Characterising Situated Professional Development for Diffusing Innovations in the Singapore Education Landscape

Project Number
OER 02/16 LSS

Project Duration
July 2016 - December 2018


The study attempts to follow up on student-centred, NIE innovations that have diffused across schools to understand the “situatedness” of PD processes in developing teachers’ capacity to adapt and implement innovations’ core principles. “Situated” here refers to understanding the relevant processes and structures to inform teacher learning that is situation(al) to their innovation contexts in order to heighten teacher professional(ism) and development in terms of their growth and trajectory. This study looks specifically at situated PD as one of the many aspects for spreading innovations. The study focuses on different ways in which situated PD processes and structures may be designed according to three innovation types (technology-oriented, skilled based, and school-based curriculum innovations) and the competencies involved. It also investigates how these PD processes leverage classroom, school and beyond schools (system) structures and socio-cultural contexts to enable capacity building and sustainability. The study is guided by two propositions: 1) situated PD processes and structures seem to differ according to innovation types and competencies that the innovation requires and 2) the ways situated PD processes and structures are designed seem to impact the depth and width of innovation diffusion. This study is construed as a multiple-case study. Findings unpack the ways of situated PD and how the processes of situated PD, such as the innovations’ core principles, teachers, facilitators and context, come together to support different types of innovations as it diffuses to classroom, school, and beyond schools (system) contexts. Findings also examine the school level structures and social-cultural affordances as well as system level structures and social-cultural affordances, such as community of learners, PLCs, champions, and ETOs that support capacity building and enable innovation diffusion. The key outcome is to develop rich understandings of teacher learning processes and support structures that develop teacher competencies to spread and sustain innovations. These understandings are significant because it unpacks the processes and support structures that develop teacher competencies which is nuanced to the Singapore context at classroom, school, and beyond schools (system) levels.

Funding Source

Related Links
ReEd Vol 21 (2017): Teacher Learning for the Spread of Innovation


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