AbstractsEducation Research & Administration

Towards technological pedagogical content knowledge via cross socio-linguistic interaction : a case study of beginning teacher-researchers’ decision-making in school-engaged teacher-researcher

by Yiye Lu

Institution: University of Western Sydney
Department: School of Education
Degree: PhD
Year: 2014
Keywords: Chinese language; study and teaching (secondary); Australia; teaching; case studies; teachers; education; research; teacher researchers
Record ID: 1069827
Full text PDF: http://handle.uws.edu.au:8081/1959.7/547046


Much of the current research demonstrates that teachers’ knowledge is a powerful force in students’ learning and teachers’ instruction, and it is also persuasive, individualistic, and modifiable (Sotelo, & Stigler, 2010). It is further argued that to achieve to pedagogical knowing conceptually as well as substantively, requires attending to teachers. It is in teaching that knowing resides, and is revealed. This study first aims to explore the ‘knowledge base’ that beginning teacher-researchers have used, changed and developed through a research-oriented school-engaged teacher education (ROSETE) Partnership in Western Sydney (Australia). To do so, it explores the influence of the ROSETE Partnership on developing beginning teachers into teacher-researchers. Case study methodology was selected in order to provide a detailed examination of what teachers do in the classroom, in addition to how and why they draw on particular types of knowledge to facilitate student learning. Volunteer Teacher Researchers (VTRs) from the ROSETE Partnership were chosen as the main participants for this study. The data were collected from VTRs’ theses, face-to-face interviews and lesson plans. These data were analysed to investigate the different categories of knowledge that VTRs have developed in order to support their teaching in Western Sydney schools. It reveals that the VTRs’ beliefs about the subject and educational purposes influence their decisions on what Chinese should be taught to Australian students. It also shows that knowledge of context, curriculum, content (Mandarin), pedagogy and learners are the main categories that contribute to effective teaching and learning. In addition, knowledge of self and knowledge of English are two new categories of knowledge that proved indispensable elements for effective teaching and learning, especially in the English-speaking context of this study. However, the VTRs’ were concerned about the way they can organise these types of knowledge to make Chinese learnable for English-speaking learners. Another main participant of this case study is the researcher herself. The data were from my self-reflection diary, accompanied by mentor’s lesson feedback, as well as interviews with teachers and the questionnaires with students. The first 18 months of face-to-face classroom teaching aimed to investigate ways to make Chinese learnable for Australian students. Shulman’s (1976, 1987) concept of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and Ringbom’s (2007) concept of cross-linguistic similarities were used as theoretical tools to analyse the evidence for the possibility of making Chinese learnable. The analysis of evidence suggests that by making connections between Chinese and English with which the Second Language (L2) learners are familiar presents possibilities for making Chinese more learnable for them. However, Ringbom’s (2007) concept was contested because comparisons between Chinese and English can be from linguistic perspective, and perhaps more importantly from social and cultural perspectives.…