The teaching practicum (TP) is a major component of the Faculty’s teacher education programmes. During the TP, our students do not only learn from the University, more importantly, they learn from teachers at work, their teacher-mentors. A good mentor-teacher can give practical advice, provide emotional support, share teaching experience and resources to help student-teachers to develop their craft of teaching. On the other hand, mentor-teachers often find student-teachers could bring in new pedagogical ideas, up-to-date technology and additional energy to the classroom. That is why TP is a good professional development opportunity for both in-service and pre-service teachers.
Dr Cheri Chan, Assistant Professor of English Language Education and Faculty Professional Development Coordinator of School-University Partnership, has been providing professional development for in-service teachers in the community and pre-service teachers in the Faculty since 2006. For instance, she has been offering mentoring workshops for school-based teacher-mentors since 2011. However, she believes that professional development training should not be limited by the time, date, location or the form of delivery. Her research examines how an e-mentoring platform can be used to provide in-service teachers and student teachers to have professional conversations, share teaching knowledge and resources during the field experience. Her research has found that e-mentoring provides an additional layer of support for student-teachers during the practicum. Furthermore, she has recently produced 4 e-learning videos with the support of the e-learning team to enhance off-campus training for school-based mentors. The four videos provide an important resource for school-based mentors who may not have time to attend the on-site Mentoring Workshops facilitated by Dr Cheri Chan in October and February. The e-Learning Team provided our service to help Dr Chan to achieve her vision.
The videos aim to facilitate professional conversations. Those videos are bite-sized versions of what Dr Chan offer at the in-house mentoring workshops at the HKU. These short videos provide the basics but essential tips for mentor-teachers who are looking after our student-teachers during the practicum. The topic includes:
- What is Mentoring?
- Supporting Mentees during the Practicum
- Understanding the Lesson Observation Process
- Understanding the Purpose of the HKU Practicum
The benefit of using videos to present the learning content is that we could show it in a vivid way. For instance, we try to present the benefits of mentoring for professional development in the “What is Mentoring?” video. In that clip, the student-teacher told us how the mentor-teacher helped her to build up her confidence in the classroom, on the other hand, the mentor-teacher told us how the student-teacher could bring additional energy into his classroom, it was a win-win situation. It is very effective that we could show a video clip of a real case of a mentor-mentee relationship.
If you are interested to build an online learning community or produce a serious of learning video to enrich your learning content, you can contact Alan Wong by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 3917 0374.
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