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The role of emotionality in teacher change: the case of Chinese language teachers in Hong Kong

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Over the past decade, Chinese language teachers in Hong Kong have experienced a series of educational reforms. They are now expected to design and implement their own school-based Chinese language curriculum, and adopt innovative pedagogies and customized materials in the classroom. The current literature suggests that some teachers are not ready for or even resist changes amid new challenges and paradigm changes. This case study highlights the role of emotionality as a key factor for successful teacher change by proposing a local adaptation of the classic model, while pointing out that a combined mode of support inclusive of collective lesson preparation and teaching demonstrations/practical sessions in professional development programs is a key element that helps facilitate teachers’ change and provides teachers with experiential learning opportunities and enhanced confidence, leading to their voluntary adoption of the approach and gradual change in their beliefs and attitudes after witnessing the feasibility and effectiveness of the newly introduced concepts.
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Keywords: Language teachers; emotionality; experiential learning; perceptual change; professional development

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Division of Chinese Language and Literature, Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China 2: Centre for Advancement of Chinese Language Education and Research, Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Publication date: May 27, 2017

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