Sunshine is about the only thing on the side of the Grade 3 students now that they are finally back from their teaching practice and living (or perhaps we should say 'squatting') at the new campus. Due to lack of space at the old campus, the Grade 3 students have been forced to inhabit this building site ahead of time. They have no hot water for washing and inadequate canteen facilities meaning they often go without hot meals. The teachers are grumbling too, as they have to take the bus from the town out to the campus every day for classes. At least the College is providing a free bus service to tie in with class times.

This morning Ali took a bike ride out to meet Cindy, one of the class monitors, to deliver the Teaching Practice Feedback & Evaluation forms that Lesley gives to the students every year. It's especially important this year as it's the first time since 2006 that the English Department resorted to the usual teaching practice set-up of minimal preparation and minimal support of TP students. Given that Lesley has data from all four PIE teaching practice groups (160 students in all) she will be able to make a direct comparison between the nature and quality of teaching practice for PIE and non-PIE students. So far it's not looking good for the non-PIE conditions - most of the students we spoke to this time only taught about 5 lessons (compared to an average of 120 for PIE students!) and experienced many social challenges like pressure to drink. With PIE teaching practice groups Lesley ran life skills workshops before they left for placements, to help them prepare for such challenges. Pre-teaching practice agreements and on-going correspondence with the Education Bureau and Middle Schools also meant that we could keep these problems to a minimum. She was very disappointed that the English Department, under new leadership, refused to cooperate or continue the PIE activities and approach to supported teaching practice. The one consolation is that it's a good research opportunity. Let's hope that the data supports the belief that PIE is the way to go!

Li Hongyan
11/12/2009 06:50:42 am

I agree with you that this is a great research opportunity. Thanks to Ali for helping with this.

Lesley, can i ever say more that you are so good at finding opportunities in almost anything?

I look forward to the findings (though I won't expect much surprise), which i think can be solid evidence to show to the college leaders.



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