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Curriculum Design and Pedagogy

Improving Student Teachers’ Professional Learning through the Development of Learning Communities


Abstract

The goal of this project is to improve the professional learning of student teachers in PGDE and BEd programmes through the use of video workshops and the learning study approach. In the first approach, curriculum resources centered around videos of exemplary science teaching in authentic classroom situations were developed and used as prompts for discussion in a series of video workshops. To track student teachers’ individual learning, they were asked to undertake progressive reflection on another set of videos at three different points (entry, middle and exit) of the course. Results indicated that both communal learning taking place in the video workshops and progressive reflection undertaken individually had interacted synergistically in enhancing student teachers’ learning.

In the second approach, student teachers were introduced to the learning study model grounded in variation theory and engaged in collaborative action research on their professional practices. Interviews were conducted with them before and after the learning study. Results showed that most of them demonstrated progression in their ways of understanding teaching and learned professionally. They expressed that the learning study is conducive to developing their professional capabilities of designing appropriate learning environment for pupils, as the inquiry and reflection was evidence-based and conducted collaboratively.

Principal Investigators

Dr. M.F. Pang, Division of Policy, Administration and Social Sciences Education, Faculty of
EducationContact
Dr. Benny Yung, Division of Science, Mathematics and Computing, Faculty of EducationContact

Project level

Faculty-level project

Project Completion

September 2008

Deliverables

  • The Video Workshops
    • Production of a CD-ROM of exemplary good science teaching in secondary schools and associated teaching resources – this set of videos were not discussed in the video workshops but reserved for individual progressive reflection at three different points in the course.
    • Production of a set of video-based curriculum resources for four video workshops, each focusing on a specific issue in science education such as dealing with students’ common misconception, teaching nature of science, etc.
  • A Faculty seminar to disseminate the findings of the Learning Study.
  • Preliminary findings have been reported in the form of a paper and a poster in the 2008 annual conference of American Educational Research Association and National Association for Science Education.  A paper proposal entitled “Improving teacher education through self-study: Evaluating the impact of learning study on pre-service student teachers” was submitted to the 2009 annual conference of American Educational Research Association for consideration.

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