Liberating teachers’ thinking = Liberating children’s learning: Professional journey for teacher’s change

Pui Wah Doris CHENG, Chia-Yu Karen LIU

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


In the past few decades, reflective practice (Dewey, 1933; Schon, 1983) has been included in various teacher training programs to reform teaching and improve the quality of education (OCDE, 1989). This paper applies an ideal process of practice and reflection, a five-phase model proposed by Korthagen (1982, 1985) with the aid of the five-phase cycle-of-actions: (1) action, (2) looking back on the action, (3) awareness of essential aspects, (4) creating alternative methods of action, and (5) trial, which forms a new cycle of action. Utilizing Korthagen’s (1982, 1985) reflection process as the conceptual framework, this case study examines the process of teacher transformation from a teacher-centered practice to childinitiated learning through the implementation of the 3C (creativity, collaboration, and communication) pedagogy in a kindergarten in Hong Kong. Four teachers from the chosen school and children from the kindergarten program participated in the study. Multiple data sources were used to collect qualitative data which included teacher interviews notes (1 ½ to 2 hours each), post program interview (1 ½ to 2 hours), consultant’s field notes, researcher’s field observation notes, teachers’ lesson plans & analysis, class activity videos, and children’s work samples. The results showed that the target-school teachers have changed from teacher-directed and structured practices to a play-based and child-centered program. Teacher transformation could be observed and supported by: a) Creating suitable learning environments and offering opportunities for children to explore and discover (Environmental change) b) Modifying teaching practice by planning less structured activities and allowing more flexibility (Behavior change) c) Enhancing competencies through a series of professional development opportunities and exhibiting reflective practices (Competency change) d) Believing in children’s ability to engage in active learning (Beliefs change) e) Exhibiting confidence in planning child-initiated activities that foster children’s creativity, enhancing collaboration and promoting high-level communication skills (Identity change) f) Expressing teaching with a mission for best practices (Mission change).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015


Cheng, D. P. W., & Liu, K. C. Y. (2015, June). Liberating teachers’ thinking = Liberating children’s learning: Professional journey for teacher’s change. Paper presented at the 2015 Quality Childhood Conference International (QCCI) Enhancing Quality Childhood Education: Synergizing Global Efforts, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China.


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