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Title: ESL teacher professional development & curriculum innovation : the case of the Malaysian Smart School project
Author: Wah, Lee Kean
ISNI:       0000 0004 2676 7082
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis reports on an investigation into the role of the ESL component of a teacher professional development (PO) system in a national-level curriculum innovation initiative - the Malaysian Smart School Curriculum (SSC) project. The central aim of the study was to attempt to carry out an in-depth investigation of the functioning of a PD system occurring in a context which is currently under-represented in research and theorising, with a view to contributing thereby to the further development of understanding about such systems and their overall conceptualisation. The study employed a mixed-method design, consisting of an initial "horizontal" dimension and a subsequent ''vertical'' one. The former took the form of a survey of ESL teachers and ESL "managers" in a single state within Malaysia, aimed at eliciting information and views about the functioning of the SSC PO system. The latter consisted of a case study, based on a single SSC secondary school in the same state. Interviews, field notes and documentary analysis were used to elicit data, with a similar focus to that obtained in the first part of the study, from the school's ESL teachers, management team and the wider related network of SSC PO personnel. The findings were analysed in terms of the "state-of-the-art" model of PO presented in Adey (2004). In overall terms, a number of major discrepancies were found between the two systems. In the main, the SSC PO system was found to have an overall "Skills and Knowledge Transmission" orientation, i.e., to focus mainly on the provision of "input" about the SSC via off-site training courses with relatively little on-site follow-up, in contrast to the additional presence in Adey's model of an important linked "Community of Practice"-oriented PO element. The SSC PO system was also seen, by and large, not to have brought about the desired understanding at the classroom level of how to put SSC-related teaching and learning techniques into practice. However, these outcomes were not viewed as implying that PD systems such as the SSC one should simply be redeveloped to conform to the "prestige" model. Rather, it is argued that there needs to be greater appreciation of the way the design of PO systems is influenced by socio-cultural factors, and of the importance of attempting to remedy any shortcomings in them in a culturally-appropriate manner.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available