Research

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Professional Identity for Khmer Teachers (PIKT) Research Project

The underpinning premise for this project is that a significant factor contributing to the problem of low achievement rates in early grade literacy and numeracy in Cambodian schools relates to the teacher’s conception of their role and their sense of professional identity[1].

PIKT is an international collaborative research project conducted over two years by four partners. The National College of Ireland, Ministry of Education, Youth & Sport, Phnom Penh Teacher Education College and SeeBeyondBorders are together aiming to address the question of teacher effectiveness in the context of early grade school education in Cambodia. This study is investigating how teachers in Cambodia — specifically in Battambang province — can be enabled to improve their teaching practice and engage in a path of professional development. It focuses on the tasks and challenges of building teacher professional identity, how teachers see themselves and how this may change over time.

At each stage analysis of data informs the learning design for the workshops. The data and the workshops also inform the development of a Framework for Teacher Professional Identity in Cambodia and materials for an associated structured professional learning module. The research will shed international light on what’s happening in Cambodian schools and thus foster further research collaboration between Irish and Cambodian investigators.

This project is funded by the Irish Research Council, under the ‘Better World’ strand of the Collaborative Alliance for Societal Challenges (COALESCE).

[1] Lynn Thomas, “Understanding Teacher Identity: An Overview of Issues in the Literature and Implications for Teacher Education,” Cambridge Journal of Education 39, no. 2 (2009).