Educational Research Journal

Professional Development Enablers in Practitioner Networks

2011.第26卷第1期(Vol. 26 No. 1).pp. 71–98

Professional Development Enablers in Practitioner Networks

Yim-Ping LEE & Albert KANG


This paper describes the role of a synergistic professional development model in developing networks of practitioners among teacher-leaders to support schools’ curriculum innovation efforts. The subjects were 38 teachers from various Singapore schools, invited as research activists (RAs) and attached to the Curriculum Policy and Pedagogy Unit (CPPU) at the Ministry of Education (MOE) for two days a week over 40 weeks to carry out an action research study on their school-based curriculum innovation (SCI) project. In the course of designing and implementing their SCIs, the RAs developed close networks among themselves and built collaborative relationship with curriculum partners from MOE and various educational institutions. The paper discusses the enabling processes provided by the ground-up initiatives from schools and the top-down support from MOE, in which professional networks of practitioners emerged organically. The RAs cascaded similar support to their colleagues back in schools, sharing knowledge to sustain and scale-up school-based curriculum. The study also highlighted ways where professional networks could engage other stakeholders to multiply good teaching practices in Singapore schools.

Keywords: practitioner networks; school-based curriculum innovation; teacher engagement