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This section of the review discusses some of the work written about the quality of teacher training in the international context. The amount of material written on the issue of pre-service teacher training is significant, for the purposes of this report it has been confined toXXXXXXXX Teacher education so frequently has fallen short of its goals for many reasons. First, the characteristics of college classrooms stand little similarity to the dynamic, interactive environments of the school classrooms in which future teachers will practice (Dewey, 1938; National Research Council, 1999; Shulman, 1992; Whitehead, 1929). Research has shown that the different root causes will slow down the transfer of knowledge from the college classroom into effective, evidence-based teaching practice (Bransford, 1990). The value of field experience, or teaching practicum, may be hindered by its short duration (Conderman, 2005; Prater & Sileo, 1998), the possibility of assignment to a mentor teacher who is a less than ideal model (Barnett, 2006), and the lack of a developmental progression from observation to participation in multiple classrooms with exposure to diverse models of practice and alternative perspectives (Foote & Cook-Cottone, 2004; Hollins & Guzman, 2005).
It is interesting to note that the expansion in basic schools and enrollment of the pupils due to the introduction of the capitation grant has not seen a correspondence increase in the number of trained teachers and today nearly 30% of the basic school teachers are untrained (UNESCO 2006). Here below will describe about the overall challenges and efforts of pre-service teachers.
Pre-service teachers in field experience are typically unaware
of hidden supports; they enter classrooms where critical features such as a working curriculum and effective classroom and behavior-management systems are already in place (Barron & Goldman, 1994; Goor & Santos, 2002). It is noticed that pre-service teachers mostly begin their teaching careers in the most difficult classroom such as rural and remote classroom which is always lack of everything even thought they have been trying very hard with full of enthusiasm and commitment like Whitaker said "Pre-service teachers enter their pre-service teacher education programs full of enthusiasm, and dedicated teacher educators work hard to prepare these promising and eager candidates for their future positions" (Whitaker, 2001,p. ??).
In spite of the commitment of whom?, pre-service teacher education is fraught with limitations and challenges that historically have had a significant and negative impact on fledgling teaching practice (Imig & Imig, 2001). The transition from pre-service teaching into a beginner position is rarely smooth, with indicators of the acute difficulties including high attrition rates (Dove, 2004; McLesky et al., 2004), the research-to-practice gap (Gersten et al., 1997; McLesky & Waldron, 2004; Russell et al., 2001), and unsatisfactory outcomes for students (Greenwood & Maheady, 1997; Hurwitz & Hurwitz, 2005; Zimpher & Howey, 2005).
Various attempts have been made in the past to produce enough teachers as well as upgrade qualification of teachers. To reach this direction, there have been numerous attempts to re-structure teacher education over the years, but the problem of unqualified teachers and the shortage of appropriately skilled teachers are still not solved. The main obstacle seems to be finance. Finance education, in general, is the responsibility of the government; however, the ability of the government depends on the economy flow. In the face of these challenge, the government of China has been trying very hard to develop teacher education through introducing technology. Since China has some similarities in the historical background of its education system to Cambodia's, the following section will describe the role of multimedia in teacher training being attempted by China as it tries to addresses issues of teacher quality and teacher numbers.
Technology can play a vital role in enhancing education development in China. Currently, satellite television is used extensively for teacher training and other educational purposes. As Thomson, Simon and Hargrave (1996) observe:
Hypermedia systems allow huge collections of information and a variety of media to be stored in compact forms and accessed quickly and easily; thus, diverse and comprehensive materials can be delivered to learners. In addition to large quantities and types of information, hypermedia environments offer learners an opportunity to explore in their own way and learn with their own style; these environments offer learners a type of intellectual freedom never before possible. (p.53).
In recent years, the increasing use of multimedia/hypermedia in education has caused great excitement among many Chinese educators. This type of system has an added advantage for teacher training in China because of its ability to provide consistent quality education to large audiences. Besides, it is important for teachers to start to feel comfortable using technology because it will play an increasingly significant role in Chinese schools of the future.
Approach to Teacher Training in Cambodia
There are about 50,000 primary school teachers and 25,000 secondary school teachers in Cambodia. The teaching profession has traditionally been male-oriented, but this is increasingly changing over time. Between 1998 to 2004, the share of female primary school teachers increased from 37.1 to 41.4 percent, while the share of female secondary school teachers increased from 2.8 to 31.7 percent (EMIS 2008). A majority of Cambodian teachers are young. In 2004, over 70% of urban, rural and remote primary school teachers were under age 40. The age distribution of teachers in rural and urban primary schools is similar, except that rural primary schools have significantly more teachers who are 50 or older. In turn, remote primary schools differ substantially from the other two categories in that they have the youngest teaching staff. Seventy-three percent of teachers in remote primary schools are younger than 30 years. Interestingly, age distribution across genders differs little for teachers under age 40. However, there are more male-teachers who are 50 years or older and relatively more females who are between 40-49 years (MoEYS, 2008).
Teachers are also younger than other civil servants, although they are
relatively older when compared to all other workers. Consistent with the age profile, and compared to other civil servants, teachers are less likely to have never been married. (MoEYS, 2008), teachers are more likely to be of Khmer ethnicity than other nationalities and relative to their geographic mobility, teachers are more likely than other government workers to be living and working (?) in the village they were born (MoEYS, 2008). However, when compared to other workers, more teachers have left their place of birth ( MoEYS, 2008)
With regard to formal training, teachers have a limited amount of formal
education for their profession (MoEYS, 2008) and secondary teachers have had more years of formaltraining than primary teachers. According to EMIS data (2004) the majority of primary school teachers (69%) had obtained a lower secondary degree; that is a grade 9 education, 7% had completed primary school, while 24% of primary teachers had finalized their upper secondary education. On the other hand, 44% of secondary school teachers had completed upper secondary education, 38% held a lower secondary degree and a miniscule 0.1% had only completed primary education. (Table 1a)
Level of formal education of primary and secondary school teachers
Type of Teachers
Level of Completed Formal Education
Primary School Teachers
Secondary School Teachers
Source: EMIS 2004
Differences in levels of education across younger and older primary
teachers are reinforced by the higher likelihood of younger teachers have attended formal pre-service training and by the fact that of those who received it have received formal training for a longer period of time. While virtually all primary teachers younger than 30 have participated in pre-service training (96%) for a two year period, 87% of 30 - 39 year old primary teachers and 43% of primary teachers aged 40 years and older had any pre-service training and, when they did, it was for shorter periods of time (1.3 and 0.2 years, respectively)(MoEYS, 2004).
Difference in levels of education across younger and older primary teachers
Primary School Teachers
Under 30 years
40 years and over
Source: EMIS 2004
The traditional teaching strategy of Cambodian teachers has been 'Lecturing'. Yet in recent years the government has mandated that Student Centred approaches to learning are to be used for Cambodian classrooms. However, the understanding of the meaning or concepts as well as the approaches to use are still limited among primary school teachers.. The Student Centred learning strategy is n approach to teaching that has grown from and is based on the learning theory known as Constructivism. In order to get to understand Constructivist Theory the following section will describe the theory and highlight how it has influenced teaching practices and its influence on what happen in the classroom of Cambodia.
Constructivist Learning Theory
Constructivist learning theory is a general framework for instruction based upon the study of cognition. Much of the theory is linked to child development research. The ideas outlined in Bruner (1960) originated from a conference focused on science and math learning. Bruner illustrated his theory in the context of mathematics and social science programs for young children. A major theme of the theoretical framework is that learning is an active process in which learners construct new ideas or concepts based upon their current/past knowledge. The learner selects and transforms information, constructs hypotheses, and makes decisions, relying on the existing cognitive structures to do so. Cognitive structure (i.e., schema, mental models) provides meaning and organization to experiences and allows the individual to "go beyond the information given" (QUOTE - please reference).
Constructivism is the term used to describe cognitive models of learning, and can be defined as an approach to learning in which "learners are provided the opportunity to construct their own sense of what is being learned by building internal connection of relationships among the ideas and facts being taught" (Borich & Tombari cited in Killen, 2003). This notion of cognitive constructivism focuses on the cognitive processes that people use to make sense of the world.
The major theme of Vygotsky's theoretical framework, one of the influential proponents of this understanding of learning, is that social interaction is a main role in cognitive development. He said that "Every function in the child's cultural development appears twice: first, on the social level, and later, on the individual level; first, between people (inter-psychological) and then inside the child (intra-psychological)" (Reference?).
Constructivist Theory and its influence on what happens in the classroom
Why is it, in educational settings, we rarely talk about how students learn? Why aren't teachers using how students learn as a guide to their teaching practices?
One way to make sense of how students learn is through constructivism learning theory (Anthony, 1997). Constructivism is a word used frequently by science educators (Anthony, 1997). It is used increasingly as a theoretical rationale for research and teaching. Many current classroom reform efforts also are associated with the notion of constructivism (Anthony, 1997). But what exactly is constructivism and how can it be useful to the practicing teacher?
Constructivism is an epistemology, a theory of knowledge used to explain how we know what we know. We believe that a constructivist epistemology is useful to teachers if used as a referent; that is, as a way to make sense of what they see, think, and do (Anthony, 1997). One of interesting researches? Doesn't make sense indicates that teachers' beliefs about how people learn (their personal epistemology), whether verbalized or not, often help them make sense of, and guide, their practice (Anthony, 1997).
The epistemology that is dominant in most educational settings today is similar to objectivism. That is to say, most teachers view knowledge as existing outside the bodies of cognizing beings, as being separate from knowing and knowers. Knowledge is "out there," residing in books, independent of a thinking being (Kenneth, 1997). Science is then conceptualized as a search for truths, a means of discovering theories, laws and principles associated with reality (Kenneth, 1997). Objectivity is a major component of the search for truths which underlie reality; learners are encouraged to view objects, events and phenomena with an objective mind, which is assumed to be separate from cognitive processes such as imagination, intuitions, feelings, values, and beliefs (Johnson, 1987). As a result, teachers implement a curriculum to ensure that students cover relevant science content and have opportunities to learn truths which usually are documented in bulging textbooks.
The constructivist epistemology asserts that the only tools available to a knower are the senses. It is only through seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and tasting that an individual interacts with the environment. With these messages from the senses the individual builds a picture of the world. Therefore, constructivism asserts that knowledge resides in individuals; that knowledge cannot be transferred intact from the head of a teacher to the heads of students. The student tries to make sense of what is taught by trying to fit it with his/her experience.
Consequently, words are not containers whose meanings are in the word itself, they are based on the constructions of individuals. We can communicate because individual's meanings of words only have to be compatible with the meanings given by others. If a situation occurred in which your meaning of a word no longer sufficed, you could change the meaning of the word.
Using constructivism as a referent, teachers often use problem-solving as a learning strategy; where learning is defined as adaptations made to fit the world they experience (Kenneth, 1997). That is, to learn, a person's existing conceptions of the world must be unreliable, inviable. When one's conceptions of the world are inviable one tries to make sense out of the situation based on what is already known (i.e., prior knowledge is used to make sense of data perceived by the senses) (Kenneth, 1997). Other persons are part of our experiential world, thus, others are important for meaning making (Kenneth, 1997).
"Others" are so important for constructivists that cooperative learning is a primary teaching strategy. A cooperative learning strategy allows individuals to test the fit of their experiential world with a community of others. Others help to constrain our thinking. The interactions with others cause perturbations, and, by resolving the perturbations individuals make adaptations to fit their new experiential world.
Thus, from a constructivist perspective, science is not the search for truth (Kenneth, 1997). It is a process that assists us to make sense of our world. Using a constructivist perspective, teaching science becomes more like the science that scientists do - it is an active, social process of making sense of experiences, as opposed to what we now call "school science." (Kenneth, 1997). Indeed, actively engaging students in science (we have all heard the call for "hands-on, minds-on science") is the goal of most science education reform. It is an admirable goal, and using constructivism as a referent can possibly assist in reaching that goal (Kenneth, 1997).
Driver (1989) has used a constructivist epistemology as a referent in her research on children's conceptions in science. Children's prior knowledge of phenomena is an important part of how they come to understand school science. Often the interpretation of phenomena from a scientific point of view differs from the interpretation children construct; children construct meanings that fit their experiences and expectations. This can lead children to oftentimes construct meanings different from what was intended by a teacher. Teachers that make sense of teaching from an objectivist perspective fail to recognize that students often resolve this cognitive conflict by separating school science from their own life experiences. In other words, students distinguish between scientific explanations and their "real world" explanations (the often cited example- that forces are needed to keep a ball in motion versus Newton's explanation is one such example). Children's conceptions are their constructions of reality, ones that are viable in the sense that they allow a child to make sense of his/her environment. By using a constructivist epistemology as a referent teachers can become more sensitive to children's prior knowledge and the processes by which they make sense of phenomena.
Constructivist Theory and its influence on Cambodian Education System
The teaching practices of two teachers at Cambodia primary school in Kampong Cham province may best illustrate how practice can be influenced by making sense of teaching and learning from constructivist-and objectivist-oriented perspectives. Ms. Sopheapneed to use pseudonyms not real names , made sense of teaching from an objectivist-oriented perspective. To Sopheap, science was a body of knowledge to be learned. Her job was to "give out" what she (and the textbook) knew about science to her students. Thus, the learning environment Sopheap tried to maintain in her classroom facilitated this transfer of knowledge: the desks were neatly in rows facing Sopheap and the blackboard. Lectures and assignments from the text were given to students. Sopheap tried to keep students quiet and working all during the class period to ensure that all students could "absorb" the science knowledge efficiently. Another consequence of Sopheap's notion of teaching and learning was her belief that she had so much to cover that she had no time for laboratory activities.
Let's look at an example that typifies Sopheap's teaching style. Sopheap's sixth grade students were to complete a worksheet that "covered" the concept of friction. After the students completed the worksheet, Sopheap went over the answers so the students could have the correct answers for the test later in the week. From a constructivist perspective, what opportunities did Sopheap's students have to relate the concept of friction to their own experiences? Were there opportunities in Sopheap's lesson plan to negotiate meanings and build a consensus of understanding? Sopheap spent one class period covering the concept of friction; is that sufficient time for students to learn a concept with understanding?
On the other hand, Mr. Vannara change name made sense of teaching and learning from a constructivist perspective. Vannara's classes were student-centered and activity-based. Typically in his high school classes, Vannara introduced students to different science topics with short lectures, textbook readings, and confirmatory laboratories. After the introduction Vannara would ask students what interested them about that topic and encouraged them to pursue and test these ideas. Students usually divided themselves into groups and then conducted library research, formulated questions/ problems, and procedures to test the questions/problems. In other words, the students were acting as scientists in the classroom.
Like Sopheap, and Vannara taught a sixth grade class previously, and also taught students about friction. Included in Vannara's lessons were activities "to get students involved." Students rubbed their hands together with and without a lubricant so that they could see the purpose of motor oil in engines. The students conducted experiments with bricks to learn about different types of friction, and even watched The Flintstones in class to point out friction and what would really happen. Vannara spent two weeks teaching his unit on friction. Were Vannara's students given opportunities to make sense of the concept of friction? Were they able to use personal experiences? Whose students do you think had a deeper understanding of friction?
The research also indicates that as teachers make transitions from objectivist to constructivist oriented thoughts and behaviors their classroom practices change radically (Lorsbach, Tobin, Briscoe, & LaMaster, in press; Tobin, 1990). It seemed as if many traditional teaching practices no longer made sense to many Cambodian teachers. Specifically, teachers recognized that learning and making sense of what happens rests ultimately with individual learners. Learners needed time to experience, reflect on their experiences in relation to what they already knew, and resolve any problems that arose. Accordingly, learners needed time to clarify, elaborate, describe, compare, negotiate, and reach consensus on what specific experiences meant to them. This learning process must occur within the minds of individuals, however, the inner voices of persons can be supplemented by discussion with others consistent with social constructivism theory as proposed by Vygotsky (date).
Therefore, an important part of a constructivist oriented curriculum should be the negotiation of meaning. Students need to be given opportunities to make sense of what is learned by negotiating meaning; comparing what is known to new experiences, and resolving discrepancies between what is known and what seems to be implied by new experience.Sounds like a direct quote - please reference
Informed by the Constructivist learning theory developed and developing countries have applied technology as tools for improving their education system and their teaching training. This has included the use of video case studies as a tool for teacher training. With this regard, the following section will describe the theory behind video case studies as well as the good practices from other countries which have used video case studies for improving teacher training. The section will also talk about Cambodia example of piloting video case studies to be used in pre-service teacher training.
Video Case Studies as tools for Teacher Training
Currently 45 countries in the region have a wide range of policies with regard to the use of ICT in education (UNESCO, 2005). Variations in ICT take-up have had an influence on the scale of provision of training for pre-service teachers in ICT operations and in the use of ICT as a teaching and learning tool.
The following section will describe the theory behind video case studies as well as describe the experiences of the use of video case studies from other countries and within Cambodia.
Theory behind Video Case Studies
The introduction of video into case-based teacher education was a great
step toward more accurately describing the complex, real life situation that characterize the reality of teaching (Lauro, 1995). Video is able to capture the complexities and realities of the classroom (including facial expression and gestures) while providing the time for analysis and reflection that are essential for transforming a simple video taped lesson into a true learning experience for pre-service teachers (Lauro, 1995). Not only the video can be stopped to allow for guided discussion and reflection at various points, but it can also be reviewed several times in order to search for nuances n the teacher's decision process and to examine the action from various different perspectives (learner, teacher, administrator) (Lauro, 1995).
The use of case studies, or the case method of teaching, has a long history
in Law, Medicine and Business studies. It has also become popular in Engineering and the Social Sciences (Killen, 2003). It is an approach to teaching that incorporates many of the features and advantages of discussion, group work, co-operative learning and student research (Killen, 2003) all teaching approaches that are informed by constructivist learning theory.
A case is a story with a (hidden) message, a narrative that describes an
actual, or realistic, situation in which an individual or a group has to make a decision or
solve a problem. Most often, the stories are set in the past and focus on real people or real
events, but they describe fictitious things (perhaps by setting a case in the future) (Killen,
2003). With the general purpose of helping students to achieve learning outcomes, there are two main reasons for using case studies: to motivate students to learn theory and to illustrate the applications of theory (Killen, 2003). Killen also stated that "The pedagogical basis for the case method of teaching is very much a constructivist one. It emphasizes the idea that learners need to engage in active learning experiences (the pre-class preparation and the in-class discussion) in order to challenge and reconstruct their understandings" (2003, p.?).
Video can accelerate learning, mitigate linguistic barriers, and equalize individual differences (Bagui, 1998; Spiro, 2003). Video has a unique capacity for making powerful affordances available for learning (Bransford, 1990; Brophy, 2003). Video provides a much richer context than text or lecture, with significantly more to notice (Bransford, 1990). Video allows viewers to slow down events, freeing them from real time, so that they can revisit and review, allowing events to be analyzed more deeply (Hollingsworth, 2005), thereby facilitating opportunities to engage in problem framing and encouraging pattern recognition (Bransford, 1990).
Video imagery aids in the development of mental representations conditionalizes knowledge (Bransford, 1990), and helps the learner understand what to notice and what to do (Sherin & van Es, 2002) its use has been found to be both complex and controversial (Clark, 1983, 1994; Jonassen, Campbell, & Davidson, 1994; Koehler et al., 2005; Kozma, 1994). For these reasons, I am very interested to conduct this study to investigate the ways and conditions under which video may have a positive effect on teacher training in one of eighteen PTTCs in Cambodia.
While video is widely used in teacher training in some other countries, and preliminary results indicate positive effects on learning, it is important to remember that all technology, including video, is solely a delivery system for instruction; it is not theory, it is not content, and it does not cover learning objectives. Clark (1983) likened instructional technology to the truck that delivers the groceries, contending that just as the truck has no impact on nutrition, neither does technology affect learning. Clearly, the groceries represent the instructional content, and if the truck represents instructional technology, then it is hoped that the driver of the truck would be equivalent to a guiding learning theory, and the route, to clear learning objectives. Too often, technology is used without a theoretical foundation and without well-articulated objectives for learning (Grossman, 2005). However, evidence-based instruction that avails itself of the affordances of technology has the potential to be infinitely more powerful than text or lecture alone (Bransford, 1990; Putnam & Borko, 2000), particularly in helping learners understand what knowledge looks like in action, and under what conditions knowledge will be useful (Bransford, 1990).
Use of Video Case Studies in Teacher Training - International Context
It is interesting to describe about the video case studies in Teacher Training in USA and China because Cambodia has fully adapted the USA's and China's curriculum for K-12 instruction. The Cambodian Ministry of Education Youth and Sport (MoEYS) has been working on solutions to the challenges of teacher training for well over a decade with a kind-hearted assistance from other countries specifically with consultants from the USA's and China. With this regard, it would helpful to reflect to Cambodian context on how USA and China have improved their teacher training by using video case studies. Therefore, the following section will discuss the application of one of video case study used in teacher training in the USA and China.
USA: The International Literacy Explorer (IEL) a multimedia teacher training tool for basic education in United State designed to give an overview of literacy and basic education issues and practices in an international context. The Explorer offers ideas, discussions, and activities to teachers/practitioners, policy makers, and researchers in order to improve literacy thinking. In the context of the worldwide effort to more fully and effectively increase the literacy skills of all people, The Explorer focuses on several innovative, useful, and/or effective literacy projects and programs across the globe. Also included are supplementary sections on general literacy concepts and statistics to help the user to better understand the consequences of widespread illiteracy, the needs for and importance of literacy education, and the achievements of the specific literacy projects. The Explorer has four main sections: "Literacy Overview", "Literacy Project"(Case Studies), "Statistics" and "Resources". The product is available free on the internet (www.literacy.org/explorer/index.html).
The "Literacy Projects" section contains 12 case studies grouped under the following headings: Language and Culture, Gender and Development, Teaching and Learning, Quality and Innovation, and Technology for Learning. Each individual case study contains the following elements: a) Background, b) Overview of the Project, c) Activities (teacher/practitioner focused), d) Outcomes and Implications (researcher and policy maker focused),e) Resources, and f) Questions. The case studies are quite text heavy and represent an almost textbook model of case studies methodology. Short segments (10-20 seconds) of video are in the Activities sections and there is the potential for some interactivity on the Questions pages, where users can email the creators of the site with inquiries.
The benefits of using technology for this project were multiple and at several levels. Although it was originally planned solely as a CD-ROM (so as to be available in locations where Internet access was minimal), the developers, who were located in several different countries, found it most efficient to design on the web for ease and rapidity of communication. The website was then simply transferred to CD-ROM and involved only the challenge of making the database functional. While it was useful to have the information on the web in terms of a wider audience, the time length of the video was severely restricted by connection speed over what might have been possible on CD-ROM. The benefit of that decision, however, was that the videos were very targeted, so viewers actually watch them in their entirety as opposed to what happens when users move on without completing the videos or just read the transcripts. Because of the hyperlink potential of the web, multiple perspectives could be defined for those users with limited time to browse. Thus teachers/practitioners could jump directly to the Activities sections of all 12 case studies and researchers/policy makers could likewise jump directly to the Outcomes and Implications sections without destroying the integrity and flow of the site as a whole. To summary, the ILE project is one of effective training tools to guide teachers for basic education.
CHINA: In 1999 the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China initiated a plan called "Education in the Twenty-first Century," which aimed at reforming the country's education system. One of the major parts of this plan, the Yuan Ding Project, focused on improving teacher education at elementary and secondary level. The word Yuan Ding means a gardener. The name means that a good teacher should be like a good gardener, someone who loves and nurtures his or her plants and allows them to blossom in their own way. The Yuan Ding project description indicates that the problems of teacher education in China include the inadequacy of quality pre-service teacher training, the inefficiency of continuing education for in-servicing teachers, and ineffective structures of normal institutions (Ministry of Education, 1999).
To solve these problems, the project reexamined the existing strategies in teacher training and emphasized that technology could make a strong impact on Chinese education.
Shen, one of the expert consultants of the Yuan Ding project, observed that " computer-based instructional tools that can be broadly disseminated can be most beneficial in retraining Chinese teachers because of the large number of teachers and their dispersed geographical locations" (Shen, 1998, p.23). Shen also indicated that China has more than eleven million full-time teachers, yet no computer-based instructional tools were available for teacher training purposes at the time. Therefore, when he and his associates at Beijing Normal University (BNU) become aware of an initative at Brigham Young University (BYU) to develop an ethnographic video case CD-ROM for teacher training, they requested that an experiment be conducted to extend the current work and to explore its potential in China.
Existing CD-ROM materials, however, were in English, and all the video cases had been captured in American classrooms. To effectively explore the potential of such a CD-ROM in China, the materials were not translated into Chinese because of the obvious difference in classroom cultures, teacher and student behavior, and perspectives on what had happened. Therefore, a Chinese version of the ethnographic video case CD-ROM needed to be developed with authentic cases of Chinese teachers and commentaries by Chinese educators. The video cases were based on educational theory or principles that match the training needs of the Chinese teachers. Because of the experimental nature of such a technological production, it would need to be evaluated by the end-users in order to ensure its functionality. Therefore, this project was initiated as a way to meet these needs.
Findings from previous research in Cambodia conducted by the River
of Knowledge (RoK), a joint project of the Open Institute and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS), had a project goal to produce high quality training materials in video that could be used to support and improve teacher training. This new professional development format could be used to demonstrate a variety of teaching methods and techniques that teachers could use to improve the learning of their students.
To ensure that the videos developed will effectively contribute to the ongoing development of education quality in Cambodia, The Open Institute and MoEYS conducted a survey from January 20 - 5 February 2009 with a number of educational leaders, trainers/teachers and trainees of Regional Teacher Training Centers (RTTCs) and upper secondary schools in Prey Veng, Takeo, Kandal provinces and Phnom Penh municipality. The study aimed to identify specific successes, challenges, available resources and supports of each educational institution. It was especially designed to learn directly from the educators and their leaders the specific priorities that training videos should focus on and how or if the videos would help to improve the quality of teaching and learning in their respective institutions.
It is noted that the implementation of student centered approaches in teacher training centers and upper secondary schools has not been as successful as expected (MoEYS, 2005). It is mainly because many teaching staff do not clearly understand the concepts and components of these new approaches. Many teachers find it hard to differentiate between student centered and teacher centered approaches. When current teachers were in pre-service training, the student centered approaches were not presented. They learned from their teacher trainers how to teach the ways their trainers taught and it was a traditional teacher centered approach. Trainers usually lectured in classes and students sat and listened (OI, 2009). They did not have much opportunity to practice what they learned in classes. There were no additional handouts, documents or supplementary materials for the students to use for increasing learning. Trainers were the only one source of information for them. After graduating from teacher training centers, they have been working using teacher centered methods for many years (OI, 2009).
Due to recent changes in educational policy teachers are supposed to teach using student centered approaches and it is completely new to them. It is also seen as a big change for them. Therefore, they face many challenges in teaching effectively using these new approaches since they do not have experience (OI, 2009)). Some of them have received little training while many of them have received no training in how to use student centered methods. As a result, many teachers do not know how to adapt their roles properly in order to help students to actively engage in classes. Many teachers do not know how to facilitate group discussions, assign appropriate tasks for students to work in groups, how to motivate members of the group to participate in discussions and how to synthesize answers given by different students (OI, 2009).
Teachers also have difficulties in asking questions to challenge students' critical thinking skills and producing appropriate supporting materials that are relevant to the content of the topics. Many teachers think that once every student has a textbook and they work in groups, that they are conducting teaching using student centered approaches (OI, 2009). The content of some subjects, especially in the science subjects, including physics, chemistry, earth and biology were very abstract. Supporting materials to teach these subjects are very difficult to make and they are very expensive to buy (OI, 2009). Some schools and teacher training centers have some available resources, however; some teachers do not want to use them. Some teachers do not know how to use materials for doing experiments. In addition, there are some books in the sciences but they are in foreign languages and most teachers can not read them. In addition, some teachers are not subject matter knowledgeable. They do not understand the content of their own teaching subjects. It becomes harder for them after MoEYS has upgraded some of its textbooks. Some places do not have enough teaching staff so they ask lower secondary school teachers to teach classes in upper secondary school. Those teachers face much more of a content problem. Some school directors said that they also find it difficult to understand the textbooks and they do not know how to help their teachers either (OI, 2009).
After some textbooks were upgraded, MoEYS provided some training to technical grade leaders (TGLs). Then TGLs were supposed to provide the same training to their members after returning to schools. There have been some professional development opportunities provided by NGOs for teachers of some subjects (OI, 2009). The training is usually short, it lasts only a few days. Therefore, there is little progress in changes to teachers' teaching practices. School monthly meetings are not used effectively to improve teaching skills of teachers. The meeting is only one day a month and half of its time is for school meetings to discuss topics like the new plan or specific tasks that schools need to accomplish for the month. The rest of the time is spent on teaching and learning issues. If the TGL is effective, the meeting is productive, if the TGL is not effective, the meeting is used for discussing things unrelated to their work. Teachers are struggling in helping slow learners to catch up. Some students were not promoted properly from their last grades (OI, 2009.)
MoEYS's promotion policy at the end of the school year is part of the reason (for what?). Most directors and teachers think that if video can be successfully developed for all subjects (especially for teaching techniques in math, physics, chemistry, biology, and earth science), it will be a great help for them (OI, 2009). Video will be a new and interesting professional development format that shows both the content and methods to do certain things. It will help them to see the interaction between teachers and students in a real classroom especially how teachers motivate students to work actively in classes. School directors have said that if they have videos of different subjects, they would use them on the monthly meeting day to help improve the teaching skills of their teachers. They think that video will provide a good sample of how to teach certain topics (OI, 2009).
Recently, a short documentary style video demonstrating various techniques of Cooperative Learning was produced through the collaboration of a non-profit international government organization, World Education and a local organization, KAPE (Kampochean Action for Primary Education) as part of materials developed within the United States Agency of International Development (USAID) funded Schools for Life project. The purpose of making the video was to demonstrate some examples of Cooperative Learning taking place in the classroom and also to show what a Child Friendly classroom looks like. The video focused on presenting pedagogical techniques for promoting cooperative learning, discussing the advantages of cooperative learning, and outlining the challenges encountered in applying these techniques in rural, under-resources setting. The techniques were highlighted in the context of three different grade (grade 2, 5 & 8) and three different subjects (Maths, Physic and Science). The primary target audience for the teacher education video was primary and secondary teachers working in Child Friendly School (CFS). The secondary target audience was an education officers from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) as well as educators working with civil society organizations.
It was intended that this video was used along with the accompanying
manual but where time or circumstances did not allow for this then teachers will still learn much simply from watching the video. The manual was intended for wide application in both in-service as well as pre-service teacher training. The manual consisted of two parts: is a self-study document, which contains an overview of cooperative learning strategies, theories, and practice and should be used during the training as well as for future reference and; consists of a number of training modules most of which could be used independently of each other, depending on local needs. This manual also included a DVD that provided useful exemplars of Cooperative Learning at a number of different grade levels (i.e., Grades 2, 5, and 8) and with different subject matter. Interestingly, the DVD included examples of Cooperative Learning applications at lower secondary school level, though there was a common misconception that the methodology should only be used at primary level. One of the modules provided in this manual provided some structured activities to use when showing the DVD, so that it can be used most effectively.
While Co-operative Learning is usually understood to take in a wide array
of learning techniques which stress increased opportunities for critical thinking and creative learning, these training materials focused primarily on a somewhat lower set of expectations for teachers. Given the many difficulties found in village schools (e.g., large class sizes, poor facilities, under qualified teachers, etc.), the authors stressed strategic interventions in the classroom which are cooperative in nature and which enable students to spend more time on task than is possible with more traditional teaching techniques. Because student achievement is usually correlated with time on task, it was hoped that interventions of this nature would facilitate a reduction in student repetition rates, improved learning, more child friendly learning environments, as well as instil values of team work and helping behavior in young children.
This literature review hasâ€¦(please write a clear summary of the Key points for the sections in this chapter in the order they have been written in the chapter) THEN write where there might be gaps in the literature, where you have not been able to find any material.
Brunner, J (1960). The Process of Education. Cambridge,MA: Haward University Press
Thomson, A.D., Simonson, M.R., & Hargrave, C.P.(1996). Educational technology: a review of the research (2nd ed.)Where published? Publisher?
Lauro, Jr.,D.R. Five approaches to professional development compared. http://www.thejournal.com/magazine/vaualt/A1070.cfm
Where are the rest of the references from this chapter?