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Obstacles as opportunities in the promotion of teachers’ learning


International Journal of Educational Research Volume 41, Number 4, ISSN 0883-0355 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


This paper describes the professional growth of two teacher educators. It notes obstacles to teachers’ professional development, and investigates the factors which make some teachers less vulnerable to challenges. The paper observes that teacher educators who engage in self-study can reach a renewed understanding of their roles both in and beyond the classroom. The 3-year study on which the paper focuses aims at self-improvement, and takes the form of ongoing and reflective interaction with pre-service and in-service teachers in a post-graduate diploma course at The University of Hong Kong. Data were gathered from multiple sources: the collaborative lesson-planning experiences with the student–teachers, lesson observations, student–teachers’ post-lesson reflections, retrospective interviews, and various types of online communication. The paper explores what constitutes the inner power of student–teachers and how the teacher educators can play a more vital role in connecting the disconnected teachers by empowering them to turn obstacles into opportunities. Through the journey and dynamics of co-learning with the student–teachers and teachers at schools, the paper further discusses how these obstacles have become opportunities for the teacher educators’ mutual gains in professional growth and inner strength.


Harfitt, G.J. & Tavares, N.J. (2004). Obstacles as opportunities in the promotion of teachers’ learning. International Journal of Educational Research, 41(4), 353-366. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved November 29, 2020 from .

This record was imported from International Journal of Educational Research on March 1, 2019. International Journal of Educational Research is a publication of Elsevier.

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