(Hong Kong): Defining Professional development of student - teachers: Practicalizing theoretical knowledge

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The gap between the theory and practice of teaching is an issue of concern in teacher education. This paper builds on a four year longitudinal study aiming to investigate the professional development of student-teachers in Bachelor of Education programmes. This paper examines how student-teachers develop their professional competence by reporting findings which reflect the consistencies and inconsistencies between student-teachers' best teaching strategies and their most commonly employed ones. Specifically, it investigates (1) the considerations that contribute to the consistencies in the student-teachers' conceptions of teaching, (2) the factors which contribute to the inconsistencies in the student-teachers' conceptions of teaching, and (3) enhancing factors of the teacher education programme which help to practicalize theoretical knowledge. Through examining the interview data, the findings reveal three main dimensions of consideration which attribute to the inconsistencies in the conceptions of teaching: pre-training experience, teaching context and student needs. The data suggest a typology of different ways of practicalizing theoretical knowledge which reflect different understandings of teaching pedagogies as well as ways of making sense of them in the school context. These considerations lead to expansive or constraining impacts on the student-teachers practicalizing theoretical knowledge. Influences from the teacher education programme that might support the practicalizing of theoretical knowledge are identified. Implications for improving teacher education programmes are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010



Cheng, M. H. M., Tang, S. Y. F., & Cheng, Y. N. (2010, December). (Hong Kong): Defining Professional development of student - teachers: Practicalizing theoretical knowledge. Paper presented at the 2nd East Asian International Conference on Teacher Education Research: Teacher Education for the Future: International Perspectives, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong, China.


  • Teaching Development Grant (TDG)
  • Period: TDG 2006-2007
  • TDG project code: T3282
  • Teaching Development Grant (TDG) Output