Identifying Chinese secondary teachers’ needs for professional development abroad

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Conference publication

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China is at a crucial point for reforming its education system and seeks professional development abroad for selective secondary teachers. In this study, 13 experienced Chinese physics teachers undertook an intensive four-week professional development program in Australia. Early discussion with the participants and two surveys (i.e., mid-evaluation and end-evaluation surveys) aimed to gather qualitative responses for determining their needs for professional development. Data highlighted the essential nature of school visits for observing teaching practices, accurate translations, and the inclusion of physics-based excursions. Yet, apart from addressing personal and social needs, it was concluded future professional development must focus on delivering advanced content knowledge related specifically to the Chinese Curriculum Standards, and current pedagogical approaches and theories that branch beyond the transmission approach employed in China. The information in this study aims to assist other tertiary institutions conducting professional development programs for Chinese teachers.