Developing teacher network to facilitate curriculum change

Yim Wan Annie NICHOLSON, Ivy N. N. YU

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


In Hong Kong, curriculum is centrally developed and teachers are expected to implement it as designed (Morris P., 1995; Nicholson A.Y.W., 1988, 1993). During the process of curriculum change, professional development plays a significant part to engender desired changes. These professional development efforts are top-down and mainly in the forms of centrally organized activities such as seminars and workshops for teachers (Cooke B.L, 1996). With a few teachers and educators involved during the development process and limited efforts to disseminate the curriculum initiatives, teachers are often left to implement the curriculum with little understanding of the rationale of these changes. Successful implementation, therefore, is left with individual teachers. Continuous professional development has been recognized as the key to school improvement (Rudduck J., 1991). It was even suggested that the extent to which professional development activities succeeded was the extent to which change succeeded (Fullan M., 1992). A whole range of activities has been identified (Huberman M, 1995). They might be individual teacher-centered, school-based or system-wide. However, traditional in- service training and staff development have been shown to be inadequate and"... network can provide fresh ways of thinking about teacher learning" (Lieberman A. & McLaughlin M.W., 1992, p.673) This paper proposes the concept of a cross-school teacher network, and shares the experience of the development of a teacher network in Hong Kong. Such network attempts to provide opportunities for practising teachers and school heads to share their concerns and their ways to deal with imposed curriculum changes. It is an ongoing process involving decisions about details of implementation, which aims to facilitate change. This is also based on the belief that teaching in Hong Kong suffers from the lack of opportunity to share as individuals, and particularly interact' with other teachers to reflect, to discuss, and to plan. This experience hopes to contribute towards building professional communities in Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1996


Nicholson, A. Y. W., & Yu, I. N. N. (1996, November). Developing teacher network to facilitate curriculum change. Paper presented at the Hong Kong Educational Research Association (HKERA) 13th Annual Conference: Restructuring Schools in Changing Societies, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China.


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