Initial teacher education programs offered worldwide all aim at developing student teachers with the best and most comprehensive preparation before joining the teaching profession. However, teacher education research reveal that there are discrepancies between the outcome and what is intended in the program. Without sufficient field experience, beginning teachers always find difficulties in assisting administrative duties and curriculum planning in schools. It is a common practice that teachers are expected to perform different roles apart from regular classroom teaching. It appears that current teacher education programs do not provide solid preparation for beginning teachers in these areas. When beginning teachers function in school with a rather low level of competence in various areas, the chance of becoming burnout might be higher. To bridge the gap in teacher training, a Summer Creative School Project has been developed and launched in the summer vacation in 1998 in Hong Kong. The aim of the whole project was to provide opportunities for student-teachers to experience the management of a school for four weeks. The project has three stages, viz., the pre-field stage, field work stage and the debriefing stage. In this program, participants were given a series of intensive training in the form of seminars and workshops. There were a total of 80 student-teachers participating in the project. In the field work stage, a total of four Hong Kong public sector primary school were involved. Twenty student-teachers took over the management of 10-12 classes of one school. All student-teachers took up different functional posts as head teacher, deputy head teacher, coordinators of curriculum and extra-curricular activities, etc. They also designed their own curriculum with creativity development as the central theme. In the debriefing stage, the experience and limitations of student-teachers throughout the project are debriefed. This paper gives a full account of the project in these stages. Interesting areas like the different roles taken by student-teachers, school administrators and lecturers; problems student-teachers face and learning they gain will be discussed. It is hoped that this paper will shed light on the future development of teacher education. Copyright © 2000 The Hong Kong Institute of Education.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of International Conference on Teacher Education 1999: Teaching effectiveness and teacher development in the new century|
|Place of Publication||Hong Kong|
|Publisher||Hong Kong Institute of Education|
|Publication status||Published - 2000|