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Teacher Professional Development in Hong Kong Compared to Anglosphere: the Role of Confucian Philosophy



Teacher Professional Development" (aka teacher PD) has garnered research attention in recent years. Scholars seek to understand the teacher PD process, while practitioners are interested in deriving policies to facilitate teacher PD. The consensus emerging from the pool of literature is that teacher PD should be "individualized": more focused on fostering teachers' personal growth instead of enforcing 'standard practices'. The Anglosphere has been leading in the domain of teacher PD, causing many regions to imitate its practices. Using documentary analysis, this paper reviews teacher PD policies in Hong Kong over the past forty years and compares them with practices typically adopted in the Anglosphere. The paper suggests that the PD policies of Hong Kong progressed from 'solely teacher training', to 'emphasis on generic skills', to 'lifelong learning'. The concept of 'Confucian Heritage Culture' is used to explain the differences between the Angloshpere and Hong Kong in terms of PD practices. Implications for adapting teacher PD practices cross-culturally are discussed.
© Psychology, Society, & Education, 2015. Vol. 7(3), pp. 295-310
ISSN 2171-2085 (print) / ISSN 1989-709X (online)
Teacher Professional Development in Hong Kong Compared
to Anglosphere: the Role of Confucian Philosophy
LAM Bick Har
The Hong Kong Institute of Education (Hong Kong)
(Received on January 20, 2015; Accepted on April 4, 2015)
ABSTRACT: Teacher Professional Development” (aka teacher PD) has garnered research
attention in recent years. Scholars seek to understand the teacher PD process, while
practitioners are interested in deriving policies to facilitate teacher PD. The consensus
emerging from the pool of literature is that teacher PD should be “individualized”: more
focused on fostering teachers’ personal growth instead of enforcing “standard practices”.
The Anglosphere has been leading in the domain of teacher PD, causing many regions to
imitate its practices. Using documentary analysis, this paper reviews teacher PD policies in
Hong Kong over the past forty years and compares them with practices typically adopted in
the Anglosphere. The paper suggests that the PD policies of Hong Kong progressed from
‘solely teacher training’, to ‘emphasis on generic skills’, to ‘lifelong learning’. The concept
of ‘Confucian Heritage Culture’ is used to explain the differences between the Angloshpere
and Hong Kong in terms of PD practices. Implications for adapting teacher PD practices
cross-culturally are discussed.
Keywords: culture, education policies, Hong Kong, teacher professional development
Correspondence: LAM Bick Har. Associate Professor. Room 32, Department of
Curriculum and Instruction, Hong Kong Institute of Education, 10 Lo Ping Road, Tai Po,
New Territories (Hong Kong). Email:
How to cite this article?
Lam, B. H. (2015). Teacher professional development in Hong Kong compared to
anglosphere: the role of Confucian philosophy. Psychology, Society and Education, 7(3),
Teacher PD in HK Compared to Anglosphere
Professional Developmenthas been a widely researched phenomenon in social
science (e.g., Guskey, 2002; Speck & Knipe, 2005). The term was at first coined by
scholars from organizational behaviors to refer to an individual’s acquisition of skills
and knowledge he/she needs to advance in his/her career (Speck & Knipe, 2005), and
is applied to study employees of various occupations, including nurse managers
(Neary, 2000), scientists (Hunter, Laursen & Seymour, 2007) and teachers (Guskey,
2002). Studies of teacher professional development in particular have drawn
scholarly attention from educators in education, a domain has formed on Teacher
Professional Development(aka Teacher Developmentor Teacher PD”). Teacher
PD is now defined as processes through which a teacher acquires the skills and
knowledge he/she needs to advance in his/her career (Guskey, 2002), and has a set of
theories of its own. We know that teacher PD is linked to various teacher job
outcomes: studies found that advancement in one’s career is positively related to job
commitment (Day & Gu, 2007), and well-developed teachers tend to have students
who achieve higher academically (Caprara, Barbaranelli, Steca & Malone, 2006).
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong education system suffers from two problems:
local school teachers responded that they bear high amounts of stress, which harms
their job commitment (Choi & Tang, 2009); moreover, although Hong Kong has had
above-average scores in international tests, the falling standards of its students
proficiency in languages and other disciplines has been a regular complaint of local
educators (Chan, 2002). As a result, teacher PD research has attracted attention
among educators in Hong Kong (Chan, 1998; Lam, 2014). This article will serve to
(1) review the trends of teacher PD in the Anglosphere(the English-speaking world,
including the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United
Kingdom); (2) compare them with the practices of Hong Kong; and (3) draw insights
from which other regions could learn. By comparing teacher PD in Hong Kong to
what is being done in the Anglosphere, we will highlight key features of teacher PD
in Hong Kong. We will also point out issues specific to the culture of CHCs. Via this,
we will identify problems in adapting Anglospheres practices to other cultures, and
discuss possible solutions.
The New Trend of Teacher PD in the Anglosphere
A large number of studies have been conducted on teacher PD, each focusing on
certain aspects (Avalos, 2011). All of them, however, had undergone a paradigm shift,
in that teacher PD is increasingly seen as a long-term process which involves growth
and development, rather than only pre- or in-service training programmes (Walling &
Lewis, 2000). Within this model, teachers are seen as active learners and reflective
practitioners who are motivated to collaborate to learn (Darling-Hammond &
Richardson, 2009), and teachers’ learning is contextualized, instead of revolving
around a set of standardmeasures’ to be applied to every single case (McLaughlin &
Zarrow, 2001)an approach to teacher PD that is more catering to the individual, to
be precise.
This trend has led to changes in teacher PD research and practices. In the past,
Teacher PD in HK Compared to Anglosphere
research and practices often emphasized Teacher PD as acquiring knowledge
(Shulman, 1986; 1987). Thiessen (2000), for instance, stated that “At the heart of this
orientation is the image of teaching as knowledge work. Such work […] involves the
interrelated use of practical knowledge (routines, procedures, processes) and
propositional knowledge (discipline-based theories and concepts, pedagogical
principles, situation-specic propositions)” (p. 528). As a result, early practices of
teacher PD (before the 1980s) were heavy with training workshops and programmes
(Ben-Peretz, 2011). There were also discussions of extending the length and depth of
initial teacher education training in the English-speaking world (e.g., Cobb, 1999).
Later teacher PD (from the 1990s onwards), in contrast, became more
inclined to emphasize how teachers can continually enhance their teaching based on
their experience. Common practices include action research (Ross & Bruce, 2007),
where teachers are prompted to do small-scale studies that evaluate the effectiveness
of their own teaching practices, rather than applying the standardized practices they
learn during teacher training courses. This new model also has a ‘collaborative
element, in that it brought about the practice of mentorship (Hagger, McIntyre, &
Wilkin, 2013), a process of relationship-based communication in which a mentor
transmits knowledge and gives psychological support to a mentee’. Research that
evaluates the outcomes of teacher PD suggests that the new practices, including
self-reflection (McKernan & McKernan, 2013), action research (Stringer, 2007), and
mentorship (Hagger et al., 2013) have been successful in fostering higher levels of
job commitment and performance among teachers. As examples, Bustingorry (2008)
examined a group of Chilean teachers who received action research training and
found that the training enhanced the grades of students taught by those teachers.
Hagger and colleagues(2013) review on mentorship practices also indicated that the
practice is generally helpful in enhancing teachers’ performance. Overall, this body
of new practices for teacher PD has been successful. As a result, many regions
(including Hong Kong) are now adapting them to fit their needs with regard to
teacher PD.
Teacher PD in Hong Kong
Policy documents published by the Hong Kong government in the past 40 years were
the primary focus of the current article. Relevant texts were identified via the official
websites of (1) the Education Bureau; (2) the Education Commission; and (3) the
Committee on Professional Development of Principals and Teacher (aka COTAP,
formerly the Advisory Committee on teacher Education and Qualifications, ACTEQ).
We also consider the survey results that the Hong Kong Government obtained in
2006 and 2009, when evaluating the effectiveness of PD in Hong Kong. Even though
the results of the two surveys could not be systematically compared with each other
because the formats of the surveys were different, these results offer insights about
the context of teacher PD in Hong Kong. All these documents and the statements of
purposes of these three government bodies were included within the scope of the
current review.
Teacher PD in HK Compared to Anglosphere
The trajectory of teacher PD in Hong Kong
Our review of Hong Kong’s teacher PD in the last four decades revealed that
Hong Kong has followed a similar trajectory as the Anglosphere. In the early years
(the 1980s and before), the Hong Kong government treated teacher PD as teacher
training. The training courses of local institutions were the sole teacher PD practices.
Teachers were viewed as workers to be trained, as explicitly stated in a White Paper
produced by the Hong Kong Government in 1978: account must also be taken of
other objectives, in particular ensuring a regular supply of trained teachers to meet
teaching vacancies as they arise and providing basic training for untrained serving
teachers” (p. 13). In the mid-1980s, the Hong Kong Education System (including the
parts on teacher PD) was criticized by the Visiting Panel (1982), who conducted a
series of observations in Hong Kong schools. One major point raised by the panel
was that Hong Kong education was almost fully teacher-centered, and placed
excessive emphasis on quantity (training more teachers and producing more
students) over quality(providing high-quality education).
In response, the Hong Kong Government began to implement new policies to
promote quality education in the 1990s. Educational interventions that focused not on
studentsgrades, but on their non-academic development, became a part of the
official policy for the first time (Educational and Manpower Branch, 1993). To cater
to this, teacher PD also became geared towards equipping teachers with generic skills
(Education Commission, 2000). Teachers were required to develop skills in
counseling, information technology and languages, finished with examinations in
which they were assessed on these competencies. Resources centers were set up to
provide teachers with exemplary teaching materials. These paved a way for the shift
to a more advanced teacher PD approach; as Education Commission (2000) stated,
the new measures in the 2000s would serve to promote the professional
development of teachers and enhance their professionalism, sense of commitment
and enthusiasm (p. 151). Thus, into the 2000s, the new paradigm of teacher PD
gained momentum.
Hong Kong teacher PD beyond year 2000
The Education Bureau of Hong Kong has put forth the teacher Induction
Scheme from 2005 onward (Education Bureau, 2014a). It is targeted at first-year
post-qualification teachers, who are expected to be provided with encouragement
and support so that they enjoy positive learning experiences and a pleasant start to
their careers”, by their schools and seniors, via activities withan element of
self-reflection”, instruments that serve to document each beginning teacher’s path of
development”, evaluations that inform the future development of schoolsinduction
systems”, and the mentorship programmes (p. 2, Education Bureau, 2014a). This
scheme did not officially dictate a set of procedures, but instead advised the use of
techniques proposed by the ACTEQ (2009a). The ACTEQ’s guidelines included
specific actions which schools could engage in to induct their beginning teachers and
have been empirically demonstrated to be helpful.
Another key theme of teacher PD practices in Hong Kong is the establishment
Teacher PD in HK Compared to Anglosphere
of social networks among teachers. Collaborative Lesson Planning (Education
Bureau, 2012), for example, prompts teachers to engage in scheduled meetings where
they collaboratively plan their lessons and do sharing and reflections on teaching,
with the goal of fostering exchanges of ideas among teachers, hence achieving
teacher PD. The Education Bureau has also added sharing sessions both within and
outside schools (2010) – each year, teachers from multiple schools will present
sharing sessions on specific themes to inform fellow teachers about their own
practices. To strengthen the networks even further, the Education Bureau also
provided exchange programmes, in which Hong Kong school teachers were sent to
teach in schools in Mainland China and Taiwan to learn about the education systems
and techniques of these regions (e.g., Education Bureau, 2014b).
The practices related to the above two themes have been received favorably.
According to ACTEQs 2006 survey, about 80% of the teachers in Hong Kong
responded that the above practices had been implemented in their schools, and more
than 80% of them replied that they considered these practices to be helpful. More
than 90% of the respondents replied that they believed the practices to have helped
them (1) enhance their own teaching competence; (2) improve the effectiveness of
learning and teaching; (3) enhance their understanding of subject matter knowledge;
and (4) enhance their capacity for dealing with studentsdiverse learning needs.
Therefore, these practices are an overall success.
Training aligned with these two themes were also provided to Hong Kong
teachers. For instance, workshops that train teachers in mentorship are included in the
teacher Induction Scheme (Education Bureau, 2014a). Specialized courses about
leadership have also been provided to teachers since early 2000s (Hong Kong
Institute of Education, 2014). The tradition of working to enhance teachers’
qualifications is ongoing. For example, from the 2000 onward, teachers are required
to obtain recognized certificates before they can be appointed in schools (Education
Bureau, 2014c). Back in the 1990s, many teachers were unqualified but were allowed
to teach due to shortage. By contrast, now over 95% of primary and secondary school
teachers of Hong Kong fulfill the qualification requirement (Education Bureau,
Contrasting Hong Kong Practices with the Anglosphere
The main teacher PD practices put forward by the Education Bureau are summarized
in Annex 1. Overall, the teacher PD practices in Hong Kong resemble but also differ
from those in the Anglosphere in many ways. Much as in the Anglosphere, teacher
PD in Hong Kong began as merely training, but once the criticism against the
approach arose, the government responded by implementing teacher PD practices
that emphasized long-term growth and development for teachers. To accomplish this
goal, Hong Kong worked to create cooperative ties between schools and universities
(Wise, 2000), who served as the providers of professional development programmes
and workshops. Training content is similar to the Anglosphere. Hong Kong also
extensively used collaborative learning along with mentorship, two approaches
commonly adopted by the Anglosphere (Sandholtz, 2000).
Teacher PD in HK Compared to Anglosphere
Overall, teacher PD practices of Hong Kong resemble those in the dominant
literature, with one critical difference: the lack of self-direction in Hong Kong.
Although the majority of the common practices in the literature (as shown above) had
been adapted into Hong Kong to some degree, practices with the element of
self-directionin development are noticeably missing. Glatthorn (1987), for example,
described the idea of collegial development’, where teachers are to discuss
professional issues with personal interests (i.e., how they themselves, as individuals,
should develop) with each other, to form individual professional development plans.
Clarke (1995) later proposed the model about reflective practitioners, in which
teachers are expected to be curious about the practice setting. Emerging from these, a
recurrent theme of later teacher PD methods is that teachers are to be given
autonomyin their development. In this regard, however, Hong Kong is quite
lacking. Jin, Yeung, Tang and Low (2008) investigated the sources of stresses for
Hong Kong high school teachers. The most common cited sources were high
expectations of schools and parents. Interview studies also suggested that the dense
reform syllabi led schools to competein training their teachers, exerting notable
amount of stress (e.g., Chan, 1998; Tang, Au, Schwarzer & Schmitz, 2001). In line
with this, a recent study by Hargreaves and colleagues (2013) found that though
Hong Kong teachers generally view collaborative learning positively, they reported
lower levels of perceived autonomy (i.e., less inclination to think of their
participation as voluntary) than the teachers from London. The results suggest a
general trend of stakeholders pressuring teachers to engage in certain forms of
teacher PD. As a result, the context in Hong Kong is that many (if not most) teachers
do not have much autonomy over their PD, which can degenerate into a competition
among schools in training teachers.
While teachers of Hong Kong are still mostly engaged in and committed to
their careers in general (Choi & Tang, 2009), there is an underlying worry of the
long-term impacts of the teacher PD effort implemented by the Education Bureau.
This is especially true considering that the negative effects of job stress on job
commitment are often felt only over time (Lam, 2011, 2012), and the new teacher PD
practices have been a relatively recent development in Hong Kong (Kennedy, 2005).
Though the new measures implemented by the Hong Kong government seemed to
have been reasonably well received, it does have its own underlying problems and
How Culture Shapes Hong Kong’s Teacher PD
Hong Kong is a Confucian Heritage Culture (CHC), whose values are shaped by the
philosophy of Confucius (Penfold & van der Veen, 2014). Based on our summary,
the current trend of teacher PD practices in Hong Kong aligns with a pattern we
expect from a CHC that tries to adopt western practices. As the Education
Commission (2000) explicitly proposed: our education system is infused with the
essence of eastern and western cultures, preserving the basic elements of traditional
Chinese education while absorbing the most advanced concepts, theories and
experiences from modern western education (p. 2); Hong Kong’s long term
Teacher PD in HK Compared to Anglosphere
objective is not only to become one of the outstanding cities in China, but also a
democratic and civilized international city embracing the cultural essence of the East
and the West. (p. 28). This indicates the conscious effort to cater the teacher PD
practices to Eastern culture and values. In CHCs, education systems are shaped by
Confucian philosophy, whose influences on the behavior of teachers and students are
widely known and studied (e.g., Nguyen, Terlouw & Pilot, 2006). By analyzing how
CHC has affected practices of teacher PD in Hong Kong, the current paper highlights
that Hong Kong has placed emphasis on training workshops and courses and
teachers’ social networking in teacher PD. However, it may also have led to the more
problematic aspects of Hong Kongs practices.
First, CHC would have explained why Hong Kong easily accepted the needs
for training workshops and courses in teacher PD. At the core of such culture is
Confucianism. The work of Confucian philosophers, The Three Character Classic,
explicitly spells out its message: It rewards one to work, but there is no reward to
play. Traditionally, an ideal Confucian man is well-educated in philosophy and the
humanities, much unlike an ideal western man, who is more akin to a knight; the
ideal western man displays chivalry, courage, physical strength and wits (Li, 2003).
Shaped by such an ideal, CHCs such as Hong Kong, China, Korea and Japan are
well-known for having a strong obsession with academic pursuits, though frequently
through rote-learning (Biggs, 1990, 1998). Therefore, it is not surprising that Hong
Kong could easily comprehend the need to put forth teacher training workshops and
courses in the promotion of teacher PD, as shown in the review. Indeed, in the
statistics of the ACTEQ (2009b), teachers’ responses suggested that they favored
such learning. More than 90% of the teachers said that they found structured
learning activities (such as workshops and courses) helpful for their PD, making
these activities the most popular class among teacher PD activities provided by the
Hong Kong government.
Another characteristic of CHCs is a general emphasis on social networks.
Confucianism places importance on the ‘Five Basic Relationships of Society a
ruler and his subjects, fathers and sons, elder and younger brothers, husbands and
wives, and friends. Confucius and his followers went through great lengths to work to
promote the proper behaviors expected from these relationships. For example, the
Book of Filial Piety’, a very lengthy set of codes which Confucius derived to suggest
how children should relate to their parents, proposes that while parents are obligated
to protect and provide moral guidance for their young children, it is up to adult
children to support their parents once the latter grow elderly. Similar works have
been produced on the other four basic relationships. Hence, it is often said that the
very foundation of each CHC lies in the relationships between individuals (e.g., Ip,
1996). Buddhism, another dominant philosophy among CHCs, also emphasizes the
importance of relationships, albeit in a more metaphysical way. Buddhism taught that
via pious practices (e.g., studies of scriptures and meditation), human beings can
bring themselves closer to Enlightenment, which is necessary to reach Nirvana, a
state of ultimate liberation from suffering and hence the noblest status a being can
reach, according to Buddhist beliefs. A crucial stage before Enlightenment, however,
Teacher PD in HK Compared to Anglosphere
is to become a Bodhisattva, a status where the being strives to help other beings on
their way to reach Enlightenment. Even the Buddha himself, in Buddhist tradition,
reckoned that he used to be a Bodhisattva before he attained True Enlightenment, and
the worship of Bodhisattvas is a common practice of Buddhists who belongs to CHCs
(Kariyawasam, 2002). Hence, there is little surprise that people of CHCs are reported
to be more concerned about relationships than those from outside CHCs. People from
CHCs are far more inclined to attend to relationships (Gold, Guthrie & Wank, 2002),
and to see themselves as members of groups instead of as individuals (Triandis,
2001). Hence, it is conceivable why Hong Kong, being a CHC, has used so many
teacher PD practices related to social networking. The teacher Induction Scheme,
Collaborative Lesson Planning, and mentorship programmes all have social network
elements. Local teachers have also responded favorably to these practices, with over
70% stating that mentorship is helpful for their development (Lopez-Real & Kwan,
2005). The survey of the ACTEQ (2006) suggested that 88% of the teachers in Hong
Kong had engaged in peer lesson observations and 84% had participated in collegial
collaboration like joint lesson preparation, reflecting high willingness to engage in
practices oriented towards fostering relationships among teachers.
These elements of CHCs, however, have likely also contributed to the more
problematic aspects of the teacher PD practices in Hong Kong. As one would expect
from cultures that emphasize relationships, CHCs also tend to downplay or outright
suppress the expressions of individuality (Triandis, 2001). As stated by Lam (2011):
The new demand for Hong Kong teachers to be involved in a process of
enquiry in a constructivist and learner-centered approach has presented
them with a major challenge as it is in conflict with the traditional role
perception of teachers and students in Chinese classrooms, where teachers
are authorities and students receive book knowledge passively. (p. 269)
This can explain why Hong Kong has ignored providing teachers with
autonomy. While the latest trend of teacher PD practices encourages teachers to
design their own professional development plans, teacher PD practices in Hong Kong
have little (if any) of such elements. On the contrary, the measures the Education
Bureau has implemented are mostly concerned withraising the standards (e.g.,
requiring teachers to have certain qualifications or reach certain arbitrary
performance criteria). Expectations from other stakeholders have also been reported
to be the greatest source of stress for teachers in Hong Kong (Jin et al., 2008),
supporting this idea. This is also likely a critical reason in Hong Kongs late adoption
of the new approach to teacher PD, as compared to many parts of the globe. Despite
not being especially backward, Hong Kong has not favored such practices as
mentorship and collaborative learning until well into the early 2000s. By then, such
practices were already normative in the Anglosphere (e.g., Villegas-Reimers, 2003).
CHC’s obsessions with raising the standards may have made it more difficult to
accept the notion about studentsneeds for non-academic development (and also,
teachers’ needs in this aspect). Hence, we suggest that many of the properties of
teacher PD in Hong Kong can be partly attributed to its status as a CHC.
Teacher PD in HK Compared to Anglosphere
Lessons Learned from Hong Kong’s Teacher PD Practices
As a whole, Hong Kong has tried to adapt Anglosphere teacher PD practices to
adhere to their new trends. However, it does not simply adopt every practice, but has
instead been selective in choosing which measures to adopt. Namely, Hong Kong has
deployed in-service trainings, teacher induction and school networking extensively,
and local teachers responded to them favorably, especially teacher induction and
school networking (Lopez-Real & Kwan, 2005; Kwan & Lopez-Real, 2005). In
self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2000), relatedness could motivate humans
to do a task out of the pleasure associated with it. When a warm, supportive figure is
present during a certain task, humans experience a sense of security because the
figure’s presence signals availability of support (Deci & Ryan, 2008). In turn, they
would become more willing to take risk and learn through trial-and-error. This has
been an empirically supported explanation for the motivation-enhancing effect of the
presence of supportive others (Niemiec & Ryan, 2009). Although this effect has been
mostly demonstrated in the Anglosphere, it may be particularly crucial for members
of CHCs.
This is because members of CHCs have been shown to be more in need of
support and reassurance of others and conform to group opinions (Triandis, 2001),
and hence may be more vulnerable to the negative effect of the absence of supportive
others. Considering this, practices such as teacher induction and mentorship would be
especially suitable for Hong Kong, and based on our reasoning, for CHCs in general.
This suggests that when other CHCs (China, Taiwan, and Singapore) adapt teacher
PD practices from the Anglosphere, they should consider focusing on practices based
on social networking and inter-teacher relationships. On a broader scale, we suggest
that different parts of the world should not blindly use practices demonstrated to be
helpful in other countries, but should consider what motivates the people of their
cultures. For instance, teachers in the USA and Australia may be more open to
self-directed development compared to their counterparts in CHCs, because members
of these cultures are far more inclined to need autonomy and self-assertions than to
follow norms in making decisions (Rhee, Uleman, Lee, & Roman, 1995).
Moreover, one phenomenon we have observed from Hong Kong is that the
teacher PD practices have exerted stress on teachers primarily through the high
expectations from various stakeholders and the anxiety that comes with it (Jin et al.,
2008). This is explained via CHCstendency to emphasizefaces”, and therefore fear
looking incompetent (Thoma, McNaught, Wong, & Li, 2011). In contrast, in the USA
and Australia, teachers are more likely to report salary and promotion opportunities
as their sources of stress (e.g., Zhai, Raver & Li-Grining, 2011). This implies that
when dealing with the problem of teacher stress, CHCs should consider approaches
different from the ones used by the Anglosphere. A possible solution would be
self-esteem training for teachers. One of the ways in which members of collectivistic
cultures like CHCs diverge from their more individualistic counterparts (e.g., the
Anglosphere) is that they, in general, tend to have lower self-esteem (Twenge &
Crocker, 2002). Self-esteem is essential for assuring an individual of his/her
competence and thus, buffer against anxiety, the state in which a person experience
Teacher PD in HK Compared to Anglosphere
negative emotions because of uncertainty about whether he/she could obtain what
he/she wants. Also, a person with a high self-esteem also tends to be confident of
his/her competence, thus more resilient against negative judgments (Kumpfer, 2002).
Hence, self-esteem training can be of conceivably help to teachers in Hong Kong,
and once again, probably teachers of CHCs in general. This point is important to
remember as the Anglosphere is already taking actions to tackle the problem of high
job stress reported among teachers (e.g., Collie, Shapka & Perry, 2012). In this regard,
we advise that it is not likely to be appropriate for CHCs to directly adapt the
practices from the Anglosphere. Instead, they should derive their own practices in
this regard, by catering to the needs of their own cultures.
Concluding Remarks
Currently, the Anglosphere is experiencing a trend in which teacher PD practices are
to become more individualized and less focused on standard practices. In response
to this, the Hong Kong education system had adapted some of the new practices that
were spawned from this trend. Specifically, they have adopted teacher induction, the
establishment of social networks among teachers, and training local teachers in the
required skills. The Hong Kong authorities, however, do not blindly adapt the
practices from Anglosphere, but instead are explicit in their attempts to cater their
measures to Eastern values and cultures. With this in mind, we identify how such
values and cultures have influenced the teacher PD practices of Hong Kong and
explained the teachers’ responses to it. We identified a lack of self-direction as
characteristic of teacher PD in Hong Kong, and discussed what education systems
from other parts of the globe could learn from our analysis.
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... In recent decades, Hong Kong has significantly enhanced the quality and social status of its teaching force. Some of the strategies adopted by the EDB have included strengthening teacher education programs, setting higher admission requirements, and creating a strong teacher PD infrastructure (Cheng, 2017;Gopinathan & Lee, 2018;Lam, 2015;Lu & Campbell, 2021). For instance, the EDB has recently implemented the all-graduate teaching force policy within Government schools: the ratio of teaching posts filled by candidates with a graduate degree in primary and secondary schools will be increased from the current 65% and 85%, respectively, up to 100% (Education Bureau, 2019a). ...
... Finally, another factor that hinders the impact of PD relates to societal values and parental expectations (Lam, 2015). Despite recent educational reforms (Curriculum Development Council, 2001;Education Bureau, 2009), the Hong Kong education system is still highly selective and competitive. ...
... Based on these considerations, we conclude that Hong Kong's teacher training infrastructure presents the characteristics of high-quality PD systems, as described in the international literature: content focus, sustained duration, collective participation, active learning opportunities, and coherence (Bautista & Ortega-Ruíz, 2015;Darling-Hammond, Hyler, et al., 2017;Desimone, 2009;Desimone & Garet, 2015;OECD, 2019). However, due to the characteristics of Asian hierarchical top-down societies (Lam, 2015), the quantity of provision has been prioritized over teacher autonomy througout their PD journeys (Lu & Campbell, 2021;Pang et al., 2016). Furthermore, teachers and school leaders often perceive that PD initiatives (especially the structured/formal ones) prioritize compliance over agency, content coverage over goal-directed activities, and knowledge transmission over conversations (Lam, 2015). ...
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This article describes the current teacher professional development (PD) infrastructure of Hong Kong, one of the world’s top performers in education. Drawing on contemporary policy frameworks, institutional websites, and research literature, we outline how teachers from primary and secondary local schools are supported to enhance their professional capacity. After introducing the structure of the Hong Kong education system, we describe pre-service teacher education and the Professional Ladder framework, designed by the Education Bureau (EDB) to regulate in-service PD. We then describe the work done by the leading PD providers and the PD-related obstacles, difficulties, and constraints reported in the literature. The article shows that Hong Kong has developed a solid PD infrastructure with hybrid characteristics. While the system is based on compliance and external accountability mechanisms, teachers are encouraged to design their PD journeys based on their interests, needs, and career aspirations. Every three years, teachers are required to complete 90 to 150 hours of PD (depending on seniority), including core and elective training (approximately 1/3 and 2/3 of the PD allotment, respectively). Structured, on-the-job, project-based, whole-school, and individual PD activities are available. The article also describes the strategies recently adopted to tackle the challenges of COVID-19. We conclude that Hong Kong has made great efforts to design a high-quality PD infrastructure within a hierarchical educational system, in which quantity of provision and content coverage have been prioritized over teacher agency and autonomy. More research is required to investigate the actual impact of PD on teachers’ practices and students’ learning.
... Teacher professional development is an integral part of teacher education because only continued learning and training assures high level of expertise and ensures teachers keep up-to-date with new research on how to teach special needs children, emerging technologies for the classroom and new curriculum resources (Mullis, Martin, Goh & Cotter, 2016). Several educational comparative studies may have been done between different nations and Singapore, but a few, if any, of these studies have been on comparisons regarding teacher professional development (TPD) (Lam, 2015). This chapter reports on a comparative study of TPD systems in Singapore, South Africa and Zimbabwe. ...
Teacher professional learning is an integral component to support the increasingly complex skills learners need in order to succeed in the 21st century. The purpose of this chapter is to compare teacher professional development in Singapore, South Africa, and Zimbabwe and identify gaps and share good practices between the countries to help teachers learn and refine instructional strategies. Continuous professional teacher development, which is managed by the South African Council of Educators, is a system that encourages educators to grow professionally. Zimbabwe has mainly relied on cascaded professional development workshops. However, critics of this model of professional development argue that this model often has no meaningful impact on classroom practice. In Singapore, most professional development is subject specific and provides teachers with opportunities for networked learning, collegial sharing, and collaboration. From the findings, the recommendation is that there is need for cooperation between countries to strengthen teacher professional development systems.
... The government plays a significant role in TPD through policies and incentives to attract teachers and increase their participation in TPD programs (OECD, 2016;Zhu & Han, 2006). Some of the TPD programs for Chinese teachers include school-universities partnership, collaborative lesson planning, sharing sessions on teaching and learning techniques, exchange programs, peer coaching, and self-directed TPD activities such as research publication, action research, and reflection (Guo, 2012;Lam, 2015, Zhao, 2013Zhou, 2014). Nevertheless, TPD in Chinese institutions is not free from criticisms (Ji & Cao, 2016;Trent, 2020). ...
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Teacher professional development (TPD) is integral for faculty development through quality teacher performances and student outcomes. Prior research on TPD indicates that school leaders at the helm of educational affairs are responsible for implementing and sustaining TPD activities for better school improvement. In the higher education (HE) context, fewer research studies have been conducted on TPD. Most HE institutions still struggle to implement, sustain, and improve TPD in China and significant parts of the world. The qualitative research utilized a case study approach to solicit information from two deans of a selected university faculty in China reputable for its TPD programs. The three key leadership practices explored in this study were; how leadership support TPD, the role of TPD in faculty development, and the challenges of TPD in the HE context. Findings from the study indicate that China's hierarchical structure has positively affected TPD programs in this university due to the Chinese culture and tradition. Clear and concrete policies emerged as an essential step towards TPD implementation. Motivational strategies such as incentives and academic conferences have been identified as integral factors for TPD sustainability. Also, mentorship and collaboration among teachers and other stakeholders were integral to enhancing teachers' research capacity. Educators should ensure the evaluation and supervision of TPD for it to achieve its intended goals.
... One strategic way to build their competence and professionalism is by pursuing an academic degree overseas to enhance their pedagogical (Santosa & Irawati, 2018), social, and cultural competencies. Scholars have conducted massive studies on professional development internationally (Bautista & Ortega-Ruiz, 2015;Lam, 2015;Niemi, 2015). The majority of teachers' professional development studies are dedicated to teachers and teachers training institutions (Avalos, 2011;Desimone, 2009). ...
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As one of the strategic means of enhancing future competence and career, every individual, including teachers, is strongly encouraged to pursue a higher degree. Nevertheless, lack of financial ability may become one of the debilitating hindrances for the teachers to pursue a higher degree, mainly overseas. Currently, however, the Indonesian Government strives to support Indonesians to pursue a higher degree through a scholarship mechanism called the Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education, or popularly called as LPDP. Simultaneously, various scholarship mechanisms are also offered by several governing bodies in national or international contexts, such as Australia Awards, Chevening, Fulbright, DAAD, and many others. Therefore, this community empowerment project aims to enhance the understanding of schoolteachers, student-teachers, and other education communities regarding the administrative and technical preparation to register for a scholarship and prepare for overseas study. Moreover, the participants were also expected to comprehend the academic and social conditions while studying abroad, as well as the impact of pursuing a higher degree in their future competence and career. 535 participants were attending this community empowerment program in total.
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The article presents the results of a study of the practice of teachers professional development in the context of digitalization of education carried out in order to identify the features of teachers professional development and the main conceptual ideas implemented in different countries. The article examines the practice of teachers professional development in other countries as well as in a number of Russian regions. The analysis of pedagogical literature and scientific articles was carried out using the method of apperception and the descriptive method. The use of apperception method allowed us to expand information about the existing professional development practices implemented in different countries and regions. The use of descriptive method in working with scientific literature made it possible to select articles based on keywords, descriptors. In this study, the following phrases were used as descriptors: professional development of teachers, concepts of professional development of teachers, advanced training of teachers, practice of professional development of teachers. As a result, practices of teachers professional development have been identified that have both similar conceptual ideas and some national or regional features. Two of the conceptual ideas reflected in almost all countries are particularly noteworthy: that of continuity and that of personalization of teachers professional development in the context of education digitalization. Implementation of these ideas makes it possible to ensure continuous professional development of a teacher taking into account his or her professional experience, expertise, professional competencies and interests, as well as the interests and demands of the educational organization in which he or she works. The implementation of these ideas is carried out through integration of formal and non-formal education, as well as through self-education and self-development of teachers in the context of education digitalization.
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The Government of India’s National Policy of Education 2020 stipulates that in the following five years all stand-alone teacher education colleges will be required to convert to multidisciplinary higher education institutions. This calls for a complete overhaul of the country’s vast, diverse, and age-old system of teacher preparation. Evidence-based policy implementation is thus the need of the hour. This chapter attempts to aid the process by presenting insights from a comparative education research on pre-service teacher education (PSTE) of secondary school teachers at stand-alone teacher education institutions (TEIs) in the Indian city of Mumbai and university-based teacher education in the Chinese city of Hong Kong. Documentary sources, field visits, and 57 interviews form the basis of the findings. The dimensions for comparison include academic freedom and autonomy; pathways to PSTE; linkages of teacher education providers; and role and working conditions of teacher educators. The chapter deduces the core differences in teacher education at stand-alone TEIs vis-à-vis that at a university and draws out implications of shutting down the former. It concludes by laying down a road map for the effective universitization of teacher education in India that will result in genuinely improving teacher quality.
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A Proposed Vision for Digital Professional Learning Communities as an Approach to on-Site Sustainable Self Professional Development of pre-University Teachers Abstract Teacher professional development poses a dilemma to all education systems, particularly those with huge numbers of teachers. The present study, therefore, sought to develop a proposed vision for a professional development formula that combines professional learning communities with the digital age tools, which the researcher called "digital professional learning communities". For this aim, the descriptive research method was used, and a questionnaire was developed and applied to (625) teachers of all grades and levels in Gharbiyah governorate schools to assess to what extent digital professional learning communities can be integrated in fulfilling on-site sustainable self professional development of pre-university teachers. Having applied statistical tools to study data, it was found that (1) current professional development practices were quantitatively less than teachers' needs and qualitatively were still traditional in their topics, media and content, and that teachers rated current professional development practices moderately (3.34), (2) that IT technologies were not adequately integrated by teachers, and (3) that teachers rated the extent to which digital professional learning communities can be integrated as formula for sustainable on-site self professional development of pre-university teachers highly (4.26 for practices of digital professional learning communities, 4.17 for integrating them in school systems, 4.21 for integrating them in ministry of education's work mechanisms, and 4.19 for their perceived benefits). In light of the above results, the study developed a proposed vision for integrating digital professional learning communities in school and ministry systems and work mechanisms. Finally, further studies were suggested. Keywords: Digital Professional Learning Communities, on-Site Sustainable Self Professional Development, Pre-University Teachers in Egypt.
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The persistence of life-threatening coronavirus pandemic worldwide paints an ominous outlook characterized by a haze of depression-extended uncertainties and pessimistic speculations. But it is not completely hopeless because the COVID-19 canopy provides an insidious respite for self-reflection beyond previous non-COVID 19 normal. Under new normal COVID-19 experiences is a window of life-relearning opportunity to review and plan-execute gestation ideas or development projects in anticipatory good times to come. And life-relearning under any circumstance is directly or indirectly live-education in transition. Defined as the delivery and application of knowledge, education as always requires the teaching community as a catalytic transformer for school-processing knowledge, and a major conduit of transmitting student-acquired knowledge often in the national language of the country, supported by the lingua franca-the English language-of international business and global communication. In this regard therefore the proposed 10-principle pathway TPD (Teacher Professional Development) Framework is share-reflected to engage discourse exchange-feedback on its viability and efficacy to transform private independent secondary school novice teachers into professional teachers in Malaysia, whose professionalism is benchmarked by 3-criteria vocation-relevant set of knowledge update, upskill competency and ethics accountability to further value-add and value-create in the public interest of private schooling contribution to building a formidable Malaysian nation.
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Teaching as an occupation in Hong Kong differs significantly from the western context from which most researches on teaching motivation originate. Through in-depth interviews with 38 graduands of a teacher-preparation programme, beginning teachers' motivations for choosing teaching were explored using grounded theory methods. Respondents' motivations coalesce into two categories, "teaching as a safe haven", and "internal satisfaction". Participants were conceptualized as falling into two groups: one group was motivated exclusively by "internal satisfaction", the other saw "teaching as a safe haven" but at the same time also appreciated teaching's internal satisfaction.
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By conducting in-depth interviews with new teachers who are about to become full-time teachers and then reinterviewing them two years later, the author of this article presents how beginning teachers think and feel about teaching and describes the challenges they face as beginning teachers in the context of Hong Kong. The stories of the teachers, as revealed by the interviews, suggest that changing educational ideals, school leaders’ management style, and workload issues are some of the important challenges faced by beginning teachers. A short review of work on effective school research and school leadership suggests how school leaders can create an environment that is conducive to teachers’ professional development.
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The aims of this study were to investigate whether and how teachers' perceptions of social–emotional learning and climate in their schools influenced three outcome variables—teachers' sense of stress, teaching efficacy, and job satisfaction—and to examine the interrelationships among the three outcome variables. Along with sense of job satisfaction and teaching efficacy, two types of stress (workload and student behavior stress) were examined. The sample included 664 elementary and secondary school teachers from British Columbia and Ontario, Canada. Participants completed an online questionnaire about the teacher outcomes, perceived school climate, and beliefs about social–emotional learning (SEL). Structural equation modeling was used to examine an explanatory model of the variables. Of the 2 SEL beliefs examined, teachers' comfort in implementing SEL had the most powerful impact. Of the 4 school climate factors examined, teachers' perceptions of students' motivation and behavior had the most powerful impact. Both of these variables significantly predicted sense of stress, teaching efficacy, and job satisfaction among the participants. Among the outcome variables, perceived stress related to students' behavior was negatively associated with sense of teaching efficacy. In addition, perceived stress related to workload and sense of teaching efficacy were directly related to sense of job satisfaction. Greater detail about these and other key findings, as well as implications for research and practice, are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
These meta-analyses examine race differences in self-esteem among 712 datapoints. Blacks scored higher than Whites on self-esteem measures ( d =0.19), but Whites scored higher than other racial minority groups, including Hispanics ( d =-0.09), Asians ( d =-0.30), and American Indians ( d =-0.21). Most of these differences were smallest in childhood and grew larger with age. Blacks' self-esteem increased over time relative to Whites', with the Black advantage not appearing until the 1980s. Black and Hispanic samples scored higher on measures without an academic self-esteem subscale. Relative to Whites, minority males had lower self-esteem than did minority females, and Black and Hispanic self-esteem was higher in groups with high socioeconomic status. The results are most consistent with a cultural interpretation of racial differences in self-esteem. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Chinese translation of Curriculum Action Research: A Handbook of Methods and Resources for the Reflective Practitioner Trans in Taiwan by Chiu Liu Publishing Co.