Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Lam, SF; Yim, PS; Lam, TWH (2002) Transforming school culture: can true collaboration be initiated? Educational Research, 2002, v. 44 n. 2, p. 181-195

While Western educators caution against contrived collegiality in the midst of enthusiasm for peer coaching as a form of teacher development, Hong Kong educators are struggling to detach discussion and observation of classroom teaching from staff appraisal. The challenges for this task are twofold: To secure a niche for peer coaching in the practice of staff development, and to ward off contrived collegiality in the course. Using an action research paradigm, the present project attempted to meet these challenges in two schools. As a joint work between various parties, the present project had to negotiate its way cautiously to achieve genuine collaboration and avoid imposition from the administrators and outsiders to the frontline teachers. During the course, innovative strategies were taken to cope with  various difficulties including time constraints, teachers’ psychological pressure, and the possibility of contrived collegiality and implementation partnership. The evaluation of the project showed that the teachers generally accepted peer coaching and found it helpful to their professional development. The experience in the two schools indicated that true collaboration might emerge from organisationally induced collegiality under certain conditions.

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