This paper is dual in purpose. First, it describes what a professional learning community is and how it develops in schools in Hong Kong. A professional learning – 1012 – community is one where teachers relate their own professional learning to the improvement of their students’ learning; take collaborative responsibility for students’ learning; and work together to maximize their learning. Learning Study, which is premised on a conceptual framework that builds on three types of variation, is employed as the key agent in the development of such community. The three types of variation are: variation in students’ understanding of a specific object of learning (V1); variation in teachers’ understanding and ways of handling the object (V2); and the use of patterns of variation based on the Theory of Variation (V3). By focusing on the three types of variation in a specific object of learning, teachers in the professional learning communities are able to learn from their students, from each other and from researchers what should be worthwhile for their students to learn, how they can help students learn better and find out if each child is learning. Dissemination through public presentations is also an integral part of the participating teachers’ professional learning, as they reflect and prepare a presentation on the results of the Learning Study. Each teacher’s personal professional development thus contributes to a collective knowledge base. Second, this papers draws on the data of a Learning Study about the teaching of Three states of water at Primary 3 level to illustrate how teachers’ learning can be enhanced through engaging in the study that permits a professional dialogue among colleagues; enhances collaboration with tertiary institution; encourages teachers taking inquiry stance; opens opportunities for multiple means of dissemination; opens opportunities for teachers to reflect on their own practices in a more systematic way.
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2005|
CitationLo Fu, Y. W. P. (2005, August). The development of teachers as professionals in the Hong Kong primary school context. Paper presented at the 11th European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction Biennial Conference: Multiple Perspectives on Effective Learning Environments, Nicosia, Cyprus.
- Teacher Education
- Teacher Education and Professional Development