Enhancing part-time in-service teacher training programmes to facilitate rural teacher development in China
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Despite the frequent criticisms directed toward them, in-service teacher training (INSET) programmes remain one of the most commonly used approaches for enhancing teachers’ professional development. This article reports on a study that examined the effects of a part-time masters of education INSET programme based in Central China. The main source of data was reflective papers written by 38 teacher participants; classroom observations and informal interviews also helped reveal the teachers’ perspectives on the programme. Whilst the programme was very popular, and had a variety of positive impacts on the teachers’ professional development, the programme paradigm involved several drawbacks. The results suggest that part-time INSET programmes for rural teachers should be supplemented by various other forms of teacher development activities to meet the dual goals of developing such programmes and providing professional development for teachers.