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Postgraduate Thesis: Tensions and complexities in school-university collaboration: a HongKong case study
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TitleTensions and complexities in school-university collaboration: a HongKong case study
 
AuthorsChan, Yu-yan, Cheri.
陳如茵.
 
Issue Date2011
 
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
 
AbstractThe aim of this study is to problematise the social practice of school-university collaboration in the context of assessment reform in Hong Kong English Language teaching. Hong Kong’s education system has been undergoing major reforms since 1997 and collaboration between tertiary institutions and schools has been negotiated in education policy discourse as a way to improve teaching and learning. In the key policy documents shaping professional development practices for Hong Kong teachers, school-university collaboration is neatly packaged as achievable and unproblematic. In reality, however, school-university collaboration is frequently characterised by tensions and complexities. The objective of this research is to critically examine how particular worldviews about school-university collaboration and partnership are negotiated, reproduced and/or contested in one particular sociocultural context, that of secondary English language teaching in Hong Kong. Drawing on the work of Michel Foucault and the concepts of discourse propounded by Norman Fairclough, a theoretical framework was constructed to examine how collaborative practices in this case study were constituted through discourse. Textual data were collected from the case study. Critical discourse analysis (CDA) was used to examine how teacher-researchers and university facilitators co-constructed and negotiated systems of beliefs and knowledge, interpersonal relations and intrapersonal subjectivity whilst engaged in collaborative action research (CAR). The analysis of the textual data (emails, interviews, transcripts of face-to-face meetings) revealed collaborative practices were mediated through language (verbal and non-verbal). The study also indicates that the collaboration enacted in this case study was highly complex and ambiguous because the practice was predominantly shaped by social, political, ideological and pragmatic factors in the wider sociocultural context, including changes in the assessment of speaking skills of senior secondary students in the English language education curriculum. The discourse of collaboration was thus problematised to identify how all these factors shaped the construction of beliefs, interpersonal relations and identity in the practice of collaborative action research. The study concludes with an examination of the contribution that critical discourse analysis research can make in problematising the practice of school-university collaboration, and how this knowledge may be able to improve the planning and facilitation of future practices. While the existing literature about collaborative action research provides educators with information on how it is implemented in a Western sociocultural context, there are fewer studies which examine the notion of school-university collaboration in a more critical light, for example, by exploring how systemic and contextual factors in society play a significant role in shaping and constraining what people do through collaboration. This case study offers an insight into the complexities of constructing collaboration between two different institutional cultures in a non-Western sociocultural setting. The implications for policy, professional development and research in teacher education are also highlighted. The analysis of the textual data (emails, interviews, transcripts of face-to-face meetings)
 
AdvisorsAndrews, SJ
 
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
 
SubjectEnglish language - Study and teaching (Secondary) - China - Hong Kong.
College-school cooperation - China - Hong Kong.
 
Dept/ProgramEducation
 
DC FieldValue
dc.contributor.advisorAndrews, SJ
 
dc.contributor.authorChan, Yu-yan, Cheri.
 
dc.contributor.author陳如茵.
 
dc.date.hkucongregation2011
 
dc.date.issued2011
 
dc.description.abstractThe aim of this study is to problematise the social practice of school-university collaboration in the context of assessment reform in Hong Kong English Language teaching. Hong Kong’s education system has been undergoing major reforms since 1997 and collaboration between tertiary institutions and schools has been negotiated in education policy discourse as a way to improve teaching and learning. In the key policy documents shaping professional development practices for Hong Kong teachers, school-university collaboration is neatly packaged as achievable and unproblematic. In reality, however, school-university collaboration is frequently characterised by tensions and complexities. The objective of this research is to critically examine how particular worldviews about school-university collaboration and partnership are negotiated, reproduced and/or contested in one particular sociocultural context, that of secondary English language teaching in Hong Kong. Drawing on the work of Michel Foucault and the concepts of discourse propounded by Norman Fairclough, a theoretical framework was constructed to examine how collaborative practices in this case study were constituted through discourse. Textual data were collected from the case study. Critical discourse analysis (CDA) was used to examine how teacher-researchers and university facilitators co-constructed and negotiated systems of beliefs and knowledge, interpersonal relations and intrapersonal subjectivity whilst engaged in collaborative action research (CAR). The analysis of the textual data (emails, interviews, transcripts of face-to-face meetings) revealed collaborative practices were mediated through language (verbal and non-verbal). The study also indicates that the collaboration enacted in this case study was highly complex and ambiguous because the practice was predominantly shaped by social, political, ideological and pragmatic factors in the wider sociocultural context, including changes in the assessment of speaking skills of senior secondary students in the English language education curriculum. The discourse of collaboration was thus problematised to identify how all these factors shaped the construction of beliefs, interpersonal relations and identity in the practice of collaborative action research. The study concludes with an examination of the contribution that critical discourse analysis research can make in problematising the practice of school-university collaboration, and how this knowledge may be able to improve the planning and facilitation of future practices. While the existing literature about collaborative action research provides educators with information on how it is implemented in a Western sociocultural context, there are fewer studies which examine the notion of school-university collaboration in a more critical light, for example, by exploring how systemic and contextual factors in society play a significant role in shaping and constraining what people do through collaboration. This case study offers an insight into the complexities of constructing collaboration between two different institutional cultures in a non-Western sociocultural setting. The implications for policy, professional development and research in teacher education are also highlighted. The analysis of the textual data (emails, interviews, transcripts of face-to-face meetings)
 
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version
 
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation
 
dc.description.thesisleveldoctoral
 
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy
 
dc.identifier.hkulb4722841
 
dc.languageeng
 
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
 
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)
 
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.
 
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License
 
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B47228416
 
dc.subject.lcshEnglish language - Study and teaching (Secondary) - China - Hong Kong.
 
dc.subject.lcshCollege-school cooperation - China - Hong Kong.
 
dc.titleTensions and complexities in school-university collaboration: a HongKong case study
 
dc.typePG_Thesis
 
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<date.issued>2011</date.issued>
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Drawing on the work of Michel Foucault and the concepts of discourse propounded by Norman Fairclough, a theoretical framework was constructed to examine how collaborative practices in this case study were constituted through discourse. Textual data were collected from the case study. Critical discourse analysis (CDA) was used to examine how teacher-researchers and university facilitators co-constructed and negotiated systems of beliefs and knowledge, interpersonal relations and intrapersonal subjectivity whilst engaged in collaborative action research (CAR). 



The analysis of the textual data (emails, interviews, transcripts of face-to-face meetings) revealed collaborative practices were mediated through language (verbal and non-verbal). The study also indicates that the collaboration enacted in this case study was highly complex and ambiguous because the practice was predominantly shaped by social, political, ideological and pragmatic factors in the wider sociocultural context, including changes in the assessment of speaking skills of senior secondary students in the English language education curriculum. The discourse of collaboration was thus problematised to identify how all these factors shaped the construction of beliefs, interpersonal relations and identity in the practice of collaborative action research. The study concludes with an examination of the contribution that critical discourse analysis research can make in problematising the practice of school-university collaboration, and how this knowledge may be able to improve the planning and facilitation of future practices. While the existing literature about collaborative action research provides educators with information on how it is implemented in a Western sociocultural context, there are fewer studies which examine the notion of school-university collaboration in a more critical light, for example, by exploring how systemic and contextual factors in society play a significant role in shaping and constraining what people do through collaboration. This case study offers an insight into the complexities of constructing collaboration between two different institutional cultures in a non-Western sociocultural setting. The implications for policy, professional development and research in teacher education are also highlighted. 

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