CAERe at Conferences Part 3: UKFIET 2017

In the past month, CAERe members have been active at conferences around the UK and Europe. This post is the third in a series that details recent conference presentations and publications.

Toolkit to promote professional learning communities in Chinese schools

CAERe at the 14th International Conference on Education and Development, University of Oxford, 5th-7th September

Professor Sally Thomas and her colleagues presented findings and impact evidence from a UK DfID/ESRC funded project “Improving Teacher Development and Educational Quality in China” which links to the UKFIET conference sub- themes of Enabling Teachers (factors that facilitate sustainable teacher learning and development after initial training) and Assessing Teaching and Learning for Sustainable Development (how can teachers be supported to use evidence to improve their practice). The research investigated the existence and relevance of professional learning communities (PLCs) to promote student outcomes and teacher development in Chinese senior secondary schools and these findings have been used to create a toolkit for Chinese teachers to enhance PLCs in their own school.


Both quantitative and qualitative data was analysed including interviews and focus groups with 90+ stakeholders and a survey of 17,000+ teachers in three regions. The PLC toolkit was created after consultation with Chinese teachers (November 2016), summarising key evidence from four detailed case study schools, selected on the basis of “value added effectiveness” and rural/urban location and identifying best practice in how PLCs are evaluated and supported in Chinese schools. This approach responds to stakeholder views indicating that the “western” PLC concept is seen as highly relevant by stakeholders but needs to be adapted and sustainable for the Chinese and local contexts.


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