Perceptions on the purposes of and concerns about collaborative lesson study in the professional development of Taiwanese secondary school teachers

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Abstract

Purpose Many Taiwanese teachers have begun implementing the activities of collaborative lesson preparation, open classroom observation, and discussion on completed lessons, according to teacher collaborative practices in foreign schools. The perceptions on the purposes of and concerns about these activities as well as their effectiveness in the professional development of teachers warrant investigation. Therefore, this study compared Taiwanese teachers experienced in collaborative lesson study and their inexperienced counterparts. Design/methodology/approach A survey was conducted to collect data from 2,374 secondary school teachers from 21 regions by using stratified random cluster sampling. Of these teachers, 753 were experienced in collaborative lesson study, 741 were inexperienced, and the remaining teachers were partly experienced. The independent-samples t test and Friedman rank analysis were used to compare the ranking of various variables between the experienced and inexperienced teachers. Findings Significant differences were observed between the study groups in the perceptions on the purposes of and concerns about collaborative activities and the effectiveness in professional development. Friedman rank analysis of the experienced teachers revealed identical rankings on the purposes of collaborative activities, namely professional ability, subject matter knowledge, and students' learning effectiveness. However, students' learning effectiveness was less considered by inexperienced teachers in collaborative activities. Moreover, regardless of whether collaborative activities were implemented, the teachers were more concerned about instructional strategies than subject matter and learner abilities when collaborating. Originality/value Previously in Taiwan, classroom teaching demonstration was considered an administrative affair, in which the focus was often on the demonstrating teachers' behaviors rather than students' learning performance. The present findings provide a more comprehensive outlook on the experiences of Taiwanese secondary school teachers in collaborative lesson preparation, open classroom observation, and discussion on completed lessons, thus enabling further improvements in teacher collaborations for professional development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-76
Number of pages34
JournalContemporary Educational Research Quarterly
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education

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