Teacher thinking and practice in response to imposed change: The influence of the social reality of teaching

Yim Wan Annie NICHOLSON

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Typical primary pedagogy in Hong Kong tended to be teacher-centered, emphasizing on transmission of information and academic achievement. Despite attempts in recent years to modify teaching practices through introduction of curriculum initiatives, changes in pedagogy did not happen in classrooms (Llewellyn, 1982; Nicholson, 1993; Morris, 1995; Cooke, 1996). This situation is not unique in Hong Kong. Among studies on educational or school changes, the work of teachers are often critically examined. Teachers are expected to be the implementers, especially in large-scale innovation initiated outside schools. Research in curriculum changes and school improvement recognizes the need for systematic study of teacher thinking, which is important for the understanding of teaching (Clark & Peterson, 1986; Brown & McIntyre, 1993). This paper reports on a research on understanding and interpreting the ways teachers think and teach, focusing on teachers’ (a) conceptualization of their own teaching; (b) response to specific curriculum changes; and (c) adjusting to classroom and school context. The study employs a naturalistic approach, combining different methodological techniques including observation, in-depth interviewing and documentary analysis. It is mainly an interpretive study during which researcher is central to the sense that is made. Description-analysis-interpretation of data is taken as a parallel process, data are organized and developed according to (1) interview transcripts, (2) analysis by research questions, (3) cases of individual teachers, and (4) discussion by themes. Findings suggest that although teachers’ beliefs are affected by their past experience, the culture of workplace has significant influence on teaching practice. Copyright © 2000 The Hong Kong Institute of Education.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of International Conference on Teacher Education 1999: Teaching effectiveness and teacher development in the new century
Place of PublicationHong Kong
PublisherHong Kong Institute of Education
Pages1-13
ISBN (Print)9629490382
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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social reality
Teaching
teacher
teaching practice
curriculum
school
Hong Kong
classroom
academic achievement
workplace
innovation
interpretation
interview

Citation

Nicholson, A. Y. W. (2000). Teacher thinking and practice in response to imposed change: The influence of the social reality of teaching. In Proceedings of International Conference on Teacher Education 1999: Teaching effectiveness and teacher development in the new century [CD-ROM] (pp. 1-13). Hong Kong: Hong Kong Institute of Education.