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Running towards a Learning Organization? The Policies and Practices on ICTE in Two Schools Tse Wing Cheung, Alex Kowloon Rhenish School 九龍禮賢學校 Paper presented.

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Presentation on theme: "Running towards a Learning Organization? The Policies and Practices on ICTE in Two Schools Tse Wing Cheung, Alex Kowloon Rhenish School 九龍禮賢學校 Paper presented."— Presentation transcript:

1 Running towards a Learning Organization? The Policies and Practices on ICTE in Two Schools Tse Wing Cheung, Alex Kowloon Rhenish School 九龍禮賢學校 Paper presented in IT in Education Symposium July 10, 2004

2 Self introduction Msc. (IT in Education) graduate, HKU Chairman, IT Committee, Kowloon Rhenish School ( 九龍禮賢學校 ) Professional Member/ Member: HKERA, HKAECT, HKPERA, HKACE, AiTLE, CITE Ex-QEF External Reviewer (IT in Education, Round 4) Ex-QEF Project Leader (IT in Education, Round 4)

3 What do you think about the following questions? Do you think that many teachers have tried very hard in implementing Information and Communication Technologies in Education (ICTE)? Are there significant improvements in the quality of teaching and learning afterwards? Do you think that some underlying factors, which fundamentally post as the impediments of implementing ICTE in the schools, have not changed? In this way, how can the policies and practices on ICTE be effective and sustainable?

4 This study reveals that … Isaacson and Bamburg suggest that “ quality won't be found through the same old systems. Educators must challenge traditional mental models and ways of visioning and teaming if they hope to create meaningful change. ” (Isaacson & Bamburg, 1992, p.42) The issues like mental models, shared vision and team learning etc., in fact, are the essential “ disciplines ” of a Learning Organization (LO) This study uses this model of LO to analyze the policies and practices on ICTE in two schools Reflects the necessity of schools to transform them as LO so as to make the education reforms, likes those of ICTE, actually beneficial to the school development

5 About the 2 studied schools (S1 and S2) Many schools in Hong Kong deeply engage in implementing ICTE The 2 studied schools are the good examples E.g. QEF funded ICTE projects and various school-based ICTE initiatives Local primary schools Tried very hard and very best in implementing ICTE Only minimal improvements in the quality of teaching and learning

6 About the 2 studied schools (S1 and S2)

7 The ICTE team in S1 and S2

8 The general background of ICTE implementation in S1 and S2

9 Purposes of this research Case study: does not have significant value of generalization Help to find out the impediments that other schools may encounter in implementing ICTE Prepare for exploring a good model of practice for implementing ICTE for school development

10 Research framework Learning Organization: an in-depth research framework for assessing school development Senge suggests LO in his huge influential book: The fifth discipline, the art and practice of learning organization in 1990 Put the model into the context of school: Schools that learn in 2000 School should develop five “ disciplines ” (capacities) for better school development: personal mastery, mental models, shared vision, team learning and system thinking Act as a framework for assessing school development of 2 studied schools in implementing ICTE

11 Research design Deals with the issues of culture, ethos values and belief etc Difficult to make use of the “ objective instruments ” Uses qualitative methods

12 Research design

13 Findings and discussion: Do the schools run towards a Learning Organization? Adopts LO as guiding principle Compare and evaluate the 2 studied schools ’ policies and practices on ICTE for school development The five disciplines are applied one by one

14 1. Personal Mastery and 2 schools

15 Personal Mastery: School should rank staff development as an extremely high priority Taking staff development for ICTE as example In S1 … Majority of funding spends on buying hardware and software Just encourage teachers to participate in the occasional training arranged by EMB

16 Personal Mastery: School should rank staff development as an extremely high priority Stress on top-down approach Weak in encouraging staff development for implementing ICTE Teachers ’ initiatives are discouraged The members of ICT team nearly design all the lesson plans, adopted in Information Technology Learning Centre (ITLC) The majority of teachers cannot participate or implement ICTE in their own way Outcome: Difficult to build up their personal vision of implementing ICTE

17 Personal Mastery: Teachers should view personal vision as important and engage in pursuing it Staff development for ICTE in S2 is very different Bottom-up approach is widely adopted The ICT team encourages the teaching staff to implement ICTE by “ autonomous ways ” : Providing necessary technical support Informing teachers clearly that the available pool of ICT teaching and learning resources Adequate chamber for the teachers to realise their own teaching philosophies by implementing ICTE in their ways Beneficial for the teaching staff to build up their personal vision of implementing ICTE

18 Personal Mastery: Teachers should develop an awareness of current realities and encompass commitment to tell the truth Taking school culture as example In 2 studied schools … Unfavourable culture, which hinders the building up personal vision: Teaching staff, in some cases, do not commit to tell the truth When some sensitive issues arise, it is rare that the staff will bring up the problem and insist to find the truth Do not want to rock the boat Not accustomed to be the critical friends of the others

19 Personal Mastery: Teachers should develop an awareness of current realities and encompass commitment to tell the truth Aim at attaining the dazzling achievements more than concrete advancement of school … The school-based ICTE training for teachers mainly aims at fulfilling the requirements of EMB and Providing a ground for raising fund of ICTE development The course assessment is not so serious Whether the teachers can really acquire certain level of ICT competency is a question Staff have low motivation to be aware of current realities of school development Outcome: the ICTE implementation may run on a wrong track in the long run as they fail to perceive the real picture of the school development

20 Personal Mastery and 2 schools: Overview 2 schools apparently has certain distance from a LO Can reorient the importance of the staff ’ s growth and learning Critical for the overall success of the schools Significant portion of total budget of ICTE development for staff development can be set aside The staff can learn to be a critical friend of each other and commit to tell the truth All these factors become the very important foundation of a successful, effective and sustainable implementation of ICTE

21 2. Mental Models and 2 schools

22 Taking evaluation on ICTE implementation as example In 2 schools, many teaching and learning initiatives Poor culture to reflect on these initiatives The innovations are usually confined to certain working groups of teachers Too busy for the involved teachers (seed & pilot projects) to share their experiences and reflections with the their colleagues Mental Models: Teachers should challenge the underlying principles, philosophies, assumptions, strategies and definitions of teaching and learning

23 Mental Models: Each school stakeholder should query the existing structures of school and roles of each post Teachers generally view that ICTE does not lead to significant change on teaching and learning style … The adoption of interactive and student- centred learning are still very limited Teachers still dominate the teaching and learning process The curriculum remains highly restricted by the textbooks

24 Mental Models: Collaborative sharing, invention and application of new mental models among the teachers S1: Half-day school Difficult to set aside a regular period of time for the teachers to share their experiences and reflections with the their colleagues

25 Mental Models: Collaborative sharing, invention and application of new mental models among the teachers S2: whole day school Possible to encourage sharing of teaching practices among teaching staff Each Friday afternoon, there is a period of time called Teaching Research (TR) The teachers will be grouped according to the subjects they teach They can share, discuss and reflect on their teaching practices It helps the emergence and application of the new mental models Quite similar to Senge ’ s dialogue

26 Mental Models and 2 schools: Overview Active participation in numerous teaching and learning initiatives Generated high potential for S1 and S2 to make reflection on the mental models that they stick on in the daily teaching practice for a long time S1: Lack favourable adequate channels to build up the new mental models Minimal improvement on the quality of teaching and learning is expected

27 Mental Models and 2 schools: Overview The opportunity of dialogue among the staff through various levels, approaches and ways can be encouraged for changing mental models Need to develop new mental models on the roles of students as well as teaching and learning Undoubtedly necessary for a successful implementation of ICTE in the schools

28 3. Shared Vision and 2 schools

29 Shared Vision: 1. The teachers should view that the visions of the school can comprise those of the individuals 2. The school vision of various policies should be itinerant and ongoing among the teaching staff

30 Shared Vision In 2 schools (especially in S1) … The visions of different policies are mostly imposed from the principals Teachers almost have no say in formulating the ICTE plan Such culture of power centralization affects each level of school management

31 Shared Vision Inadequate chamber to develop shared vision in school Widen the gap between the school ICTE plan and teachers ’ personal ideal on it Becomes an hidden impediment of ICTE implementation

32 Shared Vision and 2 schools: Overview Can encourage “ bottom-up ” initiatives: mass formulation of school vision and mass participation of school policies etc. Help to promote the shared vision in schools Involves the issues of change management Channels and culture can build up Above measures are vital because ICTE implementation especially requires tremendous effort of teachers ’ initiatives

33 4. Team Learning and 2 schools

34 Team Learning: 1. Teachers should believe in the effectiveness of collective learning in groups 2. The school should develop a favourable environment for emerging insightful reflections among the teachers

35 Team Learning Taking teaching of Computer Literacy as example In S1: ICT team has strategically arranged co-teaching in the subject of Computer Literacy for several years ICT-experienced teachers lead “ fresh ” colleagues to teach with the support of ICT Building up many staff ’ s confidence to use ICT tools to teach The lesson observations are arranged Useful to facilitate sharing about ICTE implementation More useful than the one-off ICTE seminars in motivating the teachers to integrate ICT in their teaching practices Realising the effectiveness and importance of collective learning

36 Team Learning In S2: Teachers of Mathematics spend much time on sharing their experiences in implementing ICTE A favourable atmosphere for promoting team learning among the teaching staff Beneficial for implementing ICTE

37 Team Learning and 2 schools: Overview Begin to realise the importance of collective enquiry Various sort of formal and informal groups Encourage team learning among the teachers to implement ICTE Opportunities of team learning can be more effective, especially when they can learn how to discuss together productively and achieve its unique objectives effectively Teaching staff should accept that learning is not only an individual phenomenon but also happen in collective experience of groups If the capacity of team learning grows gradually, the schools will develop favourable environment for emerging insightful reflections about integrating ICTE in teaching and learning

38 5. System Thinking and 2 schools

39 System Thinking: The school should perceive what are the underlying patterns, which impede the advancement of school Taking contributions of various school stakeholders as example In S1: Under the policy of EMB, the Parents-teachers Association was formed a few years ago A functional body with limited authority of school management Parents can share their view to facilitate the school development Parents become a potential source of outsourcing for ICTE implementation But it takes time to develop the culture

40 System Thinking: The school should perceive what are the underlying patterns, which impede the advancement of school In S2: Private school: free from the pressure of establishing Parents-teachers Association Principal dominates the decision-making process of the schools So-called Parents-teachers Association is just the occasional gatherings between parents and teachers Principal did not think parents with school management authority is beneficial for the school development Parents cannot contribute to the development of ICTE for that school

41 System Thinking: The school should consider the goals and issues of a particular project as part of larger entirety and not isolated problems Taking coordination of ICT policy with the master school plan as example Both schools work out their school plan and ICTE plan separately Principals, teachers and even members of ICT team also view that the ICTE plan is an isolated issue and does not closely relate to the master school plan The school should view each issue from an integrated perspective

42 System Thinking: The school should consider the goals and issues of a particular project as part of larger entirety and not isolated problems A successful ICTE implementation should closely inter-relate and interact with various levels and parts of the school development Alignment of the ICT plan with the master school plan is very important

43 System Thinking and 2 Schools: Overview S1 has a better performance to link up with her stakeholders for the school development Both schools still have a distance from a LO in terms of system thinking Consider the ICTE implementation as an isolated issue of school development The school should be an integral system instead of a sum of separate parts

44 System Thinking and 2 Schools: Overview For S2, the knowledge of various stakeholders can be linked up Effort can be put to draw them closely cooperate with one another so as to maximize the overall performance of a school Outcome: teachers and principal will no longer narrowly dominate the decision-making process in school development

45 Conclusion For better ICTE implementation, principals and teachers should take their role to transform their schools and themselves …

46 Conclusion For principals … Link up various school stakeholders together Build up their shared vision and apply the discipline of system thinking Try to change their own model models about staff development Create more chamber and opportunity to help their teaching staff to: Challenge the old mental models Engage in team learning Develop their personal mastery

47 Conclusion Teachers: Change their model models about teaching and learning as well as team learning View personal vision as important and engage in pursuing it Develop an awareness of current realities and encompass commitment to tell the truth Challenge the underlying principles, philosophies, assumptions, strategies and definitions of teaching and learning

48 Conclusion Teachers: Active participation in collaborative sharing View that the visions of the organization can comprise those of the individuals Believe in the effectiveness of collective learning in groups

49 Final remarks No any prescriptions for success Information age discourages homogeneity To make successful transformation of a school, the change agents (especially teachers and principals) of the school can embed everyone in the change process The changes can target on one or two new priorities for change in the initial stage Organizational learning can be implemented on all three levels - classroom, school, and community By an in-depth adoption of the concept of LO, a successful ICTE implementation can no longer be a distant dream in campus

50 Question & Answer Section Correspondence: Email: alexwctse@sinaman.comalexwctse@sinaman.com


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