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Looking for learning in teacher learning networks in Kenya

Stephen Anderson (Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada)
Caroline Manion (Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada)
Mary Drinkwater (Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada)
Rupen Chande (Tan Education Solutions, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Wesley Galt (Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada)

Journal of Professional Capital and Community

ISSN: 2056-9548

Article publication date: 13 February 2019

Issue publication date: 3 April 2019

180

Abstract

Purpose

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/approach

The 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.

Findings

Network 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/implications

Research constraints did not permit longitudinal investigation of network activities and outcomes.

Practical implications

The 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/value

Prior 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.

Keywords

Citation

Anderson, S., Manion, C., Drinkwater, M., Chande, R. and Galt, W. (2019), "Looking for learning in teacher learning networks in Kenya", Journal of Professional Capital and Community, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 124-146. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPCC-07-2018-0020

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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