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E,d.u .. cation

and Policy Development


Catherine Sinclair, Austra1ia Associate EditGr

Joyce Castle; Canada I Designer I

Colin Mably, USA EditoriailBoar8

Anne-Marie Bergh, South Africa Jan IBorg,.Denmark

Lam Siu Yuk (Rebecca), Hong Kong, Cbina Roque Mbraes, IBrazil

Wally Moroz, Australfia

Lekle Tambo, Cameroon

Helen Woodward, Australia

George Churukian, Past Editor (ex officio), USA

Colin Mably, Designer (ex officie), U.S.A Janet Powney, Secretary General (ex ofllicio), Scotland

Catherine Sinclair, Editor, (ex officio), Australia

Joyce Castle Associate Editor (ex officio), Canada


OmcersJSteering Committee

Janet Powney, Scotland, Secretary General George A Cburukian, U.S.A.

Treesuren & Records •

Catherine Sinclair, AllStraliil, Editor, JISTE Joyce Castle, Canada, Assistant Editor JISlfE

Bill Driscoll, Australila, Editor Newsletter Johh Maurer, Alustralia,

Directory & Membership

Colin Mably, USA, Past Secretary General Convenor 2000

Warren Halloway, Austra1ia pg Secretary General

Halts Voorback!, Net1ierlands, pg Secretary General

Cornel DIlCosta, England, Convener 1999 Colin Mably, U.S.A,: Convener 2000 Ahmed AIl-Bus1an, Kuwait, 1 Convener 2001 Lotti Schou, Denmark, Corwener 2002 Alex Fung, Hong Kong, China Convenell20031

Cniig Kissack, USA, Convenor 2004

It is with much appreciation that nSTE wishes to thank the following ISTE. members for their . reviews 06the articles submitted fon1his volume; Thelntireless effotltS andlthe fecdbacIq they provided to potential contributors have enriched thepapers publiShed. If you wish to become a reviewer please contact the editbr, Catherine Sincltir {

Salwa Al-Jassar, Kuwaill

Ricli Berlsch, Australia 1 Charuvil Ohaako,l SOUth,AftiC81 Vic CiCCi, Canadi

Elizabeth C1:ooperj Canada David Daniels, A1lstra1ili

Neil DempjSter, AUstralia MaJEareth DrakeDberg, Sweden

Gordon Fulcher, Uni~d Kingdom Alastair Glegg,!Canada

James 0. Greenberg, USA Warren Halloway, Aust1aIia I Anthon)! Hopkin, Botswana I

Rby Killk:n, Australia I

John Maurer,Australia

Rbque Moraes"Brazili

Wally Moroz, Australia Bob O'Brien, New Zealand Donna Patterson, Canada Karlheinz Rebel, CBermany Merle Richards, Canada I Bill StringCl', Aus1raIia Helen Woodward,1 Australia

1I1te JOURNAL OF THE INTERNI4TIONAL SOCIETY! FOR TEACHER ElJUCA7rlON (JJSTE) is pub. lished as aservice to those concerned with global teacher education. It serves IS a forum fon the exchange of information and ideas related to the improtiement of teacher education. Articles foous upon concepts and researdh whidh have practical dimensions or inlplicatiilns and applicabUity for practitioners in teacher education. The Jooma1llmits itS articll:s to tHose in IWhich ideas are applicable in multiple social settings.

JISTE is an official, refereed publication oflSTE. Thejgoal of ISTE iis to pablish six to eight articles im eaeh issue.: Using!the Seminar theme, articles in ther first issue ofk:ach volume are based on papers presented at the previous seminar. Articlds in the second issue are non-thematic. Points ofviewiand opinions I are those of tho individual authbrs and are not necessarily those dfISTE:. Published manuscripts are the proIJeny of nSTB. Permission 10 reproduce must be requested from the editor.

JISTE is issued twice yearly by the International Society for Teacher Education. 1lhe sublscription price of$US2S.00 is included! in the annuall membership !fee. Additional copies ofllie journal may, be purchased for SUS 1 S.I()O. Institutioaal subscription to JlSTE is $USSO.OO per year. To obtain acfditionlil or institutional copies email George Churukianl at gchUruk@litan.iwu.edul•

Teacher Education and Policy Development


Journal of'the Istemational Society JOT Teachen Education Volume 8, Number 1, January 2004·

Copyright © 20041

by tlie International Society for Teacher Edacation

ISSN 1029-5968



Volume 8, Number I, January 2004

Teacher Education and Policy Development Message from the Secretary General!

Janet Powney i'i

Message from the Etlitor _ v

Catherine Sinclair

Invited Article

Teaching and Learning in the American School I

Judy Kuechle &I Craig Kissack


A Post-modern Critique of Modem Mucational Reforms and National

Examinations in China 7


How to Bring Extemal Examinations Closer to Teachers and Pupils 17

Majda Cencic

Peer Teacher Learning: Hbw Teachers Learn from Teachers in Mpumalanga

Secondary Science Initiative: 26

Charuvil Chacko

Teacher's Identity, Values and Moral Purposes in School Improvement:

Interpretations of a Hong Kong EJg>erience 37

Ina. V. MJ Siu

Teacher Education and Outstanding Educators: Universal Characteristics 48

Maria Helena Menne Barreto Abrahao

Developing Instructional Programmes for Limited English-Proficient Students

Enrolled in Science Colleges; in Kuwait University 57

Jawaher PJ[. Dabbous

Index to Volume 7 67

Publication GUidelines 70

Manuscript GUidelines 70

Submission Requirements 71


Message from the Secretary General

I amJ veryi pleased to introduce: the first number in the eighth year of our society's journal. Under the editorship of George Churukian and now Catherine Sinclair, nSTE has developed strongly. Students in teacher edueationand pupils in schools are not hermetic, sealed against world affairs. They are caught in the excitemeats, distress and celebnations of their societies which inaum are less and less-Isolated from each other. This is a critical time for teacher education. It has never been more important than now to focus on the principles and values than underpin dntemational co-operation and support to iinprove learning.and teach .. ing. Ourr journal is an important :instrumentl of ISTE in furthering mutual understanding for the benefit of our students.

Janet P.O'Wney


From tbe Editor

Welcome Ito the first issue of 11STE Volume:8 for the year and another wonderful array of articles from across the world. Thank you to aU those who submitted papers especially asl it wasn't possible for you to 'air' your papers at ISTE due to the cancellation of the Conference and receive constructive, helpful advice from colleagues, The lmge numberof'papers submitted, though, means that not all pepers can be published in this issue but there willibe plenty more to look forward to in Issue 2. Tliank y.0u also tOI the reviewers who give their time and expertise: so freely to en1iance lthe qpalit)l of the papers ~ublished. If you' would

like-to be a reviewer please email me andllet me know if there are any particular subject areas iyou would like: to review lor any particulm: research methodology yow prefer.

For this issue, and lnaccordence witli custom, the lead article is from the site of the next ISTE Conference, Minneapolis. In this article, Judy Kuechle anell Craig Kissock discuss the recent legislative changes in the US and I the impact those changes are having: on the expectations IOf schools I educators and I students. In keeping with the theme IOf educational change, QiiIyun I Lin discusses, from .a post-modem perspective; educational reforms in China, and particularly the abolition '8I1d then reinstatement of the National College Entrance Exam. artemal exams also feature: in an article from Majda Cencic who looks at teachers' attitudes towards the exams undertaken by elementary (primBlY) and secondary students in Slovena.. Teacher continuous professional leaming is the focus:oftwo articles, one b&' CharuviD Chacko who looks at peer teacher learning in South Africa; and, the second by Ina Siuiwho .looks at tile roles played by teachers' identity, values and moral purposes in teacher participation m m innosation. MaFia Helena Abrahao describes universal characteristics of outstanding .edacatorsi in Biazil and beyond and 6nally Jawaher AI-Dabbous develops a model for designing EngUsh for Specific Purpose courses that could be used beyond Kuwait

Sit back and enjoy a look at education land teacher education across the globe.

Also again, I ask you to encourage your institutions to subscribe ItO the journal and offer to be a reviewer, I look forward to receiving many offers.

Catlierine Sine fair


Teach'ing and Learning in the American School 1

Judy Kuechle Craig Klssock

Changes in political leadership in the United States have brought about legislation ,that is having a major impac~ on expectations of schools, educators, and studems. Demandsfor achievement and hig" expectations of educators cor(lict with realities of under funding, changing communities; teacher morale and shortages. Teacher educators I are encouraged to talce an active role in this evolving: experiment in universal publiil education whose results remain to be determined


Take a look into the public schools of America .. What do you see? Children of many racial and lethnic backgrounds, a disparityl of socio-economic levels; a wide range of EngliSh preficiency from native speaker tomew immigrant" and an ever-growing achievement gap between I advantaged and disadvantaged I youth. You willi see high-stakes I tests: administered on a routine: schedule to assess the worth of schools and teaching. You will see curriculum standardization as schools strive to assure students do well on state and national exams. With a decrease in school ftmdingyou will see larger class sizes and lower teachenmorale. '\fou will see :students who are linked to an electronic world of television, Internet, and multi-media presentations.

The public school has become the family for many children in a country that has i less time for itS children. It provides school I foodl programs, counselling services, . mental and physical health programs, and before: and after: school extended I days I for the ehildrem of working parents. The school has !taken on the role. of teaching about issues oace relegated to the tamily and iicorporates values education, sex education, and health and safety education mto the curriculum. The school deals with Violence issues in the: school and commUIiity. Societal and family problems are quickly delegated to schools" and uhe expectation: is that schools will fix the problem.

The public school in America exists to furthell the social, intellectual, and economio goals of this nationr At.a basic level Amerioans believe thaa public schools provide equal educational qppOrtunityl Scliool funding is seen as equitable or adequate im providing III sound educational grounding. Children from all backgrounds are given an equal chance ~ to do well and! achieve the American dream. 1Ihe reality, !however, is thatlnot all children are achieving anequal levels, public school drop out rates remainrhigh, disadvantaged youth I are not excelling,

andlteaclier retention is poor .. How didlthe public schools reach this current status?


The evolution of public schoclsi in America has a long history and ceIltainl~ the schools of 2004lreflect this, change process, but the reform movements since the [980'9 have hadfthe greatest influence on the public school of today. In 1980 Ronald Reagan was elected p,esident, an event that shifted the political and educational agenda to the conservative side. This presidency called for a reduced role of government in education, less federal spending on schools, and the elimination oflthe Deparlmentlof Education. This was arradieal shift from the 1960s and 19~'s when schools and society were open to many new ideas and initiatives. A National Commission on Excellence in Edueation was formed and in 1·983 issued a report titled, A Nation at Ris'k: Th'e Imperative fon Education Reform. This I report, and others th"at followed, sen the agenda for 'the reform movement. .State: and I local schools worked to improve achievement and accountability Itbrough solidified curriculum standards and increased testing of information. Restructuring of schools and programs was iseen I8S the answer to improved achievement. ILonger school days and school calendar, a return Ito the basics with more parental involvement, and higher standards for teachers were mandated.

In 1990, the first tiine in this I nation's history, the; National Governor's Association approved national education I goals. President Bush, continuing a conservative political agenda, promoted vouchers and school choice as Rart of the Amesica 2000 goals.. President Bush in His campaign promised to t;e the 'Education President', setting a standard Iof involvement iin education followed by all future presidents. Educatioll was at the forefront and scrutiny of the political system like: never before in America. Under the Clinton presidency the national goals.mow named Goals 2000: Educate America Act, were supported b~ Congress and brought about the development tof national standards. Students were required I to demonstrate: educational learner outcomes as a measure of achievement. Teachers became accountable lin assuring that students would reach themational and state academic standards,

By the end of the 1990s nearly everyi state' had adopted academic standards andl hight-stakes testing to assure students were accomplishing the standardsi Graduation from high school no longer was granted on passingjselected courses and!school attendance records alone; but rathenbesed on achieving standardized goals. By the: mid":1990s, as the US Congress again shifted to a conservative side, outcome-based education,o graduation standards, performance-based assessments, state and nationallcontent standards, and high-stakes testing came under scrutiny. Conservative religious and political groups especially questioned the selectiomof standards and pushed for majpr changesiin education. The move to


satiSfy every fiimily [brought about increased school choice programs, such as home schooling, charter schools, and the privatisatiomof schools; There was alsora calJ for increased teaching of values imschools, allowing fori school prayer, and elimination of secular humanism in the curriculum. George:W. Bush entered the political debate over schools with the reauthorisation of the Elementary and Secondary Education Actl(ESEA) entitled! 'No ChildlLeft Behind'.

No Child LeftlBehihd

The 1N0 Child Left Behind Act (NaLB) ;20011 expands the federal I role and investment in !public education. Itt was: enacted to improve student learning by emphasizing accountability measures. NCLB addresses the needs of au learners but especially focuses on improving the student academic achievement of low-income andl minority students. Closiilg the achievement gap is a high priorit}' of Ithis program and makes federal aid lfor schools conditional on schools meeting academic standards for all students ..

NCLB has four basic points: stronger accountability fori results, more local freedom, ,encouraging proven -education methods, and more choices for parents. Every state must implement accountability systems and progress goals ensuring that all students reach proficiency within twelve: years. Standards in reading and mathematics are es~ecially important, with annual tests administered to students in grades 3 through 8 tb assure progress. Students considered disadvantagedlbased on race, poverty, .ethnicity, disability, and EngliSh IBl\gWlg~ proficiency are closely monitored. Local school districts and communities have greatenflexibility in the.use of federal funds to iinplement innovations for meeting accountabilit)! requirements. NCLB requires that education programs and practices have a scientific research base demonstrating: measurable outcomes that are highly effective: Parents !have: the option to move their child fitom schools that do, not make: progress after two consecutive years. Disadvantaged I children attediDg persistently failing schools become eligible for tutoring and other programs.

Closing the achievement gap ofllow-income and minority students, high-stakes testing to demonstrate accountability, annual school report cards accounting: for adequate ;yearly progress toward meeting goals, and Ithe identification of schools in need of improvement are all important aspects of the. NCLIB Act. Wbven within all the nuances of this aaw is the recognitlon thatl the Single: most! important I factor in student progress remains the ability of the teacher tOI effectively teach. The call for a 'hlghly.qualified teacher' in everyrclassroomby 2005 is crucial tonhe success of NCLB.

Highly Qualified Teachen

NCW requiresithat by the end of the 200S~6 school year all students will be taught by a 'Highly! qualified" teacher in all eore academic subjects. A 'highly


qualifiedlteacher' as defined (by NCLB meets the following criteria: 1.Ihas a college degree', 2. bas obtained fulllstate.certification or licensure (emergency, temporary, or-provisional licenses -do not suffice); andl3. has demonstrated content area competence in the:subject being taught. A m~jor in the subjeot area or ~assing a content! knowledge exam is commonly used to demonsttate subject area competence.

There is compelling evidence that good teaching matters (Education Trust, 1998; Rice, 2003; NCTAF, 2003). Teachers can have la dramatic! impact on student achievement EffectiVe! teachers are critical to engagingjstudents and can strongly influence students' ability to reach academic excellenee. Low-income andl minority students have the most to gain Ifrom I effective teachers. As K:

Ha}1Cock : states in Education Trust 11998-, "If we but toek the simple step of assuring that poor and miiloritylchildren had teachers I of the same quality as other children, labout halflofthe achievement g~p would disappear'". NCTAF (12003) concluded thati"students unfortuaateenough to face several bad teachers in:a row face devastatiQg odds ag!linst success". Certainly if students are held to higH standards and nnust show competence tot receive a lhigh school diRlomSJ their teachers must also be competent in tile suliject mattenthey teach! Parents, school administrators, teacher educators, and policy' makers all agree that effective teaching is a key component of student learning, sorwhy is this NCLB requirement controversial?'

While a 'highly! qualified teacher' is described in NOLB, each state further defines these requirements and has broad leeway in determining compliance. For instance, one state might require new teachers to complete an accredited teacher education program through a college or university to be recommended for full license or certification, while another state might allow new teachers to pass an exam instead Gf completing any course in pedagogy. While 1IDIlD}1 states will require a major in the subject matter, others may allow passing a subject content test !as sufficient, setting their own state pass rate score.

Teacher education programs, traditionally.centred within higher education institutions, have come onden attack bYi conservative political groups whose agenda it! is tOI dismantle tteacber education institutions (ctochran-Smith, 2001)! Groups such as the Fordham Foundation and the Pioneer Institute wish to remove perceived hurdles to becoming a teacher. Alternate routes into teaching and teacher tests for certification are recommended as a means to move more teachers intOI the alassreom. Teacher preparation programs are being pressed to defend their programs. and are now requiredlto submit evidence of their effeetiveness as an institution iti preparing teachers. Teacher educators are lin the strange position of supporting the idea of 'highly qualified teachers' in every classroom, but Ibeing shut out of the picture in preparing tliese qualified teachers.

The question of who willi prepare new teachers andl what qualities a new


teacher must possess are iinportant issues, but what of the teacher who is already in the classroom? How does a school assure that the currentlteaching staffis~'highly qualified'?

Individuall schools must report the 'highly qualified' status of their teaehers to their state education office. NCLB requires schools to send written notice to parents after four weeks if a child is being taught by a teachen not designated as 'highly qualified'. School districtsimusa also I measure the numberiof inexperienced, unqualified, or out-of-meld teachers assigned to low-income or minority students.. Schools with non-qualified teachers must find a way ta bring those teachers up to 'highly qualified' status and must hire only 'highly qualified' teachers in the future if they wish to continue to receive federal funding. This requirement is I especially ldiffioult for small rural schools !Where one. teacher may cover more than one subject, A small school mightlofferlone section of Hiology, chemistry, geology, and physics, In the past a singleneacher might have taught all of these subjects. New state regulations requiring a teacher to have a major in the subject area would not allow this same teachen to remainras 'highlyrqualifled' m three out of'the founclassrsections. !Many, special education and ESL teachers are in this same position. Schools have been unable to fill the :growing need fur teaohers of thiS certification and have hired teachers nicensed inr other fields to fill positions; In most cases the teachers have some course work iDi the needed fields, but have not completed a full license program. Theyihave Ibeen iissued a waiver or temporary license to teach this out-of-field subject .. Teachersrin non-traditional schools such as charter schools also may De in jeopardy since much of the subject matter is Itaught through project-based learning rather than independent subjects. A W'oject on shipping might iincorporate reading, writing, science, economics, music, geography, and other subjectl areas. Mat major should a teacher have to teach this integratedltopicf?


American schools are in the public eye andlwilllikely continue to be die focus of debate as we move into another presidentiallcampaign season. While all sides acknowledge an achievement gflP and the need for continued growth and improvement in schools, the proposed Imeans of accomplishing tliis task differ. Teacher educators must enter andl guide the discussion Ito assure prospective' teachers are effective~ prepared ito fulfil expectations of professional educators.


Cochran-Smith, M. (200 1). Reforming Teacher Education: Competing Agendas.

Journal of,Teacher Education, '2,268-265.


The Education Trust (SUmmer, (998). Good Teaching; Matters: How WellQualified reachers Can Close the Gap, Washington, DC (

The EduoatiomTrust (August, 2003)1 In Need of Improvement: Ten Ways the US Department of Education Hils Failed t~ Live Up 10 Its :Teacher Quality Commitments, Washington, DC: (www.edtrusnorg)

The Educatiom Trust (December, 2003). 'Belling the Whole Truth {orinot) About Higl1ly Qualified Teachers; WaShington, DC (

NationalCommission om Teaching and America's Future-NCTAF (2003). No

Dream DeniedJ A Pledge! to America's Childten, Washington, DC


No ChildlLeft Behind Act of2001 (PL 107-110). USiDepartment of Education - DOB Elementary and Secondany Education Act. ( icy)

Rice, J. K. (2003).1Ieach" Quality: ,Understanding the Effectiveness of Teacher, Attrlbutes; Bconomie Policy Institute, Washington, DC ('

U.S. Department oft Edueation - DOE (2002), Meeting; the Highly Qualified TeaChers Chalknge,; The 'Secretary's Annual Report on Teacher Quality~ Washington, Dcr: (www.edlgov)t

U.Sl Department oft Bdueation - DOE (2003)1 Meeting: the Highly Qualified Teadhers Challenge,; The .Secretary '); Second Annual Report on Teachen Quality. Washfugton; DC

Drs •. Craig Klssock ;and JudYI Kuecble are professors in the Division 06 Education at tHe University of Minnesota"Morris, and Co-conveners Ifor th'e 24th annual seminar of the International Society for Teach'er Ed'ucation.


AI Post-modem Critique Df Modem Educational Reforms and National Examinations in Cliina


THis article is a critical 'analysis ofithe educationallreforms and the drastic curriculum changes in modern China, particularly of issues related to Nze abolishing qf the! National College Entrance Examination during the Cultural Revolution (1966- 19776) and the reviVal of,the National CMlege. Entrance Examination qfter the Cultural Revolution (1917- ).: The papen distinguishes the soundness and the limitations of the two educational rejprmsl in light oj postmodern perspective, snd provides suggestio11J!for the future qf China's eurrtculum idevelopmem. The implications associated with the discussion may shed some Iig~u

for. intemational education as well) .


Bducationi and learning have been held in great respect in China since ancient times. According to the: ideas of Confucius ,- China's. most famous teacher, philosopher, and pollticalltheorist - only educated and morally superior people can serve as leaders of the country.The morally superiorjpeople make demands not CDn others but on themselves, andlthey can lead the country ,to attain ifs goals. The ultiinate goal of Confucian education was the perfection of ren (human being) an the ethical sense - learning the rules of sociallrelatjonships and of ethical codes (Fouts &!Chan, 1996). To Confucius, no matter how old one is-and now well one can perform lbgical syllbgisms or· articulate ideas, one is always in need of perfecting oneself further~ Knowledge, aecordingly,. includes not only the externally existing body but also social and moral kno~. Such learning is called the 'great learning', as opposed to narrowly defined skill leeming, (Li, ,2002~ 2009) and'it is a never-ending lifelong process.

Great changes have 'taken place in China's education im the last decades, among them two noteworthy reforms - the abolition of National College Entrance Examinations (NCEE)I during the Cultural Revolution (19661 - 1976) and the

I NCEE is a national'. standardized, educational testing :system designed to select high school graduates for Oigher education. It was established by the MiniStry of Education iin 19S2. All tapplieants tor higher education must take NCEE and all ;eguJar colleges and universities must recruit threugh the system. h has been connected with lifelong employment and lgovemmenn placement :systems that BSSW'e every college graduate not only! a career, but also job security ..


revisal of NCEE after the Oultural Revolution (1977 - present). As; these educational reforms !happened as the: largest-scale experiment of them kind lin the world, it is necessary to understand their efi'ectslon education and to learn lessons from them. In Ithis article; I will discuss, Ifrom ra post-modem perspective; both positive and negative elements associated with the two majpr modem educational reforms iit China, inlorder. to shed some light on China's future education and on international education asiwell ..

Background 01 Modern IEducational Reforms in China I

Looking back at the modem history of Chinese education, one cannot fail to see that there is always a close: link between educational reforms and social and political ehanges, The Chineseredueational system prior to 1949 waaan uacomfortable amalgam ofi the age-old Chinese classical education with some Western modifications. lIt was based oman elktist S)'stem designed to prevent change and to consolidate Ithe eKisting social order. Success in the examinations conferred extraordiilary privileges and power (~hai, .1975). Consequently.Jt was academic; unreal, and isolated from the lives ofithe peasants (Doughty, 2001).

When the, communists took power in 1~49, the objectise of education became that of training; a new generation of ideologically 'trustworthy and techoicaQy competent Chinese !for the development of socialism. Chairman Mao referred to the! new generatiomas 'morally, intellectoally"and physically 4level~ oped laborers who are socialist-minded' (Chai, a 975~ p. 11). In revolt! against the orth'odoxies oil the wevious period, in 1966 Mao launched the Cultural Revolu .. tion, The; central issue of the Revolutionrwas what !kind of educational S)'stem would be needed to quickly modernize China. To counteracttthe tendency of universities to Iproduce an elite class, one importantl decision from Mao was to abolish the university entrance. examination, inl order to eradicate gaps between students from different backgrounds. and to give more chances Ito working class children ..

After Mao's death, and when the Cultural Revolution ended in 1976, the country's focus turned i'om class I struggle to economic construction. Deng Xiaoping: declared in 19178 that speedy economic and technical development demanded rapid improvement I in the quality and efficiency of education. The stress Olll quality education rather' than I political purit}! brought back 'man)! practices .of traditional education, one of themt the revival of National College Entrance Examinations (F.engzhen, 2(02) .•


Cultural Revolution and 'the AbolitiOn ojlNCEE

Today it is generally! agreed that Cultural I Revolution wast a tragedy and a ten-year havoc (McMutrie, 2002). However, when viewed from a post-modem


perspective, tb'e reform also contained some positive elements, such as t!he opendoor schooling, the hands-on learning experience and the governance of schools by 10ca1 workers" soldiers and peasants. Post-modern I curriculum. calls fori a social constructivist approach (Reichenbach, 1999) iIllwhich students are enabled to make a useful contributien tOI society and become social reformers. The open-door schooling encouraged establishment of 'close linkages !between Rrim~-middle schools and nearby factories, communes, and army units. Students worked on farms, factories..and ill the armylduring each school year so~at they could learn fumds..on, practical skills that were: relevant to their lives. Some classes were taught innhe fields by I workers and farmers} The !tradifionall educational ideas, memorization of book knowledge withoutlquestioning, and teachers! absdlute authority were criticized. These practices, whem viewed fPOm a post-modern perspective, offered students an opportunity to walk outside the classrooms to became sociallactivists. And, during the Cultural Revolution, the governance of schools was moved from the hands oflbourgeois intellectuals to committeesrmade up of local workers, soldiers, peasants; and 'politically correct' students and teachers. Post-modem I theorists believe that the governance of schools ideally should be undertaken by local students andl teachers, who make: decisions i on curriculum" taking into consideration I the recommendations of school boards, state authorities, principals and parents .. No requirements or mandatory standards set by legislative autheritiesi exist (Leitch, 1996).

Unfortunately, these !positive approaches had been pushed' to the extreme and led to failure of the revolution. Although one of the fundamental aims o$the Cultural Revolutiomwas to popularise and equalize opportunities foneducationathe result was just !the opposite. One reason might be the radical decision of abolishing of the National College EiltraDae Examination (NCEE). This decision meant that for students to enter colIegesJuniversities no examinations were needed, no questioning about their acadeniic aDility was required, for what mattered was their moral character, and politieal correctness, All students wene directly chosen by the peasants, workers and eedres from their re-education fields in the villages, armies or factbries based on their behaviours (€hai, (975), Therteaching profession, which had been bombarded by the revolution, was demoralized; !textbooks and curriculum. were ideologically aonstrainedl and full of politicall jargqm. Teachers had a hard time getting students back to schools and readjusted to the. routihe of'school life:

Post-modem education aims to prepare young people to serve the society and to transmit the knowledge" skills, values, and attitudes of the: society. Whenever education failS! in any ofithese: fields the society falters iii its progress, or there is social unrest as people find that theirreducation has prepared them fona future that is not opemto them (Toll, 2001)1 During the CulturallRevolution, students were-not motivated to learn. They felt studying at school was I useless since it had nothing to do with their fUture .. The)! would go to work in lfactories or on farms 1110 matter low well they! did at school, Why !bother learning calculus when they needed nothing more than multiplication tables? Furthermore, if they had Ia 'good father' - a father


who was a party official or who had connections - they would get a good jdb, or' go to a university anyway (Wan, 2001). The disconnection between academic: achievement and students' future careers" the emphasis on political oorrectness i over academic achievement, and the; neglecting of theory learning and overem- . phasis on hands-on experience were all examples of poor decisions. Indeed, the : reformedl curriculum and examination system misguided and wasted the school- . ing IOf a whole. generation of yCDung people andlput China "s economy! backward I to what it had been more than ten years before ..

The political and violent nature.of the social upheavals during the Cultural I Revolution created manYt other problems 1 as well. In the eagerness to set IUp a 1 classless society and destroy the old ideology" people failed to distinguish the: virtues from tie dross of the old Chinese culture: they 'threw away the baby with the bath water'~ Values like diligence, collaboration, modesty, and respect I for elders and teachers were discarded, togethen with Confucian male ehauvinist I ideas. The overemphasis IOn re-education ifronnthe workiQg class people Droke: up the normal friendly, cooperative relationships between 1eachctrs and students .. Teachersdost their esteem ancb authority. :What's worse, the imagined political I struggle and line clrawn between 'Working dlasses and! intellectuals led to I personal and physical attacks, on numerous teachers and professionals .. The: initial goal oflthe refoJ'llll to eliminate inequality in education and societ)l was i not met; instead, those who were merely 'JPOlitically correct', who might possess i no qualifications at all, seized the power and became:new elites;

Edlicatlonal Reform and the Revival of NCEB

After Mao's death in1197~, the new (JommunistlPar1y! set out to correct the: follies of the Revolution. As ithe first step in strengthening the new central I power and saving the Party's ireputation, the reorganized central government I restored National (l)lleg~ Entrance :Examinations (NCEE) (Wei, 1999). Until I today, NCEE remains indispensable. because die common people depend Ion it I to equalize opportunities for· an elite education (flholij 1999). Throughout I history, this stl8Dlent of the pqpulation has been nonchalant regarding politics i and! social affairs, However, they have "een sensitive and reactive to power' abuse b)! the .adminlstrators <Df standardized ,educatiomil tests affecting life: oppprtunities to which they believe they have Iiights; NCEE met the lraditionall expectations of faiIi distributien of! opportunities and expectation of a wise,. powerful! central leadership (Feng, :2000)1. It is! used I as the best example of, as; well as die best advertisement ror, the Party's determination to provide equality, , justice, and opportunities Ito alll the same time when the majority ofl the !people applauded the return of'NCEE and the end of 'going through the: back door' fort higher education, new issues also arose. As withlany nigh-stakes i testing, the right question to ask would Ibe: how could NCEIE, a nigh-stakes; examination, address the issues oil competency, equity . and diversity? (Lin,. 2002)


The first ooncems were with the competence education. Although theoretically the idea of competence education is IWideb' accepted in China, it is very difficult to put Iato practice (Education reform lin Cl1ina, 1002J In fact, iIi maqy primary and secondary schools, -education is sti\ll knowledge-based and examiaation-orieated because college entrance examinations involve: stricti selection and severe icompetition, andl most examination questions are designed Ito check students' knowledge rather than to test their abilities, which Confucius dismissed as ''trifling skills of a scribe" (Il.i, 2003, p.!l47). 'Since its establishment, thetNCEE has largely oriented the nation's education. The content as well asrthe test forms have directed the academic efforts of! the K - 1! schools. 'lro promote more students to college, .some teachers focus only on the part oflthe content that is likely to be testedl Similarly, students devote their efforts enly to the content that is taught in class. The curriculum seems to be centred on teaching I students sltills to pass the exams, andlteaehers' quality of teaching is measured according to how many students they are able:to send toithe higher-level institution. Undes such pressures, the' traditional mode of teachercentred Redag~gy remained the dominant approach Ito teaching and' education ihas been characterized !by excessive tests througJ;t.out the elementary and secondary schools. Consequently, dle teaching style is ih favour of transmission of factual classical knowledge rather tham the development of the ability to: learn, and lin favour of passive adaptation to environment instead oflactive transformation 'of it. !FroIIII the post-modem perspective, suchi pedagogy.had been criticized for its dedication to transmission, recitation, and mastel')! of fixed and ordered knowledge andl infonnatio~ andlfor its simple, arduous learningjend submission Ito authoritative materials andlmethods (Leitch, 1996; Slattery, 1995). It fails to empower students to interrogate representationsiof subjectisity and societyand to be concerned critical citizens experienced with democratic governance QAronowico& Giroux, 1991D.

The second is the equity issue. With the ultimategoal of passing the NCEE tests andl entering colleges and universities, schools have been ranked as 'key~ or 'common' schools and are given differential flnanclal supports by the government based on the ratio o£theil'lNCEIE winners.The key high schools:demand that middle schools provide them with higp achievers. In correspondence to the: demands, \key middle and elementary schools as well as key kindergartens have emerged. Key schools are fewwlille commonschools are alw~ the majority fu anYlschool district (Luo & Wendel, 1999). When the few ley schools are !staiIed with high-quality teachers and high-achieving students, equipped with better faCilities and !provided with more enriched curriculum, this has served to make the few rich richer while the majjJrity poor become poorer.

The third issue is related to diversity. The limitations IOfNCEE and its curriculum in addressing issuesl of diversity are ap~ent I when we mook ,at it ifrom I the post-modem perspective; The .post-modern curriculum development is concerned about diversily! and multicultural education, and suggestions are made for changing school structures and curriculum to better accommodate children of subaltern cultures (Leitch, 1996). The eclectic and kaleidoscopic nature of post-modernity


challenges educators in tile post-modem era to eng~e males and females, and a diversity of alllpeople, inrdialogues (Aronowitx & Giroux, 1991). Imcontrast, the NCEE is !based on standardized testihg in a national curriculum, on the dualism of the particular and the general, and particularly.ion tile generality andiuniversality. Peculiarity, diversity and discontinuity are creating a problem fora standardsbased nationallcurrieulum (Marshall] 2000). Such curriculum cannot reall)l handle the special, thelsingu1ari~. The.special and the singuarity are only accepted las long as they are able to serve as an examp)e fon something more general.

The difficulty ofNCEE touneendiverse leamerst needs has also led to a huge educational waste. Barents often strive to .enroll their children ih the :key schools. ThtW putlenormous pressure on the schools and on the children to make sure iliat the latten can eventuallY! stept into I the NCEE examination halls and succeed. Children are told that to win inlNCEE is the highest honour for students. They are taught to make: connections between Itheir academic efforts and ftle benefits for the winners. lfhey study! hardlfor NCEE; however the majorit)! of tbem are doomed to fail !because the enrolment capacity of the institutions of highen learning has been limited (Jeng, 2000). Their education means little once they lose the INCEE battle since they haven't any job skills upon leaving school. This educational waste has yet to be thoroughlyrunderstood and addressed ..

Shannon 01992) says teaching is liberating and dominating, and. schooling :is also liberating and dbminating. [NCEE both liberated students and dominated them. It liberated students and people because it offered ani equal opportunity for advancement and opened their eyes to the inequality existing in the society;: it dominated them because it did not allow, or at least tailed to promote," independent and.critical thiiJkinglabili~. AstFreire put it:

If teachers help students from oppressed communities to read the word but do not also teach them to -read Ithe worldJ students might become literate in ;a technical sense but will remain passive objects of history rathen than I active subjects .. (cited in LankShear & McClaren, 1993, p .. 82)


In today'sworld, no one can afford torignore education. China has paid a huge price for the mistakes it made during the Cultural Revolution, for the abolition of NCEE and the meglect of academic learning. In 1110 way will Chilia repeat the same mistakes again. Nevertheless, the re-emphasis of'knowledge and 'academic learning through the reinstitution of N(J:EE also brings isome issues and concerns .. At the time when CDina is engaged I in deep-rooted I educational reforms : to meet the post-modern societyfs needs,l tentatively put forward the following suggestions.

First, educators and school administrators should make more efforts to de-


velop studentsl critical thinking skills (Lin, 2002). Although memory plays an important role in cognition andlkno\\lledge acquisition, education in China seems to have paid excessive attention to I the memorization ofl factsl principles, and concepts; related tOI an erganized body' of knowledge (Kretls, 1996). More speeifically, while a quantitative increase iin knowledge isiessential to a qualitative: change im perspective, the purpose of education is not merely !knowledge transmission. Students should not only be eeceptacles of information" but should also be constructorsrofknowledge, Drawing om the strengths ofltraditionallways of teaching and learning. educators I and school administrators; should enhance innovative teaching! and active learning, They should encourage students to design and conduct research projects to g!lin hands-on experiences that, in turn, enhance conceptual understanding.

Second, instead of focusing on the national curriculum and standardized testing like NCEE, educators and school administrators should design a curricu .. lunu that meets individuall differences. The focus of the post-modem 'Curriculum is on differences: theoretically! in the recognition and detection of differences, andlnormatively, inlthe acceptance and appreciation of differences. Applied ta present discussion, this means that tile modem concept oflchildhood as progressive, universal and regular has to be broadened to include the ideas ofldifference, of particularity, andlofirregularity. Post-modern views that focus on dte particular, the sfugularity, and heterogeneity, do not have to be regarded as B threat fon standardized curricular decisions but as a chance,

Third, when determihing admission to college and universities, educators andladministrators should notlbase Itheirrdecision solely IOn students' entrance exam scores, but should use them along with other indicators oflstudent acliievement. Sole reliance: on the examination determine admission ignores other important predictors off academia success. The entrance exam iis an important tool to aid! human judgment, bunit is not a perfect tool Ito assess student achievement. It onl~ shows how students tperform on one: occasion, and it does not consider students' academic achievements over time. In other words, it does not !test many qualities and attributes in students. T.o gain insight into studen1J achievement, schoot administrators should a1SOl take students' academic records and 1 character' into consideration. A reasonable approach, for instance,' ma}! involve counting 50% of the entrance exam score, and to reserve therothes 50%J for students' academic performance across the three previous years. Anothen approach I is to make NttEE a pure educational testing: service and limit its funetionsrto providing academic tests only. Applicants could themselves decide to which I institutions they wish to apply! based on I thein scores and interests. Individual institutions could admit students directly based on their own criteria and'independently notify candidates IOf their decisions. With computer networks available; these changes may become feasible. The Scholastic Aptitude Test and the Graduate Record Examinations provided b)I the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, New Je ... constitute good models for N<CEE reformers (Feng,


2000; Winchester, 1999) ..

Finally, educators and school administrators should oultivate students wiili practical :skills that 'will enhance their life after graduation (Gu, 1999). K-12 schools iil China are required to assume two major responsibilities: i cultivating qualified I reserve labour' for societb' and sending qualified new students to colleges and universities (Defeng, 1999; Luo & Wendel, .1999~. But in reality; these responsibilities are mot equally undertaken. Most schools, especially ke}1 schools, focus only on prepariQg students Ifor college. How should students who cannot go to coUege:be prepared to undertake tasks ahead?! Educatorsiand schcol administrators need to think seriously about the. answers to suehl questions; They should search for ways that promote scientific and! technological inquiry and make education serve not only the needs! of institutions 0f higher learning but also the needs of the development of communities and local economy. Only by, doing so ican educators and school administrators fulfill the duties that societ)j places om their shoulders. ,


In a rworld where one of the emerging educational orthodoxies is that of centralized curriculum imposition, based on subject-based standards and targets that; reaffirm existing knowledge hierarchies. it is necessary to revisit and reconstruct the transformational potential of a curriculum based on broaden common learning outcomes. The educational 'reform in 'China is a top-down movement while the post-modem reform calls for a bottom-up, grass-roots movement to convince people !(Hargreves & Moore, 2000). Until t1ie entrance examination s~ms are completely reformed, eompetence educatiomwill not be fully implemented.


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Chai, P. ~197S). A g/ance!at China's culture. Peking; China: Pcreignrl.aagnagee Press.

Defeng, L. (1999). modernization and teacher education in China. Teaching and TeaCher Education, }5(2),.17~192.

Doughty, J. J., (2000). The politics I of education in the !People's Republic off China. Theory into Practice, 17~S). 315--383.


Education reform inJ China: An interview with Aibe Chen. (2000). Kappa Oelta Pi Recordj 38('1), 93-96.

Feng, Y .. (2000). National college: entrance examinations: The dynamics off political centralism in China's elite education. Journal of Education, 1 S J (1)~ 39-S7.

Fengzhen, Y. (12002). Education in China: Educational PFtilosophy and Theorys 34(2), 13S-145i

Fouts, J. '['., &lChan, J. C; K. (1995): Confucius, Mao and modernization: Social studies education in the People's Republic of China, Journal of CurriCulum Studies, 21(5), S23-543.

Gu,.D. (11999).IFurther reform of the. normal school curriculum .. Chinese Education and Societ)f, 32(0, 67l-78.

Hargreves, A., & Moore; S. (~OOO). Educational outcomes, modem and postmodem interpretations: Response to: Smyth and Dow. Br.itish Journal of Sociblogy!O/Education, 21(1),27-43:.

Krebs, S.i H. (l996)~ The-Chinese cult cflexamination, The Clearing House, 5,i 301-.02.

Lankshear, C.,. & McClaren, P. L. (993). Crilicalliterafl)'. Albany, NY:: State Universit}1 of New York Press,

Leitch, v. (19.96). Postmodemism: Local effscts, global flows. Albany, NY:

State Universit)( of New Ybrk Ptess.

Li, J. (2002). A cultural modellof learning: Chinese 'heertand mind for wanting to learn'. Journal of!:ross .. Cultural Psychology,: 33, 248-269.

Li, ,. (2003). The core of Confucius learning, American Psychologist, $8(2), 146-147.

Lin, Q. (g002). Beyond standardization: Testing and assessment im standards .. based reform. A'ctiomin Teacher. Education, 23(4),43+49.

Luo, J., & Wendel~ F. e. (1999). !Preparing !for college: Senior liigh schooj education in China. NASSR Bulletin, 83(609), 5A-68.

Marshall,' J. D. (2000). Thinking again: Modem on postmodern? Educational PhiliJsophy andtTheory, ~2(3), 332-396.


McMutrie, B .. (2002). Documenting a nationls madness, one tale: at a itime, Chroniclescf Higher Education, :48(31), A36.

Reiehenbaeh, Il (1999). Postmodern knowledge, modem beliefs and the curriculum. Educational Philosophy and Theory, j1(2)J 237-245.

Shannonal'. (Bd.). 0 992)~ Beceming political. Portsmouth, NHf Heinemann.

Slattery, P. (1995). Cu"iculum development in the postmodern era: New York; Garland Publishing,

Toll, C. A. (2001)~ Critical and postmodem iperspectives OD' school change.

Journal of,Cu"iculul1l and Supervision, 16(4),345-367.

Wan, G. (2001). The educational reforms in the cultural revolution iiI China: "" postmodem critique. 'Education,1 1220), 2lJ--32.

Wei, F. (J999"March 4). Decisions on NGEE reform. People's Daily! p. 4:

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Dr Qiuyun Lin is an assistant professor at Mount Aloysius College in the Department oflElementary and!Earl}l Education. Before coming: to the USA, she wasian associate professor in the Foneign Languagesilnstitute inrFuzhou Universityiin the Peqple'srRepublic of China. Her recent research interests focus on cross-cultural studies, edacational reform, testing and assessment, as well as early literacy. Her most recent .publications appeared in joumalB such as Action in Teacher Education, Early Childhood Education Journal, New Waves-Educational Research & Development, and Education.


Bow to Bring E~ternal Elmminations Closer to Teacben and Pupils

Majda Cencic:

In the nineties, I Slovenia introduced external examinations lin primary schools and in secondary scbools of the gymnasium type. After ten years of experienceiof external examinations, we have decided to look into the teachers' 'attitudes towards them. For this pUl'J'Pose, lIwo types of data have been included in the research. The first type is more typical o!qualftative research. In 2001, the p,.imary teachers . who ,were included tin in .. service teacher- educations at tHe Faculty of Education wrote an essay about external examinations .. The second type of data presented in the paper- is the results fiom the quantitative research. We have included a random sample! of fl34 teachers wHo were involved in the external examination in eight elementary schools. In 2001, they Jilledlin the questionnaire consisting-of clbsed and open questions. The results qfboth types of research are summedl up in the paper. They show that the teachers' attitudes towards external examinations in Slovenia sre snll diVided) and 'that the teachers andlthe pupils 'OI'e weighed down ~ the additional Durden of external examinations.


Just over it decade ago external I examining was .introduced into I Slovenia's schools. Ten years after the implementation of external examination in Slovenia teachers' attitudes towards this !testing are still very ambivalent. lAs shown by the results of our research, some teachers are iin favour of testing and others against it. Considering current trends and developments in Europe, our school policies willi probably not change eowards external examinations, which' means they will staY! as planned so that we cannot do much more than reflect on haw to Ibring them closer to !teachers and pupils. The present article, therefore, endeavours to' identify: the organisation of extemalexaminations in Slovenia, the arguments fon and t against externall examinations currently used in our country that! have: been expressed by primary school teachers, results off the research undertaken into this topic, and reflections on how to bring external examiitations closer to teachers 89 well as pupils ..

Examination Systems in rSlovenia

Following the situation commomin many countries inrEurope inrthe 1'990s; Slovenia .introduced external examiitations into primary schools and into sec-


ondhry schools of the gymnasiUm type. External examinations iwere : new for Slovenes as they had not been a feature of'the public education s~stem pries to than date, In the past, there had been some attempts at introducing iextemal examinations for research purposes.ibut these were not substantive examinetions andl had little status. As a result, the reaction to external I examinations wast at first more negative than positive. lIn the year 2000, there were some attempts at eliinination of external evaluation because ofithe changes in our polilical situation. Examfuations were abolished by the minister, and the act wasisupported by a women's "shadow cabinet",:that claimed they were unjust, too stressful and burdensome for the pupils and their parents. But after only six months thelGovernment changedland external examinations were immediately reinstated.

In our traditiona1l eigh"yearlPrimary schools, external examinations are not compulsory. They serve as an additional criterion for admission to secondary schools that had a restricted entry, In the new nine-year primary schools, external examinations are adn:iinistered at the end of eacb three-year cycle. The. results oflthe examinations after the: first and the second cycles do not affect the pupils' grades I or their progress to I the next cycle .. Instead, they merely provide feedback for pupils" parents, teachers and the school. At the endlof the nine-year school period,' external examinations in three :subjects (mother !bogue, mathematics and a foreign language or ooe subject selected by each pupil)1 are obligatory for allI pupils. Pqpils receive final report cards witH grades, which also include the scores achieved iin externall examinations in the subjects theyitook Successful completion oflbasio educatiom enables pupils to proceed to secondary school.

The problems experienced with external examinations ido not occur wlien external examinations serve as feedback; but nather when they become' an essential part of a recordlof achievement land part of the pupilTs grade. This situation is happening in the third cycle. Descriptive grading is used in the first cycle, descriptive and numerical grading: in the second, and only numerical grading in the third eycle;

In our eight-year primary schools, the: only written external I examinations are in mother' tongpe and mathematics. According to the new legislation, written external examinations will be in mathematics; mostly written, and oral in mother tongue or a foreign language: In some subjects there can be a combination of written and practical work (fon example geography.jphysics, andlchemistry),

A characteristic: of our externaD tests is iliat th'ey are no~ standardised because they have not been admitiistered to if1 representative sample of a defined population, which would! allow for the calculation of norms


(Educational assessment, . 1994l. p.14). They are just iStandard tests produced fon use in many different classrooms and schools, and administered and scored lin the usual way. They are notl under the: control of the classroom rteacher and are determined by the state (Airasian, 1996, p.1228)1 They are prepared b)f a group of experts and teachers, not normally those Who are expected Ito use them.

Teachers' Opinions For:and Against External Examinations

Our schoollpolitics emphasise the advantag4s as well as the disadvantages off external examinations, Let us, therefore, examine some of the characteristics of external examinations that the teachers see either as praiseworthy or 4lisad';anta., geous. F6r this purpose, 20 pJiimary teachers who were involved in in-service teachers' education at thelFaculty oflEducation in Ljubljana were included in the research. . In December 2001, they wrote: an unstructured text t or essay on the topic of external examinations. The data were q1J8litatively l8Jlaly~ed. IJ would like to present some of tI\eir comments divided into two opposfug views.

Argumentslfor and against external examinations deal with the teachers; how. andwhatjhey teach and assessahow they design tests or ask questions; andl what theft attitudes iare towards their pupils, towards learning and lknowledge, and towards the school itself, Slovene pmfessionalliterature emphasises the support external examinations and assessment provide for a better culture and! practice ill examining andl assessing inowledge.' Some teachers 1believed examinations to be good to obtairu feedback information for the teachers about their work, and as a form of monitoring I which contributes tOI better assessment on the part ef the teachers .. As one teacher commented, "External examinations offer certain feedback.which the-teacher can use. to check the objectiVity of hiSlher assess ... ment",

There. was also ibe opinion that external examinations offer paradigms and rules of behaviour that make arbitrary behaviour on the part! of the teachers difficult, and also provide less skilled teachers with: some examples of how to assess. ~s a whole, external examinations were seen as a more' systematic approach to knowledge and ensuringjthe implementation of prescribed standards;

Frequently, the lack of personal linvolvement was emphasised as something positive as a form oflassessment, as it was something that provides all pupils with equal opportunities i and iis thus more objective and more impartial, As one teacher said, ". see a positive role imthe fact that examinations are objective and that the subjective note does not play an important role " .. Another teacher said, "They are welcome.mostly because nhe assessors do not know Ithe children and can therefore not be partial", More pessimistically, as one teacher commented:

External examinations are appropriate, because-they ensure the right objectivity,


which is necessary. Any kind 0f personall contact with the pupils is elimiaatedl This can be good as iwell as bad. It is good because it gives all children the: same opportunities and starting points, and bad because only knowledge is included in the grade: Pupils are- mere numbers, only their knowledge about a certain tQpic is being measured.

Some-teachers emphasised the fact that all pupilsrget the same questions and write under the same conditions and iliat someone oilier than their teachen assesses the p,apers (the: external assessors). As for the tests, the: comments indicate that they are designed !by a group of teachers and'that they are standard tests, because all pupils take the same test, on the same iday, and in the : same. manner.

AmoQg other positive effects, teachers mentioned 1!he objective way of measuring knowledge in the same standard mode, and saw the:examinations as an 0pportuni~ to learn and acquire desitable ,examination culture . .As for the effect the examinations have 'on schools, they stated that they represent an economical way of iinproving the quality ef mainstream education.

Othen comments show the darker side of examinations. The teachers' 'arguments against Itheml are similar to dlose ,found by Airasian (1996,. p. 256) in various studies. One is that state-made testing increases the pressure on schools, districts, and teachers to revise them curricula to match the state tests better. In our school context, results are not published in newspapers, but iteachers do hean about them at' school staff meetings or at indWidual meetings i with t principals, The&' see their role- reduced 00 being agents .of controlt "TIle teacher as an intermediary between external examinations and pupils (in .case of written examinations) is notimuch more than an overseer".

Our teachers also believed examinations toibe stressful, especially for I more sensitive and ypung,r pupils: "}t\t the time of examinations many children suffen from health problems, maybe: psychological ones" but in very sensitive and emotional pupils these can lead to physical illnesses", Or: "external examinations can be very stressful for the: pupils, because the}'! represent I a form of assessment which is .admiilistered only rarely and consequently the pupils are noll acquainted with it".

These teachers agreed OBI one point whicli is to be found iin foneign research as well: that students write Ibetter on some.daysuhanrothers and better in .some modes than others (Belanger,. 1985, p. 87). "External examfuations measure pupil's kDowledge but do not take mto aecount the individuality, the good and the bad days of the iindividuallchildl and mightl evem have: a frightening effect":

The&' also state that there is: no personal contact I and !that pupils are' mere numbers. For example: They are very impersonal and dornot take into accounn


the circumstances under whiclv the iildividual is taking the test; The pupils ma)! have a bad day, difficulties at homeior whtever they are occupied with on that specific day, and cannot concentrate IOn test questions.

Teachers found the pressure especiallf hard in lbwer classes. As one: commented:

I do not favoun external examinations after each three-year period because Ilbelieve that pupils can be under great Istress just by fuinkfug about the exams .. . . External examinations I at the lower level can even increase the !pressure on children, IWhicli is exercised by the school and by the parents who have (too) great expectations.

Furthermore, the; examinations do not measure the participation and activities thantake placeiduring lessons: "The pupills interest is neglected. On the basis of specific taxonomically designed goals, only general knowledge is emphasised".

Teachers also thoughnthat pupilslrecewe very limited feedback and informationdn the form of points scored. Fonexample on teacher commented,;"Feedback information is so sparing ithat the pupil cannot reallYI understand what his actual knowledge is like ... , The pupil knows slhe has not reached a certaimnumber of points or a certain grade but does not know wh}j".

Teachers stated that external assessors can make mistakes and that examinations contribute to competitiveness:: "They encourage competitiveness and the accumulation 0f intbrmafion upon information. School is becoming more and more impersonal, stressful . . . There is no time for genuine relationships, the content and the implementation of the cuniiculum are:the only important issues" ..

Teachers also considered criteria as problematie: "Criteria are B problem.' The. knowledge of children from different places, schools .... should be assessed equally. The child's interestst are a>mpletel)! disregarded and only general knowledge is emphasised". This means that the environment is nob taken into account and that the examinations 1 do not offer al comprehensive: picture of knowledge because the product, the result-is important, and not the process.

To summarise the opinions of class I teachers, we can conclude with the observation that the examinations are useful as means of obtaining feedback information and should tie administered from ltime to time, but they CBlI!Y too much weight, They are not necessary after eveny three-year period because the)'! make school more demanding, and the childreDl have: to be prepared ror external examinations and assessment by the teaehers.ior im Gipps's (1995)! words, b)'! teachers who are ''teaching to tile test" (p. 45).


Quantitative Research Results

The results from the quantitative research are also presented. The purpose waste find out the teachers' opinions as to how external examiJiations influence teaohers land pupils since their views on these examinations are generally! considered to Ibe very important, The data were collected from Rebruary to March 2001. A questionnaire: with I open and I closed questions was sen. to a random sample of 1M prjmaryrschool teachers of mother tongue and'mathematics (9.6% of all teachers) already involved in external examinations inreight elementary schools ..

The resultsishow that more than half of the teachers (51.5%) thought tliat the roler of examinations was to serve: as at selection ,critemon for enrolment in secondary schools. Teachers alSo mentioned the influences the)! have on p,upils~ better and more obj,ctive: knowledge, more reliable comparison between pupils, thislbeing dependent on the p~sical welltbeing ofpppils,j There was an impact on teachers: the use ofteachers as agents of control,and exposure of the limi'tations of some teachers. There was also an impact on schools: comparison was made between schools, and there was a reduction in the differences among schools.

A positive: attitude towards external examinations was expressed by! only! 17.2% of the respondene teachers. The same 'percentage (17.2%) of teachers believed that examinations represent! an additional burden rand great responsibility for the teachers and pupils .. Some 10.4% oil the teachers stated that they are against external examinations land would abolish them, and that they are not) necessary, There was also evidence that points to an undetermined or ambivalent attitude towards external examinations,

The majority of respondents mentioned that there wasia change fu teaeher's status (93.3%)1 For example, there was an increase in responsibility" they !faced additional work, and there W8S1 greater control. The majority also believed they! thatl were more burdened (78.4%) with responsibility fOI1 pupils' achievement, parental demands, and some had a feeling of gpilt in case: of failure to meet the demands Dfprincipals and the extra responsibility they faced.

Most of the respondents stated that they prepare pupilsi for external examina ... tions (93!3%) during regular llours"during additional and remedialilessons, on when substituting for another teacher. They prepare for them by introducing the grading p,rocedures,!by offering advice in answering the questions, and by doing the tests of previous years. 0nJy a small percentage of the teachers teach JIIupils the actual techniques for taking a test. I believe pupils should not only become acquainted with the formiof the examinations but also with the-skills of how to learn, how to solve individual test items and how to <tope with examinations and


tests. The research showed the importance of the :way pupils learned. as this iis a facton when dealing with different test items. as these may be in the form of an essay or multiple choice questions (Zeidner,: 19n).

It:is interesting that the maj~rity of respondents 081.3%) had not! changed their previously used assessment '8I1d evaluation modes. Those who had changed said they now review the previous content of tests, they examine pupilsmore, or ask them to solve similar tests. 'Thus the opinions otT experts about the direct influence df external examinations on internal assessment nnay Dot have been confirmed direcfly. Teachers domot ehang~ their assessment because they. are faced with external examinations, at least not the majority ofitherm Thooreticians do think that the :feedback influence on internal assessment will become stronger and more iinportant. They are also becoming aware of their imp,act and om the way they l:iring changes lnrpuplls. For example; pupils become more.agitated, afraid and irritated.

These results show that external examinations make an additional burden: for pupils and !for teachers, Similar results would probably alsa be shown I as tOI the impact on parents. Each change: cannot but affect a great number of I in vowed parties. The question is whether positive or negative influences prevail ..

Finding a Way Forward

What can be I done: to make external examinations more acceptable to alDthe involved particiRants?! Some suggestions are offered below. I would like to stress the need to include assessment I as a I topio studlied in the ~ courses offered on pre-service: teacher education programs. TIte opinion of our student teachers is that iii almost all courses! they! do get some information about assessment, evaluation and grading but ~at the topics are not presentedl systematioa1ly or at sufficient depth ..

I also advocate the need to include assessment topics fn in-service teacher education. We lave to change !the common trend in upper primlll'Yl schools: teachers should devote less time! to gJ:ading and more: time: to assessment or to providing pupilst with more' feedback and fewer numerical grades. Changing the assessmentl culture is B long process and ODe that affects established behaviour patterns anti triggers doubtS! and epposition ..

Another element of no less importance is making it clear how teachers should behave during the examination process itself. As Burger Mumc (2001) showed in her small-scale research, pupils are disturbed when they are examined orally and the teacher is busy writing somethiIlg or' giviqg the pupil strange looks. or interrupts when !helshe sees the .pupil' does not knoWJ the answer, or: does I not provide himlher with sufficient time for reflection. In IWIitten examinations" the


pupil is disturbed when the teaoher does not come on time, collects papers before the end, walks around theclassroom, bumps into desks, stands behind/the pupil's back and nooks overihislher shoulden

Teachers need to intreduce into their everyday practice different I or elternative: ways of assessmenn for' example, oral assessment, written assessment. practical work; proj~ct work, and different kinds of !Presentations on portfolios. Di~rentl test iitemsl haves to be used in rorder to measure different levels o€ knowledge, and dift'erentltypes of tests must be used. Further, we need to train our teachers inihow to prepare pupils for all kinds of examinations, especially for written ones with various !test items. lBut this must not be How to 'teach the test' ~ A common practice iin our school contexttis that the Iteacher uses previous-tests, Airasian (1996, p, 257) says that the more important the test consequences are for students the more temptation there is for teachersito 'teach the test' and adds than eachi teacher must face the dilemma I of how much he or she Will let tests dictate their classroom curriculum.

In our external examinations we !have Ito improve reporting about the scores to p.upils and parents (Gronlund, 1974). Just giving the numbenof points scored is insuffieient information for pupils as well asl for parents. In addition to all o1i the above, the problem remains oflhowto include! in the context of external examinations the school environment, andlhow to treat pupils with special needs, special skills and abilities; or those with different interests.


If Sloveniaunustisubmit to the trend toiuse external examinations, we need to think about their negative impact and the most effective ~aysl of reducing the negative aspects and strengthening .theirpositive characteristics. At the 'same time we must include a range of less formal and more proeess-oriented forms o1i internal assessment. '

IOn the basis of the iresearch results; some suggestions have been made, inclbdin81 the following: the need to include assessment as an independent course of study an pre-service teacher edueadon and! as a I topic in in-service teachen education. Additionally, the teachers have to implement different techniques o1i assessment such as ifor example, oral assessment, writtem assessment, practical work, project work" and different kinds of presentations. !feachers also have to use «lifferent tests in order to measure different lev.els of knowledge, and use different types iof tests fan other purposes. Another equally! important iissue ds the wa)1 teachers behave during the examination process.itselfl Further, our teachers need to be trained in order to prepare pupils for all kinds of examinations, especially for' written examinations with various lest items. Beside aU the aforementioned issues, two problems still remain, mamely the problem of the


lnclusionrof knowledge content, andlthe problem of the treatment of pupils with speeial skills, abilities, and different interests. !Last but not least, there are still answers to be found to die question lof bringing external examinations closer to teachers and pupils. But the most difficult task Btilllying ahead lof US! will be the implementation of all the proposals fu our-schocl practice..


Airasian, ,P. Wl (1996). Assessment in the classroom: Newi York: McGraw-IHill.

Belanger, J. (J985)J Conflict between mentor:and judge; being fair. and being helpful! in composition evaluation .. English Quarte"ly. J8( 4), 79-92.

Burger Muhic, A. (~OOI). Nev.erbalba komunikacija ucitelja med preverjljnjem in ocenjevanjem znanja (Non-verbal communication of tho teacher during examination'and assessment of'knewledge): seminar paper. Ljubljana: FacultY; of Education.

Educational assessment: the way ahead (1994)i Berkshire: NFER-NELSON.

Gipps, C: V. 01995). Beyond testing: towards. a theory of educational assess" ment. IJ.ondon: The Palmer Press,

Gronlund, N. E. (19174). Improving marking and reporting in classroom instruction. New York, London: MacMillan.

Zeidner, M. (1987).lEssay versus mUltiple-choiCe typ,e classroom exams: the student's perspective: Joumal oJEducational Research. 80(6),3fi2-3SS.

Majda Oencic is an Assistant lProfessor at the:UniversityJ of Ljubljana, Facult}l of Education" Slovenia. She also 'Works at the new university ii1 Slovenia (established in 200a). atl the University of Primorska, Faculty of Education, Koper. Her research interests rare ln teacher education, tteacher development, research methods, literacy, andfassessment. Correspondence to Majda should be addressed to:


Peer Teaeher Learning::How Teaehel"8 Learn from Teachers,in Mpumalanga, Seeondary Seienee Initiative

Charuvil ahacko

In SouthiAfrioa. in Ithis Reriot! 0/ chang~. Peer Teacher' Learning ackhowledges the vital role of'teachers asl 'agents ofl change 'for the implementation o/Curriculum 2001.5. Teach- . ers take responsibility fpr their own professirmal growth by I mutual co-operation in ueamwork and ream teaching. These! activities on a regular 'basis, will improve the capacity, and I experience of all teachers to 'learn from each other '.: The! paper addresses. among other things. how teachers can work: togethen to plan lesson !Units.1 to carefully observe-the class-· room practice 0/ colleagues and to analyse classroom obser-· vation to become more ej[ectflle teachers in the Mpumalbnga I Secondary Setence Initiative: The. aim' is to provide some! suggestions on how to organiZe, implement and evaluate Peer:

Teachen Learning as part 0/ School-Based INSET (In-service' Education oftl'eachers) ..

Introduction I

In South Africa, the introduction of Curriculum 2005 GC200S) expects teachers to share knowledge and skills, observe, discuss, and evaluate their own classroom practice and that Of others that could result: in improved student learning. Much has !been said and written about !the problems oflteaching science andl matliematics 'im schools in South Africa. Among other things, iinadequater subject knowledge of teachers is often cited as.a major problem (Hattori, 2001; Howie &IRutherford, 19~; Kita & Nishioka, lOOl)., It seems the initial training received at the colleges of education is often: very I weak (Motsoaledi, E996)J Therefore, the need for on-going teacher suppOIit exists. In a study conducted by! Chacko (~001), it was noted by! the majority of Student teachers that the focus on instructional activities before the lesson, during the ilesson and aften the lesson would have greater effect on any curricular reform. In addition, Chacko (999) highlighted that enhanced opportunities for academic and !professional development is amecessary condition for improved classroom teaching . .It must be Doted thattindividuallattention at them own school is a necessary and long-term StJiate8YI to iinprove their quality of teaching. To I this end, School-Based INSET' is an important element for classroom support.

According to 81 baseline survey for' the Mpumalanga Secondary Science


Initiative:(MSSI) Ptojecti conducted by Platton (2001) and Kfta and Nishioka (2002), there is a need for planned and continual training of incumbent teachers in the form of in-school training" joint activities: withl nearby schools and enceuragement of networking to enable teachers to share the information on them teaching ipractice. The type of pre-service training and! in-service education received by ilie teachers I are among the : factors that determine the: quality of teaching in any country. We are excited by the ideas, structures, processes and teclinologies of education" in other ceuntries, but we know that we cannot easily transplant such features into our s)iStem lwithout great care. Ik our, interest in education in other countries merely! curiosity, envy-or dissatisfaction with our own system? 'lit is a great iidea, but would it work in our schools'l' Therefore, this paper addresses, among otherthings, how teachers.can work together to plan lesson units, to carefully I observe tile classroom practice: of colleagues and to analyse classroom observation to become more reffective teachers. The main aim of this paper is to provide ani overview and some suggestions for teachers to structure, organize, implement and evaluate Peer Teacher ILeaming (PrfL) as pare of School-Based INSET in participating MSSI schools.

SchOOl-Based [INSET

Recent developments in in-service teacher education ~enior Phase - Grade 7 to 9, Mathematics and Natural $cienoes) in Mpumalanga IProvince, South Africa, have been greatly influenced by: the Japan International Cooperation Agency (nCA) project funded through MSSI. The MSSI project was launched in November 1999 and is ; managed by the Curriculum Section, Mpumglangs Department of1Educationl The duration of the projeot was for three years and is now being extended for the next three years so that leamers in Grades 10-12 could also benefit. lIbe partners in tliis project are: Mpumalanga Department of Education (MOE), University of Pretoria (UP) and Japan International Cooperatiom Agency (jJICA) through Hiroshima 'University. and lNaruto University of Education. The project employs a 'Cascade Modell during workshops f0r the professional developmenuof'Mathemeticstand Natural Science teachers.

Research undertakenlby the University of Pretoria has indicated that &I large percentage of Senior Phase Natura) Science and Mathematics edueatorsi indi« cated willingness and a need to share their classroom experiences with rellow educators. The forum fO]1 this kind of 'sharing" can at its best b'e described by a School-Based INSET training session. 1lhe philosophy of this kind of INSElI activity lies int its promotion of closer collaboration and! sharing of ideas and materials; among teachers to iinprove the quality of teaching: and learning 06 mathematics and science. "Educators 'can meet colleagues with siinilariinterests in mathematics and science: education: in a I relaxed, informal manner' and freely discuss matters close to their hearts.


The objectivesiof School-Based INSET in MSSI includes the following:

1. to promote ownership offleaniing activities among educators;

2. for educators to become 'agentS! of change' within itheir' respective


3. to meet individual and schoollneeds;

4. to promote sliaring10f skills and available resourcesi

5. to afford the GPportunit)'! to develop school curriculum;

6. to promote whole school development;

7. to encourage lifelong learning;

8. to promote learner-centred education; and,

9. to enrich the eontent knowledge of educators.

The. possible expectations of School-Based INSET sessions in MSSI include:

1. planning lesson activities;

2. identifying problem areas in mathematics or science curriculum;

3. presentihg jointly planned lessons;

4. observing lesson presentations by fellow educators; ;

s. sharing materials developed;

6. discussing 'Best Practices' in science and mathematics education;

7. developing assessment models; and,

8. creating group consciousness among educators with like interests. (MSSIJ 2002)

In MSSI, School-Based INSEll is seen as the perfect practice ground fOJ! teaching excellence, In MSSII participating schools, School-Based INSET is taking place anleast once in a month.

Peer Teacher Learning

Peen Teacher Learning (PTL) I is die MSSI version of' 'Lesson Study" Ougyokenkyu) -employed Iby Japanese teachers for examiningjthein classroom practice, in order to become more effective andlsuccessfullteacllers. For descriptions of 'Lesson Study' see Lewis &000); Lewis and Tsuchida (1998); Stiglen andlHiebert, (1999)1 and 'Yoshida (11999).! In MSSI, PTL is seen as a successful means of! approacbiitg teachertleaming, professional growth, and instructional improvement.

Bducatorsrtrormsome schools in the MSSI !Project have developed a system of working together as a team, helping each other witli their work. These teachers plan them year !program together and! hold !meetings from time to time to observer their progress and help each ether with problems they experience. They also make arrangements IWhereby if! one is non comfortable with a certain portion of


the work, illlother can teach that portion I to the learners 'While others observe:

Th~ then get together and have a discussion about the lessonts). The teachers have mentioned that this practice has motivated andl helped them to !boost their confidence. They actually enjay teachingtthe subject and Iworking together and always look forward to their meetings (Chacko, 2002a; 2002b). Seemingly, Pro is a necessaryi approach, as there exists! a gap betweem accepted policy and classroom practice demanded ~y C2005. lI'herefore, thereiis a need to develop a culmre to improve class teaching through mutual co-operation.

HollV to Organize Peer TeacHer Learning

PeeriTeacher Learning (pTL) sH.ould be organized in all schoolslbased on a selected content (e.g, top~c difficult to teach or difficult .for students to learn) from needs identified by the teachers. The teachers decide the date and time for a PTL session, The lteacher in char~ informs the principal and obtains permis .. sion to use the :venue. PTL should iIwolve mainly three stages; such as pre-Peen Teacher Learning conference, Peer Teacher Leamingobservation, and posn-Peer Teacher lLeaming conference.

Pre-peer teacher "~arnilig conference

In this stage, teachers meet and discuss the:theme of the entire lesson. What are the intended outcomes? How and when are l1:b.ey going to be achieved?! How. are they goingjto be assessed? 'What sorts of resources are goiDg to be used by! the mearners and by • the teacher? On whieh part of the lesson does the teachen want the observing teachers to concentrate (concentrate on few aspects) and give feedback? Is itnhe entire lesson or some specific parts of the lesson?

The observing teachers should also share with die teacher what they will be doing during the lesson, whether they willi be taking notes Dr using. for example; a video oamera to observe the, lesson. They should lalso indicate how they are going to handle the feedback or report on Ithe things they observed inrthe lesson. The. observingjteachers sliouldlknow that classroom observation is an experiential Uearning activit)! and iit is not an inspection or an assessment on evaluation tool to identify good teachers I and Ibad teachers. The focus should' be on the lesson and notion the teacher. Hammersely (1995, cited in Ndlalane & Nishioka, 2001) emphasised that "the teachers' monitoring of the: lesson is directed at improving their understandings; in the process. their criteria for improvement and'jheirtviews on teaching will change" !(p. 6). The major emphasis should be on supporting the good characteristics that the particular teachen exhibits and the other teachers would like to learn from the observed teacher.

It is igood to get a oopy of the lesson uriit or !teaching plan. This makes feedbackrmore valuable at the lend as will be based OD) something


thatlis taQgl"ble: However,;it should be borne in mind that feedback is often better. when invited l18therl than I imposed. It is :key to considen howi to improve OUl1 lesson unit. The teacher teaching the lesson should be the facilitatorrso that the lesson remains focused. The following should be: the guide: for a pre-Peen Teacher 1Learning conference:

1. Select the toplc difficult to teach ondifficult for students to learn.

2. Design the lesson unit.

3. Diseussjpossible ways ofimpnovement.

4. Design an observation tool that provldes guidance as to what 10 attend to in the class (e.g. a ehecklist for lesson analysis).

S. Discuss Iwaysl of how to report on the things observed during die lesson.

6. Select alfacilitator to lead an nonest and productive discussion.'

The minutes oflthe pre-PTL conference will assist in planning and organis« ing Ithe observation rsessien, post-PTL conference and for future reference. An example IOf a IPTL classroom .observation tool (Form 1.,2) iSI provided as an appendix! The: learners who are participating iln this activity should be made aware of teachers sharing.expertise and experiences through sharing and observing each other.:

Peer Teacher !Learning Observation

The obsenving teachers should Ibe allocated a place :to sit which will noa disturb the leamers.or th'e teacher who is conducting a lesson. Tho observing teachers should not I interfere with the teacher's lesson presentation I dllriIlg the lesson. During the lesson presentation, Ithe observing teachers describe and document all the tbiilgs that ~e place during the lesson as discussed land agreed prior to the lesson. It is important toiquote some of the things that tho teacher on the learners said or did in Ithe classroom.

The Peer Teacher Learning session eouldlbe seen as an activity to gathen data that couldlhelp all teachers to maximize what is learned from the lesson unit.' Observing teachers should record the information from classroom actiivity .. The}l should capture different elements of the lesson unit (teaclier activityl- describer what the teacher is doing, student aotivilyf - describe what the learner is dbing)J andlalso Bote the time taken fOD eacblactivity.

Post-Peer TeacherrLearning ~onference

After the lesson presentation, the facilitator leads an honest and lproductive discussion. The presenter I teacher is given a chance first to reflect on the Iesson to reveallhis or her 'own position and feelings. For example, what worked and what did not work andl whyV Wliat should I be changed and what are the challenges? This process i demonstrates the openness of the teacher and hislhen


willingness to learn !from Ithe activity. The observing teachers should make sure thatl they I understood the: comments from the presenter since !this helps when asking and commenting, about the: things that are: already discussed bIy the presenten

After the comments" the observing teachers should comment on the: good aspects of the lesson firstiand then h'andlethe weaknessesrend the shortcomings of the lesson later. In giving feedback, the observingjteachers shouldlbe specific (give examples) and descriptive (quote some of the events thatioccurred during the lessoa), rather tlian be general and evaluative. The feedback should mainly focus on the things that can beichanged or controlled and Inot things that cannot be changed byitbe teacher! (e.g.iclassrsize)!

The observing teachers should not focus on the IPresenter but on the lesson (minimize over-personalized feelings), The observing teachers should avoid, for example,. 'the teacher did not do well', 1:fut instead say, '!the lesson did not go well'. The observing teachers should come out with suggestions rather! than negative criticisms of the lesson. Fonexample, an observing teacher might say, 'I would suggest that fustead of dbing a, b, c. 1 suggest itbat you try x, Yl Z, and see what difference it isrgoing to make' . .If amcbservation instrument was used with the hope of sharing with the presenting teacher, then it willlbe ideal to discuss the response I81ld performance of the teacher.: It is iimportant that as a summary the observing teachers highlight the positive things (comment on the positive aspects based omconcrete evidence) and give recommendations and suggestions on the things that were notrdone. well Iso that the:teacher might make changes to future lessons.

The teacher should be thanked land should be appreciated! for the learning experience that was provided for everyone and how much the observing teachers have learnt from each other. The teacher should'accept what is given as feedback! as genuine and helpful. The feedback should be taken seriously and the teachen should be given some chance to acknowledge the feedback. For lfuture reference, a report of the activity should be written.

Resources and Support for PTL

What are Ithe resource requirements .for BTL? How-much does it cost too implement PTIL? What kind ofsupport can the teachers engaged in PTL draw on from within and outside their schools? Im trying to answer these questions, it is important to recognize that thennosncrucial resource: requirement forlPTLiis the knowledge, skills and experiences t<a be Broupt forward by the teachers them .. selves for sharing with their felloWi teachers. No two teachers have the -same endowment ofknowledge; skills andlexperiences. Some scienceiteachers may be strong im Life' Sciences, while: others in !Physical Science. Some Mathematics


teachers lDlay [be more experienced than others iIi a hands-on approach to. teaching numbers and shapes. Some: teachers may have unique (experiences that! ma~ enrich particular lessons to bel planned. So, bring together anf group of teachers and tliey are bound to have much to share with one another.


The mere existence of resources Idoes mot guarantee BTL will occur. !More often than not,. this is nonrecognlzed and IPTL does not take place a11 all. In this sense, the most critical resource requirement for PTU is the capacity or initiative of teachers to organize IPTL.. Such an iinitiative obviously calls for QJ.Ul1it}i leadership from a few innovatiVe teachers. In the school environment, heads oD departments on subj~ heads may be expected to play such a leadership role. In the MSSI Project, Ithis leadership irole iis built into a project to I develop a province-wide school-based INSET system. However, the very naturerof'Pf'l; its collaborative basis, :suggests that effective leadership fori PTL. cannot emanate from a single individual, but a rew ou several like-minded teachers.

When a group of teachers, planning a PTL session finds any deficiency off knowledge, skills and experiences or any! need for learniilg materials or use off particulan equipment for conducting pm whom can they tum to? Where can the~ 100kJto secure such additional inputs? Needlessito say, thelprincipal should be the first one to tie contacted and' consulted.1 The situation of school s1.\PPOrl! ma~ vlll')'! from one school to another. In general, it should be the responsibility of cwTiculum implementers ortsubject advisors of the Department of Education to provide such support, or assiSt in securing such support .. Theyimay be asked to assiSt in the entire P'I'L process withitheinspecialized expertise,; be it/for subject content enrichment or for advising on methods of organiziJig PTL. Alternatively; theX ma)! be invited to provide partial support, for example,. for securing oil' materials needed fonthe particular PTL session from departmental sources, Dr for takihg part in the P1'L session and providhtg comments on the !'eSSOIll presentedJ They should also be. the ones to introduce various resource support Aossibilities to the PTL organizers on Itbe basis of their knowledge of available departmental resources.

To mobilize support for P'I'L from outside the Department of Education is more complicated as it would require formall departmental iDvolvement. Resourcefull curriculum implementers may help, using their network of individuals andl organlzations in academic andl professional circles .. If there exists .some convention or instrument Ifor systematic mobilization of such support, it would,' of course; helprthe situatiOn greatly.


There could be several challeages that the teachers may face while organising School-Based INSET; These include:


1. What happens wh'en the content knowledge of'teachers m the group is at a Jow level?

1. What happens when all the teachers in the greup are new to the profession? .

3. What ltappens when alP the teachers in the group hold traditional views aboutiteaching IIBd leaming~

4. What ltappens wlien teachers are overloaded !with teaching periods: and extra schoolwork? '

To overcome some of these challenges the expertise iof an outside advisor. cambe soughtrto provide. professional support! In some schools, such asl rural schools and farm schools I where there are few iMailiematics and Science teachers, . it may not be practical tOI conv.ene these sessions at: eachi school. In such cases, the teachers join the sessions organized at a neighbouring school (Cluster):

The advice that is provided in this paper is more suggestive than prescriptive.


School-Based I1NSET should focus on theidevelopmental characteristics of teachers .. This i places much emphasis on 'team work'. School-Based INSElI should be organised on al continuous basis with increasing elements iof curriculum development. It! is hqped that the development of School-Based IINSET fon Mathematics and Science teachers on a regular basis wiUl improve the capacit)? and experience of teachers and may evolve into a sustained practice iil oun schools.

Peer Teacher Learning should help to promote School-Based INSET and to enhance the professional development of teachers fonthe successful implementation of C200S i in South Africa. pm acknowledges rthe vital rele of classroom teachers as 'agents of change' for the imJ)jiementation of C!2005l. PTIL should be an ongoiilg activity: as in has a better chance Ito make a! difference: in teachen effectiveness in the elassroom. PTL is also in line with the objective Of the MSSD to develop a system I of Sdhool-Based INSET to improve the quality of teaching and to enhance learners' skills in Mathematics and Science. PTli is also intended to fine-tune the potential ofteacherslParticipatiJig in the MBSI p,roject. At a time when, fon example, in the Ieaming area Natural Sciences requires expertise lin the disciplines of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Earth Science,; Agricultural Science, etc., much teamwork through lPeer Teacher Learning is necessary to achieve; better understand and improve the classroom practice of all teachers.


Chacko, !C. C.: (1999). Academic supports A step towards 'maximizing effiiJien~ ojscienCe!/eachers.1?aperrpresented at the: annual conference otlthe South-








em African Association for Learning land Educational Difficulties, Uplands College, White Riven South Africa.

Chacko, C. C. (2001). The Tole "f mentors; in olinical superviSion. Papen presented at the 21st Annual Seminar of the International Society fon Teacher Education, Kuwait University, Kuwait.

Chacko, C. C .. (2002a). Beer Teacher Learning: How can teachers tlearn../rom teachers? lPaper presented, at the 22nd Annual Seminar of the International Society for Teacher Education, The Danish University! of Education, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Chacko, C. C. [2002b). mould tlapanese experiences. in educat;Qn be velevant ta the teaching of'rnathematiCs and science for South Africa? I Paper presented at the annual conference of the: South African Association of Science and Techilology Educators, University of the North, Polokwane; Soutb Africa.

Hattori, K. (200 1). J'roblems of edueation conducted by in-service mathematics. teachers qf secondmry scliools tin MjJumalanga province, .the Republic oi South Africa Q.\1 seemfrom. the baseline survey. Tokyo: Japan International Co-operation AgenC)1.

Howie, S. J., Ii Rutherford, M. (1998). Producing quafity science teachers:

ChaOenges facing colleges of education inlSouth Africa. Paper presented a1l the 18th Annual Seminar of the International Society for Teacher'Bducation, Skukuza, South-Africa,

Kita, M., & Nishioka, K. (200l) .. Trends and problems of'natural science education I in the Republic of South Africa. Tokyo: Japan International Co-operation AgenC)1.

Lewis, C. (2000). Lesson Study: The core of Japanese Professional Development: Invited address to the Special Interest Group on Research in Mathematics Education, annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans ..

Lewis, C., & Tsuchida,.I (1998). A lesson ~s like a swiftly flowing river, American >Educator, 22(4)j12-17, 50-52.

Motsoaledi, P .. A. (11996).1 Thepenetration of new information technologies into developing countries: Culturall hegem01l)l or mutual excnang{? Keynote address presented at the UNESCO Infonnatics Conference, Moscow.

Mpumalanga Secondary Science Initiative (MSSI). (2002)J Peen Teacher Learn"


ing: Teachers Learnfrom Teachers. Nelspruit, South Africa: Author.

Ndlalane, T:, & Nishioka, K (20011). Lesson Iftudylas a 1001 t~ enhance staff development ~I a school situation (Bchool-based INSET)) Centre for. Sci- ' ence Education, University of Pretoria: Pretoria, South Africa.

Stigler, J. VA., & Hiebert, J. 01999). Thateaching gap: Best ideas fiom the world's.teachers jIJr improving education in the classroom. New York:

Summit' Books.

)\'oshida, MJ (1999). Lesson Study, (Jugyo/cerikyu) in elementary school mathematics in Japan: A case!studj. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Montreal, Canada.

PTL classroom observation tool (Form 1-~

FrOnn 1: Peer TeachertLeamlng lesson observatIOn

Schoon Learning.area.. .

Grade::... Teacher: Date: ..

Time ih Describe what the: teacher is doing. Describe what the learners I are
minutest doing 35

Form 2: Peer Teacher Learning Conference Notes

School: : Learning area: . •• . , ......•..... ; ......•...

Grade: •.. Teacher: Date: ....•.

Teaches's comments Observer's comments
(Name., ................................... ) l(Name: ..................................... )
What workedl and why What worked and why
What did notfworkiand why What did not work and why
What should be changed What should be changed
What are the challenges; What are the challenges
Short-term targets Shore-term targets
Other comments .Other comments Dr Charuvll €:hacko is Programme Manager fur the National Professional Diploma in Education in the Depenmentiof'Further Teacher Education, Schoo II of Educatit:m at the University oB South Africa, RtpubJic of Soutbi Africa. His area of specialization is zooloID\, didactics and environmental education. His special interest isrin environmenta11iteracy for sustainability, outside support for profes- .

sional development of teachers, and biology education.


Teacher's Identity, VBIues and Moral Purposes iit School Improve-· ment: Interpretationslof a Hong Kong Ekperience

Ina, Y. M. Siul

ThiS paper describes the! experience of al teacher educator in fostering teacher development in atreading p1lOjectiin Hong Kbng. THe teacher educator is imerested in finding out the perceptions of . teachers in the project and the faotors offecting their perceptions and thus participation in the /project. 'Feachers were interviewed and their leseone obsesved. A smdy t;Jf documents g(lVe background I information ofi the school. 'Jrhe interaotionsl withl the teachers in schoolljunctions, .Jesson observation; discussionsvand workshqps recorded in the researcher 'Sl diQ7')f have led to holistic intefprltlation of tke teachers' participation In the projf]ct. Jt is argued 'that .the teacher's sense' of identiIJ, value and moral purposed play an. important but I often negfected role in their involvement in an tnnavtuions

Background of tbe .study

Thisipaper explores the roles teachers' identity,. values and moral purposes play in al school improvement Iproject called PriInazy English Reading Project! This Project was conducted in1199S~1999 in Hong Kong! The proj~ aims to investigate reading practices in schools, .develop a I school-based reading programme, and encourage the development of literacy through shared reading and extensive reading. an the first phase of the projectl (1996-1998), five sohools participated. This paper mainly draws onuhe experiences .of teachers participating iin the project in, 1996-1998 in one particular preject school andlthe role of the reseercber I as a I participant observer .and provider of teacher professional development duringjthe projecn

The approaches advocated by the PTojec' were quite new to the sehoolJ which, according to a study of their school newslettes and conversations with the teachers, . used I rather traditional methods I in teaching English as a second language. They focused on the teaching of discrete language skills, such las reading; writing, IIstenfug and speaking. They did nos integrate language skills whiclll seems to be the more current trend of teaching \ Eng~h as advocated b}1 Fredericks, Blake-Kline' and IKristo (1997), Wallace 01992}, and Barchers (1994). Ih the teaching of reading, the school shared many! similarities with what Ng Seok! MOl found im her ccnsultation tOI the Hong K01\8 government's educational policies (Education Commission Repost NOJ 6, B99S)l Students were involved in answering comprehension questions and reading took the mode

of 'round' robin' reading in which each student read a part of the itext fbllow.ed by! the answering of comprehension questions.

Therefore, when the project started, the teachers were faced with a kind of innovation fon their classroom. Sharedl reading focuses on the teaching or reading through big books and typjcallYl a variety' of language arts activities which can be developed after shared reading. Integration of languageskills is an emphasisrin shared reading. There was quite a Ibt of resistance from the teachers in die first year of the project. At die end of the first ye8ll. tworteachers left the school. Therefore. data of this paper mainly draws IOn data gathered from fiver teachers, !four of whom had been with the project for two ~ 01996.-98) ..

Methodslor in-service teacher. education

Twortypes of workshops were employed to introducereachers to the shared reading approach, the benefitsiand organization of the class library.: In-school workshops were held five to six times a year . .A similar number of mterschool workshops were held to enable:teachers in the different project schools to enricbl each other through sharing their experiences of the innovation.

Teachers were encouraged to tIry out the approach and these lessons were observedlby the researcher. There were mutual agreements on which lessons to observe. The purpose of the observations was realized inl the post-lesson discussions in which the researcher and the teachers talked about issues that were deemed iinportrant to them.

The researcher aimed at finding out rtbe 'lived experience! of the teachers implementing the innovation. It was the researcher's belief that changes should not Ibe imposed and that iteachers should' be respected as thinking &eing!! who should be educated and informed about tJie best practices in education, but they! should make their own decisions in whether the innovation would be 'adopted on not.. The:researcheri's thiiI1dng:has been influenced by a number of writers who take the perspective: of teachers as thinkiQg beihgs with a central role to play ins the .curriculum andl its iinplementation. Among them are Calderhead et all (1988), Calderhead (I993D, Calderhead and Shorrock (1997), Coopenand McID .. lyre (1996), and Wilson, Shulman and Richert (jl987).

The research questions were:

ll What is! it like to participate m the project?

2t What influences tlie teachers' 'participation in the project?

Data collection process

Since the majonaim was to find.out the lived experiences of the participants


in the project, an important source of &ta was the discussion between the researcher and the teachers in tile workshops and post-lesson conversationsi The researcher also interviewed teachers at tile end of each academic year to I get a summative view oil teachers' involvement in I that year .. Lesson observation feedbackwas given back ro therteachers for comments andlwould be discussed irw the meeting that followed. Anothenimportant source of data was the record o! interactions between the! researchen and Ithe teachers. Such interactions i were recorded in the researcher's diary, which gave an account of those interactions in each workshop and school visit. To maintain aJ truthful account ofl what happened, the lfeeIiItgs and emotions at the momentl when events occurred, the researcher's diary had tOI be completed withinl48 hours (!)f each encounter. AI total of 51 entries were made over a period of two years.

Understanding the background I of !i.e school was considered I significant because it was Ithe context in which the teachers worked and the innovation took place. Such an understanding: was achieved I through a' collection of schoo! documents, such as school newsletters, magazines and leaflets to parents. Teachers" perceptions of the working contexttwere gained through interviews and discussions, because the! researchen thought that school! context might be an important influence on what the teacher was doing imthe classroom.

Perceptions of the other key stakeholders I)f the: project, namely, the principal and nhe children, were collected through interviews that were semistructured

To sum up, teacherst perceptions of the innovation were collected through) interviews andl discussions. Teachers' lived experiences of the .innovatiom were observed I by the researcher tl1rou~ lesson observations and I participation in school functions when invited. To understand the teachers" experiences, an effort was made to' understand the' school context where the' innovation- took! place.

Analysisrof data

The data eolleeted in interviews, observations and I discussions with the teachers was analysed by grouping categories into similar themes, after the notion oflgrounded theol)1 by Strauss and Corbiil (1990). The focus of this papen wilU be on answering the second research question, that is, the factors intluencing the neachers' ,erceptions and thus IParticipation im the project. Details of a descriptive account of the' teachers' participatlon are reported inlSiu (2002).

Findings: Factors affecting teacher's perceptions of an iinnovatioD

It was found that teachers! perceptioms of1heir experience in the.innovation were


affected by a number of factors. They included the teacher's life history. his/her past experiences as a learner "and a teacher; the teaches's relationship with the school principal; and, the teacher's relatienship with hisllier students and with the researcher, These factors are: captured in the: following diagram, Among these factors, the teacher's relationsliip with hislher past history accounts for the identity, values and moral purposes of the teachers during the innovation. Each of the four factors will be discussed below but more emphasis willlbe put on .the teacher's relationship with hiSlher past history., whieh is the theme of'thlsjpapes,

Teaeher IS relationsHip wilh theprinoipal

It was found that teachers' relationship! with! the principal affected their perceptions and reactions to the innovation in the following ways:

I. The : principal was 8J very: important! person in Itbe ianovation, Her: support meant that priority was given to the project in terms of resources" and recognition of teachers' work. This was echoed by Pullan (1991) wllo mentioned that, "probably the most powerful potential source of help or hindrance to the teachen is iheschoel principall' (p. 143)."

2. The !teachers acknowledged that the principal was very influential in fermulatingiend leading teachers to implement the guiding principles otlthe schoohand the closer the teachers aligned with the.principiesadvocatedlby tire school principal, the more ready they! were to participate in the sehoollinncsation

3. Therextent to which teachers shared the pllincipal's vision seemed to be more determining than other external factors, such as resources and student intake," in determining the teachers' participation in the project. Under similan school situations, the-first batch: of teachers did not agree with the principles with which the: principal guided tho scheol and this indirectly led to their reluctance to participate in the innovation which I was supported by the principalJ Indeed, two teachers eventually left tl1e school.


TeaChers ':relationship with students

Teachers' perceptions of theinrelationship with their students prior to the project affected their participation in therproject in ate following ways:

1. The tfeedback and responses they g~inedl from the students during: class determined quite a lot on/teachers' evaluation of the: success or. the lack of it in their teaching. Lortie: (19V5) cauoted in Fullan (1991)1 observedl that "effectiveness of teaching is gauged by in&Jrmal, general observation IOf students ... in short, teachers rely lleavi~ on their own informal observations"I(p. 120).

2. Teachers, !therefore, rated ttheir practices rather subjectively based OD thew previous experiences witbl the students prior to the intervention of the innovation,

3. Some teachers might plant a lesson based on their prediction ott the extent! thanstudents would respond positively to the instructions and be engaged in the activities rather thamother pedagogical consideraticns.

4. Teachers who felt that they had been successful with dleir previous practice seemed to welcome innovation Iess: than nhose who might be dissatisfied witll what they, had been doing!

S. Teachers' /perceptions of their success in teaching mig!lt be rather subjective andlfurth'er work was neededlto help them view their practices with a/more pedagogical focus. That was where teacher education andiprofessional develop" ment came in.

Teachers ':relationship with the researcher'

With eacH of the five teachers of the school" the researcher had a ve1)1 different relationship even though her intention was to maintain an open and equal relationship with each one ofthem.lFor example, two teachers had a more and less equal! and opem relationship with hell. They could share nhelr-ideas honestly.. They talked about the constraints and the timitations they were mcinS within the project, One teacher actually negotiated the focus of lesson observation witlv her and invited her Ito give feedback on areas in wIDch be thought needed improvement.

One leacher was not table to treat the: researcherr as a colleague working on the same project. Rather he always treated her with respect and assumed that the researcher must have superior knowledge Ion teaching and'Jearning, This led to inhibitions and reluctance on the part of the teachen to give truthful' comments that might be negative to the project,

The researcher' found it liard to understand one teacher who was always


polite. IV seemed that he:was eooperative in carrying out I the plan agreedlby eve~bodY. He wast participatiPie and said things that he deemed appropriate to say. However, it was hard to get at what he really thouglit about the project.

The teacher's relationship,with hislher past hist()ry

The teacher's relationship iwith his/her past history, hislhell sense of self andlefficacy, affected hWher perceptfons and participation in the innovation. This is the main focus 011 this papen and in the following! sections, it willi be given detailed ldlscussiom It was in 8 teacher's relationship with hislher past history iliat he found hislller idl.mti~ values and moral purposes. A teacher's past history as a leamer might help himlher adapt to the role of a teacher. liIel She.learned what a teacher does in observing hislher teachers when he/she was a studentJ Teachers acknowledged that their learningjexpesiences helped them understand the roles IOf a teacher and what learning should be like. One teacher aclmowledgedlthat his own experience asia learner was influential imthe way he perceived how learners should work and the.goala they.should setlfor their learning.

A teacher's past history as a teacher also determined the kind of ,ractiees thatlhe/sne favoured! One project teaeherwas previously teaching in a school thattfocused a lot OD! the academic success of students and her view was that it was her role to help all students gain academic success.. She: felt a certain reluctance when the innovation demanded that teaching ~ content had to I be reduced to accommodate the: newi practice. She: felt that Ilrimming the curriculum would not be conducive to the academic success of the studentsL

Tworteachers perceived their roles as being given and determined by the official job descriptions laid down by their school. Therefore,: they.actually liked to see the project formalised and written into sehooljpolicy. And doing so wouldlgive them the rightfuUpower to tailor Sle syllabus.

A teacher's values inihisllier workplace might be guided by his/her other values asia living person in this world There was a balance that needed tOI be struck betweea efforts ppt into one's work and one's other· interests and involvement in life .. Work-life; balance seemed to be an issue that affected at least one teacher in his participation in the project.

Teachers' identity,;values and moral purposes in school improvement

Experience in the project seems to point to the fact diat innovations and teaching are basically moral activities and decisions iin which teachers' sense of identity andl values have a major part to play. As Strike and Soltis (1992), and.Goodlad (990)lpoint out that teaching is a moral actiwty. Fenstermacher (1990) asserts, ''what makes teaching a moral I endeavour is tHat it iis, quite


certainly,; human action undertakers in regard I to other human beings, Thus, matters of what is Ifair, right"just and virtuous are always present" (pJ133)J Buzzelli and Johnston (2002) discuss the moral decisions land j~dgments teach .. ers have Ito make in teaching .. They point out, ''making ldecisions aboun what others should know land should become; such judgments" in tum, are based on questions of value and worth, making them moral judgments" (p~ 29)., oflautonomy in teachers' decision-making is linked up with the issue of teacher professionalism. Despite :the long histol'Yl and struggle to get professional status, lJP to the present! it still seems that it is notl easy: to prescribe the professional standard of teaching. Bull (19901) argues that there is.lack IOf an elDJliricali founded knowledge base for establishing teaching competence whicli has lIed to the 'screening IOf candidates for incompetence" (p. 1125). He further. asserts, "Teachers are ol:lligedl to avoid the forms Q)f incompetence. for whicll there is social consensus. Beyond that, teaching: competence is i subject to democratic determinationrwhich professional cempetence iis nof'(p. 116). With; the difficulty ii1 ascertaining the professional standard, the practices of teachers fall6nto a wide spectrum of activities.

Witliregard to IiteraQY education, the:focus of this project, the same occurs; Lloyd and Anders 01994) point outt the difficulties of finding Ithe best liierac)1 practice and, indeed, there are major pr.oblems in I applying reading research! findings 110 classroom practice.. They conclude thatisome research findings are contradictory and some research-based practice places "unrealistic burdens 0111 the teacher if he on she were Ito adopt it" (p .. 81). In this way, decisions OD whether an innovation Will be adopted I will very' much be moral decision, concerning one's sense of right andl wrong and onels values of what need and should be done. Therefore, teachers'Isense ofidentit)! and values come interplay, As discussed, teachers' sense of identities and values basically 1C0me from them own experiences aSI a learner and their everycilay existence 8SI a human being leading aiIife iIi society.

Moral purposes in models of teacher thinking

Schon (1983, 1987), Clandinin and CcbooeUy (1995), Butt Raymond, McCue andlYamagishi (1992) have aD made substantial contributions to tIle study of teachers and especially their tbinkiitg processes. Schon focuses on the tacit knowledge practitioners have on their practice .. He makes a distinction between knowing;in action, ireflection iin action and reflection on action. Knowing iD action is the tacit knowlet:Jge one brings to! a task andlthis knowledge helps in the execution of the task. Reflection in action takes i place when a problem is encountered, and the practitioner stops to think atiout his actions; and try to overcome the problem. Reflection on action occurs when the practitioner tries to think about and consider his own performance in thenask .. Schon's concepts are


very useful forlanal~sing teachers' tliinking processes in die present iimovation. The! teachers all started I with, some knowledge in action as! the)1 were all practitioners in the meld with training andl experience in teaching. Reflections. on action were encouraged im the project as Iteachers were eagaged in rpost lesson and workshop discussions to help improve their practice ..

However,. Schon's model! (1983) was not useful iiI distinguishing the different !teachers' morallvalues and their influence: in the project. Than was . because Schon argues th'at his model does not offer studies on longitudinal development of teachers' and I that Ihe tries to keep role frames and values constant in his itheory (1983, p .. 270)J

Butt I et al. (1992) propose th'at the deoisions teachers i make in their classrooms are, very IDlUCti influenced by their past histories or autobiographies. This was found to lbe true for some teachers more than the: others. 'Dbree· teachers eut of the five oiIeredi stories of their past experiences as learners and talked about how these experiences shaped their perceptions of thein roles as a teacher.

Clandinim and Connelly ~199Sb look at teachers as personnel who are constantly moving between thel'professional' and 'personal' landscapes. they argue that the personal life of teachers wilD. inew.tably influence /What they dlo in the classroom, tbatis their professional lives, In Clandinin and (Connully's research,lthey encouraged teachers to tell I stories of their own professional and personal lives i and rthey 'believe that it ~ through, telling these stories: that conflicts iin the teachers' . lives i can !be resolved. In the presennstudy, teachers could also be seen moviIig between the professional andl personal landscapes. especiany when an innovation occurs and! disrqpts tHeir everydily routines As found, these landscapes are laden with moral values andl some teachers were more influenced by tthe distance between uhe two landscapes dian others .. For some of project teachers" the personal landscapes are sheped 1?y influences of' the past: their experience:as a learner and them previous teachihg experiences. These influenoes further lexerted their existenee in ithe teachers' professional life; In a.way"the iafluence otlthe persenal lendscape may notlbe an influence only of the past. ior some teachers, the need to Ibalance demands of !their . personal life led to consideration of the effort to be put into the innovation .. It is . argued that these are basiCally moral I decisions .. Indeed Clandinln and Connelly alsorpoint out that the moral purposes of teaching will need further exploration.

Limitations of the lTeseareh

The moral P11IWses of the teachers and the principal were studied in this research.. However,;more stil1 needs to be done about how these stakeholders'


moral purposes interact and influenee each oilier. It is still necessary to !know, more about how researchers and teacher educators can I help I stakeholders o~ different mom purposes and values '0 work togethenin improving schools;

Another interesting and essential area for further investigation is the moral purposes .of the researcher. The research planners and the teachers may! have very different perceptionsofwhat a nesearch tries to achieve. Takingjthe present research as aniexample, when iit first started, the Wl7iter introduced the reading approach I to teachers with a beliefl in the pedagogical benefits that such lUll approacht bring to students, Her belief was totally grounded on a theoretical understandingjof the approach. It was through interactions with the teachers that she found they might have different needs and concerns than llDi approaclu grounded on theoretical understanding might offer them. It was thenr thatl she started to understand their needs and plan the research frorm them perspectives,


Since teachers are moral beings who are iindividualS each with their own baggage of values and sense of identity, innovations should not be imposed. Regarding innovations innhe second language teachiilg ot1readfug, some pciplea for example, Krashen' s (1985) notion of 'comprehensible input' ~ are widel)'! accepted.l This notion is, to a certain extent! being embodied in ithe shared reading approach advocated inl the Primary Reading Proj¢. In this epproach, comprehensible input is achieved througH students reading an enlarged version of a, picture book under the support and guidance of the teacher.: Teachers in the project generally find increased student interest! and engagement in reading aften attempting the lapproach. However, llelpiqg teachers Ito understand tile technical aspects of an iimovation, such as practices, is j\ist a part of the hmovationi The more important part would be to understand I the teachers' values .and moral purposes i and how these iintluence them an the innovation, ft.s Fullan U 991) points out, the effective iinnovatioJll should involve: a change-in the teaehers'l perceptions, which would not be possible without knowing the teachers' moraj purposes I8I1d values.

Fullan points out three levels oflinnovation. The acquisition of resources is the lowest level, the change im practice the next level, but for an inBovation to take roouteaehers' perceptlonsmusttbe changed and this is possible only with an understanding of teachers 1 values and moral purposes, Change agentsmusnwork on teachers' values and morallpurposes to establish the chang, in perceptions, which, according to Fullan ~19911 p. 117), is the most crucial' factor fon successful educational change. Buzzelli and Johnston (2002) echo FuUan (991) in suggesting that through moral imagination, teacher educators and teachers "can envision new possibilities Ithat encompass changes in practice as well as oun


understandings of concepts and constructs central to work as lteachers"(p. 125). This, perhaps" sheds light on ra dimension that teachers and teacher educators should further consider imeducational innovations.


Barchers, S. (lf994)J Teaching lang,lage iarts: :An integrated approach. St Paul, MN: West Publishing Cempany,

Bull, B. (11990). The limits of teacher professionalism. In'J. Goodlad, R. Soder 1& K .. Sirotnik Wds.).! The moral dimensions oJ,teaching.l(pp. 87-129). San Franscisco: Jesssey-Bass Publishers.

Butt, R., Raymond, D., McCuej G., & Yamagishi, L .. Collaborative autobiography andl the teacher's voice .. In S. Ball, &: I. Gbodson (Eds.). (199~). Studying teaohers r lives land careers. (PR. 51-98). London: Palmer Press ..

Buzzelli, C. A., &~ Johnston" B. (IW02). The moral dimension of teaching:

Language, power and culture lin classroom interaction. London: Routledge Falmer ..

Calderhead, J.. (1988). lIhe development of knowledge structures in leaming to teach. In J. <calderheadl(Ed.). Teachers' professional learning. London:

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Calderhead, J..(1993). The contribution of research on teachers' thinking to the professional development of! teachers. In C, Day, J. Calderhead & P. Denicolo (Eds.), Research on teacher thinking. Londom Fainter Press.

Calderhead, J., & Shorre&ek, S. B. (199V). Understanding teacher education.

Londom FaImer Press.

Clandinin, D. !r., &:Connelly, IF. M! (1995). 'l'eacfters' professional knowledge landscapes. New York: 'Teacher College Press.

Coqper, P. & McIntyre, D. (1996). Effective teaching and learning: Teachers' and students' perspectives. Bristol, PaeOpen University Press.

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Fenstermacher; G. D. (1990)1 Some moral I considerations on teaching as; a profession, In J. -Goodlad, R. Soder, 1& K.. Sirotnik (Ed.). The moral dimensions of teaohing .. (pp .. 130-151). San IFrancisco:: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Fredericks, A .. D., Blake .. Kline, B., ,& Kristo,.J. V .. (l99I7). Teaching the integrated language asts. New Ybrk: Longman.


Fullan, M. (19.91). The new meaning 0/1 educational change .. London: Cassell Educational Limited

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Soder & K. .Sirotnik (Eds), The. moral dimensions qf teaching, San Francisco: Jessey-Bass Publishers.

Krashen, ;S. D.I (1986). 'Fhe input hjpothesis: Issues andsimpltcations. London:


Lloyd, C~. & Anders. P! (1994). lResearch-lJased I practices as the content of teacher development. In V. Richardson (EdJ. Teacher change and the staff detAelopment Rrocess. New York: Teachers College Press.

Schon, Dl (1983). The rejlectiVe practitioner: How professionals think in action.

N6w York: Basic Books.

Schon. Dl (1987). Educating the rejlective practitioners. San Francisco: JesseyBass Publishers.

Siu, I. V. M. (2002). A case study of teacher ·thinWing in the context of pedagogical change in a school in.Hong Kong. Unpublished PhD thesis submitted to University of East AngUs, UK.

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Strike, 1('., & Soltis!' J. (~992). The ethics o[teaching .. New York: Teachers College Press.

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Ina,Y. M. Stulis a lecturer at the English lDepartment of the Hong Kong Institute of Education. Her research interests include in-service teacher: development and English language teaching pedagogy,

Teacher Education and Outstanding Educators:

Universal Characteristics

In ahe preface to the author's Ibook about outstanding educators in Brazil, Antonio NOvoa,; of Disbon UniVersity, reported thati the characteristies identified in Brazilian teachers wlJo lived inrRio Grande sdo Sui were found in otheroountrtes. rrhis paperiexamines those characteristics based Ion teaching theory and praxis. It argues that, with some exceptions, there are universal characteristics in autstandingJteachers that may be deduced from individual and soaial histories. An understanding of these characteristics mt!)' be! developed in teacher educatioll for 'new genellations of teachers.


In the preface to the book 'History and Life Stories - 41utstanding educators male Upl the histo,." of 'Rio-gran dense education (Abrahlo, 2001}1, Ant6nio N6voa (2001)1 wrote that, from his research work, the features found in the educators of their study were : the same as those seen in our 'hi~ regarded educators of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. 1Ihe 12 educators whose lffii stories we have studied were chosea on the basis of their commitment to education, and their potential withiit the (communities in rwhich the)! act or have acted. Partici-' pants in the researcblgroup alllived/live in-different cities in the interior of Brazil or iii. the state capital,

In the present papeI\ the .central theme-the universal features-of teaches thinking and acting - is laid out in three parts. In the first part, die N6voa preface (Abrah!~ 200a) is reproduced' so as to present! the features shared bY' outstand-' ing peers in Rio Grande do SuI and educatorsrfronr other countries.studied by! N6voa. In the second partl these features are analysed, presenting some examples

1 TIiis book is the result of an investigation Of educators !Who "ave written 'the history of education dn Brazil, South America - and more specifically in the state of Rio Grande do Su~,Brazil-andlwhose life stories are likely to vanish dUG to the lack ofpatrimollf on the theme. The book focused . on their education; personal/professional life and identity construction. The research used content analysis (Bardin, 1977) and Life Stories Methodology (Santa Marina & Marinas, 1994; Goodson, 1992; Pujadas, 1992; N6vollj 1995~, drawn from narratives (Benjamin, W., 1988; Fabra & Domenech, 2000; Jovdhelovitch, & Bauer, 2001; & Lara, 1995;; McEwan & Egan, 1995; Ricoeur; 1995~ and documents .such as diaries, mail, photos, videotapes and published material (Pbjadas, 1992),


of narratiNes of the '12 life stories of highly regarded Rio-grandense educators, The 12 life stories were further analysed and cross-referenced to determine the universal I features. The thirdpart references i elements that help to gain en understanding of the 'universallfeatures oflteacher acting and thinking theory'.

Educators Studies by NOVOA

As reported bYlN6voa (2001):

As II read!. I could not help remembering the: anguish shared' with! Jean Houssaye and other colleagues when, after baving published Quinze Peda« gOgJIes-.l!.eur injluence aujourd'hui (1994), we: decided to set out omthe task of writing tile biography of Pedqgogues Contemporains (1996) .. What we found reveals traces that are present in many educators wherever the}1 come from. Let me refen to four such bces, which I acknowledged in the Rio-grandense educators.

Firstiof all, there is constant attention given to the link between Itheo~ and practice. These mem and women know that the leducational space does not exist without constant reference to 81 theory bull they .also knownhat this theory exists in practtce, that it rises from it, ins., iring I and renewing it. The theory-practice dichotomy is useless and anfertile. What really matters is to find !out this piUs that is bom into the connection between theoretical 'doing' and practical 'thinking'.

Secondly, r there is a curious mixture of :distrust and belief towards the school. Disbelief leads educators to stress the point that their development trajectories were not utterly achieved by their in-school experience; this reminds me .of the manifest-book of the New Education fu which Adolphe Ferriere 'candidlY!' explains that die great wise people are those formed despite the school and! not due to it. The 'belief tabs them to underline certain pedagegice] experienoes and particularly rewarding moments in their professionalilife.

Thirdly, there is the conviction that ittis possible:- that it shall be possibleto educate all children without! ever I forgotting ithat there is only teaching :when there is learning. Being an educator is nonto conform to teacher obligations, but rather to do whatever is needed to make room for learning to happenr It is about givihg value to culture, whicbr is inserted in people, thus contributing to them development. They Iknow thartthe essential missionr is to' present the world tor those who get there: thus; the first word is the one of the teacher. But they also know that the development process aims at allowing each one of them to 'regard themselves as people': thus, the last word is of the pupil.

In fourth place, there is the: stating of pedagogy as the exercise of' civic intervention. The biograpJly of! educators as defined by the dissatisfaction at the state of the school and the search formew paths. ~ ~ers give up, they continue


stubbornly tot wisli fori graduating all students, avoiding: exclusion and 'apartheid'. As others resign, they associate in collective fashion so that, ~y the sharing of teamwork, they ma)'l finduseful andlnecessary answers. This attitude is also reflected in their permanent focusing on teacher fonnation[development]'1 They do mot overlook the facG that .the effort to educate; as an effort towards culture and human relations, dependS mostly on the competence:and the talent off the master. (pp,. 7-1:2)

RiOrGrandense Educators

The theory-practlce relation

The theory-practice relation may be observed iIII our educators. <One indicator of the relationship between theory and practice is the coherence between discourser and action as a person, and as an educator. Such .coherence bas proved to be a highly significant educational ingredient for the personal development of their pupils. Examples frem narratives', like tJle ones that follow, show us that educating by example is an important expression of the theory-practice relation::

'''1 think it was not 'only what> she said" but rather her' words translated tier acts."

"His: pedagogical fundamentals, the theoretical positions were deeply coherent IWith his practice, not ionly in teaching, but also in existing."

Another indicator that allows us to make inferences aboutithe existence of the theory-practice relation refers to subjects iil context according to the world students live in, which enables the teachento plan and carry out classes that meet the features, needs, aspirationst and possi\;ilities of tlile student, allowing h'im on her to build more meaningful knowledge:

"The)! talked to me and among themselves: From these conversations II started to draw their cultural I world, their interests, their needsi acquiring jinformation that; certainly, would provide me with knowledge for the planning land the organizfug oflthe work.'"

"She used a veryi special methodology, seeking to iraise our taste fdr socio-cultural issues, inducing us to good and interesting reading

2 The examples are drawn trom the narratives studied for the research (ie theioutstanding educators, their students, colleagues,:family members and friends). Quotes refer to several educators, whose names we did not declare iii order to preserve their anonymity .


activity.lBesides that, she led students to experience.situations that, probably late." they would be:faced widi. She. offered us not only theory; but led us to put in practice the acquired knowledge."

"He knew how to do and to adequately.articulate the two dimensions of! the teachilig-Iearning process: the articulation of theory and practice.'"

Non-Jormal and continued development In professional life

Woithout neglecting the iimponance of school education I in their narratives, our educators stress die value assigned to non-formal I and continued development, which is achieved by them already acting as educators, for their own education and professional expertise. Among the: 12 educators, some had their first literacytand art lessons at home with their mothers. Theinvalues, culture and religion were acquired lwithin the family. As one explained:

"Each one attempted to 'prepare tlieir descendants .for the future. Traditional values as applied to family structure were predominant. The concern of the mother was to see to good all, or better, solid culture:"

Religious developmenu considered as non-formal, was equally a strong

development component:

"From an extremely Christian family, he was given influence to follow a religious life and also due: to personal traits: quiet, introspective .and reflexive."

"At 10 y'ears of age, I withdrew from myifamily, ana came to form myipersonality, myiidentity in the seminar."

Continued development! while as a teacher, was a powerful element as exemplified by the: undertaking oflthe Sufficiency, Bxams', As one example shows:

"In the yearsl 1951 and 119581 he took SUfficiency Exams, having been approved by the referee boards of the Ministry of Education, both for, the Geography- teacher position and I the French andl the Spanish languages";

3 Sufficiency exams were promoted by the lCamp/lign for the Improvement and the Diffusion of Second Grade Teaching - ·~ADES'. in B waytsuch 1fhat teachersiwith no titles could have a license oom the Ministry of Education Ito teach. Such a license:was obtained for more than one discipline, often fen different fields of knowledge provided that the courses and specific examinations for each case were certified.


There were also other important elements to their continuing professional learning such as travelling, reading and courses taken during teaching life. FOil example::

"Eve1!Y five years, he.travefled to Burope, He profited from these trips to visit universities. He visited study centres, libraries, bought books and I contacted authors. His continued development bas always been undoubtedly receptive to the world of culture, education and work,"

"His trip to Europe on a mission fon study deepening was interpreted by the academic, at the time, asia rare example of dedication and investment in the teaching career,"

Besides these elements, these educators paid homage to key individuals in their development, such I as their early professors, fellow teachers; and peers, friends, family! members, especially the mothers. This finding led us to conclude justlhow important are interpersonal'relations are professional development.

OccupatiOn (theory and action) as a ipupU-/ormlng process

Like N6vIJa (2001) it was !found that the regard! being given to the value of universal culture and student culture as Ii' right for their learning as well as the respect given to it by the educator :so tb'at the student can refer tOI himself or herself as "a person" (p.. 11). First, it was revealed that Ithe teaching-learning process resulted from a Itheo!)' and cooperative educational practice between educator and pupil" which is to be :understood through dIe construction iof an identity of subjects: :

"In tile pedagogical action,. if you believe fu the lPerson as a beiQg capable of being free and autonomous, the classroom working style should let rthis show.: However,: this should bea class inr which responsibility is !passed over to the student ISO that he can see how committed I the teacher is to education. Methods and techniques shall not be imppsed but, rather; proposed Ito the students who, in their tum, should know how to react to these."

"We do really form a group. I was committed to them; thoy were committed Ito me. Two years were enough to show thatieducation is achieved with boldness and trust, with action and much affection. In thiS space of time, I could see Ithe change! in the behaviour of the adolescents."


Another indicator is oriented rtowards dialogues, student needs, schoo] expectations and the. teaching-learning process::

"As they Ohe students) produced, we went om student-teacherstudent, and student-student chats. From these dialogues [ drew their eultural world, their interests and needs thatlsupplied me with (lata that has certainly! givea me subsidies for the planning and the organization of the work."

"From the communication emerging from classes I could see how need)\ frail, frightened, conflicting, mixed UP,I hurn they! were: identities that featured the .prevalence of order being! dictated by those who llave the power, leaving others to.conformity."

The concern about making the content of knowledge meaningfubto students and its possible re-signification is anothen indioator 1lhat teachers have regard to high quality dewelop.ment processes to be profited from byistudents:

"He is an educator who loves his pupils, interested iII meaningful learning and in the development ofautonomous subjects."

" Latin language" as is known, is not a simple discipline since it is not currently spdken. I needed to make up a more accessible study of Latin, more pleasant, more turned towards Portuguese language. I try to encourage students to pa)!! attention to the constant presence of it, be it for their Latin origin, in our cIaily language, in quotations, newspapers, legal language; showing their meaning."

" He ds a professional who is always attentive Ito the needs and expectations of his students, concerned with the relevance: of his discip)ine iil the course as well as in the context he is acting in."

Pedagogylacknow/et(ged as a civic process and teacher development I

The extracts derived from narratives and portrayed below provide evidences for the understanding of 1Ihe action of highly regarded teachers as regarding the development of citizens:

" I had the feeling that the adolescents I was to work with were longing fortiustioe ... and I tried to raise thiS virtue during all of~ teaching activityi"

" He bas always fought on behalf of ian education that raised tile critical sense of Hfe injyoungsters, preAaring themr (in order to malCe np critical :anal)'rSis) about social, cultural and political pressures that affect liberty. A kind of education that breaks up with individual standpoints as it encourages people to act in the interest of community, life among men in lIbe interest! of those who are de-


prived of support."

The examples below highlight the indicators that! demonstrate teaching'world

in the perspective of social inclhsiomfor students:

" Producing somethihg, feeling useful, being given value and respect, has contributed not onlYI to make die boys involved in die project happier, but al!o served as stimulus for calling others Ito join thepmject."

.. Helping , peo."e tOI acquire knowledge is a political project, TeacJiing Row to think b)! one's own mental means and! to De critical is political activity J I always try tOI encourage students to think and to inquire atiout their own lives and existences. Education and politics are, thus, closely related." .

The following examp~e demonstrates commitment to teacher development: " I think that we should work on our teachers by! means of specific opportunities fOil moments IOf reflection in orden to allow for their reviewing of their own teaebing-;-leamlng process, making teaching a differentiated process by adding a humanistic sense to it, in all that there is about the expression of tlie word human."

U nliversal Characteristics of tbe Theol')'! and of Teachi~g Actions:

N6voa (1995) himself is one of the! authors to give support to the -ideas advocated in this article: about the! universal nature of the characteristics, as shown b)! teachers with respect to their thinking and acting. As he explained, "it is iinpossible to separate the personal I from the .professional, mostly. in a profession that is full with values and ideas,. and very demanding. from the human commitment poinnof'view" (p. 7). 1fhis statement provides clear evidence of the sooial cultural nature ofteacbing practice,

These characteristics .extend beyond geographical borders and even timeline limits. "The point isrto give back to readers, throughlsing71/arity andlspecificity~ the 'wortH' that relies upen the history off each one .. When we read about I these lives, we ,feel that itris about their 'placement' in a given space: in time but also about 'universality' 'that goes mucb beyond tlie physical' frontiers of concrete presence" (N6voa, 2001, p. 10).

Among the 12 educators selected fonthe study, six livedllwe and acted/act andlhave marked students in different places. The remaining educators lived/live andl acted/are in action iii. the state rcapital (porto Alegre). On the timeline of highly-regarded educators, they were bom between 1895 and 1955, had working lives, as for school development, that account for the period between 1902 and 1979 (not considering continuing work and development), andlwithjproductive lives ranging from 1922! up to the: present day. This means ithat the highlyregarded !educators have experienced, altogether, different and important stages


of the sooial, economic, political and cultural changes to the Brazilian context, with reflexes on both the edueation and Ithe life standards of icitizens im general, with conditioning structural strategies having been carried out I by them in the different communities in which they grew up; were granted the status ofieducators and have acted on..

The life story of each one of such educators I is, thus, very rich iTom the individual and! social point of! view. We may! perceive, from: the narratives and studied documents, that each histol)'! was written and has been re-written under the strong influence and conditioning, during ~e corresponding peJiiod, of the icontexts available:in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. This context is also placed in a' national and even international context. All have strongly conditioned their stances according ItO a dialeotic in whicih individual stories and social experiences overlap, are implied by each other in a way! suchias toiallow for the dialectic: reason to make us "attain universal and general goals! (society) relying onr individual and I singular aspects (man)" (Fernarotti, 1988, p. 30).

This 'is whv, in virtueiof'the universal features of'a theory and teaching practice, N6voa (2001) spotted common features between educators from differenn parts of the world and iin 'our' educators, since ''what we have found are traces present in many educators, wherever theyicome from around the world" (PL 11).,


Abrahflo,: M. M. MJ B.{Ed.). (2001). Historta,e Historias de Vida - Destacados Edueadores Fazem a Historia da Editca~iio Ria-grandense. [History rand Ilife Stories-Outstanding Teachers make the History of Education in Rio Grande, do Sul], Porto Alegre, Brazil: IEDmUCRS.

Bardin, U. (1917). A"'alise de contelido [Content Analysis}. Lislioa: Edi~Oes 70.

Benjamin, W. (1988,). El narrador [The Narrator]. Madrid: Taurus.

Fabra, MIL., & Domenech, M. (2000). Hablar e escuchar - relatos de:profcisor@s y estudiant@s. [speak rand Listens- teacherstand students'narratives] Barcelona:


Ferrarotti; F. (988). Sobre a Autonemia do Metodo Biogratico [Omthe autonomy of Biographical method]! In N6voa, A. e Finger, M. (Ed) 0 metoda (auto) biogr6jica e afbrmar;iio. Ilisboa: Minist6rio da Satide:

Goodson, I. (1992). 'StudYing teachers 'lives. London: Routledge,

Jovchelovitch,:S., &l Bauer, M .. W. (Eds) 02002,. A Bmrevista Narrativa [Narrative


Inquiry]. In: Bauer, M. w.. & Gaskell, G .. Pesquisa Qualftativa comitexto Imagem e'Som - um manual prdtico (pp. 90-113). Petr6polis: Vbzes.

Larrosa, lJ., &! de TIara, N. P.: (1995) DlJame quete Cuemei Ensayos sobre narnuiva J' educaeion.[Let me tell you: essays on narrative and education]! Barcelonat Laertes, S.A. Edicioaes.

McEw~ H., ,& Egan, K. (Eds.) (1995D. La' narrativas en Ib ensendma; a# aprendizaJe y la investigacion lINarrativesi in teaching, in knowing process and research), Buenos Aires: Amorrortu editoreSi A. JtoJ.

N6voa, A. (1995). Vidas de Professores. [reacliers'lLives]~ Porto: Porto Editora:

N6voa, A. (2001). Prefacio [lnface). In: Abrahao, M. H. M .. B.(Ed.} (lOOI}J Historia e!Hist6rias de Vida - Destacados 'Edueadores Fazem a Hisloria do Eduea~i1ol Rio-grandense .. [History and Life Stories-Outstanding Teachers make the IHistory of! Education in Rio Grande do Sui] (pp. 71-12) 1P0rtor Alegre, Brazil: EDIPUCRS.

Pujadas, J. J. (1992). Metodol biogrdfieo.· el uso de lasi historias de vida en ciencias sociales [Biographical Method: the use of Life Stories in Social Sciences] .. Madrid: Centro Ide Investigacicnes SocioI6gicas-+CIS ..

Ricoeur, P. (U995).1 Tempo ei Narrativa. [Time and Narrative). Tomoill sao Paulo: Papirus ..

Santa Marina, C., &:Marfuas, JI M. (J994). Historiasde vida y historia orall [Life stories and orallhistory]. In: Delgado, J. M. & Gutierres, J.(Eds)IMetodos)! tecnicas eualitativas de investigaeion en ciencias sociales [Qualitative Methods and Techniques in Social' Sciences Research) I (pp. 2S9...,.283)J Madtid, SPain: Sfntesis,

Maria Helena Menna Barreto AbrabAo I is a doctor in Ruman Sciences, Education and! a CNPq Researcher, She: is a .professor at Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande Do SuI. She teachers History of Brazilian IEducation,r Theory of Science and the Knowledge, Brazilian Education-Contextual analysis, andlSeminars en Biographical Research. Her latest researeh includes I Construetive Mistake (Research Action, andlDetached IBrazilian Educators (Life Histories). She has Isupenvised! theses in diverse areas. She integrates the Scientifio Committee of !Education land PsycholoID1 of die Foundation of Support to the Researchiof the State of the Rib Grande Do SuI-F APERGS. She is an associate of. International Society for 1Jeacber Education - ISTE; Brazilian I Society of History of Education - SBHE;:Associatioo of Researchers in History of Educa~ tiollt-ASIlHE. She has chapters in books and articles.published m Brazil as well as iii other countries.


Develo~ing Instructional Brogl18mmes for Liinited Englisb!

Proficient Students Enrolled in IScience Colleges in ~uwait University

Jawaher Al-Dabbous

THis paper endeavours to lay the foundations for instructional prQgrammes fpr limited proficiency, students, especially f01I those students enrolled in Science coJleg~ at the University of Kuwait. VIe paper defines Limited English Proftcienex (LEP) as a concept widelJ4 usetJ in the United St'ates and as a concept adopted to describe the status ofslesser skilled students ojJEng/ish who use English as a medium of learning science su8jects in Kuwait. Whe paper moves forward tlf} outline the reasons for-limited p10ficiency in EnglisH, English for Spec{Jic Purposes (ESP) course development. and the implications of LEP in 'ESP course design and ESP pedagogy. On a Jinal1lote, the paper seeks to delineate a model for ESP course desi~ andJ pedagogi« implementation for classroom learning and teaching.


The:termILEP~short for lLimited English Proficiency, haslbeenrintroduced as a euphemism for describing the language: situation of students who lack necessary communieadon skills in &glis1i. A limited English proficient student is defined as an individual who has a native language other than English and comes into an English speaking community· from an environment where a language iothen than ,English is .dominant; lor is lone Whose mother tongue is noll English and comes from an environment Where a language otherilhan English has hadla sigpificant impact on their level of English language proficienqy. Thirdly, the term I may -refen to one who has difficulty speaking, reading,. writii:lg or. understanding the Eilglisli language, IWhose difficulties may deny such individual the opportunitb' to leerm successfully in classrooms where the language oD instruction is EngliSh or to fully participate m society. This article:adopts the thira definition in describing llEPs in Kuwait,;as being students whose mothen tongue is Arabic and who study their content subjects in science colleges int English.

The: reasons for such difticulties are varied. HUa Yang hi the IUS (Yang; Urrabazo & Wayne 20CJ1; Yimg & W~yne, 2001D ascribes : the problem to English learners' failure to meet exit criteria, graduating with less gain in EilglislY proficiency. Thus, it! is argued that a certain percentage rising up to 5flpercent off


LEIP students remain in IBE (bilingual education)/IESL l(English as a second Language) programmes for seven or more; years as part of'a natural process.

Moreover, La» students are rapidly growing in number due to weak, ill-implemented programmes of BlYESL (Yang et al, 2001). Ylang et al (12001) explain that many factors: social, economic, fkmily~ envaonmental,' as well as school, have an impact on the academic progress oflLEP studeats, They ascribe most of the factors to external! reasons, but also refer to instructional elements, sucft as inappropriate course assignment; lack: of rigorous content coverage in ESL courses; unrealistic exit criteria Ifrom the ESL programme; rack of consistent programme implementation across schooD levels and' schools; lack of communication between feeder schools. and receiving schools; and, lack of cooperation between ESL teachers, sheltered English teachers and general education English teachers (pp. lr2-13).

One major reason for the idifficulties in the Kuwait schooling system/may be tbat of false beginners: those wlio may have experienced previous instruction, inciilental exposure ~to the language; or be self-taught, Inrtheinparticular . cases, their knowledge is i'dormant' (Stevick, 1986) .. Furtliermore, programmes . designed I to improve the: lan~e proficiency of science students !have 'met, unfortunately,. withi mixed results. Largely because of' a lack oft adequate . evaluative documentation, results have been equivocal regardless of programme . quality. There :are three key factors, which both underlie nhis relationshiR and provide the necessary foundation upon which expectations for [earning can be . derived or generated in a meaningful and 4lefensible manner.

Assessment Riqulrements

The concept of expected gain, as implemented lin programmes for non and Limited English Proficient (LRP) students, assumes i a direct empirical relationshig between student gains in language proficiency and their probable success in a mainstream program, In this context, valid and reliable assessment of growth in language: proficiency, sensitive to gains that are attributable tOI programme and instruction, are essential. Tests !failing to exhibi~ this relationship will not provide a stable basis I for either' setting expectations or demonstrating growth in the language.proficiency of students.

Setting expectations and Senshlvll:Jl to Growth In Eng/Ish ProJlclency

Setting a reasonablerexpeetation for student performance must be done on an individual basis beginning with a determination of where the student enters the programme and measuring growth! in increments :sensitive to substantive linguistic changes. Overall, however, performance data indicate that staying in ESL programmes fer multiple years didl not improve the general academic performance of LEP studentsl(Yang & Wayne, 200n).


Since limited English proficient students learn English skills most effectively when the)! are taught across the curriculum, it is especially productive: to integrate science and Bnglisb teaching. An integrated curriculum that teaches science iru a wa}l that is understandable and Imeaningful to multicultural students as it promotes increased! English limgu4ge proficiency., can !be developed for stsdents at all educational levels, and does not require teachers with knowledge of'the students' native languages. While .much of the science: curricula currently iD. use is not effective Ifor LEP students, new teaching methods and curricula are !being developed that show great premise in their ability I to provide students with a good education in both science and English. This paper discusses and provides examples of these ianovatiens:

The Context of ESP for Science LEP StUdents

Students enter into university smdies. with iinadequatel English proficiency ~t in some colleges, science is presented in English. Hence, students fail to p,rogress in their studies, given their limited English proficiency,

Defined as communication, lllQguag~ proficiency consists I of both receptive andlprodnctive skills, input and output, information sent and received. It is made up of both oral and literacy' skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Proficiency lm eachl of the four domains is Viewed as a necessary element to language iproflciency, as it contributes to academic success in the specifio sense. Language proficiency is at necessary element to success ih the ;general sense but not sufficient in the specific sense of'guaranteeing success in school.

Knowingjthat a student isilinguistically proficient tells us that slhe israble to benefit from instruciion in the language oB the classroom. While a test of language proficiency tells us mothing about how well arstudent will perform I on al test of American history, itlWill, tell us that slhe can understand or comprehend (listen to) oral. instruction on tiotan3( or biochemistry. Moreover, it will tell us whether slhe can I be expected to comprehend and obtain textual information (reading) on vegetation in the desert er chemical reactions i in the cells, as rwell as WlIite and speak about what sJ1ie has learned about tliese subjects.

Language proficiency is made up ofjboth oral and literacy skills. Letius first consider oral skills. There are several studies that apply to the present disoussion. In one such study~ De Avila, Cervantes and Duncan (1978), oral language proficiency was found to be a si~ficant predictor of academic performance. Researchers found that students scoring at Levels 4 BOd S on the oral test! passed the CTBS-U at or above the 36th percentile. ill other words, oral proficiency was found to be a necessary element for academic success.

It sliould Ibe obvious that Ithe choice: of a valid land reliable test of language proficiency is .critical, Tests failing to predict perfurmance would I certainly be


problematic in actually setting IIID. expectation level or score. There are, therefore, twot primary requirements that must be: placed on whatever! test. of language proficiency is .usedl to measure growth. First, it must predict or &e related to programmatic ,criteria oil achievement. Second, it must 'produce increments of growth in units whiob are reflective of learning and educationally meaningtW.

Students in Eitglishl for specific purpose and for academic purpose programmestin non-English speaking communities I like Kuwait have needs that differ from those foreign students studying in English - speaking countries. Identifying these needs is terucial to making ESP programmes effective. 1lhe designer of an ESll course has to decide: exactly hOlW specific Ithe language needs of the students are. For a general seiencerand 1.'ecbnologyiEnglfsh course, for example, potentially all the structural patterns of English need to be: taught, using scientific rather than everyday; vocabulary. ESP courses .thus vary in terms of how the language is actually presented and where the focus is iplaced, Some students may be required to learn large amounts of terminology - in which case a lexical syllabus and the use of <t:ALL may; be appropriate. 'The problem is Ithen muchl more difficult for LEP students ..

Therefore, it appears that ESP teachers are to be course designers in the same wa)\ as being teachers.

The. rellltionship between ESP and Teaching Engluhlor,LEPi

While not fundamentally! different fmmgeneral teaching of English as: a foreign language, ESP has often provided the opportunityi to test oun and develop innovations prior tOI theinmore general use: the use of needs analysis, task-based learning, Ithe use of authentic materials, gq:neraD analysis, the teaching of language andl centent combined (Dudley-Evans &:St John, 1998;:Hutchinson & Waters, 1987).

Ese Materials lor LEP::lmplicatlons lor Instrucdonal Desl",lo1l Classroom Teaching

It is often assumed! that I ESP I courses should I have; theit own tailor-made materials: Thesefore; the teacher of ESP isroften also the course designer, materials writer and leamingjevaluator .. There are.increasingt numbers 0f good published materials! but usually authentie materialsrare made use of. Authentic texts bring learners closer to the target language culture .and can be highly enjoyable and motiva~ (Little, Devitt & Singleton, 1989).

Authentio texts are basic to communicative and proficiency-oriented lforeign language: teaching as thejy contribute to :authentic linguistic and sti'ateg~ skills (Swaffer, 1988). Relevantly, Youngjand Perkins (1995) state that authentic material is more interestfug than edited texts, but teaehersi are urged to increase IOn-task activities ItO supplement authentic texts. In studies of1leamer attitudes to authen1li.c materials! Chavez (1998)lmaintains that "learners enjoy interacting with authentic


materials" when they receive pedagoglc support through grading tasks rather than grading texts (pp, 277-27.9). These texts may be abridged, but not simplified, fbr one:major aim of developing !EngliSh langtUl#!C skills in:LEPs, especially those enrolled in ESP courses, is to get itheml to read aeademic textbooks (Jbbns & Dudley-Bvans, 1991~.

Features of the Instructional Programme

An instructional I design is made: up of several criticaJ components that work together to producelearning guidelines and standards fonprogramme placement. Programme placement for English language learners.shalllbe based on an evaluatiom of:

1. The student's conversational abilities I and academic abilities Im hisllter preuniversity language programmes (based on formal assessments that the Ministry of Education made for further study at the tertiary education level),

2. The student's academic history, and school performance: (based on home language survey information, informal evaluations such as rinformal oral onwritten language.samples, student work sample data, and/or review otf student records) rna)! also I be used in science colleges to validate ESP courses provided by these colleges.

The following diagram features the components of an instructional programme fur teaching the English! for Science unit! for UEP students.

i. SpecifYing Instructional Goals

The first step is Ito decide what capability we want our learners to be : able to


0; :;






demonstrate as! a result oflteaching.

ii IdenliJYing and 'Analysing Content

At this stage, the teacher, who is also the instructional -designer, collects materialsifor learning. These are authentic materials or texts particularlypruned for purposes of studying English for science. In the-diagram, the two-directional relationship between these components indicates that goals and' content are mutuallyl dependent, and can be considered ili either order. Coursework! can expand students"leaniing potential inrways such as these .. As students pose and solve science problems, tb'ey wiD naturallyirequire the use of mathematics, 90 combinilig instruction in Iboth subjects, along: with I English language skills development, reinforces the learning of eachi Further, iittegration of science.imathematics, and English l'anguage learning obviates' the need for the common and fragmented English as a Second Language.or remedial math 'pull-out' insttuction that is less effective for students.

iii. Preparing Assessment Procedure

TeacHers of English in LEP programmes need to decide how theYI will actually assess their learners I ability to use the language communicatively in their study of English for scientific purposes .(ESPD. SO that the assessment isl valid for both the instructional g~al and the speoified lcontent, teachers and instructional designers need to create the opportunity for learners Ito use the language communicatively ..

iv. Designingj an Instructional Strategy

The instructionlll de9ign we use depends on the instructional goal to be achieved !as assessed by the instructional objective, and the content used. A majpr goal of science instruction is to developrstudents' ability, to interpret and appJy what they have learned. While simply memorizing facts can earn students good grades 011 standardized tests, and traditional teaching methods focus on providing students with those discrete facts, real learning! requires the ability to understand, not just to repeat, course materiall Thus, instructional itechniques must stress development of thinking skills as well as acquisition of science information

At this stage, the content and related subjects are to be introduced throughi a series of activities. This procese involves pervading discussions, problem identification, reading relevant texts, integrating pertinens vocabulary and identifyiJig problematic structures, dhunatic readings, group activities, and student productions.

Effective instructional strategies !for curricula based on themes include handson experience iin a cooperative! learning environment. In addition, multiple references are needed, rather' than i a single textbook, so students learn the value of investigating and comparing a variety of sources in order to learn, and are exposed to many ~s of writing and a largen English vocabulary.


v. lmplememation: of Instruction and Assessment

At thiS stage the: design teacher ,uts liislhell teaching plans to the test .. The}1 implement the:leaming activities designed to support learners' needs from the language, The above two stages can be broken down to the followingjprocedural stages:

Step 01): Pre-reading discussion and psoblem identification

Students are asked to indicate which subject they want to study iin English, Classroom discussions focus on identifying the subjects and subtopics in science which appeallto them.

Step (2): Readibg relevant texts while integrating vocabulary and structures;

Students access the Intemet or the university library for collecting material on tlle subjects and I subtopics previously i identified,' They read authentic texts. Identifying and integrating new vocabulary and explaining problem .. atic language structures enhance the content emphasis of the readings; New. vocabulary is taught in context after reading the text. Students are not given. a lise of vocabulary words prior to reading the next, IInstead, as they; read, new terms are identified and defined by the students. Synonyms; antonyms; and parts of speech are included in the discussion and are reinforced with exercises ibr homework.

These discussions utilize students' prior knowledge: based in the science courses taught in the disciplinestthat they study. Use of English terms in the ESP' for LEP class serves to expand the students" general and s~cifio knowledge of the topics.

Step (J3): Applications and student productions

At tIiis stqe, amumber of activities are introduced. For instance, students are asked I to simulate a situation in which they are teachers iteaching a science topic. ']bis activity reinforces the multi-skill approach to language learning with attention to listening" orall expression, and pronunciation. Throughout the: group activities students are encouraged to integrate new content learning and vocabularyi in the discussions.

Step (,4): Application ef'learning.

Students "pply rtheir 'learning througll individual and group work OIl' them own selections of science topics and I subtopics. Finally, they produce them discussions, reports, and ~ynthesis of materials i on III certain science! topic frODll different resources.

This activitb' provides closure through the application of both science content knowledge and ESP language skills during the learning unit. Throughout,


students work: together and indlviduallyi as active .participants. Research and experience have demonstrated that; the classroom organisation stllateg}l most effective !for teaching science to LEP students is co-operative learning because it fosters language development through inter-student (and possibly written) cow munication. Im classrooms where LEP students! have varying degrees of English language :proficiency or come Ifrom .different language backgrounds, the groups should reflect these variations as much as possible.




To assure maxiinum dnvolvement ofl all students within each group, each student should be assigned a specific task (i.e., chief experimenter, observer, recorder, mathematician), Tasks should be rotated among die students from lesson to Besson to provide each student with the opportunity for varied contributions and experiences. If translators are needed, Ibis role should be assigned to the students with proficienc),! in Arabic and I in English'. Students; should be' given amgIe opportunity to make choices and decisions, within the groups and personally; about how to organise their projects. Theyishould be encouraged to evaluate their ownwork, to challenge each other's explanations and approaches within the group, and to discuss coursework with therteacher,

vi. Diagnosing and remediating learner difficulties ;

At this stage, goals and objectives of instruction are verified,' Learners may be given a quiz or test,.to inform the teachers as to their progress. Teachers use the test 'results to diagnose the problem areas of learning rtbe language. Ifithe learners do not achieve the mearning goals, teachers need to findlout why, so they can re-teach or remediate.


Several premises are .espeeially 'important Ito teaching science and English language skills simultaneously to LEP students:: These premises 'are:

1. Science content taught tet LED students should be closely related tOI the science,subject(s) they are studying at their college,

2. Culturallaspects OflESP relevant tOI LEP 'students should Ibe used tOI illustrate seience content. An easy way ta make science relevant tOI students is to point out the role itjplays in their everyday lives.

3. Instruction in ESP should be organised aroundlcommon themes, The: themes CaIIF be broad science concepts such as the nature of matter 01'1 magnetic energy; or they can be societal issues such las the pollutiom and purification of water on the impact of drugs on the physiology and' behavior of living organisms.

It should b'e noted that the more traditional way of teaching science: is the


lecture ldiscussion method, where teachers tell the, students what they are tor learn, and then ask! them to answer questions about what they liave heard, frequently providing the answers themselves if students db not Irespond qvicld}'! enough. This approach limits die learning experience for all students, Ifor itigives them very little opportunity to I discuss issues, solve problems, or ask their own questions, and I thus to developithinking skills. lit is even less effective fop LEP, students since:it is i more dependent on I students' understanding of what the teacher says, and it provides . few occasions for students to speak, and thus practice their English skills.


Chavez, M. M. (1998). Learner's Perspeetivesron Authenticity. IRAL: International Review of Applied Linguistics in La'WUagf! Teaching. 36, '2.77-307.

De Avila. E., Cervantes" R, & Duncan; S. (1978)J CABE Researoh Journal; 1(2).'

Dudley-Evans; T., &, St John, M. (1998). Development, in ESP. Cambridge:

Cambridge University Press.

Hutchinson, T., &" Waters, A. (1I987)J English for Specific Purposes: A' Learning-centred Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Johns, M., & IDudley-Evans, A. (1991). English for Specific Purposes: Internationa1 in Scope.Bpecific in Purpose, TESOL Quarterly, 25 (2), 297-314.

Little, D., Devitt, S., & Singleton, DJ (1989). Leaming Foreign Languages from Authentic rl'extSI Themry and Practice. Dublin: Authentik.

Stevick, IE. W. (1986). Images and Options in the Language Classroom:

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Swaffer, .1. K. (1988). Reading Authentic Texts fu a Foreign Language: AI Cognitive Model. Modern Language Journal, 69, 15-34.

Yang, H., Urrabazot T" & Wa.yne, M. (2001) .. How did Multiple v.ears V in a BEIBSL Program affect th'e English acquisition land academic achievement of secondary LEP Students? Results from a large urban school districn East Lansing, MI: National centre for Research on Teacher Learning ~RIC DocumenbReproduction Service No. Ed 4S2709~.


Yang, HJ, & Wayne, M. (2001). Graduation requirements and course taking patterns ofLEP'students. East Lansing, Ml: National centre for Research on Teacher Learning (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. 452730.

Young, R., & Perkins, K. (1995). Cognition and Conation in Second Language Acquisition Theory. lRAL': International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language 'Teaching, 33, 142-165.


Index to lVolume 7 (2003)

Subject IndeX'

Case Studies t;Jf Primary. School Teachers' MathematicS! Instruction: Dealing With Reform In Mathematics Teaching, Mapolelo, Dumma C., 24-36~ Issue 2.

Creating:Righ~-minded Teachers: BritisH. Columbia, J87a-2002, Glegg, Alas ... tair; and 11-2H Issue 1.

Despite Broken Promise: The Memoirs of'Sarah Pride Smith, Douglas J. S. (ed.) (2000). Reviewed by Clemence, Verne, 64-65, Issue n.

Does the tHotion of E1 make IQ! Obsolete?'

Imbrosciano, Anthony & Berlach, Richard G., 37-47~ Issue 2.

Dual Languase Classrooms: J1.cquiring a Second Language Through SCience Content Study ,

Mazzaro, Anna & Willis, .Jacaljn, 59-65, Issue 2.

Efficiency and Effectiveness in Science' Education: Reform: The case of the Newark HubliiJ Schools, New Jersey. USA, Ebler, Beth Aime & Willis, Jacalyn Giacalone, 30-38, Issue 1.

InternatiDnal Students' Experience of Graduate Stuf/y in Canada, Schutz, Alice & Richards; Merle, 56i-63, Issue I.

PISA Gives Shocki1fg Marks to the :16 German Educational Systems: Implicationsfor Their-Schools and Teacher Bducanon,

Re1)el, Karlheinz, 14-23, Issue 2.

Reflection on Teaching Oral EnglisM Skills in India: A Research Report, Ramanathan, Hema & Bruning, Merribeth D., 48-55" Issue 1.

Teacher Education in Hong Kong: Policy Changes: in the Past Decade, Fung, Alex, C.W., 1-!l0, Issue 1.

Teacher Testing: Dimensions' and Debates in one! Canadian: Context Tilley, Susan & Castle, Joyce, 1-113, Issue 2:

The NumeracyiIssue: A OurriCJIlum Initiative, Fulcher, Gordon,.22-29, Issue 1.

The Role of the Colleges of Education in Developing Human Values Among University Studentsiin Bahrain andrKuwait, Al-Musawi, Nu'man, Al-Hashem,


Abdulla & Karam, Bbraheem, 39-47) Issue 1.

Time-on-Task in Kuwait Primary Schools I AURasheedi, Ghazi, 48-S8, Issue 2 ..

Author Indexl(by PrinciPal Author)

AI-Musawi, Nu'man, Al-Hashem, Abdulla & Karam, Ebraheem, The rRole of the Colleges of Education in Developing Human Values iAmong University Students in Bahrain and Kuwait, 39-47,.Issue; 1.

AURasheedi, Ghazi, Time-on-Task in Kuwait Primary Schools; 48-58, Issue 2.

Douglas lJ. S.I(ed.} (2000). Despite Broken Rromise: The Memoirs of Sarah Pride Smith, Reviewed by Clemence, Verne, 64-65, Issue 1.

Ebler, Beth Aane & Willis, Jacalytli Giacalone, Efficiency and. Effoctiveness in Science Education Reform: The case ofth'e Newark Publt« Schools, New Jersey" USA, 30-38, Issue 11

Fulcher, Gordon, Tlie Numeracy Issue: A Cuniculum Initiative,,22-29, Issue 1.

Fung, Alex, C.W., fJ'eacner Education in Hong Kong: RO/iCYi Changes in the Past Decade, 1-10, Issue J.

Glegg, Alastair, Creating Right-minded; Teachers: British Columbia, 1872- 2002,11-21, Issue 1.

Imbrosciano, Anthony &;Berlach, Richard G., Does the Notion of EI make IQ Obsolete? 37-47, Issue 2 ..

Mapolelo, Dumma C., Case Studies, of Ptimary School Teachers' Mathematics Instruction: Dealing WitH Reform ImMatPlematlcs Teaching, 24~36, Issue 2.

Mazzaro, Anna & WilliS, Jacalyn, Dual, Language Classrooms: Acquiring a Second Language Throuyh Science Content Study, 59-65, assue~2.

Ramanathan, Hemal. & Bruning, Mem'beth D., Reflection on Teaehingi Oral Eng/ish Skills in India: A Research Report,

48-35, Issue 1..

Rebel, Karlheinz, PIlSA Gives 'Shocking Marks to the 161 German Educational Systems: I/mplicationsfor'Theiti Schools and Teacher. Education; 14-23, Issue 2 ..


Schutz, Alice & Richards, Merle, International lStudents , Bxpenenee of Graduate Study in Canada, 56-63, Issue I.

Tilley, SUsan & Castle, loyce,Teacher Testing: Dimensions and Debates Canadian Context, 1-13, Issue 2.


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