What is it about?

Growing concerns about the quality of early childhood education and care (ECEC) and the aspiration for improved child outcomes have highlighted the need for enhancing teacher professional development to raise standards. However, this focus has been predominantly on regions with wellestablished educational systems. There is a notable scarcity of randomized controlled trials of professional development programmes in China. In response to this, our study aimed to bridge this gap by adapting the successful Leadership for Learning (LfL) professional development programme used in the Fostering Effective Early Learning (FEEL) study (Siraj et al. 2023), originally developed in Australia, to fit the educational and cultural landscape of China. The research evaluated the effectiveness of this adapted model in enhancing teaching quality and influencing children’s outcomes in Chinese kindergartens, thereby addressing a crucial need for tailored and impactful professional development in diverse educational settings.

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Why is it important?

The outcomes of this research hold substantial implications for both educational practice and future research. The findings advocate for policymakers to adopt an evidence-based approach in national professional development programmes, ensuring more efficient allocation of resources. Secondly, while professional development has been established as a potent means to enhance classroom quality and child outcomes, most successful programmes have been developed in regions with sophisticated education systems. This study’s cross-cultural and cross-national programme underscores the potential of adapting effective professional development models to diverse contexts. Such adaptations can significantly contribute to bolstering education quality and promoting equality across various educational environments.


Writing this article was a great pleasure. During the research process, I realized that research can have real impacts and change practices, which made me incredibly proud. I hope our experience in adapting professional development programs can encourage more researchers to offer evidence-based training for teachers, thereby enhancing the lives of our children and society.

Runke Huang
University of Oxford

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Promoting effective teaching and learning through a professional development program: A randomized controlled trial., Journal of Educational Psychology, March 2024, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/edu0000851.
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