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Situated teacher learning
Cultural historical activity theory
Knowledgeable others
Issue Date: 
Lee, S.-S., Seow, P., & Jang, H. (2020). Teacher learning from a socio-cultural lens: A case of Singapore. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 40(4), 533-551.
Teacher learning is key for quality teaching and learning. Schools leverage situated teacher learning to develop teachers’ capacities. However, situated teacher learning is ambiguous. How teachers learn is shaped by socio-cultural factors. This paper elaborates upon a case study of situated teacher learning in Singapore in which teachers learn in a community to design innovations and enact student-centred practices. Cultural Historical Activity Theory is used as a lens to unpack situated teacher learning and its socio-cultural dimensions at macro and micro levels. Macro level findings show the collective socio-cultural elements in the entire situated teacher learning process involving real issues and communities. Micro level findings discuss each event within the situated teacher learning process, understand the contradictions teachers faced, decisions they made, and the individual and social interactions that led to teachers’ expansive understandings of student-centred practices for their contexts. Findings illustrate how situated teacher learning engages teachers in reflective inquiry and a generative process of unpacking what student-centred practices mean for their contexts. Findings show that situated teacher learning is a collective endeavour. It requires the teacher community to experience collective inquiry, navigate the demands of school and policy contexts, and create socio-cultural supports to address challenges.
This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in Asia Pacific Journal of Education. The published version is available online at
0218-8791 (print)
1742-6855 (online)
Other Identifiers: 
Grant ID: 
Qualcomm - Wireless Reach Round III (Grant no.: EFOER2015-01QUALCOMM)
Funding Agency: 
Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
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