ERG SES E 10, Educational Curriculums
Research on teacher effectiveness is often outcome based, typically measuring student achievement scores, similarly to school effectiveness studies, employing classroom observations, document analysis or collecting quantitative data to measure educational factors such as quality of teaching, classroom management, classroom relationships between both a teacher and a learner (Opdenakker, & Van Damme, 2006; Muijs, 2006).
While the majority of studies done in the field provide strong evidence of the impact of an individual teacher on student learning outcomes (Hattie, 2003; Darling-Hammond, 1997, 2004; Palardy & Rumberger, 2008; OECD, 2005), it could not be concluded that the scope of teacher effectiveness can only be linked with respect to student cognitive outcomes. There is a number of research done on school climate, on classroom climate (Anderson, 1982, 1991), on teacher-student relationship (Harris, 1998), on the effect of teaching behaviour and teaching styles to student learning (McDaniel, 1981; Wentzel, 2002), on the link of teacher’s beliefs in subject matter and its impact to student learning and academic success (Fennema & Franke, 1992). In brief, much research work needs to be done to further study what makes a teacher effective.
In an era of continuous school reforms on national level in Kazakhstan the question of teacher quality, quality of curriculum, educational resources, especially modern technologies is a hot issue on government, research and policy makers’ agendas. Reinforced by a need to meet goals of the State of the Nation Address by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan to enter the top thirty most developed countries in the world, education is one of the key priorities to enhance in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Nazarbayev, 2018). These improvements come at a price. Due to scarce human teaching resources, large territory, and the
President’s agenda, Kazakhstani schools and their communities face a variety of unfamiliar instruments directed to improve school education and students’ learning outcomes. Traditional Soviet model of educating pre-service teachers meets with an “international” model of teacher education (Yakavets, et al., 2017).
This pilot study aims to explore teacher effectiveness in the context of trilingual education, contemporary curriculum and teacher education reforms in Kazakhstan. It particularly focuses on regional school experiences in equipped classrooms to hold English language lessons in sync with the local classroom teacher and remote Kazakhstani teacher with international teacher qualifications and job experience via an online platform Zoom. Before the remote teaching began, four remote Kazakhstani teachers, trained remotely for two weeks on the essentials of teaching online, were introduced to their classroom co-teachers, grades and syllabus. The project began on November 5th 2018 and actual teaching will finish on May 25th 2019. Each remote teacher holds six English language lessons of 40 minutes each and a 30-minute mentoring session with their co-teacher per week. The essential features of the project are innovative blended learning planned and delivered by the remote teacher with an advanced English language methodology, and regular mentoring sessions of remote and classroom teachers with the purpose of improving teacher’s methodology, instructional practices, beliefs and attitudes, content knowledge and language practice.
RQ1: What characteristics of co-teaching activities, if any, show a significant relationship with improvements, transformations in teacher’ content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge, skills and teacher instructional practices?
RQ2: Do the characteristics of co-teaching, teacher’s transformations in instructional practices and program design differ based on the following features- years of teaching experience, continuous professional development, mentoring and reflection practices?
RQ3: How do organisational and personnel factors- intra-organisational social dynamics, the leadership styles of the school leadership, structured planning time- strengthen the teacher effectiveness in co-teaching activities?
A participatory action research, informed by Lewin (Adelman, 1993), is employed as the research methodology. The role of the principal investigator is participatory. The investigator is a researcher who takes an active role of the remote teacher in the project being studied, and who adds to her normal role that of data-collector and analyst. Methods were developed at the account of reviewing existing literature about online education, online teacher professional development and teacher education in a post- Soviet Kazakhstan implementing school reforms at a massive scale nationally. The following criteria to review literature were applied: Clear and focused research questions in the fields of second language acquisition (SLA), teacher education, online teacher professional development; Empirical studies connected to research questions in the fields mentioned above; Rigorous methods of data collection and data analysis; Findings emerging from the data analysis; Agendas for online teacher professional development The current study will undertake the following procedure. Firstly, principal investigator will hold a series of collective classroom observations in both modes - online and offline, i.e. classes taught by a remote teacher and a classroom teacher (RT and CT respectively). Then, the subsequent component of individual semi-structured interviews with RTs, CTs, project coordinators, school principals and parents will help to illustrate and understand quantitative data results (Dornyei, 2010, p. 109). The purpose of using semi-structured interviews is in their flexibility, for example in changing the order of questions for more extensive follow- up of responses (McDonough & McDonough, 2014, p. 184). McDonough & McDonough (2014) go on saying that this type of interviews allows for richer interactions and more personalised answers (p. 184). Additionally, mentoring logs from both RTs and CTs will be evaluated to further explore research questions. As Creswell, Plano, Clark, Gutmann, and Hanson (2003) described this combination of approaches, “sequential explanatory design” that supports the rationale behind the approach (as cited in Dornyei, 2010, p. 109). This triangulation- classroom observations, quantitative data from students’ questionnaires and a round of semi-semi-structured interviews with a wide range of stakeholders- is associated with “learner training” (McDonough & McDonough, 2014, p. 199). The purpose of applying it in the study is to test the depths of the collected data and to aid validity (McDonough & McDonough, 2014, p. 71).
There are a lot of differences between the lessons taught by classroom teachers and remote lessons delivered with the help of Zoom platform, innovative online classroom tools to facilitate teaching, reflective practices both for students and teachers. A major focus in the new curriculum is forced upon regular learner interactions during the lesson, peer assessment and peer feedback skills, promoting communicative language competency vs grammar-translation method. However, many classroom teachers who have not undergone professional development on the renewed curriculum find it challenging to construct a student-centred approach in the classroom and to build the correspondent classroom climate. Many teachers also lack of contemporary English as a second language teaching skills. Thus, major component of the lesson with the classroom teacher was held either in Kazakh or in Russian. Preliminary data findings demonstrate that the following professional development features and support collected from school administration and ethos, project management teams and parents in the context of remote teaching in eight secondary schools in the Western Kazakhstan have either an indirect or direct qualitative relationship and effect in remote teaching as an enhancement factor in improving teacher effectiveness: Activity type (peer mentoring); Activity duration (mentoring hours, teaching hours, lesson preparation hours on-line communication channels); Innovative learning aids- integration of advanced technological tools to promote teacher’s autonomy, reviewing student’s works; Integration of trans- disciplinary approach in teaching and learning to promote trilingual education; Fostering connection between students, school and teacher’s goals in teaching and learning; School leadership practices such as creating commitment, supporting co-teaching and team development, facilitating collaboration; Organisational structures in common planning time and both remote and classroom teacher teams; Importance of stable classroom technological resourcefulness; Regular positive communication and constructive feedback from project organisers, parents, students, and school administration.
Adelman, C. (1993). Kurt Lewin and the Origins of Action Research. Educational Action Research, 1 (1), 7-24, DOI: 10.1080/0965079930010102 Anderson, C. S. (1982). The search for school climate: a review of the research. Review of Educational Research, 52, 368–420. Anderson, L. (1991). Increasing teacher effectiveness. Paris, UNESCO: International Institute for Educational Planning. Darling-Hammond, L. (1997). Doing What Matters Most: Investing in Quality Teaching. New York: National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future. Darling-Hammond, L. (2004). Inequality and the Right to Learn: Access to Qualified Teachers in Californian Public Schools. Teachers College Record, 106 (10): 1936–1966. Dornyei, Z. (2010). Questionnaires in second language research: construction, administration, and processing. 2nd ed. With contributions from Taguchi, T. New York, NY: Routledge. Fennema, E., & Franke, M. L. (1992). Teacher’s knowledge and its impact. In D. A. Grouws (Ed.), Handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning (pp. 147–164). New York: McMillan. Harris, A. (1998). Effective teaching: A review of the literature. School Leadership & Management, 18, 168–183. Hattie, J.A.C. (2003). Teachers make a difference: What is the research evidence? Paper presented at the Building Teacher Quality: What does the research tell us ACER Research Conference, Melbourne, Australia. Retrieved from http://research.acer.edu.au/research_conference_2003/4 McDaniel, T. R. (1981). Criticism, research and reform in contemporary education: The search for ‘‘significant differences’’. Contemporary Education, 53(1), 6–8. Mc Donough, J. & McDonough S. (2014). Research methods for English language teachers. New York, NY: Routledge. Muijs, D. (2006). Measuring Teacher Effectiveness: Some methodological reflections. Educational Research and Evaluation: An International Journal on Theory and Practice, 12 (1), 53-74. DOI: 10.1080/13803610500392236 Opdenakker, M-C., & Van Damme J. (2006). Teacher characteristics and teaching styles as effectiveness enhancing factors of classroom practice. Teaching an Teacher Education, 22, 1-21. doi:10.1016/j.tate.2005.07.008 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. (2005). Teachers Matter: Attracting, Developing and Retaining Effective Teachers. Paris: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Palardy, G., & Rumberger, R. (2008). Teacher Effectiveness in the First Grade: The Importance of Background Qualifications, Attitudes, and Instructional Practices for Student Learning. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 30 (2), 111–140. Wentzel, K. R. (2002). Are effective teachers like good parents? Teaching styles and student adjustment in early adolescence. Child Development, 73, 287–301. Yakavets, N., Bridges D. & Shamatov D. (2017). On constructs and the construction of teachers’ professional knowledge in a post-Soviet context. Journal of Education for Teaching, DOI: 10.1080/02607476.2017.1355086
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