Students as Partners: Live Streaming Hands-on Professional Development Workshop for Physics/STEM teachers
Supported by the Quality Education Fund, the Education Bureau of the HKSAR Government and the Faculty of Education, two online hands-on teacher professional workshops were organised in mid-February 2022. They were jointly run by Ms Promail Leung, Director of the School-University Partnerships Office and Senior Lecturer of the Faculty’s Academic Unit of Teacher Education and Learning Leadership, and the 11 Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Science (BEd&BSc) students who major in Physics*. Around 60 Physics/STEM in-service teachers participated in the events.
Ms Leung has been collaborating with student teachers to upscale their innovative tech-infused assignments to Inquiry-based Physics Teaching Packages (PhyTP) since 2018. For this workshop, six PhyTP were produced to support Physics/STEM teachers, which are suitable for both face-to-face and online teaching. These materials cover research-evident misconceptions or concepts that students often find difficult to understand. Each set contains a video with bilingual subtitles and a teacher’s manual for easy explanation to students. In addition, 3D-printed DIY models and bilingual worksheets or handouts for students are included in most sets.
In light of the social distancing regulations imposed by the HKU, the workshops were unconventional in their new approach and demonstration methods. First, the workshops have adopted the “Students as Partners” (SaP) approach, which empowered student teachers and Faculty staff as active collaborators in planning, decision-making, and implementation that equally contribute to the workshops. Student teachers acted as influencers, decision-makers and workshop creators. They took an active role to discover, investigate, analyse, or interact with the in-service teachers in their projects’ dissemination.
Moreover, since some of the teaching packages involve 3D-printed DIY models, tangible teaching parts and instruction sheets were mailed to participants’ schools in advance for real-time engagement. It has facilitated easier understanding of the participants and eliminated the disadvantage of merely listening to online presentations without hands-on experience, which the participants greatly appreciated.
During the workshop, multiple cameras were used to live-stream demonstrations from different angles, so that participants could see clearly. Furthermore, an array of e-learning tools was adopted to facilitate professional dialogue and the exchange of ideas between student teachers and in-service teachers.
The workshops received enthusiastic responses and positive feedback from the participants. They have agreed that the knowledge gained from the workshop was helpful in their teaching, and they were enlightened by the student teachers’ innovation and clear presentation. The student teachers were able to answer participants’ questions in an immediate and effective manner and inspiring comments were collected.
The SaP approach creates a space for teachers and students to work together to design and enhance teaching practices, capacities and competencies. Research said that the collaboration could significantly contribute to the improvement of higher education teaching and successful student learning. Although the process of partnering with students might be complex and the impact of the successful partnership on teaching and learning is difficult to measure in general, tremendous benefits of student partnership have been observed from the student teachers’ reflection, such as the development of future skills (e.g. collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking skills) and positive mindsets, as well as the enhancement of teacher identity transformation and the commitment to the teaching profession.
To watch the summary and behind-the-scenes of the workshop, please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Na29xttniMM.
We are proud of our students’ efforts and contribution to the community during the fifth wave of the pandemic, and we hope that both teachers and students will benefit from utilising the teaching packages.
*The BEd&BSc students who took part in the workshops are:
Year 5 Year 4 Year 3
Lo Chun Yip Michael Choi Sin Sum Chan Tsz Wun Sharon
Kwok Kai Yin Jonathan Kwan Ho Yam Benson
Tang Sik Ming Madison Yau Chi Lam Xavier
Leung Cheuk Wang Ken Wong Hoi Ying Melody
Chan Iat Cheong Davis
Yau Siu Ning Teresa