Professional Identity for Khmer Teachers (PIKT)

Professional Identity for Khmer Teachers (PIKT)

What Makes a Good Teacher?  Enhancing teacher professional identity and capability in Cambodian schools.

This research addresses the question of teacher effectiveness in the context of early grade school education in Cambodia. In all education settings the challenge of enhancing teaching capability to achieve better learning outcomes is complex and multifaceted. In the context of early grade education in Cambodian schools, this is especially the case. Cambodian education is like the ‘perfect storm’ of challenges.

This study will investigate how teachers in Cambodia and specifically the Battambang region, can be enabled to improve their teaching practice and engage in a path of professional development. It will focus on the tasks and challenges of building teacher professional identity; how teachers see themselves and how this may change over time.

Teacher professional identity is a core enabler for a wider framework of teaching capability and competence. Effective teaching requires a disposition for practice in a continuous cycle of professional improvement.

This study combines field work with design based research to provide a learning path for enhanced teaching capability. A sample of 25 early grade teachers will be recruited as volunteer research participants. Two rounds of data collection, comprising in-class observation, teacher interviews and ‘school and community’ profiles, will take place one year apart. Workshops on teacher professional identity will be delivered to the participants, one following the first and one following the second data collection round.

At each stage analysis of data will inform the learning design for the workshops. The data and the workshops will also inform the development of a Framework for Teacher Professional Identity in Cambodia and materials for an associated structured professional learning module. The research will also provide new insights on what’s happening in Cambodian schools and foster further research collaboration between Irish and Cambodian investigators.

This project is funded by the Irish Research Council, under the ‘Better World’ strand of the Collaborative Alliance for Societal Challenges (COALESCE). Read more about the COALESCE programme.

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