The NIE, as a university, has to meet challenges in university ranking. Academic publication and Educational research are important skills. Unlike the older staff who were usually local teachers with many years of teaching experiences in schools, new staff are more likely to be academics with strong academic publication backgrounds with strong track records in winning research proposals.Teachersdevelopment used to be outside the classroom and students. In Singapore, a teacher’s training college was set up in
Loughran, Mitchell and Mitchell (2002) who characterize teacher-researchers as“practitioners who attempt to better understand their practice, and its impact on theirstudents, by researching the relationship between teaching and learning in their world ofwork” (p.3).
As a social media, communication on Facebook can be more personal, expressive, more emotional. This is a strength over conventional communication methods like emails or bulletins.
Because new media communication can be seen as credible, individual, and emotional, it is important to be literate in its uses, etiques and dangers.
Preparation of teachers as educational researchers in theborderless new media community Yin-Mei Wong National Institute of Education Singapore Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Outline• Background• Changing landscape of teachers PD• Challenges in developing teacher-researchers• Potential of new media• Project Baby Butterflies• Reflections• Potentials and Challenges
Background Introduction• Global awareness and self-directed learning are both seen as essential skills for 21st Century learning and teaching• Teachers need to develop competencies in – Learner centred learning approach – Developing a research culture – Developing pupils with global awareness and citizenship
Changing landscape in teachers’ professional development (PD)• Changing role of NIE – Challenges of being a university Publication, Research, International staff and other ranking related factors takes priority over local school teaching experiences and familiarity with the Singapore education system.• Changing role of schools – Senior staff with hands-on experiences dealing with changing student profiles, day-to- day challenges in completing syllables and teachers general well-beings• Changing role of teachers -- Teachers-led PD. Reflective and inquiry-based learning becomes increasingly important. Research increasingly seen as important role in teachers PD. Research Activist in every school.
Common Types of Teachers’ Research• Practitioner Research• Practitioner Inquiry• Problem Based Inquiry• Action Research• Action Learning
Challenges in preparing teachers as educational researchers• Is there a venue for teachers to reach out to their international counterparts? – International Peer-Reviewed Journals?• Are there proper training programmes to train the teachers? – Institution of Higher Education?• Do teachers see themselves as competent researchers? – Literature research on teachers’ opinion• Are sufficient resources given to support teachers research? – Educational Research funds are given to NIE, schools have little access to research funds.
Potentials of new media• Venue for teachers to reach out• Professional Development through participation in global research• Development of teachers’ identity as competent researchers• Support for teachers through innovation funds
Project Baby Butterflies• Nature of study. A very preliminary and informal study to test the water• Mission. Based on a bigger objective to develop a global community of teacher researchers• Approach. Teachers develop with their students through research projects• New Media Platform. Facebook
The projectParticipants - Conducted by two teachers with their childrenLearning Space - Carried out in an informal and privatelearning space for both teachers and childrenResearch method - Grounded theoryPeriod – two weeksInitiation (common experience) – both groups visited abutterfly farm in SingaporeExtension (individual work and sharing) – children broughthome caterpillar kitsChildren learn to raise their caterpillars and supported eachotherTeachers guided the children and teachers learnt togetherabout conducting research
Uploaded document Day 8End of Day 8:I put my butterfly container outside and waitedfor the butterfly to fly off, but it didn’t. Mumtold me to bring it out to the garden to let it flyoff. I brought the container out but before wecould reach the garden, it flew out and landed afew meters away. I nearly wanted to bring itback but I turned around instead. Well… Goodluck, butterfly! I hope we’ll meet again!
Reflection• Facebook as a platform extended learning and engagement long after the field trip was over• Compared to conventional trips, emotions and factual evidences were captured on the new media platform (Facebook)
Potentials and Challenges• Global network of teacher researchers. Informal network. Separate groups may be created to facilitate teachers research knowledge• Opportunities for global connections and friendship can develop through such sharing and communication• Global cultural awareness. Explicit teaching of new media literacy for both teachers and students are needed prior to conducting similar projects for international collaboration• Other new media platforms such as LinkedIn may be use if teachers do not wish to share students data