University-school partnership: Benefits, challenges and sustainability

Wai Kwan Alice CHOW, Mee Ling LAI

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers

Abstract

This paper reports the impacts of university-school partnership on the development of English language teachers’ capacities for self-regulated professional renewals. Two classroom based enquires were undertaken in two secondary schools in Hong Kong which aimed to enhance students’ ability in English reading comprehension. The two projects were conducted in Secondary 2 classes and a Secondary 4 classes respectively. In both projects, a cognitive approach was adopted to the learning of English as a second language, with the former focuses solely on vocabulary while the latter deals with both vocabulary and textual analysis. A case study method was adopted in understanding the impacts of the enquiries as experienced by the teachers. The investigative process occurred in a spiral of actions which began with problem identification, and continued with action planning, implementation, evaluation and then further planning. The action cycle engaged teachers in making critical reflection on their prior pedagogical practice and their understanding of learners’ needs. Data were collected through group discussions, lesson observation and semi-structured interviews. Findings show that while teachers acknowledged the benefits that the projects had brought to both teachers and students, they were aware of the limitations of such one-off projects and felt skeptical about the sustainability of the positive effects, if the issues of expertise, ownership and differing conceptions of goals are not properly addressed. This paper will first outline the enquiry cycles of the two projects, which will then be followed by the teachers’ reflection on the impacts of the projects on their pedagogy, as well as the challenges they encountered. It will then conclude with a discussion about the enabling conditions that would help empower teachers with the intellectual orientation and capacity for embedding the enquiries as part of their everyday professional lives.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Citation

Chow, A., & Lai, M.-L. (2008, September). University-school partnership: Benefits, challenges and sustainability. Paper presented at the First International Conference on English Language Teaching and Learning (ICELTL1), University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

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