PROVISION OF CONSULTANTATION SERVICE: REVAMP OF THE TEACHERS’ IT TRAINING FRAMEWORK

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PROVISION OF

CONSULTANTATION SERVICE:

REVAMP OF THE TEACHERS’ IT TRAINING FRAMEWORK

FINAL REPORT

November 2007

Submitted by

Joint Consultation Service Team

(CUHK, HKBU, HKIED & HKU)

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The Research Team

Principal Investigators:

Dr. S.C. KONG, HKIEd Dr. Sandy S.C. LI, HKBU Mr. S.W. PUN, CUHK Dr. Allan H.K. YUEN, HKU Research Team Members:

Dr. Felix SIU, HKU Dr. Jacky POW, HKBU Ms. Alison YEUNG, HKU Mr. Tony LAI, HKBU

Steering Committee

Ms. Yiu Hung LAU, Chairman of Hong Kong Liberal Studies Teachers’ Association Ms. Katharine LUI, Panel Head in English, CCC Kei Wa Primary School

Mr. Hok Hei LUK, Chairman of Hong Kong Teacher-Librarians' Association Mr. Hok Ling NG, Former President of The Hong Kong Association of Computer

Education (2002-07), Vice-Principal of Heung To Middle School (Tin Shui Wai) Ms. Yuk Yee SO, Panel Head of General Studies, Po Leung Kuk Chee Jing Yin

Primary

Mr. Kai Lok TSO, Principal of Elegantia College (Sponsored by Education Convergence)

Mr. Chi Kong WONG, Vice Chairman of Hong Kong Association for Science and Mathematics Education

Ms. Fung Yee WONG, Chairman, Hong Kong secondary School Chinese Language Research Association

Acknowledgements

We would like to express our sincere thanks to Professor Niki DAVIS from Iowa State University and Professor Kai Ming CHENG from the University of Hong Kong for their academic input and advice to the project.

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Table of Content

Research Team 2

Table of Content 3

Executive Summary 4

Part 1 Introduction 7

Part 2 Literature Review 9

Part 3 Stakeholders’ Views on Teacher Professional Development (TPD) 21

Part 4 Consultation Seminars 31

Part 5 A Framework for Designing Teacher Professional Development 39 Part 6 Models for Teacher Professional Development 54

Part 7 Pilot Courses 62

Part 8 Recommendations 68

References 71

Appendix 1 78

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Executive Summary

The Joint Consultation Service Team (JCST) conducted a study towards the revamp of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) training framework for teachers. The training framework aims to sustain teachers’ professional development opportunities to advance teachers’ information literacy and pedagogical integration of ICT, as well as to develop models of teacher education that will foster the establishment of teacher learning communities that will in turn generate, refine, consolidate and disseminate emerging pedagogies and professional competencies. In order to achieve these objectives, the study took the approaches including literature review, interviews, pilot courses, and open consultations.

In order to develop a global perspective and deepen our understanding of the current trend in teacher professional development pertinent to ICT in education, the JCST conducted a comprehensive literature review to examine frameworks and initiatives implemented in different countries, and to look into those well-established standards and practices in teacher ICT professional development (Part 2).

The JCST conducted eleven focus group sessions as well as seven in-depth interviews with teachers, principals, curriculum development officers, and important stakeholders to collect views about the situation of ICT use in teaching and learning, their expectation of ICT competencies for teachers, professional development opportunities to advance teachers’ information literacy and pedagogical integration of ICT, and the models of professional development appropriate for teachers (Part 3).

Based on the results of the aforementioned literature review and results from the focus group discussion and interview, a proposed “Revamp of the Teachers’ IT Training Framework” was developed (Part 5 & 6). Pilot professional development courses with eight modules for teachers were designed and implemented to test the proposed framework (Part 7). The evaluation results of the pilot courses were positive and constructive comments were received from the teacher practitioners in both the primary and secondary school sectors. Four open seminars (Part 4) was held to discuss the proposed framework and related implementation issues. A reflection on the feedbacks from the 339 participants of the seminars had been made. With these results and feedback, six major recommendations of this study are summarized.

First, in order to sustain the ICT professional development opportunities of teachers,

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we recommend advancing teachers’ ICT capability in the domains of information literacy and pedagogical integration of ICT by integrating them with their teaching activities in every possible subject area in school and beyond.

The goal of this professional development activity is to ensure that teachers could facilitate and develop their students to become information literate and function in the 21st century.

Second, we proposed a professional development framework with four dimensions, namely, technical knowledge, pedagogical integration, managing and leading ICT, and socio-cultural awareness. This framework serves as content descriptors to identify teacher ICT professional development needs that teachers are required for successful pedagogical integration in the changing environment of digital culture, globalization and the emerging knowledge-based society. These four dimensions are used to characterize the set of ICT competences that teachers are needed to accommodate the new changes in their teaching practices.

Third, to ensure teachers to possess the capacity of employing or developing appropriate pedagogies to enhance student learning through ICT, we recommend the teacher ICT competence espoused in the proposed framework should be stipulated as part of the desirable learning outcomes in both pre-service and in-service teacher education programmes. We recommend that the design of professional development and learning activities should address these aspects for teachers in all school sectors, namely, pre-primary, primary and secondary.

Fourth, to effect changes in teachers’ practices, we recommend different modes of delivery of teacher professional development (TPD) programmes such as System-wide, School-based and School-clustering approaches to be employed to address the needs emerging at different stages of managing curriculum and pedagogical innovations in school. To sustain pedagogical innovations and to properly address the issue of school and teacher diversity, it is necessary to put more emphasis and resources on promoting the formation of school clusters. The partnership among clustered schools, tertiary institutes (TEI) and other professional bodies should be strengthened. The role of TEIs and these professional bodies should migrate from being professional consultants to active participants and collaborative partners.

Fifth, in order to design system-wide professional development programmes for the success of TPD implementation, we recommend the consideration of alignment of

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the ICT professional development with the wider curriculum reform. A genuine understanding of the ecology and dynamics of different education initiatives is pivotal to the success of TPD implementation. For instance, to void exhausting teacher’s effort, some professional development programmes, such as those related to Information Literacy (IL) can be integrated with TPD for other subject or key learning areas, such as General Studies or Liberal Studies. As information collection, processing and synthesising are the essential elements required in teaching and learning of General Studies and Liberal Studies, it thus provides a rich context for the inception of information literacy.

Sixth, to foster collaboration and experience sharing among teachers and schools, it is recommended to introduce a new ‘currency’ for the teachers’ Continuing Professional Development (CPD). The idea is to encourage experience teachers and school clusters, with support from professional bodies or TEIs, to provide TPD services for the school community. Their contribution should be converted into a form of ‘currency’ or revenue that can be injected into their schools’ professional development funds or individual teachers’ professional development funds. This kind of development funds can be deployed to support schools and experienced teachers to further their own professional development. This new ‘currency’ for CPD thus helps provide incentives for collaboration and translate teachers’ expertise into capitals which can be re-invested in their own professional development.

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Part 1: Introduction

1.1 Background

In 1998, the Government announced Information Technology for Learning in a New Era: Five-year Strategy – 1998/99 to 2002/03 (Education and Manpower Bureau, 1998). The Five-year Strategy signified the Government’s commitment to driving Hong Kong to become a leader, not a follower, in the information world of tomorrow.

The focuses of the first strategy was to guide school principals and teachers in the integration of information technology into learning and teaching, and to develop the appropriate skills, knowledge and attitudes in learners to ensure lifelong learning (Curriculum Development Council, 2000; Education and Manpower Bureau, 1998).

The existing framework of information technology (IT) training of teachers in Hong Kong with training programmes at Basic (BIT), Upper Intermediate (UIT) and Advanced (AIT) Levels, was then launched under this first Information Technology in Education (ITEd) Strategy and IT Learning Target (Curriculum Development Council, 2000; Education and Manpower Bureau, 1998).

In the new IT in Education Strategy published in July 2004, viz. Empowering Learning and Teaching with Information Technology, a strategic goal in Empowering Teachers with IT (Goal 2) was set to steer the future direction of the professional development of teachers (Education and Manpower Bureau, 2004). In the Overall Study on the Review and Evaluating of the ITEd Project conducted in 2004 , it was found that all teachers have completed IT training at the Basic Level with around 89%

having reached intermediate level or above (Education and Manpower Bureau, 2005a).

To take the development of ITEd forward, it was recommended in the Second Information Technology in Education Strategy “Empowering Learning and Teaching with Information Technology” (2004) that the existing teachers’ IT training framework should be revamped to provide ongoing professional development for teachers in terms of pedagogical use of IT in specific subject areas, as well as its use for supporting the development of students’ generic competencies in information and other higher-order cognitive skills.

With the recent development of the Information Literacy (IL) Framework for students (Education and Manpower Bureau, 2005), and the teachers’ Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Framework by the Advisory Committee on Teacher Education and Qualifications (ACTEQ), the revamp should seek integration with the IL and the

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CPD. It was suggested that IL should guide the revamp of training framework for teachers on ITED with its elements integrated in the framework.

1.2 Aims and Objectives

This project aims at revamping the information technology framework on the professional development of teachers. In summary, the objectives of the project include:

1. to sustain teachers’ professional development opportunities to advance teachers’

Information Literacy (IL) so that teachers could develop their students to become Information Literate;

2. to sustain teachers’ professional development opportunities to advance pedagogical knowledge of teachers in using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for learning and teaching; and

3. to develop models of teacher education that will foster the establishment of teacher learning communities that will in turn generate, refine, consolidate and disseminate emerging pedagogies and professional competencies through ICT.

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Part 2: Literature Review

As stated in the introduction section, the aim of the current project is two-fold: (1) to sustain teachers’ professional development opportunities to advance teachers’

Information Literacy (IL) and pedagogical integration of IT; and (2) to develop models of teacher education that will foster the establishment of teacher learning communities that will in turn generate, refine, consolidate and disseminate emerging pedagogies and professional competencies. In order to describe and understand the issues in connection to the project aim, a comprehensive literature review has been conducted to examine the following five related issues around the project aim.

2.1 ICT in Education and Teacher ICT Competency

The past several decades have witnessed the shift towards knowledge economy and information society at global scale. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have become the driving force of this trend through accelerating inter-cultural communication and information exchange. This trend has brought about transformative changes in all walks of life. Competence with ICT is imperative for many professions. For instance, ICT is increasingly becoming integral to the delivery of healthcare - from electronic patient record systems in hospitals, to geographic information systems for public health, to Internet technologies for tele-health applications (http://www.synapsehealth.com/aboutus.htm). In business world, the International Education Guideline on "IT and Accounting Curriculum" issued by IFAC, emphasized very succinctly the need of the time:

“The profession of accountancy is no longer bookkeeping or auditing or filling out of tax returns. The first and the last activity are now being performed by IT professionals and any one with business knowledge, whilst auditing has changed in character from good old ticking, casting and vouching to Computer systems audit, security audit, risk assurance and on line audit. The management consultancy assignments, systems and procedures development, financial analysis and advice are today incomplete without an in-depth knowledge and skill of IT and requisite expertise in use of the tools available to work in the new environment.”

(http://www.accountancy.com.pk/articles.asp?id=7)

The current trend sets a new agenda for schools to cultivate future professionals as life-long learners, effective communicators, team players, critical information users

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and independent thinkers. Most important of all, the younger generation should be equipped with ability to use ICT tools for various tasks. Within this climate, schools at all levels are under mounting pressure to integrate technology into educational practice. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) advanced three rationales for utilizing ICT in education: economic, social and pedagogical (2001). That is to say, ICT skills are the demand of knowledge economy and information society. For pedagogical purposes, ICT can provide a resource-rich environment and support learner-centered approach. Bransford and associates (1999) focused on the pedagogical potential of technology and summarized it in five aspects.

ICTs can bring real-world problems into the classroom; provide tools and opportunities for teaching and learning; help the process of feedback, reflection, and connecting to local and global communities.

The importance of technology in educational realm has been widely accepted and computers have been spread in schools. Issues related to how technology transforms teaching and learning have become a focus of educational research. For examples, Cuban (2001) claimed technology in schools was oversold and underused. Still, there has been increasing evidence on positive effect of technology in learning (Fadel &

Lemke, 2006). Law et al. (2002) documented the evidence of learning outcome gained through ICT integration. The innovative practice of ICT integration was found to enhance information literacy, critical thinking, self-directed learning and collaborative skills.

The introduction of computers in schools began in early 1980s. Teachers use ICT to provide a complete set of resources for their lessons so that students can access at any time. As reported in Pelgrum and Law (2003), some countries have set up some form of ‘IT driving licence’ for both teachers and students, prescribing the minimum ICT competence expected (e.g. NCATE, 1997; ISTE, 1998, EURYDICE, 2000).

Moreover, teachers use ICT because they would believe that their students need opportunities to visualize and interact with these processes in simulations in order to develop their understanding. More and more countries recognize the importance of the role of ICT in education. In this connection, the need of acquiring ICT competencies, which are integrated into pedagogical practices, has emerged as a high priority in the education systems. Some Asian systems, e.g. Hong Kong and Taipei, a heavy emphasis on developing teachers’ general technological skills in using ICT was found in the initial stage of the ICT implementation in education (Law & Plomp, 2003), e.g. four levels of ICT competency for teachers were proposed in the document entitled “Information Technology for Learning in a New Era: Five-Year Strategy

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1998/99 to 2002/03” (EMB, 1998). A detailed discussion of the four levels (BIT, IIT, UIT & AIT) was reported in Au, Kong, Leung, Ng & Pun (1999). However, developing teachers’ ICT competence is the first, but not the most important step in teacher professional development in the information age (Pelgrum & Law, 2003). It is widely recognized that teachers need to develop knowledge and skills to use ICT in meaningful ways to reform pedagogical practices (Law & Plomp, 2003).

2.2 Information Literacy and 21st Century skills for Students

The 21st century skills the future generation should be equipped with include critical thinking, global awareness, communication skills, information literacy, etc. (Fadel &

Lemke, 2006). As a critical part of life-long learning, digital literacy is not just about computer skills. It also includes a set of competences such as information searching, handling and evaluation (OECD, 2001). Similarly, information literacy is defined as the ability to master the processes of becoming informed. As such IL is an essential capability needed by Hong Kong residents to adapt to the digital culture, globalization and the emerging knowledge-based society. The objectives of the IL framework development are therefore, to enable our students to master the required information processing skills and understandings, to develop our students as reflective learners, to enable our students to be appreciative of the value of independent and interdependent learning, and to empower our students with greater autonomy and social responsibility over the use of information. The Hong Kong Research Team (EMB, 2005b) proposed that IL standards, including the four dimensions as illustrated in the figure below:

cognitive, meta-cognitive, affective and socio-cultural, should be formulated for our students. To make these standards observable, they have been linked to indicators and then sets of learning outcomes at the four key learning stages, primary 3, primary 6, secondary 3 and secondary 6. Such sets of learning outcomes are expected to be the minimum requirements that our students should achieve when they reach the corresponding stage.

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To embrace all the aforementioned dimensions of information literacy, eleven standards and thirty-two indicators were subsequently formulated. Out of the eleven standards, four: C1, C2, C3 and C4 fall in the cognitive dimension, three: M1, M2 and M3 fall in the meta-cognitive dimension, two: A1 and A2 fall in the affective dimension whilst the other two: S1 and S2 fall in the socio-cultural dimension. An information literate person is able to:

Cognitive dimension

z C1 determine the extent of and locate the information needed;

z C2 apply information to problem-solving and decision making;

z C3 analyze the collected information and construct new concepts or understandings;

z C4 critically evaluate information and integrate new concepts with prior knowledge;

Meta-cognitive dimension

z M1 be aware that information processing is iterative, time-consuming and demands effort;

z M2 plan and monitor the process of inquiry;

z M3 reflect upon and regulate the process of inquiry;

Affective dimension

z A1 recognise that being an independent reader will contribute to personal enjoyment and lifelong learning;

z A2 recognise that information processing skills and freedom of information access are pivotal to sustaining the development of a knowledge society;

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Socio-cultural dimension

z S1 contribute positively to the learning community in knowledge building; and

z S2 understand and respect the ethical, legal, political and cultural contexts in which information is being used.

2.3 Content for Teacher Professional Development

The importance of technology in educational realm has been widely accepted.

Although computers spread widely in schools, whether they transform teaching and learning remains controversial. Cuban (2001) claimed technology in schools was oversold and underused. Still, there has been increasing evidence on positive effect of technology in learning (Fadel & Lemke, 2006). For example, Law and her associates (2002) documented the evidence of learning outcome gained through ICT integration.

The innovative practice of ICT integration was found to enhance information literacy, critical thinking, self-directed learning and collaborative skills.

Among the factors that determine ICT integration in schools, teachers are found the most crucial (Mumtaz, 2000). The teacher factor involves teachers' pedagogical belief, collaboration and interaction with peers, technical competence and attitude towards technology. Among these elements, teachers' pedagogical beliefs and computer skills were found to be most correlated with the integration of ICT in their classroom. The other two influential forces are institution and resource. Teachers are central to ICT adoption at the classroom and student level. (OECD, 2001)Similarly, Zhao and associates (2002) denoted that to integrate technology in classrooms, teachers needed to have sufficient technology proficiency; consciously use technology to meet pedagogical needs; and mobilize social support in school.

Gillespie (2006) pointed out the importance of both technical training and pedagogical knowledge of using ICT. Teachers not only need to know how to maneuver hardware and software device, but also when and why. However, most staff development in ICT concentrate on the technical aspects rather than the pedagogical use (McCarney, 2004). Still, computer skills are the basis and should be acquired before exploring pedagogical possibilities (Snoeyink & Ertmer, 2002). In addition, the teachers’ training delivered in “one-size-fit-all” fashion is not effective and desirable.

Training on IT skills should be offered on the “need to know” basis (Littlejohn, 2002).

Preston (2004) advocated the differentiated programs to meet the diverse needs of teachers at various levels. The content should be tailored to subject-specific requirements (OFSTED, 2002), and concrete, grade-specific integration ideas should be presented at the training sessions (Snoeyink & Ertmer, 2002).

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Regarding the educational technology standards and performance indicators, we found one of the well-established standards in ICT in education was the National Educational Technology Standards for both Teachers and Students (NETS•T and NETS•S) developed by the International Society for Technology Education (ISTE, 2000a; 2000b) in USA. The standards and performance indicators developed by ISTE were deeply rooted from the interests of various groups related to ICT and education.

The ISTE standards for teachers could definitely provide us a good reference to consider content needed to be included in teacher professional development. The ISTE educational technology standards and indicators include the following six dimensions:

1. Technology Operations and Concepts

2. Planning and Designing Learning Environments and Experiences 3. Teaching, Learning, and the Curriculum

4. Assessment and Evaluation

5. Productivity and Professional Practice 6. Social, Ethical, Legal, and Human Issues

Further to the development of NETS•T and similar standards, Kirschner and Davis (2003) identified six benchmarks of good practices for ICT in teacher education including both pre-service and in-service programmes, in which teachers become: (1) competent personal users of ICT, (2) competent to make use of ICT as a mindtool, (3) master a range of educational paradigms that make use of ICT, (4) competent to make use of ICT as a tool for teaching, (5) master a range of assessment paradigms which make use of ICT, and (6) understand the policy dimension of the use of ICT for teaching and learning.

In the UNESCO report on ICT in teacher education (UNESCO, 2002), it is suggested that the ICT competencies are organized into four groups: pedagogy, collaboration and networking, social issues, and technical issues. “Pedagogy is focused on teachers’

instructional practices and knowledge of the curriculum and requires that they develop applications within their disciplines that make effective use of ICT to support and extend teaching and learning. Collaboration and Networking acknowledges that the communicative potential of ICT to extend learning beyond the classroom walls and the implications for teachers development of new knowledge and skills.

Technology brings with it new rights and responsibilities, including equitable access to technology resources, care for individual health, and respect for intellectual property included within the Social Issues aspect of ICT competence. Finally,

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Technical Issues is an aspect of the Lifelong Learning theme through which teachers update skills with hardware and software as new generations of technology emerge”

(p.41).

2.4 Models of Professional Development

Putnam and Borko (2000) maintained that teacher learning should be grounded in teaching practice. Along the same line, Silin and Schwartz (2003) argued that teachers’ buy-in to curricular reform was best achieved when change agents adapted their program to the daily needs and problems of classroom teachers. In light of this, Preston (2004) recommend practice-based and constructive learning for teachers.

Project-based approach, Littlejohn (2002) reported, received positive feedback among teachers since they had opportunity to balance learning and practicing. In addition, teachers’ professional development needs to be sustained. Garet and his associates (2001) found that “sustained and intensive professional development is more likely to have an impact” (p. 935). Putnam and Borko (2000) proposed a model which combines intensive workshop introducing “theoretical and research-based ideas with ongoing support during the year as teachers attempt to integrate these ideas into their instructional programs” (p.7).

The design and delivery of the professional development program is a process that teachers must be taught explicitly and developed over time. Teachers must first comprehend and question the learning-to-teach process from within their own limited and personal perspectives developed over years of observing teachers. While the details of innovative programs differ, similarities include:

z taking the teachers' experiences and concerns as central in discussions that enable them to study their own fledgling practice as they work to see the theory involved in practical decisions,

z creating collaborative environments (within student cohorts, between school boards and faculties, within university departments, and among teacher educators, trained mentors, and candidates) that model inquiry with and within communities of practice, and

z making explicit what teachers actually do and think in the course of planning, implementing, and evaluating their teaching.

Teacher development could be done in professional practice schools (Lieberman &

Miller, 1990), for examples, the Georgia Leaning Connections (GLC) of Georgia Department of Education offers a web-based professional development center (http://www.glc.k12.ga.us/ProDev/), which provides a comprehensive collection of

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resources to meet the needs of professional practice schools including audio and video clips, expert opinions, interactive activities and discussion starters that deal with the topic of information literacy. Garet et al. (2001) examined the policy mechanisms and processes in relation to teacher professional development, and findings indicate that school districts can use to provide quality in-service professional development for teachers. Furthermore, Dutro et al. (2002) argues that professional development should be started by a government reform initiative, when envisioned as a professional development opportunity, impacted teachers’ capacities to become change agents in their classrooms and districts and how individual district contexts shaped the development of those capacities.

Moreover, peer support in terms of school collaboration could be an effective mode of professional development (Glazier, 2004; Pennell & Firestone, 1996). The aims include offering an outside view in helping the headship with boundary management and management of people within boundaries. Helping them with how they see the school and enabling them to formulate plans for action (Bush & Coleman, 1995).

Putnam and Borko (2000) described the pivotal role of discourse communities in supporting teachers learning to teach in new ways, as McLaughlin and Talbert (1993) attributed the success of systematic reform to teachers’ participation “in a professional community that discuss new teacher materials and strategies and that supports the risk taking and struggle entailed in transforming practice” (p. 15). The initial success of a field-based project in Texas provides another illustration (Wilmore, 1996). A school-based instructional leadership team was set up, including teacher educators, principal, mentor teachers, and a small cohort of candidates, focused on integrating learning and teaching “to directly tie theory to practice” (Russell, McPherson, &

Martin, 2001).

As an approach to professional development, school-university collaboration could be in form of mentoring. Mentoring is an important mode of professional development in many countries. It involves an external expert supporting the development of new pedagogy for teachers. The mentor provides encouragement and support; and mentoring is designed to support the process of finding which involves understanding the nature of the school as a system. To conclude the role of school collaboration and mentoring from institutions, all these assist teachers in schools by: acting as a sounding board; offering encouragement; building confidence; encouraging positive attitudes; clarifying the role of headship; and brainstorming strategies and tactics for future development (Bush & Coleman, 1995).

To sum up, ASCD (2004) proposed the following strategies or models for designing

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professional development: study groups, action learning, peer coaching and review, collaborative planning.

Study Group

The main purpose of setting up a study group of teachers is for sharing understanding and practices of using IT in teaching science. The content to be studied includes the following items (ASCD, 2004):

z design curriculum and instruction innovations

z integrate a school’s practices and programs

z study the latest research on teaching and learning

z monitor the impact of new practices on students and staff

z analyze and target a school wide need

We drawed experience from Murphy (1992; pp. 71-74) to learn the implementation of a study group. Some important points are list as follows.

z Study groups provide a regular collaborative environment for teachers of varying backgrounds, knowledge, and skills.

z Establishing and keeping a regular schedule is critical to the success of study groups.

z Schools get better as the adults in the building develop a shared understanding of good teaching and learning.

z Active participation by the principal clearly communicates the importance of study groups.

Action Learning

Yuen and Cheng (2000) argued that action learning could help teachers gain the necessary professional competence for making better judgments and taking effective action in ambiguous situations and thus enhanced teachers' professional practice and performance in a changing and uncertain environment. Major features of action learning are summarized as follows (Marquardt, 2000):

z Action learning is built around a diverse group of people (whole systems) asking new and fresh questions so as to gain a full picture of the problem and its context before attempting to solve it.

z Action learning enhances the ability to think in new and fresh ways about existing reality and problems via critical reflection, reframing, and context shifting.

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z Action learning creates the conditions in which managers learn from their own experience in a real-life problem, helped by and helping others facing similar situations.

While knowledge is often thought to be the property of individuals, a great deal of knowledge is both produced and held collectively. Such knowledge is readily generated when people work together in the tightly knit groups known as

“communities of practice” (Brown & Duguid, 1998). Action learning and communities of practice offer a new way of looking at and approaching professional development for school professionals.

Thus, a multi-level professional development model with an emphasis on action learning and communities of practice would be considered. One local example of taking action learning in teacher professional development is the project

“Development of an Interactive Platform for Good Practices” (www.emb.gov.hk/gp), which is an EMB project commissioned to the CITE of HKU.

Peer Coaching and Review

Single training sessions with no follow-ups are ineffective. Activities that deploy sessions spaced over time have better results, particularly if those sessions include presentations of theory, demonstrations of new teaching skills, and opportunities for teachers to practice and receive feedback.

The idea of peer coaching is very similar to study group. It involves two teachers taking classroom observation of each other. Then they discuss their findings and share their teaching practices. The main purpose is to promote collegiality and support.

In general, there are two main types of coaching: coaching by experts and coaching by peers-where teachers have an opportunity to observe one another and provide feedback and support. (Interestingly, some evidence suggests that peer coaching may be more effective than coaching by experts.) Giving teachers structured time to discuss new concepts and experiences can also enhance the effectiveness of training.

The reasons of peer coaching could be summarized as follows (ASCD, 2004).

z It provides job-embedded, ongoing professional support.

z It allows teachers to work together professionally, thereby eliminating feelings of isolation.

z It encourages reflection and analysis of teaching practice.

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z It promotes specific feedback over time.

z It fosters collaboration among teachers throughout the school building.

Collaborative Planning

Collaborative planning starts from a group of teachers. It provides opportunities for teachers to work together during the school day. Its main purpose is to connect teachers’ learning to students’ learning by examining their teaching practice and then developing their skills. Some important points are listed as follows (ASCD, 2004).

z Plan curriculum, units, or lessons including classroom-based assessments

z Examine student work

z Examine teacher work

z Plan use and evaluation of instructional practices

z Develop school improvement plans using student data

Raywid (1993) provided some successful examples of collaborative planning in schools. These examples further illustrated the significance of a school as a learning organization that fostered the spreading of knowledge within the school. As a result, continuing growth and improvement of a school became possible.

In addition to the ASCD (2004) models, UNESCO (2002) suggested strategic approaches that help teacher educators develop ICT competencies for teachers, which include context and culture, leadership and vision, lifelong learning, and management of change. “Context and Culture identifies the culture and other contextual factors that must be considered in infusing technology into teacher education curriculum. It includes the use of technology in culturally appropriate ways and the development of respect for multiple cultures and contexts, which need to be taught and modelled by teachers. Leadership and Vision are essential for the successful planning and implementation of technology into teacher education and require both leadership and support from the administration of the teacher education institution. Lifelong Learning acknowledges that learning does not stop after school. In common with the other themes, it is important that teachers and teacher preparation faculty model lifelong learning as a key part of implementation, and as an ongoing commitment to ICT in teacher education. Planning and Management of Change is the final theme, born of today’s context and accelerated by technology itself. It signifies the importance of careful planning and effective management of the change process”

(p.40).

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2.5 Incentive and Assessment

To motivate teachers, the training has to be designed as an answer to their needs(Silin

& Schwartz, 2003). Teachers need to have a clear understanding of what new ICT tools could offer and be convinced of the necessity of learning new skills. Thus, the rationale for educational use of technology should be clearly articulated (OTA, 1995).

At the same time, compatible evaluation and promotion system should be in place (OTA, 1995). It will greatly promote teachers buy-in when decisions regarding promotion take technology integration into account. Technology integration into classroom can also be promoted through increased access to computers and on-going support. Cunningham and associates (2003) reported a project of offering laptops for teachers which yielded in more confident and competent use of technology in their classrooms. Additionally, teachers need ample time to explore, digest and experiment with technology for pedagogical purposes (Schrum, 1995). A comfortable and encouraging environment might be essential.

Traditional standardized test, it was pointed out, was not suitable for assessing professional development aiming at ICT-supported innovation (OTA, 1995). Gillespie (2006) claimed that measurement should focus on the improvement in the quality of teaching and learning, in simpler words, students’ learning outcome. The ultimate purpose of teachers’ professional development is to enhance teaching and learning anyhow. Along the same line, Preston (2004) denoted that accreditation should be related to classroom activities. She also proposed the school-based peer assessment and accreditation portfolios published for reference of all. Self reflection report was also viewed as extremely valuable activity by teachers (Littlejohn, 2002).

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Part 3: Stakeholders’ Views on Teacher Professional Development (TPD)

Introduction

The capacity of any professional development endeavours to achieve sustainable change in teacher practice is affected by a multitude of factors (Wells, 2007). To identify these factors and to deepen our understanding of how they interact with one and other, a total of 11 focus group discussion sessions and 7 in-depth interviews with various practitioners and stakeholders were conducted during June - July 2006. In the following sections, key findings of the focus-group discussions and in-depth interviews will be presented.

Sampling

As espoused above, the purpose of conducting focus-group discussions and in-depth interviews was neither hypothesis testing nor to provide an extensive evaluation of all TPD initiatives implemented in the past, but to enable the researchers to gain insight into the defining factors conducive to sustaining teacher professional development.

Thus, purposeful and convenient sampling (Flick, 1998; Miles & Huberman, 1994) was adopted in this study. At classroom level, teachers from primary and secondary sectors were selected from a wide range of subject or key learning areas in order to ensure and maximise the richness of data. The subject or key learning areas selected include Chinese Language, English Language, Mathematics and Science, Humanities, Liberal Studies, General Studies, Visual Arts, Music, Physical Education. The entire cohort of subject teachers comprises eight focus-groups with a total of 52 respondents.

At school level, school leaders at different levels were also selected for focus-group discussions, as school leadership is often conceived as a lever for sustaining change and development in school (Fullan & Hargreaves, 1996; Fullan & Steigelbauer, 1991).

These groups of leaders consist of curriculum officers from primary schools, and vice principals and principals from primary and secondary schools. At system level, representatives from EMB, members from Curriculum Development Council (CDC), curriculum development officers from Curriculum Development Institute (CDI) were invited to have an in-depth interview with the researchers. In addition, representatives

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from the four teacher education institutes (TEIs) were invited to share their views on IT professional development as they are one of the key providers of TPD services.

The demographic information of different groups of respondents is given in Table 1.

Table 1: Demographic data for the focus group discussions and in-depth interviews

Level Categories No. of

participants Classroom language teachers from primary schools 4

language teachers from secondary schools 7 Math/Science teachers from primary schools 6 Math/Science teachers from secondary schools 6 General Studies (GS) teachers from primary schools 9 Humanities/Social/Liberal Studies (LS) teachers from

secondary schools 6

Visual Arts, Music, Physical Education & other subject

teachers from primary schools 7

Visual Arts, Music, Physical Education & other subject

teachers from secondary schools 7

School Principals from primary and secondary schools 8 Curriculum officers from primary schools 9 Vice principals or Dean of Studies from secondary

schools 6

System Representatives from EMB 4

Curriculum development officer of GS from

Curriculum Development Institute 1

Curriculum development officer in LS from

Curriculum Development Institute 1

Member from the Curriculum Development Council

(Primary Section) 1

Member from the Curriculum Development Council

(Secondary Section) 1

Teacher Education Institute (TEI) representative from

CUHK 1

Teacher Education Institute (TEI) representative from

HKBU 1

Teacher Education Institute (TEI) representative from

HKU 1

Teacher Education Institute (TEI) representative from

HKIE 1

Total: 87

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Focus-group Discussion and Interview Design

The focus-group discussions and in-depth interviews basically encompassed a set of semi-structured questions for probing respondents’ (1) experience in ICT implementation at classroom or school levels and professional development pertinent to ICT in education; (2) understanding of the notion of information literacy and its relationship with other subjects; (3) views on future professional development and its model of delivery; and (4) expectations and challenges. As the entire cohort of respondents comprised of heterogeneous groups of stakeholders, the questions for discussion and interview derived from the four domains will be tuned in a manner to address the uniqueness of each group. For instance, while eliciting teachers’

experience in integrating ICT into their teaching practices as stipulated in Domain (1) during the focus-group session, the discussion with members of CDC will focus on probing the respondents’ perception of the role of ICT in the school curriculum. A detailed list of questions is given in Appendix 1. Each discussion or interview session lasted for approximately one and a half hour, which started with a brief introduction, explaining the background and focus of the consultancy project, followed by a semi-structured discussion session. All discussions and interviews were digitally recorded with consent from the participants, and transcribed and coded for further analysis.

Key Findings

Experience with ICT Practices Classroom level

The group of teachers being interviewed exhibited a wide range of ICT usage in their classroom practices. Most of the language teachers responded that presentation software applications, such as MS Word and Powerpoint are the common tools they use in classroom to enhance their instructions. Some of them thought that the primary focus of most of the language lessons was to provide opportunities for students to read, write, listen and speak, thus the use of ICT had little effect on helping students to develop their language skills. Some teachers indicated that their schools have no explicit curriculum plan for making use of the Multi-Media Learning Centres (MMLCs). Course management systems are often used as a repository for hosting and

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accessing teaching and learning materials as well as submission and distribution of assignments. ICT can be used to provide GS and LS teachers claimed that they often used ICT to support students’ project learning, as the Internet can provide more authentic resources and first-hand information for both teaching and learning. Among various resources, the teachers found that online newspapers and quality documentaries were very useful for curriculum tailoring. Apart from providing access to vast information, some teachers expressed that IT was used as a learning tool for students to construct knowledge and articulate their thoughts and also as a tool for assessing student learning. In some schools, with the use of hand-held devices and wireless networks, they were able to provide students with more authentic learning experience. On the other hand, most of the primary school mathematics teachers reported that the use of ICT to support teaching and learning was rare. The reasons for that were mainly due to the lack of appropriate software and the availability of computer facilities. Some science teachers claimed that the use of data-logging devices to support teachers and students to conduct scientific investigations is common. Apart from that, they sometimes employ computer animations or simulations for illustration of different concepts.

School level

Some primary school teachers pointed out that, with the curriculum officer’s coordination and support, collaboration among teachers within and across subject panels on integration of IT into subjects has been strengthened. While the school intranet helps to disseminate school information, it also provides a platform for teachers to share their teaching resources and to exchange teaching ideas. Despite the evidence that a collaborative culture is emerging and taking root in school, some teachers expressed that the collaboration and experience sharing among schools has been deteriorating. This could be attributed to the rising competition among schools, especially those situated within the same district, as a result of the declining student enrolment in recent years. Some schools adopt a managerial approach to infusing IT into curriculum by stipulating the amount curriculum time dedicated to teaching with IT. It is evident that IT implementation has brought about changes in assessment mode of and for learning. In some schools, they have replaced one of their traditional examinations for General Studies by requiring students to conduct a WebQuest project.

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Professional development

Some teachers opined that the IT training courses (especially those offered during 1998-2003 era) were too much skill-oriented, with relatively weak emphasis on pedagogical strategies and no direct connection to their teaching practices. As time goes by, most of the skills acquired have been washed away. At the design level, some courses failed to make distinctions among different kinds of school and classroom contexts, or between the needs of novice and experienced teachers. Regarding teacher’s IT competence, some held the view that the IT training courses provided a good entry point for teachers to understand the notion of IT in education. They also helped to establish a school culture in using IT to support teaching and learning. Some respondents agreed that the portfolio assessment scheme provided flexibility for teachers to provide evidences about their IT competence. However they also raised the concerns about the loopholes in this assessment approach that great variability in terms of the quality of the portfolios can be found across schools.

In terms of school-based professional development, some schools have identified a

“seed teacher” in each subject area to serve as a supporter to other colleagues in using IT for teaching and learning. IT Induction programmes were provided for newly recruited teachers in some schools. In some schools, they often invite experienced teachers from other schools to conduct workshops and seminars to share their experience in particular areas of IT in education. This kind of experience sharing was generally welcomed by teachers and principals. However, some teachers responded that, the declining number in student intake has been intensifying the competition among schools, especially those within the same district. This kind of competition may to a certain extent jeopardize the development of a collaborative culture among neighbourhood schools.

Perceptions on Information Literacy (IL)

Respondents’ views on information literacy (S. C. Li, Kong, Lee, & Henri, 2006) are rather diverse. Some teachers equated IL as issues related to affective domain, such as the issues of computer crimes, plagiarism and infringement of intellectual property right while others associated IL with project-based learning, as in PBL, students are often required to search and process a large amount of information. Some contended that IL should be subsumed under the domain of Library Science and some held the view that IL should encompass both information and technology. Despite these

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divergent views, respondents generally agreed that the notions of IL and ICT in education are interweaving with one and other.

Regarding integration of IL into curriculum, although the TEI representative and EMB Officials claimed IL should be taught in every subject, most of the science and mathematics teachers thought that the subjects they taught had relatively weak linkage to IL, some maintained that IL can be integrated into the curriculum area on Science, Technology and Society (STS). As information collection, processing and synthesising are the essential elements required in teaching and learning of Liberal Studies, most LS teachers agreed that Liberal Studies provides a suitable platform for incepting information literacy. Some principals insisted that the notion of information literacy should be instilled in students at their earlier learning stage, say, senior primary level, through learning General Studies. The curriculum content should enable students to understand and respect the ethical, legal and cultural contexts in which information is being used, to use information in a responsible way, and to be aware of the implications of technology on society, etc. In terms of the articulation of IL in the existing curriculum, three models have been identified:

Full Integration Model

Some teachers believed that information literacy should be fully integrated into or across subjects as it is the ultimate goal of IT in education. Some also uttered that it is hard to teach cognitive or metacognitive skills as espoused in the IL framework, without any connection to any subject matters. So, the development of students’ IL skills should not be divorced from the development of subject knowledge.

Hybrid Model

While acknowledging the need to infuse IL into and across subjects, some teachers and principals opined that it would be more effective to have a separate subject to help students develop the basic knowledge and skills pertinent to information searching and retrieval skills, Chinese inputting methods, use of particular software applications and Internet tools, intellectual property right, Internet crimes, etc.

Separation Model

To the other end, it was deemed that students’ IL skills can be developed through library and IT lessons. Those who supported this view believed that this model helps

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to ensure the allocation of resources for IT in education within a school and is the most convenient and least disturbing approach to IT implementation. Some were worried that it is difficult to ensure the delivery of a consistent and structured ICT curriculum when the full-integration model is adopted.

Professional Development Framework and Training Needs

Pedagogical orientation

To facilitate better integration, some respondents opined that the focus of teachers’

professional development should be geared towards more subject-based, centering on the pedagogical use of IT in classroom practices. Some teachers pointed out that, in order to enhance the transferability of the knowledge acquired, it was desirable to incorporate in the content of the training courses a rich repertoire of exemplary lessons that can be adapted in a variety of contexts and settings. EMB officials suggested that scholars from universities can help teachers to develop the new pedagogies by providing theoretical guidance and support.

Catering for diversity

As teachers’ needs on IT in education are heterogeneous and rather diverse, some teachers opined that it is not plausible to have a one-size-fit-all model for teacher professional development. A variety of choices and modes of delivery of IT training programmes is deemed necessary to meet teachers’ demands. Despite the call for strengthening IT professional development with more pedagogical substance, some teachers expressed that those TPD programmes which help teachers to master new technologies should not be ignored. They emphasised that the life-cycle of technology is becoming shorter and shorter and there are new technologies constantly emerging, which may provide new solutions for establishing better learning environments and new opportunities for enhancing learning and teaching.

CPD hours

While teachers generally welcomed the idea of making IT professional development non-mandatory, some of the respondents pointed out that the coupling of IT training hours with CPD hours could not help much in promoting teachers’ subscription of the courses. Instead, the relevancy and applicability of what is to be delivered in the training are teachers’ prime concerns. They indicated that there were a lot of training

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opportunities available that could already exhaust or absorb most of their CPD hours, especially those mandated CPD to prepare teachers for implementing the New Senior Secondary (NSS) curriculum.

TPD and its Sustainability

Some principals raised their concerns about the sustainability of the IT training and how to enable teachers to bring back the innovations and ideas they have acquired during the training to their classrooms and contextualize them in their teaching practices. During the discussion, some suggested a ‘school clustering approach’ to teacher professional development. The notion of this approach is that teams of teachers, comprising of subject teachers and curriculum leaders from each cluster school, join together to work on solutions for common problems they envisage in classroom or experiment with new ideas in their teaching practices through action learning. The training programme may comprise of a series of action studies on the new practices. This school clustering model is expected to provide a rapport among cluster schools and on-going communal support for teachers even when they exit the formal training courses. To facilitate implementation of the new initiatives, some teachers responded that leadership programmes should also be provided for curriculum leaders and school principals.

Implications

As expected, the data reflects that there is a wide range of ICT usage in teachers’

teaching practices. While some teachers exhibit high competence of using ICT to effectively enhance learning and teaching, there are teachers who lack the skills and pedagogies in using technologies to improve their practices. Interestingly, this disparity is not bound to teachers from a particular subject or a particular key learning area. The gap exists among Language teachers as well as Science and Mathematics teachers. To bridge the gap and to effect a change in teachers’ practices, a culture of collaboration should be instilled in school. The collaborative culture can be promoted through a variety of collegial exchanges within school, such as, experience sharing, lesson observations, collaborative lesson-planning and lesson study (S. C. Li, 2007;

Stigler & Hiebert, 1999) etc. At school level, a mechanism should be in place in school to facilitate teachers and administrators and curriculum leaders to plan, to evaluate and to reflect upon their ICT practices.

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In terms of the TPD content, there was a strong call for more pedagogical and subject-specific orientation, despite the fact that pedagogy was already stipulated as one of the pivotal elements at all levels of IT professional development in (Au, Kong, Leung, Ng, & Pun, 1999). Some courses failed to address the needs of individual teachers as they might come from very different backgrounds and school-settings.

(Brand, 1998) cautions against the one-size-fits-all model, suggesting that it is essential to involve everyone in planning to create ownership of the process. As expounded in (Garet, Porter, Desimone, Birman, & Yoon, 2001), to effect a change in teacher’s practice, teacher professional development should possess three core features: (a) focus on content knowledge; (b) opportunities for active learning; and (c) coherence with other learning activities. In designing the delivery of TPD, it is necessary to change from ‘just in case’ mode to ‘just in time’ learning approach (Schrum, 1999).

It is important that teacher professional development pinpoints the necessary knowledge and competence that will help teachers analyse and reflect on environmental changes and develop appropriate strategies to make continuous improvement and development (S.C. Li, Law, & Lui, 2006). Traditional teaching training is usually carried out by means of formal short-term courses to provide teachers with opportunities to refresh and update their knowledge of the developments and implementations of innovative curricular design and pedagogical practices.

Teachers are then expected to bring back to their classrooms what they have acquired during the training. But when teachers exit the formal training courses and return to the real students in the real classrooms, the channel for resource exchange, knowledge communication and peer support has already been terminated and teachers are on their own again. Traditional teacher training is segregated from the day-to-day work of teachers and is therefore limited in its utility, vitality and impact. As any other form of experiential learning, the professional development of teachers critically involves experience and also a systematic approach to learning involving reflection, conceptualization and planning (S. C. Li, Wong, & Law, 2000). In this way, the new experience will be informed by learning from the past and from the experience of others. The building of a community of practice is critical in teacher education.

Teachers not only need to overcome isolation from other teachers and share experience and resources with peers in an environment equipped with tools for professional discourse, they also need equal access to teacher training opportunities and ongoing support for the change process. To enable curriculum innovations to take root in school, the focus of TPD programmes should not centre on the dissemination of the practices alone but also take into consideration of sustaining the support for the participants to implement and contextualize the new practices in their schools.

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Being involved in change requires teachers to be reflective in their practices and desire to change their current teaching status. Thus, change in pedagogical practice must be incremental and specific (Sugar, 2005).To effect and sustain change and improvement in pedagogical practices with ICT, it is necessary to develop a culture that embraces technology innovations (Lieberman & Miller, 1991), encourage teacher collaboration, provide continual follow-up support within a teacher’s classroom (S. C.

Li et al., 2000; Marx, Freeman, Krajcik, & Blumenfeld, 1998). In addition, the design of teacher professional development must be connected and aligned with the wider education reform initiatives.

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Part 4: Consultation Seminars

A Report of the Four Consultation Seminars on the ‘Revamp of the Teachers’ IT Training Framework’

Four two-hour consultation seminars were conducted from April to May 2007. About 300 practitioners had participated in these consultation seminars and made enquiries and comments upon the implementation of the proposed framework. Table 1 shows the details of the consultation seminars.

Table 1: The details of the consultation seminars

Date Venue Language Number of participants

17 April 2007 The Hong Kong University English 21

24 April 2007 Kowloon Tong Education Service Centre Chinese 93 2 May 2007 Kowloon Tong Education Service Centre Chinese 180 4 May 2007 The Chinese University of Hong Kong Chinese 45

Total: 339

The key points made by the participants and the major responses made by the Consultation Team in terms of nine aspects are summarised below.

1. Mode of Delivery

Enquiries from the Participants:

Participants enquired about the types of supports that will be provided by the teacher professional development programmes under the proposed framework to realise the pedagogical use of technology.

Some participants further asked about the measures of the proposed framework to address the two major problems of previous ITEd professional development programmes, viz. the lack of fundamental training in IT skills and the lack of enrichment training in pedagogical strategies for using IT in teaching.

Responses from the Consultation Team:

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Two major modes of delivery will be adopted in the teacher professional development programmes under the proposed framework to address such issues. The first mode is the organisation of intensive workshops. Such workshops will include the instruction in IT skills, the recommendations on relevant effective pedagogical strategies and the introduction of relevant incorporation of IL elements. Taking the professional development programmes for using blogs to teach language subjects as an example.

In such programmes, the teacher participants will be equipped with technical knowledge and pedagogical strategies for using blogs, such as collaborative learning strategies, and the pedagogy of incorporating IL elements in the context. The second mode is the provision of continuous professional supports in a school-clustering approach. Professional discourses among teachers in school clusters and supports from the professional bodies in the education sector are the two key elements of such support.

Suggestions from the Participants:

Concerning the future teacher professional development under the proposed framework, some participants suggested that the span should be in five to eight weeks so that teachers can share their gains with their colleagues within school after the completion of the professional development programmes.

Post-seminar remark:

It is worthwhile to consider the abovementioned suggestion in planning the span of future teacher professional development programmes.

2. Support for Experience Sharing

Sharing from the Participants:

A participant demonstrated a good model of promoting ITEd by describing her successful experience in fostering the use of the Multi-media Learning Centre (MMLC) in the teaching of language subjects. This participant used the simple recording technologies in the MMLC for teaching oral skills in Chinese Language.

Her work was recognised by her supervisors and colleagues after a series of within-school sharing. This participant stated that her teaching hours was reduced by the school senior management for the promotion of ITEd in her school. Based on her

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experience, the centrepiece of insightful sharing is related to the issues about pedagogical strategies rather than the issues about technical knowledge of IT innovations.

On the other hand, another participant expressed his worry about the administrative constraints on the organisation of experience sharing within school. This participant asserted the rationale behind the emphasis on experience sharing, particularly in the area about the inclusion of IL elements, in the proposed framework. However, he pointed out that teachers were usually lack of time, resources and supports to share successful experience in using IT innovations in teaching even the teachers were self-initiated to try innovative IT and develop effective pedagogies.

Post-seminar remark:

Two implications in relation to the implementation of the proposed framework can be drawn based on the above two cases.

The first implication relates to the need of sharing of pedagogical experience in using IT for teaching and learning. The abovementioned cases imply that there is a possibility of organising schools to share the successful and failed experiences in the use of IT for enhancing teaching and learning.

The second implication relates to the allocation of resources in promoting the teacher participation in the future ITEd professional development programmes. The participant in the first case was provided with resources (in the form of reduction of teaching hours) to support the promotion of ITEd professional development programmes, whereas the participant in the second case had not received such kind of resources. This implies the need to motivate the school leadership to allocate resources for promoting teacher participation in ITEd professional development programmes. The Consultation Team will make reference to these two cases for the recommendations on the allocation of manpower resources in the implementation of the proposed framework.

3. Introduction of Incentive Scheme

Enquiries from the Participants:

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Some participants asked about the incentives of the proposed framework to promote school encouragement to teachers for the participation in ITEd professional development programmes.

Responses from the Consultation Team:

Certain issues related to the development of ITEd are a part of criteria in the existing External School Review (ESR) system to some extent. Perhaps there is a need for explicitness in this area. It may be possible to make ‘whether the school has organised ITEd professional development programmes’, for example, as a criterion in the ESR system. The Consultation Team understands that this is a sensitive issue for schools.

Further investigation on this issue should be conducted.

Instead of the incentives that focus on the ESR system, the Consultation Team suggests the incentives in relation to the development of school-based model to cater for the diverse levels of use of IT of individual schools. Such school-based model encourages schools to develop plans on the ITEd professional development programmes according to their own need. The central issues of such school-based model include the emphasis on the mission for ‘making students learn better’ and the belief of using IT for enhancement of teaching and learning.

4. Extent of Teaching Supports

Enquiries from the Participants:

Some participants enquired about the extent of teaching supports in offering resources, such as lesson plans and teaching materials, which the beacon schools and the needy schools would provide and receive, respectively, under the proposed framework.

There were also proposals for building up a repertoire of central resources to support teaching and learning with IT.

Responses from the Consultation Team:

Under the proposed framework, all professional development programmes will provide teacher participants with at least one subject-specific and level-specific example on the implementation of the introduced pedagogical strategies and a set of corresponding teaching materials for the use of innovative IT in teaching. The

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References

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