. Using Student Assessment for Professional Learning: Focusing on Students’ Outcomes

to Identify Teachers’ Needs. Melbourne: Education Policy and Research Division.

United Republic of Tanzania (URT). 2007. The Teacher Education Development and Management

Strategy 2007/2008 to 2010/2011. Dar es Salaam.

—. 2008. Education Sector Development Programme 2008-2017. Dar es Salaam.

United Republic of Tanzania (URT) & United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural

Organization (UNESCO). 2014. Enhancing Teacher Education for Bridging the Education Quality Gap

in Africa: The Case of Tanzania. Dar es Salaam.

Vangrieken, K., C. Meredith, T. Packer & E. Kyndt. 2017. Teacher Communities as a Context for

Professional Development: A Systematic Review. Teaching and Teacher Education, 61: 47–59.

Vescio, V., D. Ross & A. Adams. 2008. A Review of Research on the Impact of Professional Learning

Communities on Teaching Practice and Student Learning. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24:

–91. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2007.01.004.

Villegas-Reimers, E. 2003. Teacher Professional Development: An International Review of the Literature.

Paris: International Institute for Educational Planning.

Wang, T. 2015. Contrived Collegiality Versus Genuine Collegiality: Demystifying Professional

Learning Communities in Chinese Schools. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International

Education, 45(6): 908–930. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057925.2014.952953.

Wang, T. 2016. School Leadership and Professional Learning Community: Case Study of Two Senior

High Schools in Northeast China. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 36(2): 202–216. https://doi.

org/10.1080/02188791.2016.1148849.

Wong, J. L. N. 2010a. Searching for Good Practice in Teaching: A Comparison of Two Subject ‐ Based

Professional Learning Communities in a Secondary School in Shanghai. Compare: A Journal of

Comparative and International Education, 40(5): 623–639. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057920903553308.

—. 2010b. What Makes a Professional Learning Community Possible? a Case Study of a Mathematics

Department in a Junior Secondary School of China. Asia Pacific Education Review, 11: 131–139.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s12564-010-9080-6.

—. 2012. How has Recent Curriculum Reform in China Influenced School-Based Teacher Learning?

An Ethnographic Study of Two Subject Departments in. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education,

(4): 347–361. https://doi.org/10.1080/1359866X.2012.724654.

—. 2014. How does Writing for Publication Help Professional Development of Teachers? a Case

Study in China. Journal of Education for Teaching, 40(1): 78–93. https://doi.org/10. 1080/

2013.864019.

Wong, J. L. N. & A. B. M. Tsui. 2017. How do Teachers View the Effects of School ‐ Based in‐Service

Learning Activities? a Case Study in China. Journal of Education for Teaching, 33(4): 457–470.

https://doi.org/10.1080/02607470701603290.

Yan, C. & C. He. 2011. Enhancing Part-Time In-Service Teacher Training Programmes to Facilitate Rural

Teacher Development in China. Prospects, 41: 553–566. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11125-011-9211-9.

Zhang, J. & N. S. Pang. 2016a. Exploring the Characteristics of Professional Learning Communities

in China: A Mixed-Method Study. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 25(1): 11–21. https://doi.

org/10.1007/s40299-015-0228-3.

—. 2016b. Investigating the Development of Professional Learning Communities: Compare Schools

in Shanghai and Southwest China. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 36(2): 217–230. https://

doi.org/10.1080/02188791.2016.1148851.

Zhang, J., R. Yuan & S. Yu. 2016. What Impedes the Development of Professional Learning

Communities in China? Perceptions from Leaders and Frontline Teachers in Three Schools in

Shanghai. Educational Management Administration and Leadership, 21: 1–19. https://doi.org/

1177/1741143215617945.

Zhang, X. F. & H. M. Ng. 2011. A Case Study of Teacher Appraisal in Shanghai, China: in Relation to

Teacher Professional Development. 569–580. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12564-011-9159-8.

Zhou, J. 2014. Teacher Education Changes in China: 1974–2014. Journal of Education for Teaching,

(5): 507–523. https://doi.org/10.1080/02607476.2014.956543.

Zwart, R. C., F. A. J. Korthagen & S. Attema-noordewier. 2015. A Strength-Based Approach to Teacher

Professional Development. Professional Development in Education, 41(3): 579–596. https://doi.org/

1080/19415257.2014.919341.

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.