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The University of Hong Kong Quality Education Fund CITE Hong Kong Study Centre
Key Findings Analysis of Innovation Classroom Analysis of Innovation Schools Exploring M2 Case Study Database
ICT and Innovation Exploring Innovation Community Database


Learning from Innovative Classrooms

ICT can be integrated into education to deliver old classroom practices for the achievement of long existent goals, or it can be used in practices that bring about new learning goals and new modes of learning that will define and shape the future of schooling. In analyzing the cases, we identified 6 types of pedagogical practices based on the way the teaching and learning is organized. However, the type of pedagogical practice was not found to be a useful framework for analysing innovations. Instead, we have identified 6 key dimensions (or aspects) of classroom practices for comparing the extent of innovation in the different cases. Great diversities were observed across different case studies in the profile of features along the 6 dimensions. While classroom practices for which all features were highly innovative were rare, many of the case studies were highly innovative along one or a few of the 6 dimensions. Further, the 6 dimensions were not mutually independent, and arguably the roles played by the teacher

Teacher・s Roles and Innovations (List of Examples)   

A cluster analysis of the variety of roles played by teachers in the innovations revealed 5 typologies in the roles played by the teachers, two of which were considered to be more :emergent;: facilitating exploratory learning and guiding collaborative enquiry in supporting the development of students・ learning outcome most important for the 21st century. The other three typologies were more traditional: administering learning tasks, providing learning resources and to present, instruct & assess students. The different extents of innovativeness in terms of the pedagogical roles play by teaches can be explored through some case examples. It was also found that some forms of pedagogical practices (scientific inquiry, project work and media production) are more conducive to the taking up of emergent pedagogical roles by teachers, though there are also large diversities within the same type of practice. A summary of the distribution of cases in terms of teachers・ roles and types of classroom practices is available for further exploration.

Different extents of innovativeness in Teacher・s Role

The case studies were found to exhibit different extents of innovativeness regarding the pedagogical roles of the teachers, according to the :scale of innovativeness; on the basis of the :magnitude of change; of the teacher・s role. While in some cases, the teachers undertook the most innovative pedagogical roles and they contributed in facilitating exploratory learning (e.g. NO005, CN008) or guiding collaborative enquiry (e.g.ZA001), there are some other cases in which the involved teachers played an emergent role, carrying out some new pedagogical functions such as administering learning tasks (e.g. CN003, FR005) and providing learning resources (e.g. FI007). However, there were also a number of cases which possessed highly innovative features along other dimensions, yet did not exhibit perceivable innovation in the pedagogical role of the teachers such that the teachers・ tasks were mainly the traditional roles of presenting information, giving instructions and assessing students (e.g. PH001, TW006, US020).

Which types of practices are more likely to be associated with emergent teacher・s roles?

As revealed in the table (click to see) , for practices where the prominent roles played by the teachers were related to supporting enquiry, nearly all of them were organized in the form of project work (e.g. ZA001), media production (e.g. NO005) or scientific investigation (e.g. CN008). This indicates that these three forms of pedagogical practices probably provide the kind of learning contexts that are more conducive to facilitating student enquiry, and will be referred to as :emerging pedagogical practices;.

On the other hand, in expository teaching (e.g. TW006), task based learning (e.g. TW003), virtual schools and online courses (e.g. US020), teachers were found mostly to take on the roles of providing learning resources and presenting, instructing and assessing. An additional prominent role played by teachers involved in task based learning was that of :administer learning tasks;. also noteworthy that the case studies involving virtual schools and online courses appeared to be rather traditional in their pedagogical approaches, even though the technology used in the delivery was comparatively sophisticated

Diversities in teachers・ roles within the same type of practice

While there are patterns observed in terms of the teachers・ roles more strongly related to particular types of practices, the teacher・s roles and their level of innovativeness in the same type of pedagogical practices could be very diverse, for example, the teachers of AU001 and ES002, exhibited different level of innovativeness in their roles, though both are cases involving thematic project work. There is strong evidence that the format and curriculum organization of the classroom practices per se would not be sufficient to bring about changes in teachers・ roles in classrooms. This indicates that there is a long way to go in binging about deep changes in pedagogy in schools and classrooms even for the innovative pedagogical practices collected in the SITES M2 study. Staff development that promotes deep changes in teachers・ roles and practices are of paramount importance.

is the most important dimension since the teacher orchestrates and exerts the greatest influence on the other 5 dimensions. However, it was also found that the roles played by students have the most critical impact on students・ learning outcomes . The claimed curriculum goals did not, however, show up specific links with the other innovation characteristics. The connectedness dimension describes a prominent observation that in many of the cases, there were individuals or groups external to the classroom who played a variety of different roles in those practices. Most of the cases mentioned the use of basic internet access and there appears to be some links between the use of some ICT tools and software with specific aspects of the innovative practices . Besides exploring the key findings listed above, a database of 130 selected case studies are available for further investigation. You may also enter our innovation community database to explore and further reflect on your own pedagogical uses of ICT with other interested education professionals.