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Teachers as researchers and the development of teacher professionalism Dr Ken Chow.

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1 Teachers as researchers and the development of teacher professionalism Dr Ken Chow

2 Teacher as Researcher in HK School (1st stage findings) Four major areas were revealed as a result from the interview on this school- university partnership project, and on how the project might have impacted the teacher professionalism? 1.Individual aspect 2.Teaching strategy 3.Curriculum design 4.School culture

3 Individual aspect Teachers have gained more knowledge and skills to implement IPjBL from the workshops held by university experts and the experience sharing among colleagues. –I–I have curiosity and enjoyed learning new teaching method, IPjBL, and gradually gained better understanding through the implementation. I feel a sense of satisfaction from guiding students to do inquiry-based project. (a Chinese Teacher)

4 Sharing & Discussion with School Leadership and Frontline Teachers 1.What is your overall impression about the Project (from different perspectives, such as leadership and implementation levels) 2.What do you perceive as effective ways to deal with ongoing demands in curriculum changes/development?

5 Sharing & Discussion with School Leadership and Frontline Teachers 3.Could you tell us something about your teacher professionalism since the participation of the project? 4.What do you expect from the partnership model between University and School?

6 Major Areas retrieved from (2nd Focus Group Interviews) Advantages Challenges Suggestions Professional development Centre for Information Technology in Education

7 Advantages Learning together with the students – Ms Law from KF: For teachers, they might also need to take time in learning Google Sites while they are teaching it to students. For example, last time my students asked me how to change the order of pages, and I told them I will answer them later. Then I tried to drag and drop the pages and play around and found that I could do it! Sometimes we will encounter many unexpected problems that we need to solve. Honestly, I cannot teach them. We can only learn together.

8 Advantages Active learning by students – Ms Law from KF: This new model of learning is interesting to students. They are willing to try, and they will ask their teachers actively if they encounter any difficulties.

9 Advantages The learning experience is fun – Mr. Hui from KF: The students feel fun under this new teaching approach. This gives students opportunities for collaboration and learning through playing. When they go to a classmate's home to do their group project, they may spend half of the time to play and half of the time to work, but at least they can learn through playing. – Ms Kwok from KF: Students interests in learning are increased after using Google Sites in the second term, compared to the first term when they use paper and pen only. They tried to search for pictures and some groups even tried to insert Youtube videos. The learning process is much more fruitful because it is more systematic and there is more information available for the students.

10 Advantages More systematic in teaching – English teacher C from WSK: We use have adopted a group approach for students to write articles since P.4 and. This the topic this time is Interesting Places. In the past year they are based on group form as well. May be they start group approach since P.4, their Comparing with the work of last year, the writings of students this year are become more systematic, such as from the way to gathering information, making brochures to consolidate the structure of articles and to the means to mature way to convey messages in their articles.

11 Advantages The new teaching method is effective Mr. A from WSK: I have taught GS for two years as well and I had joined this program in those two years as welling both years. I think the most significant results effect of the collaboration is significantly reflected in the subject of General Studies. It is because I saw the finished product last year and this year, will think that the students are able to absorb knowledge. When I try to compare the final products of students done in last year with those in this year, I find that students become more knowledgeable. I teach both good and poor classes. I used to teach students from both elite classes and less talented classes. So I could realize that this program is more beneficial to those students with higher learning ability as it could grant them high level of autonomy and hence strengthen their leadership skills. Students this year that I teach have a better ability. The program allows them to learn a lot and inspire their autonomy. At the beginning I once worried I may worry at first but the results are much better than expected, which is also an eye- opening experience to teachers make teachers be surprised. It is because from the Based on traditional teaching approach view, sometimes the teachers may limited the abilities of students. For weaker students, they may need require a lot of support. While those students could not even acquire Some kinds of basic skills, are not reached when not to mention the completion of the whole project. They found difficulties in complete the project work. So, Teachers at the same time are doing a hard job may feel hard too because of the large differences in students abilities. Therefore it is essential to need to consider reflect on how to cope with the above mentioned situation in the future remedy the big differences of students ability in the future. We have to prepare a lot last year and most of the things are ready this year so it is better. Thus we cannot understand the ability of students clearly. As most of the teaching materials have been prepared last year, what we, teachers, need to do this year become less and thus we have much time to understand the abilities and standards of different students. Although We teach them at an very earlier stage this year,. it does not make many differences regarding to the learning effects on students. Students having higher learning abilities Students have the different results because of different abilities. Students with good ability can master the skills and knowledge; but for those who have lower low learning abilities students can only acquire some basic communication skills learn to communicate with people and some basic skills. But all in all, They all benefited from the QEF project.

12 Advantages The ability to apply knowledge to other situations Mr. A from KF: I managed to coordinate many aspects like the teaching schedule. Actually the arrangement this year is better as we learnt a lesson from the trial last year. For example, we realized that the usage of computer room was so frequent so I rearrange the class schedule so that two classes of P.4 students can go to computer room at the same time slot. Moreover, we are fortunate to have internal technical staff and teaching assistants to help students create accounts of Google site. I could really see the differences from students regarding to what they learn from the project. When comparing with other schools, we start everything earlier. I really find the project makes difference to students regarding to what they have learnt and I am willing to share our experience with other schools. Around twenty P.5 students are exchanging went on exchange to Shanghai for a learning trip, which is in charge of Mr. Law and I. We saw someone students have tried to use Google Site as for a communication tool among between students and used it as the tools during our the trip to Shanghai. We also find that the students are able to transmitted send the information they found to other students via the Intranet, which sets good example of knowledge transfer among students themselves, especially the knowledge in IT. Students no longer simply play online games when using the Internet, but extended in learning new things. For Thanks to this QEF project, they not only have more exposure to contact with IT, but and also learn the proper use of IT, which is of utmost importance that IT does not only mean computer games to students.

13 Advantages Collaboration among teachers within the school Ms. A from SH: First, I think this PBLPPL project provides a platform for teacher librarian s to communicate and collaborate with other subjects teachers. Teacher librarian can know more about the contents of other subjects, but not only limited to library course.

14 Advantages Collaboration among teachers within the school Chinese teacher A from SH: I think the project matches with our the course development direction. We often mention inter-subjects orand corporation between subjects, which means we not only teach students of different subjects in separate class, but also have tocould help students to become capable of integratingeour their knowledge from all the subjects andallow students to applying the acquired knowledge they have acquired.

15 Advantages Collaboration among teachers within the school Chinese teacher B from SH: This is my first year time joining the project. At the beginning I did not dont really know what is it was about, but I only remember the teaching guide. I have tried to seek help from asked Ms C as she was more experienced and she suggested me to use the teaching guide as reference. what I need to do and she asked me to follow the information. Some have clearer instructions and there are some colleagues teaching me how to work on it. I find the teaching guide useful as it provides me with clear information and instruction on how to implement the project. When I am not sure what I have to do, I would also take my initiative to ask my helpful colleagues and they kindly give me some instruction as they took part in this project last year. It is fortunate to have support from my colleagues and the teaching guides; otherwise, I would have been helpless.

16 Advantages Knowledge sharing among teachers from the participating schools Ms. D from SH: I was impressed by the meeting time provided by the University of Hong Kong for the chance provided for the Librarian teacher librarians to meet, discuss and share. Every time I meet All the Library teachers the teacher librarians from the other three participating schools, we would talk about our discuss their teaching approach skills and would think about if there are suitable the resources that could share with each others. For instance, We could share the worksheets together. This experience not only encourages cooperation and idea exchange among institutes, but also I have boarded broadens my horizons when I discovered that institutions would exchange ideas and there is cooperation between them. When teaching students to search for information online, some schools may teach by the key word searching method while some others would be by logic searching strategy. Some schools have taught key word searching, while some schools would teach them logic searching. We could learn from each schools and this could help us in the future. Learning from the other schools and understanding their teaching approaches, I find it is useful to my own teaching. And The most practical advantage of this program is one would be the sharing of resources which. It really saves me a lot of time in preparing worksheets. is always difficult if I have to start from zero. Moreover, The exchange of ideas has also brought me lots of insight into my teaching,. ranging from the approaches to teach Library lessons to The use of textbooks and how to search books in public libraries are also a useful communication. We will not see seldom meet each other face-to-face very often, but we could often communicate through .

17 Advantages Knowledge sharing among teachers from the participating schools – IT teacher from SH : There are Sometimes I also have gatherings with other IT teachers from different schools and we would do sharing about in the our difficulties we encountered in teaching. We would also discuss how to improve and cope with the challenges in teaching. It is important to have collaboration with other teachers as. Points the instructions given by from the University may not be enough. – Ms C from SH: Throughout the whole project, I really gain a lot in term of the professional development of teachers. I think that the greatest benefit is for myself. There are many new teachers joining the project this year and we they knowhow nothing about it at first. This let makes me ponder over rethink my role identity as a coordinator and the inefficiency of my teaching. Admittedly I sometimes made mistakes and there is room for improvement in internal communication and cooperation among teachers. It is good for our professional development. The gatherings organized by HKU offer me a great opportunity to learn from other teachers and schools on many issues like the workshops and administration. linked to different workshop. While in administrative way, we have listen to. The sharing with other schools, regardless of districts and backgrounds, more organizations and community school, acts as a reference to my own teaching too. we discovered that there are lots of things could be established and help with my teaching. And I really find I have benefited a lot from them.

18 Advantages Knowledge sharing among teachers from the participating schools – Ms C from SH: It is quite different in going to to attend the gatherings held at HKU when compared with the seminars and workshops in the EDB training centre. As we didnt don't know each other in the beginning, and we might did not feel certain to speak up. be implicit when talking. However, after a period of time, we get to know each other more and would chat with others while waiting for bus after meetings. there is more communication when we wait for the bus and etc. There are more topics developed. – Mr. B from WSK: I think it is a very good opportunity to share with other schools to learn about their the characteristics of each school, as the preparation done by my colleagues would prepare for lessons will probably focus only on our own from students perspectives. However doing, if the collaboration with other schools would remind us some key points that may be missing in our ongoing strategies or future strategy planning, which when there may be some ongoing strategies or in the process of preparing forgotten, can be used as gives us a reference.

19 Advantages Collaboration between university and schools – IT teacher from SH : In the project this This year, The University of Hong Kong has given us more support has helped a lot, with like the handbook on Google Sites and pre-made worksheets provided. We could let distribute the materials to students to use it during class. – Chinese teacher C from SH: The teaching guide is quite useful as we could follow it the instructions when we were not sure do not know how to do it.

20 Challenges Class schedule and computer arrangement Ms A from KF: As there are restrictions on the project, we accordingly make some arrangements. Firstly, There is are only one computer class each week, which only lasts for 35 minutes. It also takes times like 5 minutes to for students to walk from the classroom to the computer room. In fact, this program is only part of the problems things that teachers needs to deal with because our school itself is having many other on-going programs for other subjects like English and Chinese. For example, programs such as English, Chinese language has several plans. Moreover, the school has limited space and normally speaking all students should be sharing the have equal chance of access to computer room evenly. However, as we wish to give students more time to finish their work, P.5primary five students now have already taken up a lot of time in computer room, as we want to give more time for the students in planning. But this re-arrangement cannot solve the whole problem due to the We have to make such an arrangement due to the limitations of the students. Firstly, they not all students may not have chance to use the have a computer at home. Secondly, it is not possible for students cannot complete all the complete all operations assignment within during class. Thirdly, each student's ability to adapt to different part of the learning is different the difference in students learning abilities raises another question for teachers. As mentioned by other teachers before, students with high ability can acquire the knowledge quickly while those with lower ability may not even understand what the teacher was talking about. Fourth Last but not least, the some students could not adapt to mode of online learning. For example, they may not have the experience of creating an online account and may also forget their own address. So students may find difficult to use the online platform. But after all, this new mode of study is fun to students.

21 Challenges Barriers from parents – Ms A from KF: Support from family is important. But most parents. The family does not let the children to work on other work except would only allow their children to do work a day( ) but no other things. Why? It is because some parents are having limited knowledge. They only know doing, "Work a Day" ( ) is useful beneficial, but do not are not sure know whether other work is useful beneficial or not. This is a problem depending on time long-standing relationship. Parents know that there are such things on the Internet, and they could see the Work a Day on the school website. So it is not a good way for school to communicate with parents merely through notice. Rather Therefore the school website can serve as a better channel to let the importance of this kind of learning be it is important for this part of the learning to be deep-rooted in their parents minds. Otherwise, parents would think that children are just spending time on internet for having fun in the extra time except doing Work a Day and they would. They often think that children are playing on the internet and they would by all means to suspend stop their children using the computers. The second problem is that most parents they do not have sufficient the computer knowledge to aid and support their children. They do not know how to use Google Site;. Even the teachers have to learn using it. Moreover some families may lack he hardware devices of the computers and the access of Internet may not be enough in supporting the Site, so it is necessary for the school to arrange some a time for students to finish their work by computer after school. But here comes another question – students may have tutorial classes outside school. However, Parents will choose to bring children to tutorial classes. We have to let the parents know the importance of this is part of their learning, which is also a new learning experience for teacher to convey the message to parents.

22 Challenges Barriers from parents Ms A from WSK: They Parents often do not pay attention to copyright that. they just They normally downloaded things from Yahoo or Google Image, they just and used them whenever they like downloaded what they like. Sometimes the students may say it was their even their fathers asked told them not to care about the copyright. Thus, I taught them to look for some have at the copyright information of the photo the web. This is very important.

23 Suggestions Using intranet to reduce the time in creating accounts – Ms. A from KF: If we want need to further develop this program, you can think about using e-class in the intranet within the of school can also provide students with platform to do PBL. In addition, instead of using Google Site, it will be better if they students could have use their own an account of school intranet used they used when they were small. This and discuss things in the intranet since they are in lower form. On one hand, it could saves a lot of time from in opening creating an new g-mail account for each student. On the other hand, instead of a one-time project, the intranet could act as a platform for students to upload and discuss the information they found so as to develop a habit to share knowledge with other students. It is a long- term habit for them to work well with that system.

24 Professional development Class schedule arrangement – Mr. A from KF: I managed to coordinate many aspects like the teaching schedule. Actually the arrangement this year is better as we learnt a lesson from the trial last year. For example, we realized that the usage of computer room was quite frequent. Then, I rearranged the class schedule so that two classes of P.4 students can go to computer room at the same time slot when there is no other class occupying it.

25 Professional development Curriculum design – Mr. A from KF: Although it is quite complicated to create open a Google Sites account, I have am planning Ned to include using Google Sites as into the curriculum of IT lessons a topic in IT in the coming year because actually using Google Sites is quite similar to creating making a website. But further details need to be discussed with the panel of IT. – IT teacher A from WSK : This program brings new elements to students. In the past, students usually did project work with a book or a PowerPoint. But T in this project, brought new elements to enable students to tried to y Google Sites, a web- form presentation, to do their reports. The most important thing is with new elements, will surely help the development in the coming years. Although this project Plans would be terminated at a certain stage come to an end,. However, is it possible to is doing project work with Google Sites able sustainable development? This brings brought some directions to Computer teachers. Shall we continue to cooperate with the General Studies and keep continue to doing project by with Google Sites in the coming year? This approach gives us a brand new concept to try it out.

26 Professional development Curriculum design Mr. A from WSK: It is really a valuable experience for me to carry out collaborative teaching and IPBL in three subjects and Library lessons. At first, many of my colleagues questioned if it works. In fact It is because everyone every one of us is from different backgrounds and. Some of my colleagues have done before different kinds of project learning. Some of us may come from IED while or some are from our afternoon. school. As We all have different successful experience, so we may question whether this approach will be lead to better results than before, or the previous things are already were good enough. Hence, we carefully will observed everything at the beginning. But no matter how, This program undoubtedly provides us with clear teaching forms approach and solid timetable for our reference. And it also provides gives us a chance to think on many issues, for example, like how the division of labor, how the library can cooperates with the other subjects teachers accommodate, and the what to do future planning in two years. I believe it is beneficial for the future., just as some teachers mentioned said about the sustainability of the development of this project that planning of sustainable development. and we are so certain that There will be three programs in the future for certain adopting this method to do PBL. Before carrying out this project in real, our colleagues thought that there was no need to explain to them what and how to do. But it was not true. Thanks to the advice and direction given by HKU, our colleagues and I could accumulate experience This experience provides us a useful way of students project learning. HKU give us a direction and my colleagues have this experience. Therefore, we are so very grateful to HKU for the chance they gave us a chance to have cooperation.

27 Professional development Using new sources of data in teaching – Ms B from KF: After joining this project, there are some changes in my teaching style. In the past, I often used to rely on textbooks when I taught Chinese. Yet I But now I would now pantry to use more internet resources in my teaching, for example, such as doing more newspaper clipping from Google. Take the earthquake in Japan as an example. We, another teacher who also teaches P.4 students and me, have just asked the students to do some reflections on the tragedy after reading on the earthquake the pieces of news that we prepared for them. and ask them to read the news. The next step would be asking them to learning how to read that piece of news, and learn how to write. Next, we would try to ask the students the news about the earthquake incident by themselves. After they could master the skills in reading, searching, and writing feelings, I would teach them skills on summary writing, which I could also is also an essential skill to do the PBL of corporate with the General Studies. teacher. It shows how I cooperate with the GS teacher. So I think that this project could make me more flexible and capable in dealing with the instant needs of students. This could help me to arrange a class that meet students ability.

28 Professional development Understanding more about students ability – Chinese teacher D from WSK: Actually it is possible to tackle the problems we had encountered. In fact, there are chances. When we know more about students' learning difficulties in learning,. We could use adopt appropriate ways to some of the ways to improve or enhance strengthen their abilities capabilities. This would be is beneficial to both teachers and students. For example, just talk about if we just teach student Chinese in a lesson Chinese learning, and we would never know do not know they have many what difficulties the students have beyond the subject knowledge. This time, But for this project, as students have to use many ways methods and skills to complete their project work,. We can understand more about the students learning difficulties from different perspectives. that. Therefore We can formulate develop a much clearer more teaching approach methods to enhance their students capabilities.

29 Major Areas retrieved from (2nd Focus Group Interviews) Advantages – Active learning by students – Learning together with the students – More systematic in teaching – The new teaching method is effective – The ability to apply knowledge to other situations – Collaboration among teachers within the school – Knowledge sharing among teachers from the participating schools – Collaboration between university and schools Centre for Information Technology in Education

30 Major Areas retrieved from (2nd Focus Group Interviews) Challenges – Class schedule and computer arrangement – Barriers from parents Suggestions – Using intranet to reduce the time in creating accounts – Using new sources of data in teaching Centre for Information Technology in Education

31 Major Areas retrieved from (2nd Focus Group Interviews) Professional development – Class schedule arrangement – Curriculum design – Understanding more about students ability Centre for Information Technology in Education

32 Teacher Leadership A journal by teachers for teachers

33 In a policy environment in which the authentic voice of teachers is rarely heard, this journal is an important, challenging and timely contribution, enabling teachers to speak for themselves. (John MacBeath, 2006)

34 Teacher Leadership A journal by teachers for teachers

35 Back to Step Zero Capturing professional (classroom) stories Imagine all those above-mentioned experiences had not been retrieved from this Project, what would it be our status? How individual teachers efforts could be recognized (in professional way academically)? How precious classroom experiences can be collected and restructured for future effective use? How good practice could be repeated/refined and managed as important school assets?

36 Teacher-Researcher (What for? What next?) Teacher at different stages of his/her professional development is catered Teachers different perspectives at work are respected, reviewed and recognized in an objective analytical way Teachers personal teaching experiences/thoughts are crystallized into personal asset owned by himeself/herself, and hopefully, are synergized into collective asset owned by school as a learning community

37 Review within school Reflect across school Refine beyond school current practice present project possible future Teacher-Researcher (What for? What next?)

38 Teacher-Researcher in HK School (Concluding Remarks)

39 Sharing & Discussion with School Leadership and Frontline Teachers (possible ways of U-Sch partnership) 1. On-site (on-call) consultation, relevant (direct) to school needs or teacher interests, on, for example: subject knowledge enhancement; introducing new/up-to-date theory/development of a particular discipline; or guidance on action (classroom-based) research 2. Knowledge Management: support on building up school-based knowledge (an asset to school) as a result from reflecting or researching on everyday teaching practice, with the aid by relevant techniques/technology

40 Teacher-Researcher in HK School (Concluding Remarks) In face of the challenges of the ongoing education reforms, it is speculative that developing the role of teacher-researchers may be a potential way to enhance teachers professionalism, capacity and competency to sustain teachers career.

41 Thank you! & Have a great summer vacation!

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