This paper outlines focuses on a teacher development program delivered at a Middle School in Macau. The participants on a teacher development course on the teaching of reading skills were asked to complete a questionnaire about the course. Teachers who indicated their willingness then took part in semi structured interviews. The aim of the study was to determine how suitable and useful the professional development had been for the particular context of the school. It was also hoped that the research could inform the planning of future teacher courses, many of which are conducted by my Centre. Overall, the findings of the research indicated the vital importance of context knowledge in the delivery of such courses, since teachers who were often well versed in theories of teaching, doubted whether some theories could be applied in their teaching situation. The findings also supported the idea that a teacher development, rather than teacher training focus should be adopted in professional development, drawing wherever possible on the superior context knowledge of the participants in teacher education. While findings from this small scale study are not generalisable beyond Macau they do provide some insight in the teacher education field. In this field course titles such as 'how to teach reading' are not uncommon, while there is no research based evidence that an answer to this question has been identified.
John Wheeler, MPI Macao, Macao
Stream: Professional Training
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