1. bookVolume 72 (2019): Issue 1 (January 2019)
Journal Details
First Published
27 Feb 2019
Publication timeframe
1 time per year
access type Open Access

Conceptualising Teachers’ Knowledge when Crossing National Boundaries

Published Online: 03 Apr 2020
Volume & Issue: Volume 72 (2019) - Issue 1 (January 2019)
Page range: 145 - 161
Journal Details
First Published
27 Feb 2019
Publication timeframe
1 time per year

The objective of this paper was to examine the meaning and function of “teachers knowledge”, both as a foundational tool used by teachers as professionals and the ways in which such knowledge is acquired, shared, and bettered. To help guide this discussion, the paper reviews the literature on related topics whilst also providing other insights and recommendations for further research. The topics have been broken down into two main parts: conceptualising teachers’ professional knowledge; and the sharing of knowledge internationally. The second of these examines the history of the topic whilst also critiquing the methods and effectiveness of sharing strategies. We find that the ways professional knowledge have been defined in public discourse are often inappropriate for the specific context of teaching. Furthermore, we find that sharing experience and knowledge between teachers is a foundational concept yet not always a straightforward matter and knowledge/experience can be a very difficult thing to transfer between one another. These obstacles can be exacerbated when it comes to the sharing of knowledge internationally, as economic disparities between participating nations can be vast and differences in culture challenging to overcome. Some nations additionally struggle in their authenticity to learn from each other. Ultimately, it is clear that “teacher knowledge” is a concept that is an area in need of further research, particularly as education reforms and curriculum adjustments are of great concern to both developing nations and their wealthier counterparts.


Arnove, R. (2013). Reframing comparative education. In R. Arnove, C.A. Torres & S.Franz (Eds.), Comparative education: the dialectic of the global and the local (4th ed.) (pp. 1–27). London, UK: Rowman & Littlefield. Search in Google Scholar

Baker, D. (2014). The schooled society: the educational transformation of global culture. Stanford, USA: Stanford University Press.10.1515/9780804790482 Search in Google Scholar

Ball, S.J. (2006). Policy, sociology and critical social research. In S.J. Ball (Ed.), Education policy and social class: the selected works of Stephen J. Ball (pp. 10–25). Abingdon, UK: Routledge. Search in Google Scholar

Bajaj, M. (2010). Intergenerational perspectives on education and employment in the Zambian copperbelt. Comparative Education Review, 54(2), 175–198.10.1086/651138 Search in Google Scholar

Bangs, J., & Macbeath, J. (2013). Collective leadership: the role of teacher unions in encouraging teachers to take the lead in their own learning and in teacher policy. Professional Development in Education, 38(2), 331–343.10.1080/19415257.2012.657879 Search in Google Scholar

Bignold, W., & Gayton, L. (2010). Global Issues and Comparative Education (Perspectives in Education Studies Series). London, UK: Sage. Search in Google Scholar

Black-Hawkins, K., & Florian, L. (2012). Classroom teachers’ craft knowledge of their inclusive practice. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 18(5), 567–584.10.1080/13540602.2012.709732 Search in Google Scholar

Bray, M. (2014). Actors and purposes in comparative education. In B. Adamson, M. Bray & M. Mason (Eds.), Comparative education research approaches and methods (2nd ed.) (pp. 19–46). Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong Press. Search in Google Scholar

The British Council. (2016). The connecting classrooms programme an overview. Retrieved from: www.britishcouncil.org/learning-connecting-classrooms Search in Google Scholar

Brown. Z., & Manktelow, K. (2016). Perspectives on the standards agenda: exploring the agenda’s impact on primary teachers’ professional identities. Education, 3–13, 44(1), 68–80.10.1080/03004279.2015.1089920 Search in Google Scholar

Burroughs, T.S. (2015). Attempted neo-colonialism by powerpoint: Black communities vs. education reform. Journal of Pan African Studies, 8(7), 1–17. Search in Google Scholar

Call, K. (2018). Professional Teaching Standards: A Comparative Analysis of Their History, Implementation and Efficacy. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 43(3), 93–100.10.14221/ajte.2018v43n3.6 Search in Google Scholar

Chabbott, C., & Elliott, E. (2003). Understanding others, educating ourselves. Getting more from international studies in education. Washington DC, USA: National Research Council. Search in Google Scholar

Chisholm, L., & Leyendecker, R. (2008). Curriculum reform in post 1990s Sub-Saharan Africa. International Journal of Educational Development, 8(2), 171–187.10.1016/j.ijedudev.2007.04.003 Search in Google Scholar

Dale, R. (2015). Conjunctions of power and comparative education. Compare: a Journal of Comparative and International Education, 45(3), 341–362.10.1080/03057925.2015.1006944 Search in Google Scholar

Elliott, J. (2009). Research-based teaching. In S. Gewirtz, P. Mahony, I. Hextall & A. Cribb (Eds.), Changing teacher professionalism: international challenges trends and ways forward (pp. 170–184). Abingdon, UK: Routledge. Search in Google Scholar

Dogan, S., Pringle, R., & Mesa, J. (2016). The impacts of professional learning communities on science teachers’ knowledge, practice and student learning: a review. Professional Development in Education, 42(4), 569–588.10.1080/19415257.2015.1065899 Search in Google Scholar

Eraut, M. (2007). Learning from other people in the workplace. Oxford Review of Education, 33(4), 403–422.10.1080/03054980701425706 Search in Google Scholar

Foster, J., Addy, N.A., & Samoff, J. (2012). Crossing borders: research in comparative and international education. International Journal of Educational Development, 32(6), 711–732.10.1016/j.ijedudev.2011.12.003 Search in Google Scholar

Frost, D. (2015, September). The role of teacher leadership in the transition to democratic society. Paper presented at the European Conference on Education Research (ECER) 2015. Budapest, Hungary. Search in Google Scholar

Frost, D. (2014, September). Non-positional teacher leadership: a perpetual motion miracle. Changing teacher professionality through support for teacher leadership in Europe and beyond. Paper presented at European Conference on Education Research (ECER) 2014. Porto, Portugal. Search in Google Scholar

Frost, D. (2013). Developing teachers, schools and systems: partnership approaches. In C. McLaughlin & M. Evans (Eds.), Teachers learning: professional development and education. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Search in Google Scholar

Frost, D. (2012). From professional development to system change: teacher leadership and innovation. Professional Development in Education, 38(2), 205–227.10.1080/19415257.2012.657861 Search in Google Scholar

Fujikane, H. (2003). Approaches to global education in the United States, England and Japan. In M. Bray (Ed.), Comparative education: continuing traditions, new challenges and new paradigms (pp. 1–13). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Search in Google Scholar

General Teaching Council of England (GTC(E)). (1993). The continuing professional development of teachers. London, UK: GTC(E). Search in Google Scholar

Goepal, J. (2012). Upholding public trust: an examination of teacher professionalism and the use of Teachers’ Standards in England. Teacher Development, 16(4), 489–50510.1080/13664530.2012.729784 Search in Google Scholar

Grødeland, A. (2010). “They have achieved a lot because we have paid them to do a lot”: NGOs and the international community in the West Balkans. Perceptions of each other. Global Society, 24(2), 173–201. Search in Google Scholar

Gün, G. (2014). Making sense of experienced teachers’ interactive decisions: implications for expertise in teaching. International Journal of Instruction, 7(1), 75–90. Search in Google Scholar

Hord, S., & Sommers, W. (2008). Leading professional learning communities. California, USA: Corwin Press. Search in Google Scholar

Hui, A., & Stickley, T. (2007). Mental health policy and mental health service user perspectives on involvement: a discourse analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 59(4), 416–426.10.1111/j.1365-2648.2007.04341.x Search in Google Scholar

Huang, R., Su, H., & Xu, S. (2014). Developing teachers’ and teaching researchers’ professional competence in mathematics through Chinese lesson study. ZDM Mathematics Education, 46(2), 239–251.10.1007/s11858-013-0557-8 Search in Google Scholar

Hudson, J., Niemi, B., Harford, J., Hurdson, N., & Hannele, H., (2012). Quality Assurance and Teacher Education: International Challenges and Expectations. Peter Lang. UK. Search in Google Scholar

Joshevska, M., & Kirandziska, S. (2017). The rise and rise of teacher leadership in Macedonia. In D. Frost (Ed.), Empowering teachers as agents of change: a non-positional approach to teacher leadership. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Search in Google Scholar

Kowalczuk-Waledziak, M., & Underwood, J. (2020). Teachers’ experiences of working together across national boundaries: from the “wow” effect to making a difference to students and schools. Under review. Search in Google Scholar

Kuper, A., & D’Eon, M. (2011). Rethinking the basis of medical knowledge. Medical Education, 45(1), 36–43.10.1111/j.1365-2923.2010.03791.x Search in Google Scholar

Lupton, M. (2013). Reclaiming the art of teaching. Teaching in Higher Education, 18(2), 156–166.10.1080/13562517.2012.694098 Search in Google Scholar

Manzon, M. (2014). Comparing places. In M. Bray, B. Adamson & M. Mason (Eds.), Comparative education research approaches and methods (2nd ed.) (pp 97–137). Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong Press. Search in Google Scholar

Masemann, V., & Epstein, E. (2008). The world council from 1970-1979. In V. Masemann, M. Bray & M. Mazon (Eds.), Common interests; uncommon goals. Histories of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies and its members (pp. 13–20). Hong Kong: Springer. Search in Google Scholar

McIntyre, D. (2005). Bridging the gap between research and practice. Cambridge Journal of Education, 35(3), 357–382.10.1080/03057640500319065 Search in Google Scholar

McNiff, J. (2010). Action research for professional development. York, UK: September Books. Search in Google Scholar

Menter, I. (2009). Teachers for the future: what we have got and what do we need? In S. Gewirtz, P. Mahony, I. Hextall & A. Cribb (Eds.), Changing teacher professionalism: international challenges trends and ways forward (pp. 217–228). Abingdon, UK: Routledge. Search in Google Scholar

National Union of Teachers (NUT). (2015). Teachers’ Standards England 2012 protecting Teachers, preventing misuse. London, UK: NUT. Search in Google Scholar

Nordtvelt, B. (2010). Schools as agencies of protection in Namibia and Swaziland: can they prevent dropout and child labour in the context of HIV/AIDS and poverty? Comparative Education Review, 54(2), 223–242.10.1086/651261 Search in Google Scholar

Nyman, T. (2014). The newly qualified teacher in the working community. Teacher Development, 18(4) 466–481.10.1080/13664530.2014.947436 Search in Google Scholar

Oancea, A. (2014). Teachers’ professional knowledge and state-funded teacher education: a (hi)story of critiques and silences. Oxford Review of Education, 40(4), 497–519.10.1080/03054985.2014.939413 Search in Google Scholar

Oleson, A., & Hora, M. (2014). Teaching the way they were taught? Revisiting the sources of teaching knowledge and the role of prior experience in shaping faculty teaching practices. Higher Education, 68(1), 29–45.10.1007/s10734-013-9678-9 Search in Google Scholar

Osei, G. (2010). The implementation and impact of curriculum decentralization in Ghana’s junior high schools. Comparative Education Review, 54(2), 271–294.10.1086/651705 Search in Google Scholar

Oyewole, A. (2016, March). An exploratory study of instructional practice in three Nigerian secondary schools, given student-centred recommendations in curriculum reform. Proceedings of the 2016 STORIES Conference. The STORIES Education Research Conference 2016. The University of Oxford. Search in Google Scholar

Parker-Katz, M., & Bay, M. (2008). Conceptualizing mentor knowledge: Learning from the insiders. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24(5), 1259–1269.10.1016/j.tate.2007.05.006 Search in Google Scholar

Rappleye, J. (2012). Educational Policy Transfer in an Era of Globalization. Berlin, Germany: Peter Lang. Search in Google Scholar

Santoro, N. (2014). If I’m going to teach about the world, I need to know the world: developing Australian pre-service teachers’ intercultural competence. Race, Ethnicity and Education, 17(3), 429–444.10.1080/13613324.2013.832938 Search in Google Scholar

Shimahara, N.K. (1998). The Japanese model of professional development: teaching as craft. Teaching and Teacher Education, 14(5), 451–62.10.1016/S0742-051X(97)00055-3 Search in Google Scholar

Shulman, L. (2013). Those Who Understand: Knowledge Growth in Teaching. Journal of Education, 193(3), 1–11.10.1177/002205741319300302 Search in Google Scholar

Sikoyo, L. (2010). Contextual challenges of implementing learner-centred pedagogy: the case of the problem solving approach in Uganda. Cambridge Journal of Education, 40(3), 247–293.10.1080/0305764X.2010.509315 Search in Google Scholar

Smith, H.J. (2013). A critique of the teaching standards in England (1984–2012): discourses of equality and maintaining the status quo. Journal of Education Policy, 28(4), 427–448.10.1080/02680939.2012.742931 Search in Google Scholar

Steiner-Khamsi, G. (2016). Standards are good (for) business: standardised comparison and the private sector in education. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 14(2), 161–182.10.1080/14767724.2015.1014883 Search in Google Scholar

Stevenson, H. (2014). New Unionism? Teacher Unions, Social Partnership and School Governance in England and Wales. Local Government Studies, 40(6), 954–971.10.1080/03003930.2012.726142 Search in Google Scholar

Stickney, J. (2012). Judging Teachers: Foucault, governance and agency during education reforms. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 44(6), 649–662.10.1111/j.1469-5812.2011.00752.x Search in Google Scholar

Sutherland, M., Watson, K., & Crossley, M. (2008). The British Association for International Comparative Education. In V. Masemann, M. Bray & M. Manzon (Eds.), Common interests; uncommon goals. Histories of the World Council of Comparative Education societies and its members (pp. 155–169). Hong Kong: Springer. Search in Google Scholar

Taber, K. (2009). Learning from experience and teaching by example: reflecting upon personal learning experiences to inform teaching practice. Journal of Cambridge Studies, 30(2), 82–91. Search in Google Scholar

Tan, C., & Chua, C. (2015). Education policy borrowing in China: has the west wind overpowered the east wind? Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 45(5), 686–704.10.1080/03057925.2013.871397 Search in Google Scholar

Underwood, J., & Joshevska, M. (2019). A proposed typology of knowledge sharing within communities of teachers: a comparative case study focusing on England and Macedonia. IAFOR Journal of Education, 7(1).10.22492/ije.7.1.07 Search in Google Scholar

Underwood, J., & Kowalczuk-Walędziak, M. (2018). Professional communities among teachers: a summary of a conceptual framework. Polish Journal of Education Studies, 71(1).10.2478/poljes-2018-0011 Search in Google Scholar

Van Velzen, J.H. (2012). Teaching metacognitive knowledge and developing expertise. Teachers and Teaching, 18(3), 365–380.10.1080/13540602.2012.629843 Search in Google Scholar

Watt, H., Richardson, P., Klusmann, U., Kunter, M., Beyer, B., Trautwein, U., & Baumert, J. (2012). Motivations for choosing teaching as a career: an international comparison using the FIT-Choice scale. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28(6), 791–805.10.1016/j.tate.2012.03.003 Search in Google Scholar

Welch, A. (2013). Technocracy, uncertainty and ethics: comparative education in an era of postmodernity and globalisation. In R. Arnove, C.A. Torres & S.Franz (Eds), Comparative education: the dialectic of the global and the local (4th ed.) (pp. 27–25). London, UK: Rowman & Littlefield. Search in Google Scholar

Westrick, B. (2013). Transforming early literacy instruction: an effectiveness study of the local literacy provider training program in Macedonia. European Education, 43(4), 62–87.10.2753/EUE1056-4934430404 Search in Google Scholar

Zangori, L., & Forbes, C. (2013). Preservice alementary teachers and explanation construction: knowledge for practice and knowledge in practice. Science Education, 97(2), 310–330.10.1002/sce.21052 Search in Google Scholar

Zembylas, M. (2018). Professional standards for teachers and school leaders. Journal of Professional Capital and Community, 3(3),142–156.10.1108/JPCC-12-2017-0029 Search in Google Scholar

Recommended articles from Trend MD

Plan your remote conference with Sciendo