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Title: The Roles of School Principals in Teachers


1
The Roles of School Principals in Teachers
Professional Development for Implementing ICTE
  • Paper presented in CITE Research Symposium 2003
  • July 5, 2003
  • Tse Wing Cheung, Alex

2
Self introduction
  • Msc. (IT in Education) candidate, HKU
  • QEF External Reviewer (IT in Education, Round 4)
  • QEF Project Leader (IT in Education, Round 4)
  • Professional Member/ Member HKERA, HKAECT,
    HKPERA, HKACE, AiTLE, CITE
  • Chairman, IT Committee, Kowloon Rhenish School

3
What do you think about the following questions?
  • What are the major obstacles that the teachers
    encountered in the implementation of ICTE in Hong
    Kong in the past few years?
  • Do you think that the teachers had successfully
    equip themselves to face the challenges coming
    from the implementation of ICTE?
  • Who can play an important role to empower
    teachers for implementing ICTE?
  • In what way such persons can play a strategic
    role to empower teachers for implementing ICTE?

4
In my perspective, they are the school
principals
5
Do you think that there is an unbalanced
development in implementing ICTE in Hong Kong in
the past few years?
  • The five-year strategy in ICTE in 1998 bought a
    rapid development of ICTE
  • Most principals particularly focused on the
    installation of infrastructure and hardware (Law,
    Yuen, Ki, Li Lee, 1999)
  • But technical development should not be the only
    focus when implementing ICTE
  • Principals may ignore a crux of implementing
    ICTE Teacher Professional Development (TPD)

6
The importance of TPD in implementing ICTE
  • Many literature and researches have highlighted
    the importance of TPD in implementing ICTE
  • As Cooley states, successful implementation of
    technology is not about equipment but the
    empowerment of people. (Cooley, 1997, p. 74)
  • Fullan (2001) also believes that in the change
    process of implementing ICTE, staff development
    is a very important variable
  • Holzberg (1997) argues that ICTE makes staff
    development more essential than ever

7
The importance of TPD in implementing ICTE
  • Benson (1997) states that a successful
    implementation of ICTE should include allocation
    of adequate time and resources for staff
    development
  • Though TPD is vital in implementing ICTE, Bennett
    (1996) argues that few TPDs in ICT prepare
    teachers to implement it effectively and
    meaningfully in the classrooms
  • TPD should be one of the major concerns in
    implementing ICTE

8
The importance of the principals in leading TPD
for implementing ICTE
  • Apart from TPD, various literature and researches
    also reflected that principals were also
    influential in the ICTE implementation of a
    school
  • They played a key role in implementing change in
    their schools and the TPD for implementing ICTE
    was no exception (Duttweiler, 1987 LaPlant,
    1986 Hord, 1992 Yuen, Law Wong, 2002)
  • In fact, facing the challenge of implementing
    ICTE, Payne and Wolfson (2000) consider that
    principals should ensure that their teachers is
    able to address it by providing meaningful and
    effective professional development opportunities

9
Since both TPD and school principals are such
important variables in implementing ICTE, they
should obviously be a valuable issue to study
10
Three key research questions of this study
  • What are the roles that school principals play in
    leading TPD for implementing ICTE?
  • Are the roles that school principals play
    effective enough to leading TPD for implementing
    ICTE?
  • Are there any obstacles which hinder school
    principals in leading TPD for implementing ICTE
    effectively?

11
Perspectives on TPD and In-service Teacher
Training (ISTT)
  • Over the past few decades, there were radical
    changes about the training and development for
    teachers (West-Burnham and OSullivan, 1998)

12
Perspectives on TPD and In-service teacher
training (ISTT)
  • What do you think about the perspectives of
    principals over the concept of ISTT TPD?
  • Is there an evolution from ISTT to TPD in
    implementing ICTE among principals?
  • What are the situation in the schools that they
    have encountered?

13
CROP Model
  • There are many professional literature, which
    discuss the roles of principals in leading TPD
    for implementing ICTE. Their essentials are
    synthesized a self-constructed model The CROP
    Model
  • 1.1 Catalyst
  • Defining and communicating vision
  • School climate developer
  • Role model for continual learning
  • 1.2 Resource linker
  • Manpower
  • Time and Funding
  • Physical resources
  • Opportunity, knowledge and skills

14
CROP Model
  • 1.3 Organizational learning leader
  • Building learning community
  • Managing curriculum and instruction
  • Monitoring student progress
  • 1.4 Process helper
  • Organizing collective reflection
  • Holistic and ongoing assessment
  • Working condition of collegiality
  • Motivator

15
Methodology The research design of this study
16
Sampling and selection of cases
  • The method of purposive sampling is adopted
  • SITES found that the problems of TPD were
    particularly serious among the primary schools
  • There were 76 of primary school principals, who
    believed that the poor TPD was the one of the
    major obstacles for implementing ICTE
  • So, the researcher sets the focus of study to
    primary schools level
  • Eventually, four primary schools were selected
    (either the Pilot Schools of Centres of
    Excellence in ICTE)

17
Sampling and selection of cases
  • For the principals, the researcher intentionally
    selected one female school principal
  • To guarantee the reliability and validity of
    data, the researcher extended the scope of study
    to the teachers, who played vital roles in
    organizing TPD for implementing ICTE
  • They included chairman of ICT working group, a
    teacher committee member of ICT working group, IT
    coordinator, chairman of TPD working group,
    curriculum development coordinator and teacher
    librarian

18
Data collection methods by self-constructed tools
  • To sharply address the research questions from
    appropriate approaches, the researcher selected
    and designed tailor-made data collection methods
    accordingly

19
Findings
20
Background information of the schools
  • The four primary schools in this research are
    mainstream schools
  • Whole-day subsidised primary schools
  • Either a Pilot School or a Centre of Excellence
    in ICTE
  • The sizes and scales of selected studied schools
    are rather similar
  • Their history ranges from six to thirty years
  • All the studied schools are well established
  • They had favourable foundation to develop mature
    TPD practices

21
The general background of the four studied schools
22
The ICTE development of the four studied schools
  • Pioneers of ICTE
  • Relatively long experience in hardware and
    software setting, operation of ICT working group,
    development of school intranet educational
    platform, establishment of computerized central
    school library, implementation of TPD and
    integration of ICT into curriculums etc.
  • The hardware, software and infrastructure of the
    schools are generally well established

23
The ICTE development of the four studied schools
  • As the Pilot School, P1, P2 and P3 got extra
    funding in the developing ICTE
  • Their computer-student ratios and
    computer-teacher ratios are very satisfactory
  • Both computers and LCD projectors are available
    in all the normal classrooms
  • Such strong resources background has undoubtedly
    laid a favourable foundation for their
    implementation of ICTE and its related TPD

24
The ICTE development of the four studied schools
25
Development of TPD for implementing ICTE
  • In the initial stage, the major development of
    TPD for implementing ICTE mainly focused on the
    training of various ICT level competencies, like
    BIT, IIT and UIT
  • The ICT level competencies of teachers among the
    studied schools were generally much higher that
    requirements of the EMB
  • For S4, there were 89 of teachers got UIT. It
    was 3.5 times over the official requirements

26
ICT level competencies of the teachers in the
four studied schools
27
ICT level competencies of the teachers in the
four studied schools
  • After a series of training of ICT level
    competencies, the schools tried to develop
    various school-based TPD programmes or mechanisms
    to meet the particular needs of the teachers for
    implementing ICTE
  • These practices include subject meetings, teacher
    development days, peers lesson observations and
    collective lesson preparation etc.

28
The usefulness of the school-based TPD programmes
for implementing ICTE
29
The usefulness of the school-based TPD programmes
for implementing ICTE
  • The teachers generally appreciated the
    school-based TPD programmes and found it useful
    to them
  • Because these school-based TPD programmes or
    mechanisms were generally pedagogically oriented

30
EMB training for implementing ICTE
  • For the external training opportunities of ICTE
    organized by the EMB, the teachers consistently
    found that the training was not so useful to them
    to implement ICTE
  • A T4 commented that these training
    overemphasized on computer knowledge and skills.
    However, the major concerns of teachers are the
    pedagogical considerations.

31
Continuation of SITES
  • SITES found that 76 of primary school principals
    regarded lack of ICT knowledge and skills as the
    major obstacles of implementing ICTE
  • This study found that only 50 of primary school
    principals regarded that lack of ICT knowledge
    and skills was still a major obstacle of
    implementing ICTE
  • SITES found that 80 of primary school principals
    stated that training opportunities were
    inadequate.
  • This research found that only while 25 of them
    stated that training opportunities were inadequate

32
Continuation of SITES
  • SITES found that it was rare that the training
    opportunities were pedagogical-oriented in 1999
  • This study found that all the studied principals
    (100) also agreed that the existing TPD for
    implementing ICTE in their schools was mainly
    pedagogical-oriented

33
The background of the studied school principals
  • P2 was the only female in this study
  • Apart from P1, the principals tend to be young
  • One principal got BIT, two principals got IIT,
    one got UIT

34
Roles of school principals in leading TPD for
implementing ICTE
35
School climate developer
  • It is important for the principal to cultivate a
    favourable school culture
  • TPD is a prolonged campaign
  • P3 had never pressed his teaching staff to use
    ICT in daily practice
  • However, by P3s prolonged commitment to ICTE,
    the use of ICT in the daily practice of
    instruction had become well integrated into the
    culture of S3
  • The study also found that the principals also
    deeply realised that the culture of the school
    was affected by the background of teachers
  • To wipe out the problem of historical burden,
    P1, P3 and P4 also liked to recruit fresh teachers

36
Role model for continual learning
  • TPD is not equal to the one-off training
    programmes
  • It is a process of life-long learning
  • Apart from P4, the principals could attain IIT or
    above ICT competencies levels
  • In S3, the teachers consistently agreed that P3s
    pursuit of a Master degree had made him a role
    model
  • As a principal, who was close to the age of
    retirement, P1 still actively and continuously
    participated in various ICT training and
    professional development programmes

37
The principals as the resources linker
  • Principal may not be an expert as a catalyst in
    leading TPD for implementing TPD
  • But they usually perform well in allocating
    resources for school development

38
The principals as the resources linker Manpower
  • the principals had formulated ICT working groups
    in the late 1990s to face the challenges of
    implementing ICTE
  • They appointed appropriate colleagues as members
    of the ICT working groups and recruited technical
    experts as ICT coordinators and technical
    assistants

39
The principals as the resources linker Manpower
  • Though the principals had committed to manpower
    allocation for ICT working groups, not all the
    principals were aware of the needs of TPD
  • There was no teacher in S3 who specialized in
    leading TPD
  • For S4, though a TPD working group existed, there
    were only two teachers as committee members

40
The principals as the resources linker Manpower
  • The number of members of ICT and TPD working
    groups

41
The principals as the resources linker Manpower
  • Some principals had appointed more teachers to
    lead the changes
  • P4 had appointed five teachers as subject
    representatives to lead the implementation of
    ICTE in the specific subjects
  • The lessons that they conducted were cut
  • The manpower arrangement for prinicpalship
  • P1 appointed one more vice-principal to share
    part of his administrative burden
  • P1 could be more available to be the pilot of the
    school and found that, under such an arrangement,
    he was more available to detect the teachers
    needs for TPD

42
The principals as the resources linker Time
  • P2 set aside one hour or more on each Friday as
    teaching research period to encourage teachers
    to improve their instructional practices
  • Each Friday, the lessons of S2 ended earlier
  • Teachers were free to share dissemination of
    various ICT educational resources and pedagogical
    strategies

43
The principals as the resources linker Funding
  • P1 established a special working group, called
    Resources Exploration Group, who regularly worked
    at applying to external resources, especially
    QEF, EMB, parents and education fund of the Hong
    Kong Jockey Club etc., to raise funding to
    support school development

44
The principals as the resources linker Physical
resources
  • Most of Pilot Schools found that their hardware
    and software had comparatively outdated
  • P1 requested the old computers from the
    different local universities
  • Then, he donated the old computers of the school
    to students, who were without a computer at home

45
The principals as the resources linker
Opportunity, knowledge and skills
  • P3 supported his staff to participate the UIT
    training by removing the quota of participants
  • 57 of teaching staff successfully attained UIT
  • Many principals tended to rely on the EMBs ICT
    training opportunities for teachers though found
    it not useful

46
The principals as the resources linker
Opportunity, knowledge and skills
  • It was sarcastic that most of these principals
    questioned the effectiveness of these EMBs ICT
    training opportunities
  • P1 straightforwardly commented that focuses of
    these training were wrong
  • They overemphasized on the technical training
  • He believed that technical training was important
    as it could affect the confidence of teachers to
    use ICT in daily instruction

47
Building learning community
  • TPD is a continual and gradual process
  • It needs a learning community to sustain its
    continuity
  • The principals worked out various mechanisms
  • P4 also had worked out a special mechanism,
    called adaptation periods

48
Building learning community
  • Teachers teaching the same subject at the same
    level met weekly to enhance their teaching
    effectiveness by a wide variety of activities,
    like sharing of teaching experience, curriculum
    adaptation, production of teaching and learning
    resources and collective lesson preparation etc.
  • It included four major subjects, like Chinese,
    General English, Mathematics and General Studies

49
Managing curriculums and instruction
  • The ultimate objective of TPD should benefit the
    students learning
  • It is important for the principals to be aware of
    the impact of TPD on the existing curriculum and
    on teachers daily instruction
  • The principals had worked out various
    multi-functional mechanisms, like collective
    lesson preparations, teaching research periods
    and collective production of ICT educational
    resources etc.

50
Managing curriculums and instruction
  • P2 focused the TPD on the pedagogical application
  • To achieve it, she motivated the subject leaders
    to participate in it
  • She closely worked with them and gradually
    nurtured them as the role models of good
    practices in their respective subjects

51
Organizing collective reflection as well as
holistic and ongoing assessment
  • Besides relying on the multi-functional
    mechanisms, researcher also found some good
    practices
  • P1 led the school to like ISO 9002
  • P4 planned to work out an internal assessment
    mechanism

52
Motivator
  • The principals were successful motivators
  • P4 spent much time with teachers in personal
    interaction, in which he tried to encourage and
    challenge them for further enhancement
  • A T4 stated that he finally attained UIT because
    his principals encouraged him to attain when they
    chatted in an elevator
  • It helped to explain why 89 of teachers in S4
    eventually got UIT even though P4 had never
    compulsorily instructed them to do so

53
Motivator
  • P1, P2 and P3 encouraged teachers to integrate
    ICT in daily instruction by supervising the
    technical staff to offer a user-friendly
    environment for the teachers
  • P1, P2 and P4 had worked out administration
    questionnaires regularly to investigate the needs
    of staff towards TPD, including those for
    implementing ICTE
  • P2 established prize awards for the teachers who
    regularly adopted ICT tools in the classroom
  • The principals presented the prizes on important
    occasions, like graduation ceremony

54
Effectiveness of school principals in leading TPD
for implementing ICTE
55
Effectiveness of school principals in leading
TPD for implementing ICTE
  • Teachers and principals consistent views over
    the actual roles of the principals
  • The roles in which the principals had performed
  • Resources provider
  • (manpower, time, funding etc.) (71)
  • Cultivating school culture of learning (58)
  • Managing curriculum and instruction (46)
  • Motivator (46)

56
Defining and communicating vision
  • The principals of the studied school had not yet
    seriously played a role to define and communicate
    the vision of ICTE
  • Not all studied schools had formulated the vision
    of ICTE
  • For those schools who had vision of ICTE, the
    formulation of the vision of ICTE mainly served
    for preparing documents to apply for ICTE
    projects or as a part of school policy

57
Defining and communicating vision
  • Such a so-called vision of ICTE almost did not
    have any relationship with the general operation
    of the school
  • Two of the clauses in the vision of ICTE for S4
    were about the students developing
    student-centred learning mode and implementing
    effective ICTE according to students needs
  • There were no concrete policies or measures to
    help the school to achieve those visions

58
Defining and communicating vision
  • Such a vision of ICTE was mainly formulated by
    the ICT working groups
  • In some cases, it was even solely prepared by the
    chairman of the ICT working group
  • When the teachers were asked about the vision of
    ICTE, most of them could not answer the points
    which matched their original documents

59
Organizing holistic and ongoing assessment
  • The teachers and principals did not exercise
    assessments regularly
  • Apart from P1s participation in ISO 9002, the
    principals just passively relied on the irregular
    external evaluation mechanisms, like QAI

60
Monitoring student progress
  • Though the principals generally believed that the
    ultimate aim of TPD for ICTE was to enhance the
    students learning, it was rare for them to
    organize serious and systematic supervision of
    students progress resulting from the adoption of
    ICTE
  • The principals usually monitored the students
    progress only by informal observation
  • Then they vigorously claimed that the learning
    motivation of students increased during the use
    of ICT

61
Obstacles of school principals in leading TPD for
implementing ICTE
62
Obstacles of school principals in leading TPD for
implementing ICTE
63
Engaging in too many educational reforms
simultaneously
  • All the studied principals also agreed
  • It became their major obstacle to wholeheartedly
    leading TPD for implementing ICTE
  • P3 commented that in such an age of critical
    educational reforms, there are numerous needs for
    TPD of various kinds. For this reason, I need to
    keep a balance and can not overemphasize the need
    of TPD for implementing ICTE even though I think
    that it is important.

64
Too limited resources can make use
  • The majority of principals also stated that they
    had difficulty in allocating the resources for
    ICTE and its related TPD
  • P1 clearly understood that, in the process of
    implementing ICTE, teachers should learn to
    select, organize, evaluate, and adapt ICT
    resources for instruction. However, P1 found
    that it was difficult for the teachers to use
    appropriate ICT educational resources to teach

65
Inadequate support and guidelines from EMB
  • Half of the principals considered that inadequate
    support and guidelines from EMB were an obstacle
    that they faced in leading TPD for implementing
    ICTE
  • Apart from the various ICT level training,
    related training curriculum and the ratio of
    teachers percentage for the specific level only,
    the EMB provide almost no guidelines for the
    school to organise TPD for implementing ICTE

66
Inadequate support and guidelines from EMB
  • EMB just encouraged the school to organise
    school-based TPD for implementing ICTE
  • However, how to organise it and who should
    organise is really a question

67
Low staff motivation
  • The increasing workload resulting from
    implementing ICTE, in some cases, has created
    some tensions in the collegial system
  • P4 confessed that, in some cases, it was
    difficult to reach a balance between willingness
    from the principals and willingness from the
    teachers in leading the educational initiatives

68
Inexperience in tackling the changes of ICT
  • Principals found it difficult to deal with the
    educational changes of TPD and ICTE because both
    of them were something new
  • A T4 felt that P4, to a certain extent was
    inexperience to implement ICTE and its related
    TPD
  • In the early year of implementing ICTE, the
    teachers were engaged in the establishment of
    hardware, software and infrastructure

69
Inexperience to tackle the changes of ICT
  • However, P4 quickly pushed the teachers to
    integrate ICT into the curriculums
  • Without adequate teachers support, the attempt
    eventually was ineffective

70
Data analysis and discussion
71
Leaders three major roles in a LO
  • A designer of settings in which the five
    disciplines are promoted
  • Team Learning
  • Subject meetings, teacher development days, peers
    lesson observations and collective lesson
    preparation, cooperative production of ICT
    educational materials, teaching research periods,
    adaptation periods, module meeting and mass
    lectures etc

72
Leaders three major roles in a LO
  • A designer of settings in which the five
    disciplines are promoted
  • System Thinking
  • Teacher appraisals did not include the use of ICT
  • Ineffective monitoring on students progress
  • Fragmented organizational structure of school
  • Inadequate holistic and ongoing assessment
  • Mental model
  • There was no complete evolution from ISTT to TPD

73
Leaders three major roles in a LO
  • A designer of settings in which the five
    disciplines are promoted
  • Personal Mastery
  • The teachers equip themselves to fit the
    requirements of the school instead of motivated
    by shared vision
  • (The discussion about the principals as a
    teacher who fosters learning for everyone have
    integrated above)

74
Leaders three major roles in a LO
  • A steward of the shared vision
  • Vision as part of document only
  • Vision was formulated by the minority
  • No shared vision was found
  • Shared vision is the heart of LO
  • No shared vision, No LO
  • In this regard, the principals were not an
    effective leader

75
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