On constructs and the construction of teachers’ professional knowledge in a post-Soviet context

Natallia Yakavets, David Bridges, Duishon Shamatov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper examines the understandings (‘constructs’) of teachers’ professional knowledge and its sources that underpin current practice in initial teacher education in Kazakhstan and in particular the way in which pedagogika contributes to these. Drawing on empirical data collected over four years, the paper illustrates the ways in which professional knowledge and professional preparation of teachers in pre-service institutions are constructed within the Kazakh and Soviet pedagogical traditions, albeit with some reference to international scholars. Teachers’ professional knowledge is formed from pedagogic theory mediated by academic staff in what is seen by many from outside and inside the country who are engaged in educational ‘reform’ in Kazakhstan as a largely didactic style with little or no critical engagement or exploration of the implications for practice. This stands in contrast with two recent professional development programmes: the Collaborative Action Research and Center of Excellence, which are focused on interactive learning and teaching, reflective practice, classroom action research, and teachers’ collaboration as sources for teachers’ professional knowledge. This paper highlights this contrast and begins to explore what happens when these two different approaches to the construction of teachers’ professional knowledge encounter each other.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)594-615
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Education for Teaching
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 20 2017


  • Kazakhstan
  • Teacher professional knowledge
  • pedagogika, practicum, theory–practice gap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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