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Teachers’ Experiences Of Professional Development In (Post)Crisis Katanga Province, Southeastern Democratic Republic Of Congo: A Case Study Of Teacher Learning Circles, Paul St J Frisoli
Teachers in (post)crisis contexts face an array of de-motivating factors such as insecurity, lack of pay, difficult working conditions, minimal leadership, and feeling undervalued (Johnson, 2006; OECD, 2009; Shriberg, 2007). To bolster their motivation and support their teaching, teachers in these settings need a forum where they feel valued as professionals (Asimeng-Boahene, 2003; Bennel & Akyeampong; Kirk & Winthrop, 2007). One model of teacher professional development (TPD) known as "Teacher Learning Circles"(TLCs) is currently being implemented in Katanga province in southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for early grade reading teachers. TLCs strive to help teachers adopt innovative teaching techniques and create supportive environments. This study examines teachers’ perspectives, using a "crystallized qualitative case study" approach, how these TLCs operate in varied (post)crisis contexts in the DRC where teachers describe their experiences with content, instructional practices and teacher-community support structures of the TLCs (Ellingson, 2008; Rappleye, 2006).
Three major themes arose from the data; Motivating factors for teachers to remain in the profession; the school environment factors that impacted teachers day-to-day; and TLC elements related to technical, social, and emotional collegial assistance. By examining these themes across five schools ...