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Enhancing teachers' and administrators learning experiences through school–university partnerships: a qualitative case study in China

Guoyuan Sang (Center for Teacher Education Research, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China)
Jun Zhou (Center for Teacher Education Research, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China)
Abdulghani Muthanna (Department of International Studies and Interpreting, Faculty of Education and International Studies, Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway)

Journal of Professional Capital and Community

ISSN: 2056-9548

Article publication date: 5 June 2020

Issue publication date: 22 June 2021

309

Abstract

Purpose

This qualitative study aimed to explore how the school–university partnership (SUP) enhances the elementary teachers' professional development in a school-based setting.

Design/methodology/approach

By following the qualitative case study methodology, this case study employs semi-structured interviews (the authors designed) with 10 school teachers and administrators. The authors adapted the iterative process analysis (Miles and Huberman, 1984) for compiling, coding, annotating the data and interpreting the interview transcripts. The authors also used the member checking technique that establishes credibility in a qualitative study (Lincoln and Guba, 1985) with six participants.

Findings

The findings suggest that participating in a series of professional learning activities led to the enhancement of teachers' and administrators learning experiences in view of educational theories, action research abilities, teaching efficiency, teaching research capacities and improvement of school guidelines. Further, they reveal that the participants' expectations for future SUP collaborations centred on realizing the sustainability and effectiveness of collaborations, and autonomy of teachers.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of the current study include its focus on a single SUP within one school and the reliance on data collected only by interviews during the SUP process. This study offers implications for teacher learning within SUP collaborations. First, schools should consider how to involve and influence all teachers rather than SUP core members only. To this end, authentic professional learning communities need to be constructed. Second, universities should pay much more attention to the professional development of their faculty members towards integration of theoretical knowledge and practical experiences.

Originality/value

This original study explores practical ways of improving teachers' theoretical and practical teaching practices/experiences through SUP projects, and contributes new knowledge to the teaching professional development of school teachers and administrators.

Keywords

Citation

Sang, G., Zhou, J. and Muthanna, A. (2021), "Enhancing teachers' and administrators learning experiences through school–university partnerships: a qualitative case study in China", Journal of Professional Capital and Community, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 221-236. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPCC-01-2020-0003

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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