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Developing teacher capacity in Cambodia: an expanded model

Elizabeth Fiona King (Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)

Asian Education and Development Studies

ISSN: 2046-3162

Article publication date: 2 January 2018




The purpose of this paper is to explore the issue of how best to develop teacher capacity in Cambodia. Since the 1990s the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS), with its development partners, has undertaken the tremendous task of rebuilding Cambodia’s shattered education system. Many of the policies and programmes that have been developed hinge on building teacher capacity. This paper investigates the extent to which the capacity of teachers in the schools in this study was developed under the current cascade model favoured by the MoEYS.


Using a case study methodology data were collected, primarily, through semi-structured interviews with teachers in three government primary schools located in different geographical areas, and ministry officials and advisors based in these locations.


The findings identified that the current cascade model of capacity development, apart from watering down what is taught as it filters along the system, is not developing the requisite capacity of teachers. The findings suggest that the current model limits what constitutes capacity and for whom.

Practical implications

An expanded model of capacity development is forwarded that includes: school-based training for all teachers on an ongoing basis; incremental training; and regular training for trainers and principals.


This paper offers valuable insights that contribute to the ongoing discussion of how best to develop teacher capacity in Cambodia. It may also offer insights on developing teacher capacity to those working in similar situations.



King, E.F. (2018), "Developing teacher capacity in Cambodia: an expanded model", Asian Education and Development Studies, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 2-14.



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