Contrived collegiality versus genuine collegiality

demystifying professional learning communities in Chinese schools

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    Abstract

    Drawing on data from a larger study on Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and School Leadership in China, this article investigates the practices of teacher collaboration and PLCs in two urban, high-performing secondary schools in Northeast China. Qualitative data were collected from observations, documents and in-depth semi-structured interviews with 20 participants. The findings reveal that intentionally arranged organisational structures support teacher professional learning and collective inquiry. Collaborative teams in two schools are characterised by genuine collegiality, promoting disciplined collaboration and shared responsibility, which is different from contrived collegiality imposed on teachers. Professional learning is ongoing, supported and fully integrated into the culture and operation of the school system. Emotional bonds, trust and an inclusive school culture contribute to genuine collegiality. These learning communities establish a system of focused collaboration, peer mentoring and collective responsibility, which leads to improved teaching and student learning
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)908-930
    Number of pages23
    JournalCompare
    Volume45
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2015

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