Gansu Survey of Children and Families Papers

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version



Pre-print version. Article later appeared in:

Doing More With Less: Teacher Professional Learning Communities in Resource-Constrained Primary Schools in Rural China. Tanja C. Sargent, Emily Hannum. Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 60, No. 3, 258-276 (2009)

The final version of this article can be found at:
DOI: 10.1177/0022487109337279


Teacher professional learning communities provide environments in which teachers engage in regular research and collaboration. They have been found effective as a means for connecting professional learning to the day-to-day realities faced by teachers in the classroom. In this article, the authors draw on survey data collected in primary schools serving 71 villages in rural Gansu Province as well as transcripts from in-depth interviews with 30 teachers. Findings indicate that professional learning communities penetrate to some of China’s most resource-constrained schools but that their nature and development are shaped by institutional supports, principal leadership, and teachers’ own initiative.


Teacher professional learning communities, teacher research, education policy, rural schools, poverty, in-service training, China



Date Posted: 20 October 2009

This document has been peer reviewed.