This paper examines the initial steps of an internationally funded project focused on enhancing teachers’ conceptual and pedagogical knowledge of literacy development in the Western Cape of South Africa. We asked what are the tensions and breakthroughs when engaged in international
teacher professional development? Four lines of inquiry support this work: internationalization and production of knowledge, professional development structures, communities of practice, and ethic of care. Resulting themes included initial barriers, localized professional development, and
enhancing teacher capacity for change. To explain the themes, we identified four critical incidents. This study has potential to inform the international community of new directions for teacher learning.
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