what teachers want in their PD experience

chanced upon this research article published by bill & melinda gates foundation reporting on teachers’ view on teachers’ professional development.

this list of “wants” of PD (and the ‘fineprints’ below) caught my eyes:

  • relevant
  • interactive
  • delivered by someone who understands my experience
  • sustained over time
  • treats teachers like professional
  • less lecture
  • opportunity to apply learning (through either demo/modelling, and practice)

20151002-2014_gates foundation_pd
(acknowledgement: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (2014). Teachers know best: Teachers’ views on professional development, p.4)

as the first bullet point “relevant” highlighted, this research reports the US context. would our teachers be looking at the same set of things, or less, or more, or entirely different set? based on my past experiences engaging in-service teachers, i would think the list can generally apply to our context too. and a timely reminder to fulfill them in my existing and new offering of courses, especially the blended ones (:

post-workshop thoughts

yesterday’s our first Clinic session for primary school CL teachers (TRAISI: 12541). we have a total of 16 participants (13 prior signup; 2 walk-ins; 1 sit in). the largest class size we’ve experienced is 10 prior to this. 6 more participants may possibly change many things, especially the discourse dynamics (are the participants able to interact well? are posts/threads from 16 an overwhelming number? how many of them will be proactive contributors, and thus influencing the answers to the previous 2 qns?)

on the whole WJ is steady, and facilitated the session well for a first-timer. no doubt some teachers appeared hesitant on the “outcomes” of the workshop, we managed to close the first session with full participation in the first introductory post (帖子A), as evident in the df.

after looking at WJ’s reflection, i begin to have a deeper appreciation of ‘struggles’ she’s experiencing as a facilitator of such dynamic/fluid workshop that’s set to achieve broad outcomes (cf. lesson objectives). coupled with an audience that may be so familiar (and fixated) with SIOs, it’s not an easy session to facilitate.

on my part, i am also thinking of what i should do more, in terms of handholding future facilitator who would like to try out our blended learning approach.

things that i have done for/with WJ:

1. sharing of past workshop resources
2. reviewing and planning of activities (incl. schedule, instructions in handout)
2. logistical assistance (online: including setting up of coursespace wiki & df, ironing out of course publisher, setting up of fb groups; classroom: furniture arrangement, electrical wirings)

one single thing that stood out which i felt strongly i could have done more:
– to do a recap of the set of slides, and clarify the meaning and the link between slides starting from 缘起 part. i did not take this step as i safely assumed that these ideas would have been clear to WJ as she has sat in two previous sessions. a good reminder for me to rethink how to make my presentation clearer the next time in a single round. i felt it is important to make them see (or at least let them relate to some past experience) on the usefulness of pure f2f workshops, regardless of length. then we follow to sell why our experimental approach may work better.

– my failure to do this also affected the explanation of the 2-part design (Clinic-Studio). making a clearer emphasis of the design, and how the two are related yet focused differently, may also help to allay the doubts of some participants on the ‘takeaways’.

教学相长 as we often say. in the process, may we both improve on our facilitation skills. that’s all for now, “more later!” (Wu, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) (:

lake photo(acknowledgement: photo by LoggaWiggler)

blended learning 的联想

a fellow co-learner in the course wrote this as part of weekly reflection activity:




当学生都积极学习时,教师的“Happy Problem”出现了。试想,当班上40名学生的“学习引擎”若被我们开动了,那种学习所产出的排山倒海的内容不是一个教5班带200个学生的教师所能招架的。怎么办?!?



感激老师的这一段反思,推进了我的思考 (:

2nd reflection on course 12470-00002 facilitation


回顾过去10天的线上交流活动,相较于上一轮的课,这一回的老师们在个别讨论的互动率有明显的增多。这主要集中在分享个人的经验和想法,也有一部分的回复是衍生的问题。“质疑性”的问题(questioning assumptions)则还未多见,这或许是老师们对彼此尊重的“文化”表现吗?又或是老师们还不习惯问“为什么” (Why)的问题?急不来,文化是要时间改变的,习惯是要时间培养的 (:

上一轮课的结束会晤我主要做了整个讨论的内容分析和观察,感觉有些过于“说教”,参与度能进一步提高就更好。思索着,是否应该给老师们“增添”一份会晤前的“功课”,让愿意准备想分享的老师(“sdl”)谈谈他们对于这次课的经验如何影响他们日后设计SDL/CoL课时的过程和课本身的内容,限时5分钟,由此或许能引起一些讨论和擦出进一步的火花来? *hmmmm* 还得想一想。

得去做我的“说教”部分的准备了,期待再度与老师们会晤面对面继续我们的思考与探索 (:

rainbow photo(acknowledgement: photo by werner22brigitte)

reflection on course 12470-00002 facilitation

it’s exactly the 2 weeks’ mark from the first lesson of the 2nd run of ICT for SDL and CoL Clinic course that i am facilitating. this time round, i have 7 participants, 3 less than the first. the make up of this group is very unique: 2 CL master teacher colleagues, 2 ex-NIE students, and 3 other eager pairs of eyes that i met for the first time. it’s always exciting to befriend new fellow CL teachers and catch up with ‘old’ CL teacher friends/colleagues alike (:

so how did the online interactions go so far? to-date, 3 online activities i’ve designed as part of the online interactions were initiated. the 1st introductory post was completed without much difficulties, and the “1+2” interactions too. good job teacher participants!

the 2nd post on SDL streamed in more slowly. there was not a single post past the deadline. i emailed a gentle a reminder and was glad to see one post appearing soon after. and another, and another, and soon the rest came in. all except one, cos the teacher is away in shanghai on a study trip. there was a case of OPAL script causing trouble, and a participant lost all her effort and time in the posting work! need to remember to highlight such possibility to participants in future, and suggest some precautionary measures. my bad for forgetting to do this earlier 🙁   let’s hope the repost will come in soon.

content-wise for the SDL posts, there were some exchange of ideas and a couple of questioning. more than the first round in fact. however, critical questioning that attempts to “dig deeper” into underlying meaning, assumptions, and conceptions are still in lacking. my hypotheses include (1) teachers are more comfortable with being friendly towards fellow teacher/participants; critical questioning steps outside such cultural norm, and (2) teachers are not familiar with the ‘expectation’ to pose questions to further clarify things that may not been spelt out clearly, yet. i’ve tried to post some questions to dig deeper. let’s see if the behaviour gets replicated.

the 3rd activity is the first of a series of weekly reflections. it’s meant to be completed two days ago. but to-date, there’s only 1 piece of “我觉得……” up. it’s posted by Sean, he who asked if “participants need to post reflections, do ‘teacher’ also need to also conduct reflection” during the first f2f session. looks like this could be taking up the 2nd position 😛    i’ve sent out another email reminder. and 3 participants already responded to my instruction to acknowledge receipt.

tmr marks the start of the 4th online activity — threads on CoL. but before that, i hope more weekly reflections will come in (:

reflection photoacknowledgement: Photo by marionberaudias