Teaching development grants final and financial report: Support student teachers' self-directed learning in field experience

Xuesong GAO, Philip BENSON

Research output: Other contributionTDG


Although the Institute employs broad and specific support strategies for English-major students going on Field Experience (FE), much of the learning that takes place during FE appears to be self-directed. We lack a full understanding, however, of the nature and scope of these self-directed learning processes or the roles of expert and peer advice in them. The aims of this project are (a) to systematically investigate English-major student learning processes in FE, (b) to enhance the Institute's provision for FE, by developing a research-based support system for self-directed learning in FE for English majors. The project will explore 3 rd and 4 th year students' learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which sees learning take place socially, in a variety of social networks, rather than cognitively, in the students' minds alone. We plan to investigate how students access and utilize various sources of knowledge and convert them into professional competence during FE. We will also examine opinions of HKIEd and school-based staff on how students can best utilize learning opportunities in schools. Based on the findings from the inquiry, a report detailing pedagogical strategies and proposals will be written to advise teaching staff (supervisors) on how to support our student teachers' learning during the block practice period. A website containing suggestions from students and staff and useful resources will be also developed, together with an interactive web space to support students' efforts to share their experiences and convert various types of knowledge into professional competence. The website, together with research-based findings on how a student teacher learns to develop professional competence, will be built into a departmental orientation and support scheme for the students' block practice.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2010


student teacher
learning process
social network


Gao, X., & Benson, P. (2010). Teaching development grants final and financial report: Support student teachers' self-directed learning in field experience. Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Institute of Education.


  • Teaching Development Grant (TDG) Report
  • TDG project code: T3321
  • Period: TDG 2008-2009
  • Teaching Development Grant (TDG)