Teacher Professional Development

Research Framework

The project of teacher workshops in China will create a transformative learning community for teachers to explore, reflect and inspire each other.  This workshop series is designed from the perspectives of education, sociology, psychology, philosophy and cultural studies.  The “dialogical space” that is created by the workshops will allow the teachers to bring in their personal experiences and assist them in reflecting on knowledge of teaching, their roles as teachers, teacher-student relations, and the intersection of school-family-community.  Research-based experiential activities will help teachers reach the highest professional goals associated with becoming effective agents of change for social transformation — all done for the benefit of children and youth.  

The workshop series is designed for PK-12 teachers, school principals and administrators in China.  The workshop series gives educators permission to trust their intuition and resource through reflecting their teaching experiences, and use it as a legitimate problem-solving tool at work.  We respect ordinary life experiences of educators and believe their individual narratives will enable us to explore social, cultural, familial, and institutional aspects in a broader context.  In the workshop, educators will participate in experiential activities such as reflective writing, improvisation, role-play, etc.  We will discuss topics that are related to profession of teaching, role of teachers and teacher-student relations.  Through experiential activities, educators will revisit the skill set of listening, observation, storytelling, collaboration, reflection, and empathy.  We will examine the following themes.

1.     The power of vulnerability: open yourself and embrace uncertainties & opportunities
2.     Teaching students to solve problems
3.     Teacher as emotional laborer and the construction of emotions
4.     Build connections through stories
5.     Relationship- and dialogue-based teaching
6.     From the “cultural deficit model” to respecting cultural diversity
7.     Identify strengths and build purpose

8.     Play as pedagogy: curiosity and learning

For each session, schools can choose themes based on their own needs.  Experiential activities will deepen educators’ understanding of teaching as profession and empower individual educator to value the journey of teaching and become agents of change for social transformation.