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Title: Exploring levels of quality of teaching based on the dynamic model in Taiwan : constraints and perspectives
Author: Tsai, Po
ISNI:       0000 0004 8507 4358
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2020
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Teacher professional development is an important element in improving quality of teaching (Borko, 2004). Adjusting trainings sessions to teacher’s authentic needs is considered a crucial part of their professional development. To improve teachers’ teaching practice, the Ministry of Education and local educational departments in Taiwan not only publish a programme of seminars, but also hold a series of workshops for teachers. The programme contexts, however, do not always conform to the authentic needs of teachers and schools (D. Chang & Kuo, 2011). Therefore, this study, firstly, intends to develop an instrument to measure quality of teaching in Taiwan. Then, through applying this instrument, this research plans to group teachers in Taiwan into different levels based on their quality of teaching. The study also makes an attempt to investigate the relationships between teaching quality, teacher background characteristics and perceptions (teacher attitudes to teaching mathematics, teacher self-efficacy and teacher job satisfaction), student background characteristics, and student achievement. According to the aforementioned research purposes, this research could identify levels of teaching quality based on the dynamic model and identify contextual factors that may be relevant to Taiwan, in order to investigate teachers’ authentic needs, and to provide tailored professional development programmes for teachers. The study also attempts to comprehend the relationships between teaching quality, teacher background characteristics and perceptions, student background characteristics, and student achievement in order to improve teacher teaching and student learning. The dynamic model is a model using a number of factors to describe the practice of teachers, which can be used to explain student outcomes (Creemers & Kyriakides, 2008). Most previous studies on the dynamic model have been conducted using quantitative approaches. This study is based on a mixed methods approach. A student questionnaire measuring quality of teaching, criterion-reference tests in mathematics measuring student achievement, and a teacher questionnaire measuring teacher perceptions were utilised in this research. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted to assess the internal validity of the findings of the student questionnaire and the teacher background characteristics. The analysis of the quantitative data was conducted using Inferential Statistics, Cluster Analysis, Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) and Structural Equation Modelling (SEM), while the qualitative data was analysed by applying the Constant Comparative approach to complement the findings of the student questionnaire and teacher background characteristics data. Through the identification of three levels of teaching quality in Taiwan as described by the dynamic model, teachers’ improvement priorities could be identified, and area-specific teacher training lessons could be offered to promote improved teaching skills. This research also identified contextual factors related to the context of Taiwan, such as teacher attitudes to teaching mathematics, teacher self-efficacy and job satisfaction. These factors can influence quality of teaching. This study therefore extends the dynamic model to the educational context in Taiwan. Additionally, the findings indicated that out of all the explanatory variables, teaching quality had the most significant impact on student achievement. This result suggests that teacher education programmes should pay more attention to teaching quality, as opposed to teacher perceptions, as a method to improve student learning.
Supervisor: Antoniou, Panayiotis Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: The Dynamic Model ; School Effectiveness ; Student Achievement