References 1. Turcsnyi-Szab,M., Aiming at Sustainable Innovation in Teacher Education – from Theory to Practice, Informatics in Education, 2012, Vol. 11, No. 1, 115–130, Vilnius University, 2012. also at http://www.mii.lt/informatics_in_education/pdf/INFE197.pdf 2. Turcsnyi-Szab, M. (2006). Blending projects serving public education into teacher training. In Kumar, Deepak; Turner, Joe (Eds.) Education for the 21st Century - Impact of ICT and Digital Resources, IFIP 19th World Computer Congress, TC-3 Education, IFIP series Vol. 210, pp. 235-244, Springer, ISBN 978-0-38734627-4. http://www.springerlink.com/content/k8q6107r3gu60838/ 3. Turcsnyi-Szab, M., Bedo, A., Pluhar, Zs. (2006). Case study of a TeaM Challenge game – e-PBL revisited, ed. Watson, D. Education and Information Technologies, No.4 October 2006. pp. 341-355, Springer http://www.springerlink.com/content/t4896677504820u2/ 4. Turcsnyi-Szab, M. (2003). Capacity building in tele-houses: A model for tele-mentoring, ed. Marshall G., Katz, Y. Learning in School, Home and Community, Klewer Academic Publishers, Series: IFIP International Federation for Information Processing, Vol. 113, pp 101-111, ISBN: 978-1-4020-7367-http://www.springer.com/education/book/978-1-4020-7367-Adaptive Teachers Embracing New Ways of Learning with Robotics in Chinese Schools (Kar-Tin Lee and Vi nesh C handr a) Kar-Tin Lee and Vinesh Chandra School of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Teachers need to be led away from the ‘mechanistic’ approach to learning and to embrace instead the view that learning should occur in terms of an environment – combined with the rich resources provided by the digital information network. Students, teachers and the information within this learning environment coexist and shape each other in a mutually reinforcing way as well as serve as catalysts for innovation.(Thomas & Brown, 2011, p. 35) In July 2010, China announced the “National Plan for Medium and Long-term Education Reform and Development (2010-2020)” (PRC 2010). The Plan calls for an education system that:
promotes an integrated development which harnesses everyone’s talent;
combines learning and thinking; unifies knowledge and practice;
allows teachers to teach according to individuals’ needs; and reforms education quality evaluation and personnel evaluation systems focusing on performance including character, knowledge, ability and other factors.
This paper discusses the design and implementation of a Professional Learning Program (PLP) undertaken by 432 primary, middle and high school teachers in China. The aim of this initiative was to develop adaptive expertise in using technology that facilitated innovative science and technology teaching and learning as envisaged by the Chinese Ministry of Education’s (2010-2020) education reforms. Key principles derived from literature about professional learning and scaffolding of learning informed the design of the PLP. The analysis of data revealed that the participants had made substantial progress towards the development of adaptive expertise. This was manifested not only by advances in the participants’ repertoires of Subject Matter Knowledge and Pedagogical Content Knowledge but also in changes to their levels of confidence and identities as teachers. It was found that through time the participants had coalesced into a professional learning community that readily engaged in the sharing, peer review, reuse and adaption, and collaborative design of innovative science and technology learning and assessment activities.
Teachers engaged in workshops, which provided the opportunities for them to actively couch sound principles of learning. They gained first-hand experience in applying an aligned system of assessments, standards and quality learning experiences geared to the needs of each student.
Teachers worked collaboratively in teams to create inquiry, design, and collaborative learning activities that aligned with their curriculum and dealt with real world problems, issues and challenges. They continually discussed and reflected deeply on the creative activities and shared the newly developed resources online with teachers across the entire country, an activity they were not accustomed to in the past. It is evident from the analysis of data that teachers are beginning to apply rich pedagogical practices and are becoming ‘adaptive’ in their approach when using LEGO® robotic tools to design, redesign, create and re-create learning activities to enhance their students’ learning.
Theoretical Framework The design of the PLP adopted the key principles as proposed by Desimone (2009). She contends that these principles are characteristics of professional development which play a critical part in increasing teacher knowledge and skills, in improving their practice, and, which hold promise for increasing student achievement. The principles included the following.
Content focus: the most influential feature – the PLP focused on the General Technology and Science syllabus.
Active learning: throughout the PLP, teachers had ample opportunity to engage – face to face and online.
Coherence: this project was sponsored by the Ministry of Education with industry support and policy messages to teachers were consistent throughout.
Duration: the PLP was conducted intensively over five days, followed by implementation in schools and follow-up workshops after twelve months.
Collective participation: in the PLP teachers were grouped according to provinces and engaged in multiple forms of interaction and discourse.
In addition, four pedagogical approaches (Goldman, Eguchi, & Sklar, 2004) were adopted. Firstly, the program was underpinned by the theory of constructivism. Learners build new knowledge upon previous ones. Through this experience each learner constructs individual meanings. Secondly, the notion of Papert’s (1980) constructionism -- was incorporated. The learner in a constructionist environment builds things. Thirdly, learning by design facilitated collaboration and reflection in teams. Fourthly, cooperative inquiry, which involves – contextual inquiry, participatory design and technology immersion – allowed for teacher exposure to LEGO® robotics for the first experience.
The PLP placed heavy emphasis on pedagogy because the aim was to have teachers return to their classrooms with clear teaching strategies, methods, and means to assess their students’ learning processes.
These four pedagogical approaches coupled with the critical principles of professional development guided the design and development of the PLP. The three phases below demonstrate the PLP cycle.
A Description of the Professional Learning Program Cycle Phase 1 – Initial Training: The teachers participated in lecture/presentations, hands-on workshops focusing on inquiry and project-based learning using LEGO® robotics, reflection sessions, and online discourse. During the course of this initial training, the participants explored how design and problem solving activities based around LEGO® Education Toolsets can be utilised to facilitate innovative student-centred teaching and learning. These activities were utilised for three reasons.
First, these activities can provide a nexus between theory and practice (Chandra & Chalmers, 2008).
Second, well-designed LEGO® robotic activities can provide contexts where existing theoretical frameworks for problem solving in science, technology, engineering and mathematics can be applied with ease and efficiency (Rogers & Portsmore, 2004). Third, LEGO® Education Toolsets had recently been supplied to the participants’ schools by the LEGO® Foundation, Semia Ltd., and the Ministry of Education.
The teachers were expected to construct their own knowledge (using LEGO® robotics across subject areas) as they investigated, designed, produced, evaluated and reflected on their design challenges. They engaged continuously in curriculum related discussions both in class and online.
By the third day teachers were required to design their own lessons within their teams. These lessons were then presented to the group and tried out in class. At the end of the PLP, each teacher was required to design at least three more lessons, which they would try out once they returned to their own schools. These lesson plans together with teacher self-reflections and notes for improvement were uploaded online for sharing.
Phase 2 – Implementation: During the following school year, the teachers implemented their new knowledge, skills, and habits of mind about student-centred teaching and learning in their classrooms, using the strategies derived in Phase 1. Throughout this time all teachers engaged in online discussions moderated by the project team. For the majority of the teachers, their schools were set up with a supply of LEGO® robotic kitsfrom LEGO Foundation and laboratories provided by the Ministry of Education, PRC as part of their curriculum renewal process.
Phase 3 – Sharing/Reflection: This entailed a two-day follow-up workshop twelve months after the completion of Phase 1. Teachers reflected and shared their experiences, ideas, lesson plans and resources face-to-face and online. An electronic repository was set up to provide access to all lessons developed by the teachers.
Discussion of Findings The analysis of data revealed that the participants had advanced their repertoires of knowledge about the design of science and technology instruction in two dimensions: design of learning activities and design of assessment activities. The analysis of data also indicated that the program had succeeded in changing teachers’ awareness of what was worth assessing and how/when it could be assessed.
As we progressed through the analysis of data, we identified two other dimensions in the participants’ progression towards adaptive expertise: changes in levels of confidence and identities as teachers. Initially, most participants lacked confidence about their ability to implement learning activities based around design challenges in their classrooms. However, after their participation in the PLP activities the participants felt more confident in their abilities to implement the design challenges.
Most participants had progressed beyond being (just) curriculum implementers to purposeful learning designers. Thus, rather than perceiving that they were in an awkward position of having to make a difficult choice between either coverage of content or implementation of the socioconstructivist goals of the new curriculum, most participants realised that through innovative and creative learning unit design and teaching strategies, both the content and the socio-constructivist goals of the new science curriculum could be addressed. Concurrent with their emerging identities as purposeful learning designers were changes to their notions about their roles as teachers. Rather than being transmitters of knowledge, they now perceived themselves as co-constructors, mediators, and inductors of their students into a scientific community of practice.
The findings from the study indicate that those engaged in the development of PLPs for teachers in China need to take cognizance of certain cultural factors and traditions idiosyncratic to the Chinese educational system. These findings are useful in informing the design and implementation of future PLPs for teachers in China as well as advising policy makers. Although this study occurred in China, many of the issues with respect to professional learning of teachers identified during the course of the study are not unique to China. May other countries are experiencing similar problems as they struggle to implement reforms.
References 1. Chandra, V., & Chalmers, C. (2008). Design and technology for pre-service primary teachers. In D. Fisher, P.
Koul, & S. Wanpen (Eds.), Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Science, Mathematics and Technology Education (pp. 81-89). Perth, Australia: Key Centre for School Science and Mathematics, Curtin University of Technology.
2. Desimone, L. (2009). Improving impact studies of teachers’ professional development: Toward better conceptualization and measures. Educational Researcher, 38(3), 181-199.
3. Goldman, R., Eguchi, A., & Sklar, E. (2004). Using educational robotics to engage inner-city students with technology. In Y. Kafai, W. Sandoval, N. Enyedy, A. Nixon, & F. Herrera (Eds.), Proceedings of the Sixth ICLS 2004 Conference (pp.214-221), Santa Monica, CA: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
4. Papert, S. (1980). Constructionism vs Instructionism. Retrieved from http://www.papert.org/articles/const_inst/const_inst1.html 5. Rogers, C. & Portsmore, M. (2004) Bringing engineering to elementary school. Journal of STEM Education, 5(3&4), 17-28.
6. Thomas, D. & Brown, J.S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, KY: Teachers College Record.
The Establishment of Smart School, A Revolutionary Strategy in TeachingLearning Process in Ministry of Education of I.R.I.B (Mo ha mm ad Reza Ho ssein i and Po up ak Gola bian) Mohammad Reza Hosseini1 and Poupak GolabianMinistry of Education, 2Tehran University, Iran email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org The fundamental transformation program in the education system of 5th national development plan for Iran, (2011-2015), has emphasized on “using ICT In all processes due to educational justice and to facilitate the process and provide educational programs, courses and lessons in electronic form”.
Actually smart/intelligent schools strategic plan (SSSP) is in line with document of fundamental transformation in the education system. The Target of continuous implementation is to cover the entire country schools and complexes of education in 32 provincial education department and educational region in the 5-year period during the fifth development master plan of Iran.
In this paper, we have developed a strategy map by getting idea from Kaplan - Norton and Parmenter to design a model for implementation and of course evaluation of smart school strategy.
To plan this model we have added two aspects of society and employee satisfaction to previous model and then we extract all dimensions that we could.
Smart school strategy of Iran is developed to take advantage of the new technologies in the formal public education system based on Islamic criteria.
Since the implementation of smart school has caused to the growth and promotion of ICT development indices in Iran, It can be possible to assess its implementation due to successful achievement of many goals and dimensions in the first year. But to assess the success rate in terms of quality we require a closer look at all of the local and international indicators, evaluating models and implementation of quality management.
Due to the growth of ICT indices we can say that The SSSP has been successful by mobilizing resources and creating a national commitment to education in the parliament and other government agencies. However, by considering that in the first year of this program, the development of infrastructure, content and empowering employees was parallel by attracting resources and capabilities over the year, success rate of customers (students, staff, parents and the society) can’t be carefully reviewed and also it’s not possible to evaluate all schools in the first phase, and not to definitively conclude entire program. As well implementation challenges in the coming years will be presented. This study will help to the implementation of SSSP by identifying some aspects of the evaluation indices.
Building a Worldwide Community of Students-Scientist.