TEIS Newsletter

TEIS News, Volume 22:1 (October 2007)

by User Not Found | 10/31/2011
In This Issue...
  • Leadership Updates
    • Letter From the Chair, Adelaide Parsons
    • Letter from the Editors, Tracy Davis, Joel Hardman and Duff Johnston
  • Articles and Information
    • TESOL Certificate Programs: Time to start practicing what we teach?
    • Reflective Journal Writing in the Practicum Course: What are the Roles of the Responder?
    • Teacher Education Responding to New Knowledge Theory
    • Required Collaboration and Its Impact on Teacher Professional Development
    • Professional development tips from the field: Two Hundred Titles in Three Days
    • Call for Contributions
    • TEIS Leadership Team 2007–08

Leadership Updates Letter From the Chair, Adelaide Parsons

Following the list serves of several interest sections and the caucuses has brought to light the many stimulating and sometimes controversial topics which characterize the TESOL organization.  Employment concerns, appropriate responses to the social dilemmas facing our societies world wide, which journals should TESOL embrace and should they be electronic or print, how to integrate research and the practical aspects of what happens in the classroom, the role of multiculturalism and how to promote an understanding and tolerance of other cultures are a few of the topics of interest to us all in the TESOL profession.  Our leadership within TESOL calls us together as professionals to addresses our differences and to search for common ground as we search for solutions that promote our profession.

A particular interest is a discussion that began on the TEIS listserv recently when a member of TEIS asked how other teacher training programs were addressing the topic of standards in our training programs.  The reference "standards" refer to NCATE (National Council of Accreditation of Teacher Education), a rigorous program of accreditation in the United States that is required of TESOL programs training teachers in grades K–12 and whose institutions have NCATE accreditation or those related to the preparation of teachers for certification under the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.  However, the question triggered related questions such as, "What makes a quality teacher education program?"  "What is the role of theory?  Practical Application of Knowledge in terms of pedagogy and teacher skills in the classroom? "  "What balance should there be between the two areas in the training program?"  "Can quality classroom teachers be prepared with focus only on pedagogy and classroom skills to the exclusion of theory?"  These differences reflect upon the philosophies or approaches (a systematic system of beliefs that one holds about how teacher training should be structured) held around the world.  These differences vary from country to country and within countries, from institution to institution.  Recognition of the various programs across countries or even provinces or states may prevent people from receiving the appropriate compensation, hiring considerations, and credits in a degree program.  What are the differences and how do we recognize these differences so that all trained teachers are recognized for their training experiences? 

The conversations via the listserv were stimulating…especially for myself who examines theories and research in terms of how applicable they are in the classroom. I confess to being more interested in pedagogy and the history of teaching and how people teach, especially classroom management and instructional skills that address the needs of the students and their immediate and longer term goals.  Quality programs around the world for training exist….whether a certification program with or without credits or whether applicable to a degree or a graduate program.  On the surface it would appear that there is a continuum between those that rely heavily on research as the basis for training (often found in the US in graduate schools) and those that focus on teaching classroom teaching skills (pedagogical skills often found in Certification programs.)  In the middle are those programs that attempt to merge the two into a training experience that includes some type of relationship between teaching skills and knowledge and research. 

The TEIS leadership at TESOL 2007 had a similar discussion.  The question is how can we as an interest section enter into professional discussions that allow for a balanced examination of the approaches to teacher training which appear in our field.  The examination should include within it an understanding of the needs of particular populations, their access to training and how training programs address the needs of the teachers and the students whom they will be teaching.

TEIS is currently working with the other Interest Sections to promote an open discussion through planning for TESOL 2008.  Proposed to the Convention Chair is a mini-conference within a conference that would focus on "Building the World Community of Teacher Educators in Pre-K through Post-Secondary Settings through Inquiry, Practice, and Creativity"  Request has been made for academic, intersection, and spotlight sessions that will highlight these three areas.  As our program proposal reviewers read abstracts for the conference, we have been able to draw upon the experiences and interests of our membership to balance the program so that inquiry, practice and creativity which reflect the varying approaches or philosophies in teacher training are addressed.  Further, we have submitted a special project application for Elementary and Teacher Education that would establish a forum for establishing and sharing action research projects from those countries where English is not the native language of the country but is emphasized in instruction and those countries where English is taught as a foreign language. 

The TEIS leadership looks forward to working with each of you as we shape our program and our agenda for the year ahead.

 Yours in TESOL and TEIS,
 Adelaide Heyde Parsons, Chair


Letter from the Editors, Tracy Davis, Joel Hardman and Duff Johnston

Welcome to the fall TEIS newsletter of 2007.  This issue has something for everyone as we take a look at a variety of approaches to teacher education.

We begin with "TESOL Certificate Programs: Time to start practicing what we teach?" in which Shawna Shapiro and Caroline Brandt compare intensive TESOL certificate programs with intensive ESOL classes and discuss where the similarities should and should not be.   Aysegul Daloglu, in "Reflective Journal Writing in the Practicum Course: What Are the Roles of the Responder?" describes the multiple roles a teacher trainer in Turkey plays while interacting with students on the pages of their journals.  The article also includes helpful suggestions for students and instructors undertaking similar reflective work in their own courses.  In "Teacher Education Responding to New Knowledge Theory" Phil Quirke presents an innovative online teacher education program under development in the United Arab Emirates that is based on an intricately articulated model of teacher knowledge.  This program is particularly noteworthy for its reflective component and high degree of instructional interaction with students.  "Required Collaboration and Its Impact on Teacher Professional Development," submitted by Peter Storey, Patrick Griffin and Kerry Woods, takes a look at a program in Hong Kong involving required collaboration between native-speaking English teachers and local teachers in primary schools and what was needed for such a program to be successful.

We wrap things up with a new feature section called "Professional Development Tips from the Field."  In this issue Tim Micek writes "Two Hundred Titles in Three Days" in which he tells of us his adventures building a library for a teacher education program in a very limited amount of time.

If any of the articles in this issue evoke a response or if you have your own ideas or topics you'd like to write about, please see the call for contributions at the bottom of the newsletter. 

Finally, as this is Duff Johnson's last issue with us, we'd like to wish him good luck in his travels and research and thank him for considerable contributions to the newsletter as a co-editor.  We'll look forward to his contributions as an author in the future.



Articles and Information TESOL Certificate Programs: Time to start practicing what we teach?

Shawna Shapiro, shawnashapiro@gmail.com, and Caroline Brandt, abrandt@pi.ac.ae

The irony of life is that it is lived forward but understood backward.
-Soren Kierkegaard

As teacher-trainers (also known as tutors) with many years of international experience tutoring student teachers in short, intensive TESOL/TEFL certificate programs, we have often found ourselves experiencing moments of pedagogical irony. For example, we have rushed through chapters on reflective teaching and found ourselves telling our student teachers we were too far behind to really reflect on that content. Similarly, we have heard ourselves repeating a favorite axiom, "quality over quantity," while delivering a lecture with entirely too much educational terminology. We have found ourselves telling our student-teachers about the benefits of Independent Learning Centers for their ESL students but have been at a loss when asked to recommend one for our own student teachers. Likewise, we have encouraged our student teachers to become student-centered—to build, for example, on what their students bring into the classroom—while we ourselves have treated each one as a tabula rasa, citing lack of time as our excuse. Pedagogical ironies, then, are reflections of inconsistency between our practice with student teachers and our expectations of those teachers in working with their own ESL students. When such moments occur, we may wince yet try to rationalize these inconsistencies as inherent to our work as teacher educators.

Inconsistency between words and actions is nothing new. Recently, however, we have begun to examine these situations more closely. What assumptions lie behind statements such as "Reflection is essential, but we have too much to cover" or "Successful students are independent learners, but you don't have time in this course to use an Independent Learning Center, so there isn't one"?

How might a course designed for ESL students look if it paralleled some of our short, intensive certificate programs? In a parallel approach, our ESL students would have to study for 8 to 10 hours per day (including preparation, assignments, etc.). Their prior knowledge would be more or less ignored. They would be required to give at least 6 hours of presentations to people already familiar with the content being presented. Their overall performance—and presentations in particular—would be continually assessed, yet they would be given no time in which to practice presenting without an assessor being present. And in the end they may fail, despite having paid a significant sum to join. In reality, language-learning courses are usually arranged quite differently, and for good reason.

If asked why we fail sometimes to practice what we teach in teacher training, we are likely to make various excuses. We might say: "These student teachers are different from my ESL students; they're more able to absorb complex material in a short time." We might focus more on course length and intensity, observing that "The course is short and I have limited time in which to pass on the necessary knowledge and skills. So that's my priority." Our pragmatic sides may add that "These student teachers can 'reflect' and get plenty of practice in their own time." When we look at these justifications more closely, though, we find that they are underpinned by an assumption that the education of teachers is about the transfer of knowledge and skills from expert to novice, rather than about the more democratic and active construction of meaning. This assumption leaves us with two possible conclusions: either teacher training is the one exception to our current understandings of learning as being more than intellectual "banking" (Freire, 1993, p. 53), or there is a salient, problematic contradiction between our beliefs about teaching and our practices as teacher-trainers.

What we wish to explore here are the conditions that allow this contradiction to persist. Why do we perceive student-centeredness as a luxury rather than a necessity in the training of teachers? How has our work come to focus more on the dissemination of information than on the development of individuals? Our aim here is to share our thoughts and experiences as a springboard for discussion.

A key issue, as we see it, is reflective practice. Effective teachers go beyond the what or the how of methodology to explore the why. The term reflective practice has been part of the discourse of teachers and teacher educators for many years. Dewey (1933) considered reflection to be a deliberateholistic, cognitive process that takes account of underlying beliefs and knowledge. Reflection has been the subject of much discussion since then (see, for example, Schön, 1987; Mezirow, 1990; Eraut, 1994). Evidence suggests that it allows time for learners to personalize learning (Rogers, 1969), reprocess ideas (Vygotsky, 1978), and absorb material (Tobin, 1987). To all of these writers, learning and reflection are interdependent.

The idea of teachers as reflective practitioners became widely accepted in teacher education circles in the 1980s and 1990s. In relation to training foreign language teachers, Wallace (1991) referred to a need for student teachers to "reflect on the 'received knowledge' in the light of classroom experience, . . . so that the classroom experience can feed back into the 'received knowledge' sessions" (Wallace, 1991, p. 55). Several writers have taken this notion further, identifying a need for critical reflection, that is, reflection that includes a "critique of the presuppositions on which our beliefs have been built" (Mezirow, 1990, p. 1).

However, what informs the pedagogical need for reflection more generally is the psychology of adult learners. A recent review of research on adult learning considered several models from different perspectives. Its authors summarized their work by identifying several inferences that may be drawn about adult learning. Adults, they concluded, benefit from instruction that allows for self-motivation, ongoing reflection, and multifaceted engagement (Tusting & Barton, 2003, p. 36).

In essence, it is clear that critical reflection is essential for learning—particularly for adults, and more so for teachers. Its value should not be overlooked in teacher training. Why, then, does it seem to be neglected in many programs? 
 
The most obvious answer is that the structure of many programs creates significant obstacles to reflective practice. In our own program, the sheer amount of content to be covered in a limited time tends to inhibit reflective practice. Slowing course progression—an obvious first step to becoming more student-centered in general—would involve at least a compromise, if not a complete overhaul of the curriculum. This curricular change would require significant, ongoing discussion with all stakeholders, including student teachers. After all, a packed syllabus appears to offer better value; consumers do not want to pay for what they perceive to be white space.

Also, these short, intensive teacher-training programs are often centrally planned but locally implemented, which can lead to a perceived need for standardization, in part because employers of graduates look for parity between qualifications attained in different centers. However, "standardization [can lead to] homogeneity of actual and desired student learning [and it] can threaten creativity, assessment of multiple intelligences, and the promotion of individuality" (Braskamp & Braskamp, 1997). It is difficult to see how such a context can support reflective practice.

Recognizing that curricular change responding to such issues may not be an immediate possibility for many teacher educators for various reasons, we hope that this article will initiate discussion about what can be done in the meantime. What follows therefore are suggested strategies for migrating toward a more reflective, student-centered approach to teacher education.

  • Practice good reflective practice yourself, as a tutor.
  • Encourage self-awareness and the development of reflection skills in your student teachers with activities that make internal "self-talk" more explicit (see Brandt, 2007), such as learning journals, written in-class reflections, small- or large-group discussion, and interviews and surveys. 
  • Use student teachers' prior knowledge and experience—especially as language learners—in class activities. 
  • Allow student teachers the opportunity to reflect frequently—and perhaps anonymously—on the pedagogical effectiveness of your teaching and the rationale for your choices (see Borg, 2005). Encourage your students to identify points in the lesson where you practice what you teach.
  • Highlight the role of social interaction through conferencing, focus groups, and collaborative activities. Provide opportunities for similar activities between student teachers and ESL students (see Brandt, 2006b, p. 166).
  • Ensure that courses provide significant opportunities for unassessed, unobserved teaching practice (see Brandt, 2006a).
  • Consider carefully the nature of feedback given to students on their assignments and teaching practice (see Brandt, in press; Brinko, 1993).

These adaptations can contribute toward a shift from a teacher-centered, "banking" approach, toward one centered on the development of thoughtful and effective educators, reflecting a congruent value system in which we practice what we teach.

Perhaps the greatest evidence that such a shift is needed lies in the term most commonly used to describe our work—training. Although, thankfully, our TESOL interest section has chosen "teacher education" as its descriptor, the notion that teachers can be "trained" in the behaviorist sense remains prevalent in educational discourse. We suggest that the development of professional competence be seen less as a question of replication of technical expertise—that is, training—and more as the development of artistry (Schön, 1987). Through a course design centered on educational processes and practices—not just products—and incorporating ongoing, reflective activities, we can allow our developing teachers to bring their own thoughts, emotions, beliefs, values, and experiences into our courses, so that our work might "transcend mere training in the use of specific behavioral competencies" (Korthagen, 1993) and become teacher education. Which is, of course, how true learning really happens.

References 
Borg, M. (2005). A case study of the development in pedagogic thinking of a pre-service teacher. TESL-EJ, 9(2).

Brandt, C. (in press). Integrating feedback and reflection in TESOL teacher preparation. English Language Teaching Journal, 62(1).

Brandt, C. (2006a). Allowing for practice: A critical issue in the preparation of TESOL teachers. English Language Teaching Journal, 60(4), 355-364.

Brandt, C. (2006b). Success on your certificate course in English language teaching: A guide to becoming a teacher in ELT/TESOL. London, UK: Sage.

Brandt, C. (2007) Giving reflection a voice: A strategy for self-evaluation and assessment in TESOL teacher preparation. In C. Coombe, M. Al-Hamly, P. Davidson, & S. Troudi (Eds.), (2007). Evaluating teacher effectiveness in ESL/EFL contexts. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Braskamp, L. A., & Braskamp, D. C. (1997). The pendulum swing of standards and evidence. CHEA Chronicle, 1(5). Retrieved February 5, 2007, from http://www.chea.org/Chronicle/vol1/no5/index.html

Brinko, K. T. (1993). The practice of giving feedback to improve teaching: What is effective? Journal of Higher Education, 64(5), 575-593.

Dewey, J. (1933). How we think. Boston: D. C. Heath & Co.

Eraut, M. (1994). Developing professional knowledge and competence. London, UK: The Falmer Press.

Freire, P. (1993). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Penguin Books.

Korthagen, F. A. J. (1993). Two modes of reflection. Teaching and Teacher Education, 9(3), 317-326.

Mezirow, J. (1990). How critical reflection triggers transformative learning. In J. Mezirow & Associates, Fostering critical reflection in adulthood. A guide to transformative and emancipatory learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Rogers, C. (1969). Freedom to learn: A view of what education might be. Ohio: Merrill.

Schön, D. A. (1987). Educating the reflective practitioner: Towards a new design for teaching and learning in the professions. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Tobin, K. (1987). The role of wait time in higher cognitive learning. Review of Educational Research, 57(1), 69-75.

Tusting, K., & Barton, D. (2003). Models of adult learning: A literature review. London, UK: National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy.
 
Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Wallace, M. (1991). Training foreign language teachers: A reflective approach. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Bios

Shawna Shapiro is a PhD candidate at the University of Washington, United States, where she also received her MATESOL degree. She is an instructor in two Seattle-based TESOL certificate programs and has contributed two chapters to Techniques for TA/ITA Development (Anker Publishing, in press), as well as having written for other serial publications.

Caroline Brandt has a PhD in TESOL teacher education from the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom. She is currently assistant professor with the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, where she teaches communication skills. She is the author ofSuccess on Your Certificate Course in English Language Teaching: A Guide to Becoming a Teacher in ELT/TESOL (London, UK: Sage, 2006) and Read, Research, Write: Academic Skills for ESL Students in Higher Education (London, UK: Sage, in press).


Reflective Journal Writing in the Practicum Course: What are the Roles of the Responder?

Ayasegül Daloglu, daloglu@metu.edu.tr

Introduction

Reflective journals serve as a communication tool between student teachers and teacher educators. Feedback from student teachers demonstrates that they find journal writing to be effective in their transition from being a student to being a teacher and in fostering reflective practice from the start of their careers. Although a variety of approaches such as observation and teacher group discussions can be used to help teachers develop a reflective approach to their teaching, journal writing seems to be the most effective (Hyatt & Beigy, 1999). Most reports of journal writing stress the benefits for both the student teachers and the instructor; retrospection on and analysis of classroom processes and experiences can be a valuable consciousness-raising tool. This article focuses on how journal writing was used as a reflective tool in a practicum course and the roles performed by the instructor who responded to the journals of prospective teachers.

Recent literature on teacher education abounds with the virtues of reflective practice and the process of examining and evaluating one's own learning through a range of strategies, all of which are intended to lead to improvements in teaching and learning (Clandinin, Davies, Hogan, & Kennard, 1993). Reflection in teaching generally refers to teachers learning to subject their own beliefs of teaching and learning to a critical analysis, and thus take more responsibility for their actions in the classroom. Schon (1987), Zeichner (1992, 1993), and Hatton and Smith (1995) have written about the need to engage teachers in tasks that facilitate self-exploration through metacognitive and reflective processes. In addition, preservice teacher education programs promote reflective practice as a highly valued teacher competency (Campbell-Evans & Maloney, 1997). What is also apparent in literature is that developing reflective skills is both problematic and complex.

For reflective teaching to happen, opportunities must be created for teachers to use conscious reflection as a means of understanding the relationship between their thoughts and actions. As Knowles and Holt-Reynolds (1991) stated, journal writing becomes a valuable tool when it is interactive, that is, when it is an ongoing dialogue between the teacher educator, who is usually the university instructor in the practicum course, and the student teacher. An interactive journal of this nature creates a forum in which to exchange ideas about practical implications of theory (Francis, 1995).

Teaching experiences carried out during the practicum course are helpful in preparing new teachers but reflecting on the experience adds a critical perspective. According to Doyle (1997), the student teacher must reflect on and analyze what he or she saw, heard, and felt in the classroom through the practice of reflective journals. By reflecting on their experiences, student teachers are able to "think about their attitudes, beliefs, and assumptions . . . to promote self-evaluation and change" (p. 519). Therefore, keeping a reflective journal encourages the student teacher to think about his or her beliefs and values, and to question how appropriate they are for the given teaching-learning context. Such critical analysis serves as the starting point of self-evaluation and change. As a result, through reflective journal writing, student teachers can

  • report or describe an incident, event, feeling, or lesson;
  • review and focus on a situation by considering and suggesting simple alternatives and explanations;
  • analyze by questioning or diagnosing the case, comparing and evaluating an incident or situation, and speculating on consequences; and 
  • reconceptualize or rework their views and ideas by stating their philosophy or vision, contemplating an image of teaching and teachers, and being insightful about the purpose of education and about self as a teacher. (Maloney & Campbell-Evans, 2002)

Through journal writing, student teachers see the value of developing their awareness of classroom processes, which enables them to make conscious and informed decisions in relation to their own teaching.

The Context

The 20 student teachers who participated in the journal writing activity that is the focus of this article were enrolled in the practicum course, which is a required course in the last semester of the BA degree in English language teaching at Middle East Technical University, Ankara. The practicum course was to serve as a culminating course that transferred the knowledge and skills acquired in the previous theory- and practice-based courses to authentic teaching situations. For 14 weeks, all the student teachers enrolled in the practicum course either taught or observed their mentor teacher for 6 hours a week at the primary school they were assigned to and attended a 2-hour lesson a week at the university. 
 
Keeping a reflective journal that included at least 10 entries was one of the requirements of the practicum course. The course instructor provided the student teachers with a different set of questions each week to guide the reflection process while providing a focus for the journal entry they were to write that week. The student teachers e-mailed their journal entries to the university instructor who made an effort to respond within 24 hours.

Roles of the Responder

Below are the roles the responder (university instructor) most commonly assumed: 

  • Responding as a comforter:
    • Highlighting the writer's strengths and interests, and sometimes offering insights about larger structural issues and challenges that contribute to a problem the journal writer assumes to be unique.
  • Responding as a mirror:
    • Reflecting the writer's themes, images, and questions that appear throughout the journal.
  • Responding as a questioner:
    • Asking critical questions that draw attention to gaps in the writer's thinking process. 
  • Responding as a guide:
    • Leading the writer to reach conclusions or potential lessons from experience that emerge in the writing and suggesting implications for further learning.
  • Responding as a friend:
    • Commenting on the parts the reader relates to or agrees with, sharing some personal stories, and even giving advice.
  • Responding as a teacher:
    • Offering constructive assistance to sharpen writer's thinking or learning as reflected in the journal, and relating the practical experience to the input provided in the university component of the practicum course.

Throughout the semester, the university instructor assumed the above roles. The student teachers' last journal entry, which focused on how they viewed the journal writing activity, showed that they benefited from the feedback they received from the responder in the reflection process. When the instructor responded as a mirror, the student teachers reported that they became aware of how they could reflect on their experiences. The instructor responding as a questioner encouraged the student teachers to critically analyze the experience they were writing about. The instructor as a guide encouraged the student teachers to analyze their learning process and to reach conclusions about how they learn. Student teachers reported feeling support when the university instructor responded as a friend. Also, they became aware that the challenges they faced were not self-contained; others, including their instructor, were facing or had faced similar problems. When the university instructor responded as the teacher, they were able to relate their learning in the practice component of the course to the theory that was covered in the lessons at the university. It is, therefore, possible to conclude that the role of the responder influenced the extent to which student teachers reflected on their experiences.

To ensure effectiveness when implementing such a journal writing project as a course component, the journal writer and the course designer need to focus on the following practical issues:

For the journal writer:

  • Write the journal entry right after a specific experience (classroom observation, university lesson, teaching, etc.) ends. 
  • Provide specific and concrete examples or anecdotes to support your conclusions about your experiences.

For the teacher/course designer

  • Use journals for monitoring and communication.
  • Use journals for ongoing course evaluation and revision.
  • Use journals to promote critical thinking and self-evaluation.
  • Use journals to foster reflective thinking and reflective teaching. 
  • Give the diarists some input on the expected advantages of journal writing and training on what to focus on in the journal, especially if they are new to journal writing or skeptical about its value.

I believe that these practical suggestions can make journal writing a worthwhile experience for both parties involved.

References

Campbell-Evans, G., & Maloney, C. (1997). An alternative practicum curriculum: Exploring roles and relationships. Asia Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 25, 35-52. 

Clandinin, D., Davies, A., Hogan, P., & Kennard, B. (Eds). (1993). Learning to teach: Teaching to learn. New York: Teachers College Press.

Doyle, M. (1997). Beyond life history as a student: Pre-service teachers' beliefs about teaching and learning. College Student Journal, 31, 519-531.

Francis, D. (1995). The reflective journal: A window to pre-service teachers' practical knowledge. Teaching and Teacher Education, 11, 229-241.

Hatton, N., & Smith, S. (1995). Reflection in teacher education towards definition and implementation. Teaching and Teacher Education, 11, 33-49.

Hyatt, D. F., & Beigy, A. (1999). Making the most of the unknown language learning experience: Pathways for reflective teacher development. Journal of Education for Teaching, 25, 31-40.

Knowles, G., & Holt-Reynolds, D. (1991). Shaping pedagogies through personal histories in pre-service teacher education. Teachers College Record, 93(1), 86-112.

Maloney, C., & Campbell-Evans, G. (2002). Using interactive journal writing as a strategy for professional growth. Asia Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 30, 39-50.

Schon, D. (1987). Evaluating the reflective practitioner. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Zeichner, K. (1992). Beyond inquiry-oriented teacher education: Rethinking the practicum. Monograph No. 17. Saskatoon, SK: University of Saskatchewan. ED354223 

Zeichner, K. (1993). Traditions of practice in US pre-service teacher education programs. Teaching and Teacher Education, 9 (1), 1-13.

Aysegül Daloglu is an associate professor in the Department of English Language Teaching at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey.


Teacher Education Responding to New Knowledge Theory

Phil Quirke, pquirke@hct.ac.ae

Introduction

In this article I outline a new online teacher education program that is being designed around the latest theories in teacher knowledge. Currently under development, the program should be available through a Moodle interface in December 2007.

I also briefly review the latest theories in teacher knowledge that inform the content of the program and then provide a brief outline of each unit so that the reader may appreciate the practical application of these latest theories.

New Teacher Knowledge Theory

The beliefs behind the latest theories of teacher development are that learning to teach "requires experiences and settings which support reflection, collaboration, relational learning and the creation of communities of inquiry" (Beattie, 1997, p. 126) and that "a professional knowledge of teaching has many dimensions—cognitive, social, organizational, practical, moral, aesthetic, personal, political and interpersonal" (Beattie, 1997, p. 126). These beliefs were also influenced by Sachs, who stated that "when teacher research is complemented by academic research new types of knowledge can be produced and new forms of teacher and teacher educator practice and professionalism can be initiated" (1997, p. 54).

The theoretical model of teacher knowledge that I present in this section is an attempt to provide a diagrammatical representation of how people construct and process knowledge. It addresses the "tighter coupling of theory and practice in the context of a broader and deeper base of knowledge about learning, development and teaching" (Darling-Hammond, 1999, p. 227) which Darling-Hammond saw as "the key feature of teacher education for the twenty-first century" (p. 227). And finally, it meets Johnson's definition of professional development as "a collaborative effort, a reflective process, a situated experience, and a theorizing opportunity" (2002, p. 1).

Our knowledge base for teachers' knowledge is still incomplete (Freeman & Richards, 1993; Reynolds, 1989). However, current research on teachers' knowledge is "reconceptualizing the notion of knowledge so that it includes L2 teachers' ways of knowing" (Golombek, 1998, p. 447). For example, Grossman (1990) looked at the difference between the training required for content knowledge and the development required for pedagogical knowledge, and Freeman and Johnson (1998, p. 405) were concerned with the differences between conceptual and perceptual knowledge. More recently, Tsui (2003) brought together the proliferation of teacher knowledge terminology into a coherent whole, and this article builds on Tsui's conclusions to offer a new theory of teacher knowledge.

The model of teacher knowledge development put forward in this article brings together as a coherent whole (a) the "formal theoretical knowledge" that is "publicly represented" and "negotiable" (Bereiter & Scardamalia, 1993, p. 62) and delivered through formal education programs such as diplomas and degrees and (b) the informal practical knowledge that is personalized, situated in context, and, more often than not, learned on the job.

Although the diagrammatic representation at the end of this section separates knowledge into discrete types, it must be noted that teachers' knowledge is in fact bounded only by an ever-moving outer parameter that expands as knowledge grows. The figure takes into account the fact that practicing teachers use all knowledge types at any time, often simultaneously and in a complex intermesh that cannot be truly analyzed. The figure is therefore analytical rather than real. It is a theoretical model that helps us understand how teachers work and develop, rather than a real description. Teacher knowledge "functions as an organised whole" (Feiman-Nemser & Floden, 1986, p. 513), and it is "an integrated whole that cannot be separated into distinct knowledge domains" (Tsui, 2003, p. 65). The online teacher education program described later in this article is an attempt to practicalize this theoretical model and make it real.

Self-knowledge is seen as the permeable core of everything we are as teachers. I would argue that we cannot separate the person from the teacher. Even those teachers I know who insist that their teaching persona is far removed from their personal and social identity reveal a clear awareness of professional self. So, at the heart of any model on teacher knowledge must be knowledge of self, an awareness of who we are professionally and why we do what we do.

This model of teacher knowledge with the situated, professional self at the core is mirrored by the centrality of the self in the reflective aspect of Schön's knowing-in-action (Schön, 1983). Eraut (1994) agreed with Schön, placing conscious deliberation at the heart of professional work, and the theoretical model proposed in this article does the same with the professional self placed at the heart of the model, binding informal practical knowledge (Elbaz, 1983) and formal theoretical knowledge together. The model thereby represents the importance of reflection. It represents how informal practical or tacit knowledge development can be triggered by new formal theoretical knowledge. Above all, it represents how the practical application of formal theoretical knowledge is centered by knowledge of the professional self as this knowing-in-action is supported by reflection. This centrality of reflection moves the professional self to the core of teacher knowledge development as the teacher works on cognitively processing new knowledge into his or her existing knowledge schemata.

This recognition of the importance of professional self-knowledge has been demonstrated continually over the past decade in both the literature (Bailey, Curtis, & Nunan, 2001; Goodson, 1992; K. Richards, 2003), with the increase of teacher narratives and case studies (Bailey, 1997; Freeman & Richards, 1996; Johnson, 2000), and teacher education programs that focus on individuals' knowledge at the start of their courses (Borg, 1998; Díaz-Rico, 2000; Freeman & Johnson, 1998; Head & Taylor, 1997; J. Richards & Nunan, 1990; Wallace, 1991).

So, the centrally situated blue self-knowledge circle in Figure 1 below represents teachers' knowledge of themselves professionally and how this impacts their teaching persona.


Figure 1. Model of Teacher Knowledge Development
 

The category "informal practical knowledge" (on the right side of the figure) includes a wide variety of terms from the literature.  I argue these terms can all be subsumed under this general heading which could translate as teachers' experiential knowledge learned on the job and in the classroom. The terms include practical knowledge, classroom knowledge, personal practical knowledge, and, above all, teachers' knowledge of their local context including students, curriculum, and institution.

The "practical knowledge" of Elbaz (1983), which is drawn from the works of Schutz (1962-73) and Dewey (1938), is essentially knowledge created from experience in the classroom or "experiential knowledge" (Anning, 1988; Lanier & Little, 1986; Munby & Russell, 1991). All these knowledge terms clearly fit into the model above under the category "informal practical knowledge."

This knowledge is closely tied to the "classroom knowledge" of Berliner and Carter (1989) and the "instructional knowledge" of Elbaz (1983). This is the arena in which teachers develop their informal, experiential knowledge that remains largely tacit and intuitive.

A further term that I include in this broad "informal practical knowledge" section of the model is the "personal practical knowledge" of Clandinin and Connelly in their works spanning the decade from 1985 to 1996 that use an experiential philosophical approach to studying teacher knowledge through narratives. The definition of "personal practical knowledge" is best given by Clandinin (1992) as

knowledge that reflects the individual's prior knowledge and acknowledges the contextual nature of that teacher's knowledge. It is a kind of knowledge carved out of, and shaped by, situations; knowledge that is constructed and reconstructed as we live out our stories and retell and relive them through processes of reflection. (p. 125)

This definition clearly builds on the self-knowledge core described at the heart of the model presented above.

Finally, I would suggest that "informal practical knowledge" also covers "situated knowledge" (Benner, Tanner, & Chesla, 1996; Fenstermacher, 1994; Leinhardt, 1988, 1989; Lave & Wegner, 1991; Putman & Borko, 2000) which can be defined as "local understanding" (Freeman, 2000, p. 1) or the knowledge that is "constituted in the settings of practice" (Lave, 1988, p. 14), and can be seen as the dialectical link or relationship between content and practice (Scribner, 1984). It is the teachers' knowledge of their context including the knowledge of their students, institution, and community. The context in which teachers work is not simply the container in which knowledge is demonstrated; it is the situation that teachers respond to in order to develop their knowledge. This view of teacher knowledge places the situation close to the center of the model of teacher knowledge growth and development (Mercer, 1995, p. 68) and mirrors the recent proliferation of teacher narrative studies.

So, the right-hand informal practical knowledge area represents the practical, experiential knowledge of teachers based on their classroom experiences in their local contexts.

On the left side of the figure, under "formal theoretical knowledge," a term partially taken from Bereiter and Scardamalia (1993), I have included three broad types of knowledge from the literature. These are theoretical knowledge, subject matter knowledge, and pedagogical content knowledge. All these are tied together under the heading of "formal" as the knowledge is seen as accepted by the wider academic and educational community through publications, presentations, and informed referencing. The formalization is further engrained  as training institutes include this knowledge in their courses and programs. This publication and institutionalization of knowledge creates a body of "formal theoretical knowledge."

Incorporated under this "formal theoretical knowledge" are "content knowledge" and "subject matter knowledge," which I use interchangeably to generally reference all types of content matter (Carlsen, 1991; Furlong & Maynard, 1995;; Shulman, 1987; Wilson, Shulman, & Richert, 1987) or specific references to one type of subject matter (Ball & McDiarmid, 1990) such as math (Ball, 1991), science (Munby & Russell, 1991), English (Grossman, 1990; Hillocks, 1999), history (Wilson & Wineburg, 1988), and ESL (Tsui & Nicholson, 1999; Woods, 1996). Under this category, I also include "disciplinary knowledge" from Wilson and Wineburg (1988) and use the term disciplinary as they do in the sense of discipline or subject.

The final type of knowledge to be included here is "pedagogical content knowledge" (Grossman, 1990; Livingston & Borko, 1989; Tsui & Nicholson, 1999; Wineburg & Wilson, 1991) which I use in the sense of the knowledge of teaching, as opposed to the knowledge of the subject. "Pedagogical content knowledge" is the management of learning that is taught in postgraduate certificate in education courses after students have gained their first degree in their subject matter. Other authors have considered pedagogical content knowledge and subject matter knowledge to be inseparable (MacEwan & Bull, 1991; McNamara, 1991), and this is probably true in practice, as Calderhead and Miller (1986), Bennett (1993), and Woods (1996) stated. Nevertheless, the distinction is useful in an analytical model as it ensures one is not preferred to the other

So, the left-hand "formal theoretical knowledge" area represents the theoretical and empirical knowledge of content and pedagogy that is widely accepted by professional bodies within English language teaching.

Thus, informal practical knowledge, formal theoretical knowledge, and the nucleus of teacher' self-knowledge that they surround form the core of teacher knowledge development.

Inspired by Tsui (2003), I linked "informal practical knowledge" and "formal theoretical knowledge" by using the blue arrow at the top of this core. The arrow represents "theorizing practical knowledge," which can be defined as the search for formal knowledge by teachers on the basis of their personal practical experience. The search is often for specific knowledge informed by teachers' deliberations and reflection on their practical classroom experiences.

This search is the narrowing down, focusing, and shaping of formal theoretical knowledge that most good teacher-training programs focus on. It is the process of building on a teacher's experiential knowledge and helping him or her to align it to theoretical knowledge. Reflection on practical experiences highlights the gaps in a teacher's knowledge as well as the needs of the teacher in context. The theorizing of practical knowledge is the process whereby a teacher begins to fill those gaps and meet those needs. 

So, this blue arrow, "theorizing practical knowledge," represents the teacher's search for the formal theoretical knowledge that can be aligned to his or her experience. It is the process whereby a teacher's knowledge expands as he or she learns how to theorize his or her practice.

The green arrow at the bottom of this core links "formal theoretical knowledge" back to "informal practical knowledge." It represents "practicalizing theoretical knowledge," which can be defined as the experimental classroom practice whereby teachers try out new ideas, methods, approaches, content, and activities in the classroom. It is where teachers confirm their formal theoretical knowledge as they attempt to generate new practice in their classrooms. I would suggest that this is where teachers try to create a broader base and thereby complete a developmental cycle that might give them the potential to become researchers in their own right.

So, the bottom green arrow, "practicalizing theoretical knowledge," represents the teacher's search for new classroom practices that mirror his or her often newly articulated theories or developing and expanding formal theoretical knowledge. It is the process whereby a teacher's knowledge can expand as he or she learns to practically apply theories, often through research on his or her classroom practice.

It is this continual cycle of theorizing practical knowledge and practicalizing theoretical knowledge that creates a cycle of individual teacher knowledge. Figure 1 aims to capture the complexity of teacher knowledge, the circularity of knowledge growth through practice and theoretical input, and the centrality of the local situation.

My doctoral research (Quirke, 2006) indicated a widening of this cyclical core, with an outer ring illustrating the teacher development roles of knowledge seeker, knowledge user, knowledge discusser, and knowledge provider. I suggest that the cycle is constantly repeated as our increased knowledge serves only to demonstrate to us what we do not know, so that we embark on a fresh cycle of knowledge discovery in an ever-widening circle of development. Figure 1 attempts to capture this continuous development.

As our experiential knowledge expands we begin to understand the gaps in our knowledge and seek to deepen our understanding by exploring the theories that underlie our experience. This movement is represented by the green "knowledge seeker" category in the model, which mirrors the theorizing of practical knowledge. We have an understanding of ourselves, our situation, and our teaching context, and we begin to explore how we can deepen that understanding through reading, professional workshops, and further study. We are in effect beginning to theorize our existing practice, and by seeking new knowledge through research and reflection we gain a better understanding of what we are doing in the classroom (Winkler, 2001).

For the diploma courses I tutor, I refer to the freeze frame in the classroom—that is, we should be able to explain why we are doing what we are doing at any given point in our lessons. This ability often requires depth of reflection and the seeking of new knowledge to better explain the theories underlying our practice. At this stage we are beginning to link our informal, experiential knowledge to formal, professional knowledge.

During this teacher development move, teachers work with the knowledge sought through reflection and further discussion with others. We actively process the newly received formal, professional knowledge and reflect further on its significance to both our existing situation and self-knowledge. We begin to map the newly received knowledge to our existing knowledge schemata (Piaget, 1950) and make unconscious decisions as to whether or not we accept or reject that knowledge for our teaching selves in the context in which we are working. When we accept this knowledge, we either slot it into our existing schemata smoothly or adjust our existing knowledge schemata and understanding to encompass the new formal input (Kegan, 1982; Rosen, 1996). It is at this point that true change begins to occur in our professional selves.

Although reflection will always remain a primarily individual and private activity, collaborative work often provides insights into those reflections (Knights, 1985). The changes to our existing knowledge schema triggered by reflection on newly acquired knowledge are seldom complete until we have involved others. As we shift our schemata, we need confirmation from those professional colleagues around us whom we respect. So, we discuss how this new knowledge maps onto our existing cognitive knowledge map and decide whether or not the change we are considering for our schema is in fact compatible with our professional context.

My research has indicated that it is important for any teacher education program to form a discourse community, which creates a secure, defined group boundary for professional discussion. I would suggest that this is essential for the red "knowledge discusser" teacher development move illustrated in the model. It should be noted that professional discussion is based on a mutual trust that has to be developed, partly through social exchange. Because doing so in an online environment is often difficult, any developmental Web-based program, such as the one described later in this article, must recognize the importance of those professional discussions that take place in a face-to-face medium with colleagues at hand. The program needs to encourage these forays into professional discourse as an important low-risk step into our field.

One of the key phases in the transformation of our knowledge structure is the practicalizing of new knowledge as we confirm our beliefs in practice. The yellow teacher development "knowledge user" move in the model supports the practicalizing of theoretical knowledge described above and often focuses on action research in the classroom (Wallace, 1997) and collaboration (Bartlett, 1990; Edge, 1992; Woods, 1996).

Much of this teacher development move occurs directly in the institution or classroom as research, lessons, materials, and courses are prepared. The previous reflection and discussion lead us into an experimental move of knowledge use as we practicalize our newly forming theoretical knowledge through experimentation and action research in the classroom and institution. This practice then becomes part of our expanding experiential knowledge, especially as we continue to discuss and involve others in our research and experimentation. This continuous cycle from knowledge seeker to knowledge user and knowledge discusser, in which all three are often occurring simultaneously, results in increased understanding and growth in our professional knowledge. It is important to reiterate that this is a theoretical model and a diagrammatical representation of teacher knowledge development. It is not a direct reflection of reality, which sees teachers use different stages of the model simultaneously and apply different stages to different themes at the same time. For example, this article sees me at the knowledge-provision phase theorizing my practical experiences over the past 5 years. I am, at this stage of my career, also seeking knowledge on the WebCT learning platform as I work on putting a faculty appraisal course online. I am also participating in a knowledge-discussion phase on writing journals in preparation for a conference presentation and am at the knowledge-user phase on a program quality assurance project I am involved in. I have used myself as an example here to clearly demonstrate how all teachers process knowledge of multiple themes at any given stage of their working lives. The model is a theoretical simplification of an incredibly complex intermeshed process.

Eventually, as our knowledge grows, we begin to realize we have something to offer the professional community and begin to act as knowledge providers. The cycle does not end here, because a natural continuation of knowledge provision is a realization of how much more we can add to our knowledge, so we begin to seek new knowledge in a process of lifelong learning. The cycle continues and grows. This description is supported by Winkler who describes the process from a starting point of theoretical reflection that "becomes a prerequisite for confrontation and 'metacognition,' which according to Bruner (1990) and Day (1999) will enable teachers to become aware of their own assumptions of learning and begin to actively produce new knowledge about their own teaching" (Winkler, 2001, p. 447).

My research suggests that teachers first starting in the profession need encouragement from a more experienced colleague to give them the confidence to submit their first article for publication, be it in a journal or on the Web. This need for encouragement is also indicated by the struggle of practitioners to gain acceptance for their research within the academic community (Yeatman, 1996).
 
The "knowledge provider" category is the final phase in the cyclical model of teacher knowledge and is the key reporting element that often strengthens our knowledge structure and teacher beliefs, perhaps moving them to the central core of our professional selves. As noted previously, the work involved in providing knowledge to others also raises our awareness of other existing gaps in our knowledge and triggers a new cycle of teacher development as we begin to seek new knowledge to bridge those gaps.

An Online Teacher Education Program

I believe that teacher education and development courses should support teachers in becoming the most eclectic practitioners possible through a process of practice and reflection supported by tutors, unseen observations, discussion boards, reflective journals, and structured reading.

I also believe any online course must provide effective loop input by introducing teachers to a Web-based course delivery that is increasingly required of the ELT practitioner today.
In order to support those taking the course, each participant will have an individual tutor with whom he or she will interact via e-mail and reflective journals. This tutor provides any support needed throughout the course and supervises the unseen observations. However, all other assignments are assessed by a second tutor.

The delivery of the program is structured around a course of e-mail- or portal-based unseen observations. Each unit requiring an observation involves an in-depth e-mail discussion in which the candidate reflects on his or her lesson guided by tutor questions that probe the taught class. The questions are drawn from the essay and lesson plan that must be submitted 3 days before the taught class. Following the discussion, the candidate must draw up a postlesson reflective summary before the tutors evaluate the full assignment.

Each unit of the program is supported by a discussion board thread that is driven by one of the tutors. Participants are expected to contribute a minimum number of entries each week that demonstrate both their reading and understanding of the unit's topic.

Each participant is expected to keep a reflective journal throughout the course. The journal follows a set format and is supported by the participant's tutor in an in-depth series of exchanges.

Each unit of the program is based on one major theme from teacher development and is divided into input sections. These sections are formed around a series of articles that give a sound theoretical basis to current practice. The discussion boards are linked to the readings and aim to guide the participants toward linking their emerging theoretical understanding to their classroom teaching.

This approach ensures that the delivery and content are intermeshed in a fresh format that is, I claim, a fairly radical call for an overhaul of current teacher education practices in TESOL.

Finally, I outline below the matrix of the program currently being developed. As you will notice, the subject of each of the eight units draws from the model I outlined in the theoretical section above.

Unit 1 — Self Knowledge: This unit uses a range of sources including those from neurolinguistic programming to allow participants to explore in depth their beliefs and attitudes toward language, learning, and teaching. It sets up the reflective journals that each participant must keep during the course as well as the discussion board forum to develop the sense of community required. The assignment required at the completion of the unit asks participants to describe in detail their theory of English language and their theory of language learning. As this is no easy task, both the journal and the discussion board are structured around a series of tasks that allow the participants to vocalize their often unconscious beliefs.

Unit 2 — Situational Knowledge: This unit requires participants to investigate their local context in detail, focusing particularly on their students, institution, local curricula, and educational system as well as any other areas they see as pertinent. It introduces participants to both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies using local data that are readily available. This unit sets the stage for later assignments that require more content depth and research capability. It focuses on the use of local knowledge to prepare participants for the kind of professional reporting expected in our discourse community.

Unit 3 — Informal Practical Knowledge: This unit requires participants to explore their learning experiences and how these have informed their teaching practice. A series of tasks gives the participants the opportunity to describe their teaching approach and link it to the theories of learning and language, which they articulated in the first unit. It requires teachers to produce a snapshot of their teaching so that they can freeze-frame any moment from their classroom and address these questions:

  • What am I doing?
  • How am I doing it?
  • Why am I doing it in the way that I am?

The assignment required at the end of this unit asks participants to report on one such incident as a narrative that captures the reader and provides him or her with the opportunity of learning from their experience.

Unit 4 — Formal Theoretical Knowledge: This unit builds on the first three units by having teachers examine their individual development needs and the knowledge they need to seek to fulfill those needs. This is the point at which the program differs considerably from most current teaching diploma programs, which basically tell participants what they need to study as opposed to developing a structure that gives participants more control over the content they actually require for their development. Each participant is required to draw up a professional development plan as well as a chart of formal knowledge that he or she needs and wants to refer to in his or her continued development.

Unit 5 — Theorizing Practical Knowledge/Knowledge Seeker: This unit focuses on four areas identified in the previous unit. Participants arrive at their own areas of focus based on their personal requirements. They then research each of the four selected areas following the guidelines from Unit 2 and write a brief 1,000-word research assignment on the topic areas selected.  These assignments are all posted on the course site and reviewed by all participants to build awareness of the professional quality work required by our discourse community.

Unit 6 — Practicalizing Theoretical Knowledge/Knowledge User: This unit extends the research from the previous unit, requiring the teacher to put into practice the findings from the four assignments. The participants build on these theoretical research assignments by developing four learning plans that clearly demonstrate how they intend to put the theoretical findings into practice. The learning plans are the assessed requirements of this course and are directly linked and cross-referenced to the theoretical assignments from the previous unit.

Unit 7 — Practicalizing Theoretical Knowledge/Knowledge Discusser: This unit discusses the application of the learning plans from the previous unit through a process of unseen observations based on e-mail and discussion board exchanges. This unseen observation process ensures that participants vocalize their classroom reflections, linking their practice to theory and using practice to generate new research questions and theoretical needs.

Unit 8 — Knowledge Provider: This unit completes the course, with each participant extending one of his or her four papers to a publishable level and presenting it to the other participants via an online conference forum. A full cycle of teacher knowledge development is thereby completed, ensuring participants have experienced a truly transformative learning opportunity that has allowed them to recognize their further development needs.

Conclusion

This article has presented one approach to addressing the current need to transform the current approach to teacher education so that the latest theories in teacher knowledge truly inform what we do as teacher educators. I hope that readers will be inspired to attempt similar designs that reflect everything we have learned in the past decade about how we develop as professionals. Let us move teacher education into the 21st century.

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Phil Quirke is the director of Madinat Zayed College in the Higher Colleges of Technology in the United Arab Emirates


Required Collaboration and Its Impact on Teacher Professional Development

Peter Storey, pstorey@ouhk.edu.hk; Patrick Griffin, p.griffin@unimelb.edu.au; and Kerry Woods, kw@unimelb.edu.au

Teaching is an essentially individual activity—a characteristic reinforced by teacher education and the design of schools and classrooms. Naturally occurring collaboration between teachers in schools is rare despite the fact that it has been shown to be professionally rewarding and stimulating. It is refreshing therefore to find an educational initiative that has provided structured opportunities and firm encouragement for collaboration with considerable success in developing teachers professionally.

Background
The Primary Native-speaking English Teacher (PNET) scheme in Hong Kong was an extension of earlier secondary school NET schemes. The large-scale recruitment of native-speaking teachers of English was one of the measures undertaken by the new Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) government in 1997. In his first policy address, the new chief executive of the SAR government expressed his plan to implement a scheme providing more than 700 additional native-speaking English teachers in order to "make an immediate impact on improving the English language standards of our students" (Hong Kong SAR, 1997). By 2003, 472 NETs were serving Hong Kong's 571 secondary schools (Legislative Council Panel on Education, 2003).

It is noteworthy that these initiatives were taking place at a time when the place of the native speaker in the teaching of English as a second or foreign language was undergoing critical evaluation worldwide (Luk & Lin, 2007; Medgyes, 1994; Pennycook, 1998; Phillipson, 1992). It is significant, therefore, that the Hong Kong NET initiatives have, since 1997, involved recruitment not only or necessarily of native speakers with the ethnic connotations that term carries, but of native-speaking English teachers—that is, teachers of English who speak the language with native-like competence. Significant numbers of NETs and PNETs recruited to work in Hong Kong schools fit into this category.

The secondary NET scheme had been expected to result in improvement of the professional profile of English language teachers, leading to improvement in the quality of language teaching.

Evaluation of the scheme (Storey, Luk, Gray, Wang-Kho, & Lin, 2001) was generally positive. The NETs had acted as effective English language "resource persons" in many instances and had consistently created an enabling environment for the practice of oral skills. The findings supported the decision to introduce a primary school variant. They also supported the design of the PNET scheme because it was found that younger students developed more positive attitudes toward English and performed better when they were taught by a combination of NETs and local English teachers (LETs).

In 2002, the Education and Manpower Bureau deployed NETs in local primary schools. Schools were eligible for a NET if they were operating a minimum of six classes at each level. By 2003, 313 NETs were serving Hong Kong's 727 primary schools (Legislative Council Panel on Education, 2003) with two primary schools sharing one NET. By September 2004, the scheme had extended to address the goal of having one NET placed in every eligible school (Education and Manpower Bureau, 2006) although this goal has been achieved in only less than half of the schools.

NETs are recruited in a number of different categories depending on their qualifications. Though the minimum requirement is a 2-year full-time teaching certificate and TEFL/TESL training at certificate level, the majority of NETs hold a bachelor's degree and a postgraduate teacher education qualification.

The PNET scheme was introduced in 2002 with explicit emphasis on collaboration between the introduced NET and the existing LETs. A local teacher in each school was to be responsible for forming a bridge to school management and other teachers. The PNETs take 24 lessons a week, all of which were expected to be coplanned in advance in collaboration with the local teacher and cotaught with that teacher.

The teacher professional development objective of the secondary scheme had been recognized as being only partially achieved, and the evaluation identified a need for mechanisms to be put in place to facilitate systematic achievement of such an outcome. In the primary scheme, the NETs were given specific responsibilities for promoting the professional development of their local counterparts (Education and Manpower Bureau, 2004). This was to be done by formal means—professional development workshops and networking—but the collaboration built into the structure of the scheme provided an informal means for achieving the same objective.

Collaboration
Institutionalized collaborative teaching requires a strong rationale to justify the additional workload and additional salary bills it entails. Such a rationale can be made in contexts requiring different types of expertise to achieve a common goal. The education of deaf children may require collaboration between an audiologist, a speech pathologist, and an English instructor (Shannon & Meath-Lang, 1992, p. 121). The teaching of children for whom English is a second language may require the collaboration of content teachers and language teachers (Creese, 2005; Davison, 2006). Situations in which one teacher has both a professional strength and a skills deficiency and needs to be supported and/or compensated for by a partner with different strengths and deficiencies provide a rationale for collaboration and a useful means of conceptualizing collaborative teaching. 

The Present Study
The data for the present study emerged from the first phase of the qualitative investigation conducted as part of the evaluation of the PNET scheme. This phase involved four schools where case studies were conducted. Schools were selected for the study on the basis of value-added proficiency results which, when other factors such as support for language in the home and level of education of the parents were taken into consideration, were unexpectedly high. Schools were invited to participate in the case study, which involved focus group discussions with all the English teachers in the school; interviews with the senior English teachers, the NET, and the school principal; observation of coplanning meetings and classes cotaught by the NET and the local teachers; and examination of curriculum documents in the school. All focus group discussions and interviews were conducted in English, transcribed, and analyzed using QSR NU*DIST software version 4.

Comments made by local teachers in these schools suggested that collaboration had had a professional development impact. In School A, an enthusiastic and relatively junior teacher had gained immensely from working with an experienced NET:

I learn a lot from the NET. I always discuss with him and also we always have the co-planning meeting and so I learn a lot. I get a lot of experience from him. He is eager to share his working experience with us.

A senior teacher in the same school endorsed the positive impact of the NET:

I think he did give us very brilliant and very interesting and very inspiring teaching methods in our school-based curriculum.

In School B, the NET herself identified professional benefits of coteaching:

Having an English teacher in the classroom with them has given them the confidence to try new things . . . just simple activities that we include, and the fact that I try to take the focus away from teaching at the front of the classroom.

In School C teachers felt coplanning meetings had had the effect of forging professional intercollaborations and sharing between teachers. According to a local teacher, her colleagues "gain more confidence in speaking English, as well as the students. I think the atmosphere has been changed in the staffroom." In School D a senior English teacher described NETs and locals working alongside each other in an atmosphere of "mutual understanding and respect, mutual collaboration and openness":

[NETS] have the heart, the devotion. . . . [I]n teaching they are rather devoted. They like to teach and they like to share with us. Daily contact and observing each other's devotion and commitment has an enriching influence.

Discussion
The findings indicate clear impacts of coplanning and coteaching on the professional development of local teachers. Three factors emerge from the findings: relative NET maturity, the influence of the school principal, and the value of a nonjudgmental approach.

Relative NET Maturity
The schools in which professional challenge and development were convincingly in evidence and in which the potential for more professional development impact on the local staff was clear were those in which the NETs were senior experienced teachers. With years of experience to share and the maturity not to expect overnight success, these teachers found a mission in the energy and enthusiasm of younger colleagues who were open to and grateful for "new" ideas and approaches.

The Influence of the School Principal
Overall evaluation results found that school policy and leadership was a key indicator of success. School D, for example, was relatively more "cohesive" (Rosenholz, 1991), with effective leadership creating the social conditions for effective teaching, promoting teacher confidence, and facilitating shared teaching goals. In this school, policy-level emphases were espoused by key players and implemented in actual practice. This suggests effective management and sharing of a common conceptualization of the needs of pupils and how they can be met.

A Nonjudgmental Approach
The NETs in the four schools did not comment on the poor language proficiency of their LET colleagues except in terms of its impact on their relative confidence to interact with the NET in English and to put innovations into practice. This nonjudgmental approach would be confidence boosting as, in any NS-NNS pairing, the confidence of the NNS may easily be threatened by awareness that his or her language is being monitored by the NS partner. The NETs were not entirely nonjudgmental, but their judgments were focused on pedagogy rather than language. Of the three NETs, one was very critical of his local colleagues. However, he never mentioned their competence as users of English. He directed his criticism at teaching approaches that were not interactive, did not build on pupils' interests or value their contributions, and often involved the use of a microphone on a short cord, which precluded any real contact with the children. Although this NET exhibited profound negativity in his private comments about his local colleagues, he never voiced these criticisms openly to them. They remained his private opinions shared only with the investigators and in his responses to the questionnaire surveys used in the evaluation.

Implications

Reform Strategy
Educational reform initiatives so often meet with an intractable response from teachers that a reform that teachers appear to welcome and that enriches them professionally is worthy of fuller investigation.

It is possible that the success of the PNET scheme, as demonstrated in the four schools discussed in this paper, was a result of a fortuitous combination of circumstances and personalities. In three out of four cases, the NET was mature and experienced, had no axe to grind, was willing to collaborate with local teachers in a nonjudgmental manner, and was supported by a caring and dynamic school head. 
Another possible explanation is that in these four schools, requiring local teachers to collaborate introduced them to professional benefits they had not realized would be possible. Collaboration, whether spontaneous or required, may be a liberating experience in itself for teachers.

Cross-Cultural Collaboration
The issue of nativeness in language teaching has received a lot of attention from the perspective of cultural imperialism and English as an international language (Canagarajah, 1999; Jenkins, 2006; Medgyes, 1992; Pennycook, 1998; Phillipson, 1992; Widdowson, 2003). In discussions with teachers in the four schools, however, the issue of nativeness received only oblique reference. Local teachers did not feel threatened by the native speakers and collaborated with them in an uninhibited manner, unconstrained by self-conscious concerns about their relatively poor command of English. 
Certainly, the nonjudgmental approach that the four NETs adopted was a key factor in harmonizing cross-cultural relationships. Another factor may relate to relative status in the collaboration. Although the NETs would appear to merit senior status in the partnership based on experience, their linguistic seniority constituted by their nativeness was neutralized by their unfamiliarity with the system into which they were introduced. In terms of system-wiseness, experienced NETs became novices in comparison with LETs with years of experience of working within the system. NETs with vastly more experience and expertise than their LET coteachers became equal partners in the collaboration through this neutralization process.

Concluding Remarks
Lessons learned from the experiences of these four schools may help enrich our field's understanding of how collaborations across cultures can be effectively engineered. Before the lessons are considered, however, the relatively small scale of the investigation and the level of representativeness of the schools must be taken into due consideration. We cannot generalize from four schools in the sample to the 720 schools in the population. Moreover, the four schools selected for this phase of the evaluation were designated as high-achieving schools based on comparisons between first-year (baseline) and second-year proficiency data gathered from pupils. They were relatively successful schools and were informed of their success when they were invited to participate in the case study. They responded positively as a result. When asked for suggestions as to how the scheme could be improved, they could only ask for more of the same (three of the four shared their NET with another school). In the final phase of the evaluation, a further 17 schools were involved in a qualitative investigation, the results of which will be published in 2008. In these results are other success stories, as well as counterexamples of schools that have not enjoyed such success in their experience of the NET scheme. These can provide a more balanced and representative picture of the scheme as a whole.

References
Canagarajah, A. S. (1999). Resisting linguistic imperialism in English teaching. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. 

Creese, A. (2005). Teacher collaboration and talk in multilingual classrooms. Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters.

Davison, C. (2006). Collaboration between ESL and content teachers: How do we know when we are doing it right? International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 9(4), 454-475.

Education and Manpower Bureau, The Government of Hong Kong SAR. (2004). Teachers' development. Retrieved October 5, 2004, fromhttp://www.emb.gov.hk/index.aspx?nodeid=1286&langno=1

Education and Manpower Bureau, The Government of Hong Kong SAR. (2006). School self-evaluation of the native-speaking English teacher scheme for primary schools: Meta-analysis report. Hong Kong: The Government of Hong Kong SAR  NET section, Curriculum Development Institute.

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. (1997). Building Hong Kong for a new era: Address by the Chief Executive The Honourable Tung Chee Hwa, 8 October 1997. Hong Kong: Hong Kong SAR Government.

Jenkins, J. (2006). Current perspectives on teaching world Englishes and English as a lingua franca. TESOL Quarterly, 40(1), 157-181.

Legislative Council Panel on Education. (2003). Introduction of an Adjustment Mechanism for the Special Allowance under the Native-speaking English Teacher (NET) Scheme. LC paper number CB(2)311/03-04(01). Retrieved June 16, 2007, fromhttp://www.legco.gov.hk/yr03-04/english/panels/ed/papers/ed1117cb2-311-1e.pdf 

Luk, J. C. M., & Lin, A. M. Y. (2007). Classroom interactions as cross-cultural encounters: Native speakers in EFL lessons. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Medgyes, P. (1992). Native or non-native: Who's worth more? English Language Teaching Journal, 46(4), 340-349.

Medgyes, P. (1994). The non-native teacher. London: Macmillan.

Pennycook, A. (1998). English and the discourses of imperialism. London: Routledge.

Phillipson, R. (1992). Linguistic imperialism. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

Rosenholz, S. J. (1991). Teachers' workplace: The social organization of schools. New York: Teachers College Press.

Shannon, N. B., & Meath-Lang, B. (1992). Collaborative language teaching: A co-investigation. In D. Nunan (Ed.), Collaborative language learning and teaching (pp. 120-140). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Storey, P. R. G., Luk, J., Gray, J., Wang-Kho, E., & Lin, A. (2001). Monitoring and evaluation of the native-speaking English teacher scheme: Evaluation report. Hong Kong, China: The Hong Kong Institute of Education.

Widdowson, H. (2003). Defining issues in English language teaching. Oxford: Oxford, England University Press.

Peter Storey has been involved in teacher education for the past 25 years. He obtained his PhD from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom in the area of language testing and his research interests include language program evaluation. He currently teaches applied linguistics and language studies at the Open University of Hong Kong.

Professor Patrick Griffin is the director of the Assessment Research Centre and Deputy Dean of Education at the University of Melbourne. From the mid-1980s, Professor Griffin has been developing criterion-referenced frameworks for assessment. His work in the 1980s led to the development of the national profiles and curriculum frameworks and a new direction in Australian school education. These profiles were modeled on his work in developing the Victorian Literacy and Numeracy Profiles for which he was awarded the John Smyth medal for education research. Professor Griffin developed techniques for teachers to adopt the logic of item response modeling, and this process was used by Professor Griffin internationally, in Hong Kong in basic competency assessment and evaluation of the deployment of native-speaking teachers of English in primary schools, and in Vietnam in the assessment of primary teacher competencies.

Kerry Woods is a research fellow at the Assessment Research Centre, Faculty of Education, the University of Melbourne. Since joining the Assessment Research Centre in 2002, Ms Woods has been responsible for several large-scale evaluation studies including monitoring the deployment of native-speaking teachers of English in Hong Kong primary schools, the impact of interactive whiteboards in Victorian classrooms, and the trialing of a new Internet-based information management system for Victorian schools. She has also contributed to studies of Australian students' knowledge and understanding of Asia and an environmental scan of strategies for monitoring progress in school reform.


Professional development tips from the field: Two Hundred Titles in Three Days

Tim Micek, micekt@ohiodominican.edu

As the director of a new MA TESOL program, I have many responsibilities, including establishing policies and teaching courses. A new responsibility is developing a library collection for our program. From my teaching experience, I assumed that I would do this the same way that I have selected course texts: by leafing through catalogues, circling items that looked interesting or relevant, and ordering the items from publishers. When I found out recently that, for budgetary reasons, I needed to order about 200 titles in a matter of days, I realized that a different method was necessary. This article details that method.

My first question was "What areas should our collection cover and in what proportions?" To answer this question, I turned to the standards on which our program (MA with optional licensure or endorsement) is based, the TESOL/NCATE standards for P-12 ESL teacher education programs (TESOL, 2002). These standards include five domains. By calculating the portion of the standards devoted to each domain, I came up with the following rough percentages for our collection: language, 30%; culture, 15%; planning, implementing, and managing instruction, 20%; assessment, 20%; and professionalism, 15%. With a sense of what I was looking for, I was ready to begin identifying titles.

I decided to look at the bibliography of the text for our introductory course, TESOL Foundations, which gives students beginning knowledge and skill bases for TESOL. I had chosen Diaz-Rico and Weed's (2002) The Crosscultural, Language, and Academic Development Handbook (CLAD) for its comprehensiveness—it addresses TESOL/NCATE domains, standards, and even indicators; as such, it provides an introduction to the program as well as the course. Perhaps the first thing I noticed was that not every citation was a candidate for our collection: There were, not surprisingly, citations for journal articles, Web works, and conference presentations as well as books and monographs. As I began to peruse the bibliography, I found myself putting checks next to works that I knew we should have in our collection, question marks next to those that I wasn't sure about, and both symbols next to works with both promise and questions. Some works, of course, got no marks. The three-part system worked well (and gave our librarian guidance for future spending). My survey of the CLAD bibliography was productive: It yielded 109 checks, 31 check/question marks, and 107 question marks.

The next day, I chose H. Douglas Brown's (2000) Principles of Language Learning and Teaching for my source. Brown's text was a logical choice, but for different reasons than Diaz-Rico and Weed's was: It is comprehensive, it is in its fourth edition, and it addresses language, the first and most extensive TESOL/NCATE domain. As I looked over its bibliography, I realized that I was dealing with a different type of work. Principles is aimed at a larger audience, and it is more dated (many of its references are from the 1970s) thanCLAD. I had to decide what my goal was: to build a collection for today or for 20 years from now. Balancing these considerations, I ended up with the following list: 39 checks, 46 check/question marks, and 87 question marks, with some of Brown's items overlapping with Diaz-Rico and Weed's.

On the third day of this process, I felt a need to return to the roots of our program—P–12 ESL teacher education. Peregoy and Boyle's (2001) Reading, Writing, and Learning in ESL (3rd ed.) (RWL) seemed a good choice: It was recommended by a former professor, it had been chosen for our instructional methods course, and it was addressed to middle and/or high school ESL. As I worked through its bibliography, I recognized many titles from my work in ESL reading/writing connections and was happy to fill out our collection in this important area. RWL yielded an excellent harvest: 55 checks, 33 check/questions, and 129 questions, with the now-expected overlap. Seeing an unfamiliar work a second or third time, I realized, gave me good reason to check it.

At this point, my checked works exceeded 200. A stack of printouts from the reference librarian provided additional ideas, but the bulk of the orders for our collection came from the bibliographies of our course texts.

As time goes by, I will, of course, keep my eyes on the catalogues that come in and look for good sources in the work I read. If I have to come up with a number of titles for our library collection quickly, however, I will resort to a method that promises good results: consulting the bibliographies of appropriate course texts. You may want to do the same, knowing, of course, who you are and what population you want to serve.

References
Brown, H. D. (2000). Principles of language learning and teaching (4th ed.). White Plains, NY: Prentice Hall.

Diaz-Rico, L. T., & Weed, K. Z. (2002). The crosscultural, language, and academic development handbook: A complete K–12 reference guide(3rd ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Peregoy, S. F., & Boyle, O. F. (2001). Reading, writing, and learning in ESL: A resource for K–12 teachers (3rd ed.). White Plains, NY: Longman.

TESOL Task Force on ESL Standards for P-12 Teacher Education Programs. (2002, April). TESOL/NCATE standards for the accreditation of initial programs in P–12 ESL teacher education. Retrieved January 27, 2004, fromhttp://www.ncate.org/documents/ProgramStandards/tesol.pdf

Tim Micek directs the MATESOL program at Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, Ohio.


Call for Contributions

The TEIS Newsletter encourages submission of articles and book reviews on topics of significance to teacher educators. We also solicit TEIS voices from all of our members.

Articles should be between 800 and 1,500 words and may address program descriptions, course descriptions, best practices, teaching techniques, or any topic of interest to ESOL teacher educators, especially those of sociopolitical interest or issues not commonly addressed in the literature.

Book reviews of between 300 and 500 words should provide the reviewer's analysis of books that are relevant to the practice and theory of teacher education.

TEIS voices are paragraphs of approximately 100 words that introduce a teacher educator's work. TEIS voices serve as a networking tool as well as an opportunity to shine a spotlight on a teacher, program, or country we might not otherwise read about.

All manuscripts should follow APA style (5th ed.). We publish a couple times a years, summer and winter. Please send your contributions to Joel Hardman at jhardma@siue.edu.


TEIS Leadership Team 2007–08

Past Chair: Judy Sharkey, University of New Hampshire, judy.sharkey@unh.edu

Chair: Adelaide Parsons, Southeast Missouri State University, ahparsons@semo.edu

Chair-Elect: Karen Woodman, kwoodman@une.edu.au

Future Chair-Elect: Hema Ramanathan, hramanat@westga.edu

IS Council Representatives

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Web Manager

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Electronic Mailing List Manager

Ju Young Song, Ohio State University, song.151@osu.edu

Newsletter Coeditors

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