Teacher-led Learning Circles Project: Research Framework

published 26 October 2022 updated 22 June 2023

The purpose of this report, prepared by international researchers Danielle LaPointe-McEwan, Carol Campbell and Christopher DeLuca, is to describe the Teacher-led Learning Circles project’s context and associated research framework.

The Teacher-led Learning Circles project is led by Education International with funding from the Jacobs Foundation.

The overarching goal of the project is to identify, codify, and disseminate effective formative assessment practices to support students’ learning. This goal is especially important and timely to help teachers respond to the unprecedented global challenges they are facing in their classrooms as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This project will be implemented over three years in seven countries: Brazil, Columbia, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Malaysia, South Korea, and Switzerland. The project involves participation in a Teacher-led Learning Circles process to support teachers’ professional development, teacher leadership, and an inquiry process for teachers to apply, reflect on, and adapt formative assessment practices in their classrooms. Project participants include teachers, local facilitators, local union representatives, national researchers, international facilitators, and international researchers.

In Year 1 of the project, international researchers and international facilitators will work with Education International to create professional learning tools, frameworks, and resources to guide the Teacher-led Learning Circles processes and associated research in the project. The international researchers, in collaboration with national researchers, will develop an overarching research framework. National researchers will develop research plans for their own country and compile a Country Profile.

In Year 2, the project will support three Learning Circles in each country, providing professional development and promoting teacher leadership among groups of teachers to support their understanding and use of formative assessment practices.

In Year 3 of the project, national and international researchers will analyze and codify project data collected during Years 1 and 2, then report on key findings, both nationally and internationally.