Online professional development of teachers through the schools around the world (SAW) program

May Hung May CHENG, Carol F. STOEL

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters


Professional development for teachers (PDT) is the primary objective of the Schools Around the World (SAW) Program, which is a multinational endeavor initiated by the Council for Basic Education in the United States. The project offers teachers of science and mathematics from around the world an opportunity to share their students’ work by uploading them to the project’s website. Teachers can then examine and reflect on their own teaching practices by viewing the student work database. Apart from individual reflection, SAW also provides a platform for an exchange of professional experiences among teachers from the nine participating countries around the world with a view to improving student achievement. The SAW project makes use of information technology (IT) to construct a model of online PDT. A number of initiatives are included, namely the establishment of the student work database, online seminars and forums, and the Shared Reflection System (SHARES). This chapter describes the principles underpinning these initiatives from a PDT perspective, outlines the content of such initiatives, and offers practical hints for teacher educators who offer online PDT projects. Having introduced the SAW model from a professional and a technical perspective, the chapter goes on to provide a summary of the experiences of the participating teachers in the United States and Hong Kong. Their reflections suggest that their perceptions of the effectiveness of the Web-based communication tools and online resources will be very much affected by their existing workload and the support given by their schools or the government. Drawing on the SAW experience, the authors provide suggestions that may facilitate the use of technology in PDT. Copyright © 2004 Information Age.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOnline professional development for teachers
EditorsCharalambos VRASIDAS, Gene V GLASS
Place of PublicationGreenwich, CT
PublisherInformation Age
ISBN (Print)1593111592, 1593110693
Publication statusPublished - 2004


Cheng M.-H., Stoel, C. F., & Anderson, E. (2004). Online professional development of teachers through the schools around the world (SAW) program. In C. Vrasidas & G. V. Glass (Eds.), Online professional development for teachers (pp. 177-196). Greenwich, CT: Information Age.


  • Teacher Education
  • Teacher Education and Professional Development


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