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Article
Publication date: 6 October 2021

Daphnee Hui Lin Lee

Both Hong Kong and Singapore leverage teacher collaboration to improve student learning, but state reforms differ in how teacher collaborative capabilities are…

Abstract

Purpose

Both Hong Kong and Singapore leverage teacher collaboration to improve student learning, but state reforms differ in how teacher collaborative capabilities are prioritized. This paper provides a nuanced comparison of Hong Kong and Singapore teachers' values (risk-taking, power distance and uncertainty avoidance) to develop insights into how different policy focuses cultivate teachers' capabilities to focus on improving student learning.

Design/methodology/approach

Employing Hargreaves and Fullan's (2012) concept of professional capital, statistical analyses determine teachers' values profiles of high, medium and low professional capital in the respective contexts. Leveraging related research on Singapore teachers (Lee and Lee, 2018), nuances in teachers' values in the Hong Kong results are identified via cluster analysis and explained via structural equation modelling.

Findings

Medium professional capital Hong Kong teachers' values matched Singapore's, but teachers in other clusters are nuanced. Compared to Singapore teachers with similar levels of professional capital, high professional capital Hong Kong teachers have higher uncertainty avoidance, while low professional capital teachers are the opposite. In Hong Kong, high uncertainty avoidance values positively influence teacher leadership and focus on student learning. Nevertheless, as with their Singapore counterparts, high professional capital Hong Kong teachers have low power distance and high risk-taking values.

Originality/value

This paper raises awareness regarding policy's influence in cultivating teachers' values and their transformational change capabilities. By comparing two hierarchical Chinese societies, the discussion questions whether Chinese and Western cultural influences are mutually exclusive, and whether transformational change in cultural values, if achievable, is necessary.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

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Article
Publication date: 30 April 2020

Dana Specker Watts and Jayson W. Richardson

The purpose of this study was to investigate the connection between professional development and professional capital within international schools in Asia.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to investigate the connection between professional development and professional capital within international schools in Asia.

Design/methodology/approach

This study was an exploratory multisite case study. Teachers and leaders in six high performing international schools in Asia were surveyed to measure their professional capital. Three leaders with the highest professional capital from different schools were interviewed to better understand how professional development fosters professional capital of their teachers.

Findings

International school leaders tended to have high professional capital while teachers reported having less professional capital. Leaders fostered professional capital of their teachers through professional development by supporting the intellectual passions of individuals, fostering collaborative learning within and across international schools and creating a culture of safety and vulnerability for teachers to try new things.

Research limitations/implications

This study showed that a short version of the professional capital survey tested well in this context with items just focused on professional development. However, more work needs to be done to make the individual constructs more robust as it pertains to professional development. This research also highlighted the need to look at how international school teachers foster their own professional capital through professional development.

Originality/value

This is the first study that focused on the intersection of professional capital and professional development. Additionally, this article serves as one of the few studies of professional capital in international schools.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2016

Dennis Shirley

As a “business capital” model premised upon a financial perspective of educational change spreads itself into school systems around the world, a countervailing view of …

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1178

Abstract

Purpose

As a “business capital” model premised upon a financial perspective of educational change spreads itself into school systems around the world, a countervailing view of “professional capital,” as proposed by Hargreaves and Fullan, provides a new framework for transforming teaching and uplifting learning. The purpose of this paper is to advance theory by distinguishing among three forms of professional capital found in three different settings.

Design/methodology/approach

Systemic professional capital is exemplified by the city-state of Singapore, in which schools, higher education, and the Ministry of Education all support one another to optimize student learning. Social movement professional capital is manifested in the Learning Communities Project of rural middle schools in Mexico, where change is driven forward with a model of tutorial relationships that has proven to be sustainable even when funding is cut and political support is withdrawn. Activist professional capital can be identified in a Teacher Solutions Team model in Arizona in the USA, where educators carve out new zones of interaction and support for one another to deepen their knowledge base. This paper examines and discusses the above.

Findings

Systemic, social movement, and activist forms of professional capital are found to share affinities with the three forms of teacher professionalism identified by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development based on findings from the Teaching and Learning International Survey.

Originality/value

These distinctions among various forms of professional capital invite further research and theory building to provide alternatives to the rise of business capital in schools and school systems.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 1 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

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Article
Publication date: 16 January 2017

Corrie Stone-Johnson

The purpose of this paper is to describe how teachers’ generational interpretative frameworks influence their career experiences and to demonstrate how these generational…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe how teachers’ generational interpretative frameworks influence their career experiences and to demonstrate how these generational differences impact the power of professional capital to improve teaching and learning.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper utilizes data from a multi-year, mixed methods study of mid-career teachers in Massachusetts. Data in this paper come from semi-structured interviews with 12 Generation X teachers (born 1961-1980).

Findings

Generation X teachers have a unique self-image, self-esteem, task perception, job motivation, and future perspective that form their generational interpretative framework. This framework is different from that of the prior generation.

Originality/value

These generational differences have implications for how Generation X teachers view professionalism and autonomy and how they see their careers over time. Drawing upon Hargreaves and Fullan’s (2012) suggestions for school leaders, three implications are highlighted. First, a model of professional capital that incorporates teachers’ generational differences must be aware of how teachers view their work before engaging in changing it. This implication ties directly into the second, which is that leaders must know their teachers and understand the culture in which they work. Together, these two implications suggest that implementing a model of professional capital is not enough; it must begin with deliberate thought as to who the teachers are who are being asked to change. Finally, to secure leadership stability and sustainability, leaders must respect generational differences that influence teachers’ desires to move, or not move, into formal leadership roles.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2020

Anita Mac and Karen Albertsen

The project “Public schools in change – collaboration as a resource” was aimed to strengthen professional capital (social- human- and decision-capital) in public schools…

Abstract

Purpose

The project “Public schools in change – collaboration as a resource” was aimed to strengthen professional capital (social- human- and decision-capital) in public schools and as a part of this to strengthen collaboration within teams. The purpose of this paper is to focus on the approach of linking development of professional capital to the development of team competence through facilitating and discuss the adequacy of the methods used to fulfil the purpose.

Design/methodology/approach

This study was designed as a multiple case intervention implemented at four worksites. It was organized as a course consisting of four sessions among 15–20 team coordinators from each school unit. The research group provided insights and methods to increase the team’s ability to manage tasks and cooperate.

Findings

Based on observations of team meetings, the study provides a discussion on the usefulness of the approach of linking team competence and professional capital. Both at theoretical and practical levels, the study finds it is meaningful to combine facilitating as methods to ensure the creation of value in organizational teamwork, in general, with the concept of professional capital pointing on the quality of the core task and particularly developed within an educational context.

Research limitations/implications

The study provide a presentation of two theoretical frameworks and a discussion of the adequacy of linking these frameworks to the development of team competences in a school context.

Practical implications

The study suggests that organizations and educational institutions (of teachers, physicians, and social workers) may benefit from linking professional capital and facilitating and thereby provide employees and students training in professional collaboration.

Social implications

In a still more complex society, collaboration is crucial. The study suggests ways to improve collaboration, quality of the core task along with the relational dimensions in the psychosocial work environment.

Originality/value

Development of professional capital through increased team competences and facilitating skills represents a new and promising approach with theoretical as well as practical implications within a school context. Indeed, not only school teams but also teams in other organizations dealing with social- task- and contextual complexity can benefit from the insights and experiences of this study.

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Article
Publication date: 23 October 2020

Brandon Dickson, Carolyn Mussio and Donna Kotsopoulos

This study aims to explore how the theories of professional capital and decisional capital can be extended to introduce “professional mathematics capital” and “decisional…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore how the theories of professional capital and decisional capital can be extended to introduce “professional mathematics capital” and “decisional mathematics capital”.

Design/methodology/approach

Professional development (PD) efforts in one school district in elementary mathematics education are described to illustrate these extensions and to contemplate ways to enhance teacher learning of mathematics pedagogy.

Findings

Both theoretical extensions provided useful frameworks for conceptualizing mathematics PD. Preliminary evidence suggests that participants demonstrated the emergence of professional and decisional mathematics capital.

Research limitations/implications

While there were observed and reported changes to teacher practice, further research is needed to explore the implications of these theoretical extensions on student learning.

Originality/value

This study serves to enhance the literature related to PD and teachers' mathematical content knowledge. The theoretical extensions of professional and decisional mathematics capital are a novel and promising concept that allows for a unique approach to be laid out for those designing PD in mathematics.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

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Article
Publication date: 16 January 2017

Wanda Tong and Agnes Razniak

The purpose of this paper is to analyze current literature on building professional capital, interpreted through the lens of Alberta educators. Through reflections on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze current literature on building professional capital, interpreted through the lens of Alberta educators. Through reflections on their field experiences, the authors aim to provide leaders with realistic strategies for developing professional capital, that rely on effective collaborative leadership, professional development (PD), and adult learning. These strategies can be incorporated in a variety of individualized school contexts.

Design/methodology/approach

Data are interpreted from literature to inform the inquiry into professional capital, focusing on defining effective strategies for attaining professional capital within publicly funded schools in the province of Alberta.

Findings

Insights are provided for school-based leaders in developing strategies to build professional capital as a means of twenty-first century skill attainment, which includes the transformation from a traditional mindset to innovative teaching and learning practices. Three important elements emerged from the literature review for educational leaders to consider in developing effective professional capital: collaborative leadership, PD, and adult learning.

Research limitations/implications

Lack of time and funding are most frequently reported as obstacles to implementing professional capital in schools. A number of effective strategies are presented to assist school-based leaders in tackling these hindrances.

Originality/value

In building professional capital, including human, social, and decisional capital effectively, leaders may embark on incorporating the three focal elements presented in this paper, with an awareness of their staff’s strengths, needs, and pedagogies.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2016

Christopher Chapman, Hannah Chestnutt, Niamh Friel, Stuart Hall and Kevin Lowden

The purpose of this paper is twofold, first, it is to reflect on the development of professional capital in a three-year collaborative school improvement initiative that…

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3850

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold, first, it is to reflect on the development of professional capital in a three-year collaborative school improvement initiative that used collaborative inquiry within, between and beyond schools in an attempt to close the gap in outcomes for students from less well-off backgrounds and their wealthier counter parts. Second, this paper will reflect more broadly on the initiative as a whole.

Design/methodology/approach

This research and development initiative involved the research team working in a nested setting as second-order action researchers, consultants and critical friends with a range of actors across the system. The findings are based on mixed methods data collected from eight case study school partnerships. The partnerships involved over 50 schools across 14 school districts in Scotland. Social network analysis was also used in one of the school districts to map and quantify professional relationships across schools.

Findings

Over time, relationships within the partnerships developed and deepened. This occurred within individual schools, across schools within the partnerships and beyond the school partnerships. At the same time as these networks expanded, participants reported increases in human, social and decisional capital, not only among teachers, but also among other stakeholders. In addition, through their collaborative inquiries schools reported increased evidence of impact on positive outcomes for disadvantaged students.

Originality/value

The professional capital of individuals and organisations across and beyond schools is demonstrated as an important consideration in the pursuit of both quality and equity in education.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Daphnee Hui Lin Lee and Chi Shing Chiu

The purpose of this paper is to explore how principals’ leadership approaches to teacher professional development arise from school banding and may impact upon teacher…

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1386

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how principals’ leadership approaches to teacher professional development arise from school banding and may impact upon teacher professional capital and student achievement.

Design/methodology/approach

The case study is situated within the context of school-based management, comprising reflective accounts of nine school principals selected by stratified sampling from a sample of 56 Hong Kong schools to represent Bands One, Two, and Three schools. The reflective accounts were triangulated with observations of teachers and analysis of school websites.

Findings

First, under school-based management, principals remain obliged to recognize the power of state-defined examinations in determining the schools’ future priorities. Second, the exercise of school autonomy in response to this obligation varies, depending upon the competitive advantage schools have in the school banding system. Ideally, effective school-based management is dependent upon the principal’s capacity to facilitate good instructional practices. However, principals need to adjust their leadership practices to school contextual demands. Third, adaptations to contexts result in the varied developments of teacher capacities in schools, corresponding with the types of principal leadership adopted.

Originality/value

While statistical studies have identified attributes of exemplary principal leadership, few studies have examined the qualitative reasons for the exemplification of these attributes, and the influence of the school context in shaping these attributes. Departing from assumptions that leadership attributes are intrinsic to individuals, this paper considers how principals contextualize leadership in teacher professional development to the schools’ student academic achievement.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 55 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 26 October 2021

Hayley Weddle, Mariko Yoshisato and Megan Hopkins

Although schools across the United States are becoming increasingly linguistically and culturally diverse, many teachers remain underprepared to work with students…

Abstract

Purpose

Although schools across the United States are becoming increasingly linguistically and culturally diverse, many teachers remain underprepared to work with students classified as English learners (ELs), especially at the secondary level. Acknowledging the importance of developing systems of support for teachers of ELs, this paper examines the district- and school-level factors shaping secondary teachers' access to EL-focused professional learning in one large urban school district.

Design/methodology/approach

To examine teachers' access to EL-focused professional learning, the authors draw on 49 in-depth interviews with district leaders and staff from nine secondary schools. Data analysis was guided by a structure, culture and agency theoretical framework.

Findings

Findings revealed that decreased structural support, in terms of both fiscal and human resources, constrained teachers' access to EL-related professional learning. Further, the district culture was characterized by limited understanding of ELs' backgrounds and assets. While some school leaders exercised agency to bolster EL-focused professional learning for teachers, such supports were rare.

Practical implications

Findings help to contextualize secondary teachers' feelings of unpreparedness to serve ELs, illuminating several factors that district and school leaders should attend to in order to bolster the development of professional capital for teachers of ELs at the secondary level.

Originality/value

While prior research outlines the importance of designing systems of support for EL-focused professional learning, this study highlights specific structural and cultural factors shaping such systems.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

Keywords

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