was asked by 林振南老师 to join in the first iMTL NLC meeting of the year on 11/4 (wed) held at 老家SCCL. during the sharing of experience by an invited CL teacher on-stage, something on screen caught me eyes. take a look and see if you see what i see:
hint: it’s the ‘a’ word (:
i cannot fully describe the excitement of seeing the word on screen; not just once, but it appeared a second time in another slide later. what’s the significance of the sightings?
going back in time, 2 months ago on 20/2 (tue), i was at yio chu kang primary, and had two rounds of conversation with two groups of CL teachers on the topic of 《华文、学习、科技》. and 慧芬 who’s on stage was among the YCKPS teachers. i recalled it was the first time for some CL teachers to hear the term affordance (能供性); for a rare few, it’s probably the first time they were hearing technological affordance in the way i described it. the sessions were but a short 1-hour. and how do we know if teachers’ were impacted? what evidence(s) of learning do we have? it may not be easy to answer these qns, for many at times, learning is not fast, and it’s hardly evident in short term courses/workshops many at times.
and i am very thankful for 林振南老师 for asking me to be there, and of course PMTT林季华老师 and Dr. Sim SH for allowing me to be there. as a result, i had the chance to catch glimpse of the evidence of learning! not sure if the other close to 70 CL teachers (ST, LT & (P)MTTs) saw the significance. but it definitely tells me that what i’m doing is worthwhile doing, and i shall continue to pursue opportunities to influence CL teachers’ ideas and practice of CL, learning, and ICT. lastly not to forget, i am also grateful to 玉云 for allowing me to learn from & with her at YCKPS (:
yesterday afternoon was invited by 玉云 to engage 6 CL teachers from 4 schools in conversation. the original proposal was to discuss learning design around iMTL 2.0 (official name: 增强版乐学善用平台). however, i counter-proposed to conduct a conversation on 《华文、学习、科技》 first, much like the sessions i did with YCKPS CL teachers. 理由很简单，动作是建立在理解之上；尤其是在协作的环境内，对于事物的共同理解和认识更是重要。 otherwise, who knows your apple is my orange? we may be using the same term but we actually meant different things. sounds familiar? all too familiar.
here’s our group of 有缘人 who have gathered at Fuhua Sec 辅华中学 (:
and here’s the reification of our discourse:
had a quick dipstick of their conceptions of CL、Learning、ICT prior to our conversation. thank you google forms (:
will look at the ‘post-test’ to compare the shift in conceptions, if any, later.
a quick remark at the end of the session by 许薇 is going to stay with me for a long time to come “今天聊完之后，我终于弄清楚一些概念。之前总是捉摸不清。” it was too quick, and time was short; we’ll need to see if there’s opportunities to dig deeper to hear the richness and significance of those few words (:
the paper work should have been completed at least 2 months ago. but 迟到好过没到 we always say. the long-awaited official closure of the 5 yrs 2 mth journey is finally here.
like the last post, this is what my thesis research is about:
Chinese Language Teachers’ Conceptions of Knowledge Creation, Knowledge and Knowing
Set against the backdrop of education in the Knowledge Age, the current study answers calls in the literature to further advance knowledge creation in schools. Scholars observed that education in schools is not changing fast enough to prepare our young to meet the demands of the world’s workforce and citizens. Teachers are the key people educating students in schools, and scholars have highlighted a need to investigate their understanding of the phenomena. Sixteen Chinese Language (CL) teachers from Singapore were examined in this research as language teachers are primarily responsible for the basic literacies that form students’ foundation for lifelong learning. Positing that people’s cultural beliefs and the language(s) used are inseparable, CL teachers may possess an understanding of the different phenomena that reflect the influence of the Chinese culture by virtue of the language they speak and teach. To carry out the investigation, the current research adopted phenomenography — a methodology aimed at finding and systematising how people interpret the world around them — to learn about and to describe CL teachers’ conceptions of the phenomena.
Through the phenomenographic processes, four separate outcome spaces representing what the CL teachers understand of knowledge, knowing, knowledge creation in general, and knowledge creation in education, had emerged. Each outcome space represented the qualitatively different albeit limited understanding of teachers on a phenomenon. The critical variations in teachers’ understanding were presented in the different categories of an outcome space hierarchically. Critical variations aside, non-critical variations that have emerged from teachers’ conception were also captured.
The findings had shown that the CL teachers’ understanding of various phenomena did exhibit differences from scholarly conceptions. For example, the understanding of a shared outcome in knowledge creation had not emerged although theories of knowledge creation commonly described some form of shared outcomes as a key component of knowledge creation. Other aspects included community-related and process-related differences. In the understanding of knowledge and knowing, the emergence of direct definitions and types of knowledge during interviews, and the non-emergence of descriptions on the structural simplicity of knowledge were examples of the differences between theoretical and people’s conception. Besides demonstrating the differences, some of the CL teachers’ conception may be attributed to the influence of cultural beliefs. For instance, some of the CL teachers highlighted the non-receptive for changes as possibly an inhibitor to knowledge creation; their understanding of knowledge creation implied impending changes. Change, when seen as a disruption to existing harmonious state of things, was culturally undesirable. Similarly, the omnipresence of authorities of knowledge and the different ways of interpreting these authorities by different teachers reflected, on the one hand, the influence of hierarchy-conscious Confucian-heritage culture; and on the other hand, the possible moderating effect of English language and Western culture on the Singaporean CL teachers’ personal epistemology.
knowledge creation, education, teachers’ conception, phenomenography, Chinese Language
download link to the thesis will be made available through the NIE Digital Repository when it’s available (: