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Looking for learning in teacher learning networks in Kenya

Looking for learning in teacher learning networks in Kenya The purpose of this paper is to review the findings from a study of teacher professional learning networks in Kenya. Specific areas of focus included network participation, network activities, network leadership, and professional impact on network members and their schools.Design/methodology/approachThe research was grounded in the literature on education networks and teacher learning. The research employed a qualitative design and was implemented from September 2015–March 2017, including three two-week field trips to Kenya. Data included network records, 83 personal interviews, 4 focus group interviews, 19 observations of network meetings, and classroom observation of network and non-network teachers in 12 schools.FindingsNetwork participation had positive effects on teachers’ sense of professionalism and commitment to teaching and on their attitudes toward ongoing professional learning and improvement in student learning. Teachers also highlighted network benefits for learning to use new teaching strategies and materials, responding to student misbehavior and misunderstanding, and lesson preparation.Research limitations/implicationsResearch constraints did not permit longitudinal investigation of network activities and outcomes.Practical implicationsThe paper identifies challenges and potential focuses for strengthening the learning potential of network activities, network leadership, and the links between network activity and school improvement.Originality/valuePrior research has investigated education networks mostly in North American and similar high income settings. This paper highlights the benefits and challenges for networks as a strategy for continuous teacher development in a low income low resource capacity context. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Professional Capital and Community Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2056-9548
DOI
10.1108/jpcc-07-2018-0020
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to review the findings from a study of teacher professional learning networks in Kenya. Specific areas of focus included network participation, network activities, network leadership, and professional impact on network members and their schools.Design/methodology/approachThe research was grounded in the literature on education networks and teacher learning. The research employed a qualitative design and was implemented from September 2015–March 2017, including three two-week field trips to Kenya. Data included network records, 83 personal interviews, 4 focus group interviews, 19 observations of network meetings, and classroom observation of network and non-network teachers in 12 schools.FindingsNetwork participation had positive effects on teachers’ sense of professionalism and commitment to teaching and on their attitudes toward ongoing professional learning and improvement in student learning. Teachers also highlighted network benefits for learning to use new teaching strategies and materials, responding to student misbehavior and misunderstanding, and lesson preparation.Research limitations/implicationsResearch constraints did not permit longitudinal investigation of network activities and outcomes.Practical implicationsThe paper identifies challenges and potential focuses for strengthening the learning potential of network activities, network leadership, and the links between network activity and school improvement.Originality/valuePrior research has investigated education networks mostly in North American and similar high income settings. This paper highlights the benefits and challenges for networks as a strategy for continuous teacher development in a low income low resource capacity context.

Journal

Journal of Professional Capital and CommunityEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 3, 2019

Keywords: Professionalism; Collaboration; Networks; Professional development

References