Dela Cruz-Yeh, Aiden (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This longitudinal research study looks into the attitudes and current practices of Taiwanese teachers in supplementary schools (buxibans) toward professional development. Using the method of triangulation, data from two case studies, survey questionnaire (2004 and 2008), and electronic discourse were gathered and analyzed. A five-point likert scale was used to measure the teachers’ attitudes, Cronbach alpha to measure reliability, Chi-square to test the strength of the correlations between variables, and T-Tests to compare the responses from surveys 1 and 2. An online teacher professional development (oTPD) framework, that integrated the principles of cognitive apprenticeship and informal mentoring in online environments, was used to facilitate 1) the delivery of oTPD over a period of time, 2) the transfer and construction of teacher knowledge and skills that would have direct implications on teachers’ practice and on students’ learning, and 3) the social interaction and collaborative efforts of international teacher-experts (invited mentors) in the oTPD process. Despite some challenges faced during the implementation of new learning activities and/or learning materials adapted from their participation in the oTPD, the results show that teachers who took part in this study benefitted from oTPD through the construction of new knowledge and skills and a positive engagement in professional development.
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