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研究生:陳香蓉
研究生(外文):Shiang-rong Chen
論文名稱:台北市國中英語教師對九年一貫課程英語教學態度之調查研究
論文名稱(外文):Teachers’ Attitudes toward the Grade 1-9 Curriculum: A Study on Junior High School EFL Teachers in Taipei City
指導教授:張湘君張湘君引用關係
指導教授(外文):Shiang-jiun Chang
學位類別:碩士
校院名稱:國立台北師範學院
系所名稱:兒童英語教育研究所
學門:教育學門
學類:普通科目教育學類
論文種類:學術論文
論文出版年:2003
畢業學年度:91
語文別:中文
論文頁數:210
中文關鍵詞:國中英語教師九年一貫英語教學教學態度
外文關鍵詞:Junior High School EFL TeachersGrade 1-9 CurriculumEnglish TeachingTeaching Attitude
相關次數:
  • 被引用被引用:28
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  • 下載下載:187
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摘要--
本研究主要之目的在探討台北市國中教師對九年一貫課程英語教學之態度,以瞭解九年一貫課程與教師態度的關係,進而瞭解影響教師教學態度的因素。本研究兼採量性與質性研究,以台北市公私立國中現職教師為問卷調查之取樣對象,有效樣本為594人;再從台北市12個行政區選出來自不同行政區的八位老師做訪談。本研究所使用的統計方法包括百分比與t考驗等。
本研究主要的結果如下:
1. 國中英語教師的教學態度深受教育改革新政策之影響。
2. 國中英語教師的教學態度深受學校行政措施之影響。
3. 國中英語教師的教學態度深受家長與學生需求之影響。
4. 國中英語教師的教學態度深受國中基本學力測驗之影響。
本研究提出的建議為:
1. 教育改革制度訂定之前,上級單位應多重視基層教師實際教學經驗可能面對的問題與困難。
2. 教育改革實施之際,學校行政考量教師工作的份量與壓力,應多給予教師教學資源與鼓勵。
3. 國中基本學力測驗影響教師教學方法與態度甚鉅,教育當局應充分認識教師教學方法與態度所帶來的影響,故國中基本學力測驗出題方向不得不謹慎。
4. 教師態度之建立應溯及師資養成教育之時代;教育改革後應加強教師在職進修之實務經驗。
Abstract--
The main purpose of this study is to investigate the attitudes of the junior high school EFL teachers in Taipei City toward the Grade 1-9 Curriculum and the factors that affect teachers’ teaching attitudes. Both quantitative and qualitative research designs were employed in this study to gather and analyze data. The subjects in this study came from both public and private junior high schools in Taipei City. The final sample consisted of 594 valid questionnaires and 8 interviewees coming from different administrative districts of Taipei City. The questionnaires were analyzed using SPSS for Windows, and examined by frequency, percentage and t-test.
The chief findings of this study are as follows:
1. These junior high school teachers’ teaching attitudes were deeply affected by the education reform policies.
2. These junior high school teachers’ teaching attitudes were deeply affected by the administrative measures taken by the school authority.
3. These junior high school teachers’ teaching attitudes were deeply affected by the demands from students and their parents.
4. These junior high school teachers’ teaching attitudes were deeply affected by the Academic Attainment Testing.
Implications of this study include:
1. Before the education reform is conducted, the authorities concerned should take into consideration the possible problems and difficulties classroom teachers will be faced with.
2. During the implementation of the education reform, in consideration of teachers’ heavy work burden and pressure, the school authority should provide more teaching resources and encouragement for teachers.
3. The Academic Attainment Testing every year has a great influence on teachers’ teaching approaches and attitudes, the washback effect of which should be duly recognized by the authorities concerned; and, therefore, the Academic Attainment Testing should be designed as conscientiously as possible.
4. To foster teachers’ positive attitudes toward the education reform, systematic and practical in-service training should be launched both before and after the implementation of the education reform.
TABLE OF CONTENTS--
Page
Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION...................................1
1.1 BACKGROUND & MOTIVATION...............................1
1.2 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY..................................4
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS....................................5
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY.............................6
1.5 DEFINITIIONS OF THE TERMS.............................9
Chapter 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.............................12
2.1 GOALS OF ENGLISH DOMAIN..............................12
2.2 IMPACT OF THE EDUCATION REFORM ON TEACHERS...........27
2.3 RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ATTITUDES AND IMPLEMENTATION....33
Chapter 3 METHODOLOGY...................................46
3.1 SUBJECTS.............................................46
3.2 INSTRUMENTS..........................................46
3.2.1 Questionnaire......................................47
3.2.2 Interviews.........................................49
3.2.3 Pilot Study........................................49
3.2.4 Data Analysis......................................49
3.3 ACTIONS AND TIME LINE................................50
Chapter 4 RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS.......................51
4.1 SURVEY RESULTS.......................................51
4.2 INTERVIEW RESULTS....................................86
4.3 OTHER RESULTS.......................................117
Chapter 5 CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS.................121
5.1 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS.............................121
5.2 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY............................127
5.3 IMPLICATIONS AND SUGGESTIONS........................128
REFERENCES..............................................132
APPENDIXES..............................................146
APPENDIXES--
Page
APPENDIX A: The Questionnaire for the Pilot Study......146
APPENDIX B: The Formal Questionnaire...................149
APPENDIX C: Questions for Interviews...................153
APPENDIX D: Table of the Questionnaire Statistics......154
APPENDIX E: Eight Interviewees’ Information ..........155
APPENDIX F: The Content of Interview with T1...........156
APPENDIX G: The Content of Interview with T2...........160
APPENDIX H: The Content of Interview with T3...........164
APPENDIX I: The Content of Interview with T4...........168
APPENDIX J: The Content of Interview with T51..........174
APPENDIX K: The Content of Interview with T6...........180
APPENDIX L: The Content of Interview with T7...........190
APPENDIX M: The Content of Interview with T8...........196
APPENDIX N: Varied Opinions in the End of the Questionnaire...........................................201
APPENDIX O: The Most Fundamental 1000 New Words and Phrases Junior High School Students Need to Learn...............205
APPENDIX P: English Terms Related to the Grade 1-9 Curriculum..............................................209
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Chapter 1
INTRODUCTION
1.1 BACKGROUND & MOTIVATION
As we enter the 21st century, we will surely encounter more interactions of information, more advances in technology, faster-changing societies, greater conveniences in life, closer international relationships, and more intensified international competition. To better prepare our nationals to rise up to these challenges, our national education has to equip the new generation with different qualities and capabilities. Over the past year, the Ministry of Education has committed itself to preparing citizens for the coming century, and has taken several measures to achieve this goal, such as curriculum reforms, campus renovations, school reconstruction, and caring for the disadvantaged. In other words, the educators in Taiwan should take the responsibility to enhance the quality of school education through a pluralistic system in order to form a comprehensive education network, to advocate the concept of lifelong learning, to create a sound environment for students to develop into well-rounded citizens (陳泰然,2001;張惠博,2001). Therefore, to enhance Taiwan’s national competitiveness by developing the island into a modern society that places equal emphasis on the mental well being of its people and the advancement of material civilization, educational reform has become a must to face the future. And that’s the reason why the Grade 1-9 Curriculum was born.
The junior high school is presently compulsory education in Taiwan and it recruits elementary school graduates aged from 13 to 15. That is, the Grade 1-9 Curriculum will be implemented for the students ranging from aged from 6 to 15. The most unique features of the Grade 1-9 Curriculum in the 21st century are the spirits of innovative teaching (李明珠,1999;石明原,2000;朱惠美,2001), of coalescent programmed curriculum (潘金源,2000;陳泰然,2001), and of multiple assessments to students (許信雄,1999;柯啟瑤,2001;葉錫南,2001). Furthermore, due to the proposal of the Grade 1-9 Curriculum, class schedule standard will be established; propelling teaching reform and the function of school subject teaching research team will be strengthened. And most important of all, what nine-year integrated curriculum claims is that teachers should compile the teaching materials for themselves (謝應裕,1999) and teachers’ profession should be absolutely self-leading, self-sustaining, and independent (簡維宏,2000;李錫津,2001;張惠博,2001). Owing to the above elements, teachers are encouraged to join the development of teaching curriculum and materials and to strengthen native language and foreign language teaching─English.
The core of junior high school education in Taiwan concentrated on daily life, moral, and democratic education, so the goal of the junior high school education is to educate healthy citizens with balanced development in five aspects of education: virtue, knowledge, health, sociability and aesthetics. Thus, the Grade 1-9 Curriculum is based on implementing normalization of curriculum, improving classroom assessment techniques and decreasing the number of tests and examinations to lighten students’ pressure, developing students’ multiple intelligences and abilities. And among the Seven Major Learning Domains (see Ch. 1.5.4), English learning plays a key role in the language-learning field. Since the school year 2001, English has been included in the curriculum of all elementary schools in Taiwan. And since the school year 2002, the Grade 1-9 Curriculum has been put into practice in all of the junior high schools in Taiwan. The biggest change is that in the former times English was taught officially when students went to junior high schools only, but now English is formally taught once students enter elementary schools.
Since teachers, the first-line executors to fulfill the revolutionary ideal, are playing supportive roles to facilitate common people’s understanding of the new theory and to help the government accelerate the movement of new teaching structure. They should understand what the Grade 1-9 Curriculum means and accept the main ideas of the curriculum (黃玉幸,1999;許素梅,2000;黃義良,2001). This study intends to explore the attitudes of junior high school EFL teachers toward the new educational reform─Grade 1-9 Curriculum.
1.2 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
As Fan said that “teachers’ identity is the key to the success of an educational reform” (范信賢, 2000), teachers’ attitudes directly have a great influence on the implementation of the Grade 1-9 Curriculum. But, the finding of “teachers’ status in Taiwan appears low and female teachers consist of almost 70% of the whole teachers in Taiwan lead to an undoubted fact that teachers are regarded as merely semi-professional” doesn’t seem to be beneficial to the educational reform (范信賢, 2000).
Before the reform, on the one hand, the so-called professionals were responsible for the plan and the design concerning the school curriculum; on the other, teachers were responsible for executing the teaching materials and teaching approaches well-designed totally by the professionals. It means that teachers were performing technological activities only instead of designing or planning of the curriculum. Meanwhile, the educational reform will lead to the changing of the school teachers’ identity for themselves and to a crisis that the teachers’ new identity has not yet been established, which also results in the fact whether the reform will approach success or just a failure.
In consequence, it becomes a must for the researcher to understand what the EFL teachers’ attitudes toward the new educational reform─Grade 1-9 Curriculum. At the same time, by virtue of this research the researcher does hope that the birth of the Grade 1-9 Curriculum will be put into practice thoroughly among the EFL junior high school teachers in the Taipei Area. Seeing that Taipei city, mostly abundant in educational resources, always takes the leading place in educational reforms. The reason of the subjects sampled out of Taipei City is that English formal education at elementary schools was initiated in Taipei City and also the Grade 1-9 Curriculum was initiated in the school year 2002 from the 7th graders.
And another purpose of this study is to evoke the education authority to adopt valuable suggestions from the EFL junior high school teachers, who are really the pioneer reformers and who are actually facing the difficulty and the hindrance of the educational reform.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following are the research questions of this study:
1. To what extent do EFL junior high school teachers understand the Grade 1-9 Curriculum?
2. What are the EFL junior high school teachers’ attitudes toward teaching and their new roles in the implementation of the new education reform?
3. What factors affect EFL junior high school teachers’ attitudes toward the implementation of the Grade 1-9 Curriculum?
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The reason why the study of teachers’ attitudes will surely influence the implementation of nine-year integrated curriculum in junior high schools in the Taipei Area since the school year 2002 can be analyzed from the four aspects in the following discussions:
First, teachers are the main roles to directly transmit knowledge to young students (黃淑苓,1997;陳健生&霍玉英,2000), so “teachers are nuclear roles of bridging the gap between theories and practices in educational settings,” says Hsieh (謝欣潔,2002). Thus, the construction of teaching beliefs is very much crucial for teachers in teaching because teaching beliefs will directly affect teachers’ actions and results (高強華,1992), not to mention teachers’ attitudes. Teachers may observe students’ learning phenomenon by virtue of classroom management and activities. Within the interaction between teachers and students in class, teachers should be more active to make a keen observation on students’ learning responses, including responses in the aspects of recognition, affection, social interaction, and skills. These learning reactions are the significant signs when learning problems appear so that teachers may offer students appropriate care, responses, directions, and redressing. These teaching responses will be built in teachers’ attitudes, which are the resource and energy of teaching (石素錦,2001).
Second, teachers’ attitudes will be a key for the reform to be successful or not now that the implementation of the Grade 1-9 Curriculum has been on the go. As the reform is being taken into practice, teachers are no more consumers of the textbooks but those people who research and develop teaching materials (陳仁和,2002). Besides, whether teachers are aware of the fact that the main content of the Grade 1-9 Curriculum, for one thing, is to break the blind point that the previous teaching materials were too much far away from the reality; for another, the main content is for the purpose of offering students more abilities in life experiences instead of cramming knowledge only (柯通德,2002). Therefore, if teachers still don’t have these new concepts to cope with their future teaching, they will leave the new reform behind them and stick hard to the old cramming education, and then they will definitely become the biggest hindrance, not to mention the pioneers of the educational reform.
Third, theory and practice are always two sides of a coin--to submit a theory is one thing, to practice it is quite another. Teachers are the directors in the teaching spots. However wonderful the theory is, teachers’ will and enthusiasm will be the well half-done of the theory. Nevertheless, nowadays at the hearing of the Grade 1-9 Curriculum, a majority of teachers would think it a trouble and even a panic for them to face the new reform (吳順火,2002). What is more, most scholars or professors are still putting forward their own viewpoints from their own angles, which lead to a chaos that professors insist on their ideals, but teachers still persist in their own teaching conceptions and ways. Now that the Grade 1-9 Curriculum bestows teachers on highly professional autonomy for teachers to direct the curriculum according to the teaching theories, the needs of students, the children’s development, or the requirements of the curriculum. So, when the leading authority of the education reform proposes such a preview for teachers to replace the traditional teaching approaches and materials, if teachers don’t agree with them, then the reform will surely fail.
Fourth, what is worth mentioning is that EFL junior high school teachers’ attitudes will have a great influence on the reform. In particular, English learning is quite different from that of other subjects. Previously, EFL junior high school teachers just had to teach the beginners from the English alphabets, the very beginning of learning English. However, now English is taught from elementary school, even the first graders in Taipei City, so that EFL junior high school teachers will face two big problems: (1) How do EFL junior high school teachers choose the proper teaching materials to fit every level of the junior high school students, since these elementary school graduates have been learning English for some time already, and big differences exist in their language abilities? (2) How do EFL junior high school teachers integrate their curriculum with other subjects? After all, English in Taiwan is a foreign language, not a second language, and it’s more difficult for EFL junior high school teachers to integrate other subjects with the learning of English. Therefore, it is necessary for the researcher to know how EFL junior high school English teachers face these problems, and then offer the educational reformers another way of thinking.
1.5 DEFINITIIONS OF THE TERMS
1.5.1 Junior High School
According to the National Education Law (國民教育法), citizens aged from 6 to 15 should accept compulsory education, which includes two stages─elementary school, the former six years; junior high school, the later three years. The so-called junior high school in this study means the later three-year education stage.
1.5.2 EFL Junior High School Teacher
In this study, the “EFL Junior High School Teacher” means the teachers graduated from any of the three normal universities or graduated from common universities but licensed with qualified English certificates.
1.5.3 Grade 1-9 Curriculum (former translations: Nine-year Curriculum Alignment, 9-year Integrated Curriculum, Nine-year Curriculum Guidelines, 9 Years Consecution Curriculum, or 1st-9th Grades Curriculum Alignment)
The new curriculum ensures consistency in our nine-year national education. It not only connects the learning of elementary (for six years) to junior high schools (for three years), but also integrates various learning experiences. In this new curriculum, the traditional subjects are replaced with seven major domains of learning so as to avoid confining students’ abilities to integrate what they have learned.
1.5.4 Seven Major Learning Domains/Seven Broad Study Fields
The Grade 1-9 Curriculum includes such seven domains of learning as (1) language and literature, (2) health and physical education, (3) social studies, (4) arts and humanities, (5) mathematics, (6) nature and technology, and (7) integrated activities.
1.5.5 Six Major Issues/ Six Important Agendas
The Grade 1-9 Curriculum includes such six major issues as (1) information education, (2) environmental education, (3) gender equity education, (4) human-rights, (5) career development education, and (6) home economics education.
1.5.6 Ten Fundamental Abilities or Ten Key Competencies (吳清山,1999)
The Grade 1-9 Curriculum includes such ten fundamental abilities as (1) the skill of understanding ourselves and developing our potential energy, (2) the skill of beauty appreciation, demonstration, and creation, (3) the skill of career planning and lifelong learning, (4) the skill of expression, communication, and sharing, (5) the skill of respect, care, and team cooperation, (6) the skill of culture learning and international understanding, (7) the skill of scheming, organization, and realization, (8) the skill of science and technology and information application, (9) the skill of innovative discovery and research, and (10) the skill of independent thinking and problem solving.
Chapter 2
LITERATURE REVIEW
As this research aims at getting a better understanding of junior high school EFL
teachers’ attitudes toward the ongoing implementation of the Grade 1-9 Curriculum, and at providing both the education executive authorities and the school executive units with related references and research results for the reform of the Grade 1-9 Curriculum, the review of literature in this research puts emphasis on the following three issues to be the effective theoretical basis: (1) the exploration of the goals of the English domain in the Grade 1-9 Curriculum, (2) the impact on the junior high school teachers from the education reform, and (3) the relationship between the attitudes of the junior high school teachers and the implementation of the Grade 1-9 Curriculum.
2.1 GOALS OF ENGLISH DOMAIN
According to the Outline Protocol of the Grade 1-9 Curriculum (國民中小學九年一貫課程綱要草案) draft by the Ministry of Education just reformulated on August 12, 2002, there are three curriculum goals in the English learning domain, and these goals (p. 118, the Ministry of Education, 2002) come in (1) cultivating students with basic communication ability in English, (2) piquing students’ interest and ways in learning English, and (3) acquiring students with the knowledge of both domestic and foreign culture and practice.
In order to understand why the three goals are set as in the above, the background from what the spirits of the Grade 1-9 Curriculum are, why the curriculum in Taiwan’s education should be integrated in nine years, and then why English should be included in the innovation curriculum so as to put the innovation into practice successfully, the researcher discusses the goals of English domain from the following three aspects: spirits, reasons to integrate, and reasons to innovate.
2.1.1 Spirits
First of all, the definition of curriculum should be defined. “Curriculum includes all of the planned learning experiences of an educational system” (Nunan, 2001). At the same time, Tyler in 1949 articulated four fundamental questions that must be answered by any curriculum developer: “1. What educational purposes should a school seek to attain? 2. What educational experiences can be provided that are likely to attain those purposes? 3. How can the education experiences be effectively organized? 4. How can we determine whether these purposes have been attained?” (Nunan, 2001) In other words, curriculum should be designed based on four aspects: the school’s purposes, the content devised for achieving the purposes, the ways to construct the content, and assessments and evaluations for the students’ learning experiences. According to the above four aspects, the new curriculum just having been innovated in this island can be defined as “school-based curriculum.” It means that the curriculum developers should positively engage in designing a specific curriculum to meet needs of the unique features in every school (林清山,1999;柯通德,2002).
In the Outline Protocol of the Grade 1-9 Curriculum, there are such school-based curriculum principles as (1) every school may regulate its semester time-table, the duration in one period, and the combination of grades or classes, (2) under the principle that a teacher has his basic teaching periods, every school and class may arrange teaching periods for every subject in every week, (3) every school should make a plan for the implementation of the curriculum, (4) under the condition that every subject has its basic periods, schools may break the boundary of all learning domains to implement big-units or integrated-topic teaching, (5) every subject should develop the school-based curriculum upon consideration of the individual school’s conditions, the quality of the community, the expectations of parents, and the needs of students, and (6) schools should organize “the curriculum development committee” to assure the quality of education (林清山,1999).
As a consequence, the curriculum should be centered on everyday life as well as be suitable for the developmental process of students’ bodies and minds. The curriculum also should respect the development of students’ personal characteristics (陳泰然,2001), work out their potentialities, develop their democratic capabilities, put multiple culture in high premium, develop students’ scientific intelligence, and make them adapt the needs of modern lives. Based on the above purposes, Ten Curriculum Goals were regulated as:
1. Promoting self-understanding and developing personal potentialities.
2. Developing such abilities as appreciation, performance, beauty-judgment, and creation.
3. Bettering the abilities of career scheduling and life-long learning.
4. Developing intelligences of expression, communication and sharing with others.
5. Developing the respect for others, care about our society, and cooperation with others.
6. Promoting culture learning and international understanding.
7. Upholding abilities in planning, organization, and realization.
8. Developing abilities of using science and technology and information.
9. Arousing spirits of active exploration and research.
10. Building up abilities of independent thinking and solving problems.
From the above, it makes clear that the spirits of the Grade 1-9 Curriculum and the essence of the curriculum being formulated, and also along come the three goals of the English curriculum─cultivating students with basic communication ability in English, piquing students’ interest and ways in learning English, and acquiring students with the knowledge of both domestic and foreign culture and practice. In view of the three goals, English curriculum is transferred from structure-oriented into communication-oriented (廖靖綺、楊惠琴,2000).
However, there’s still another important concept leading teaching principles: the entrance examination. Even though the Senior High School Entrance Examination has already been abolished since the school year 2001 and a majority of junior high schools have paid a lot of attention to the English listening comprehension test and has eagerly tried to develop students’ English oral expression abilities, most of the junior high schools still adopt traditional written assessments in English regardless of the change of the new reform era (艾明光,2000). With no thought of the Multiple Entrance Examinations, the three main goals of the English curriculum will be regulated totally in vain.
In sum, the three goals of the English curriculum in the Grade 1-9 Curriculum seem easy to achieve. But besides considering “the entrance examination always leading ways of teaching (郭明雪,1999;李振賢,1999),” junior high school teachers’ attitudes should be taken into serious consideration. Academic Attainment Testing is an issue of system. That’s why in this study the researcher wants to explore junior high school teachers’ attitudes toward teaching and the entrance examination first.
2.1.2 Reasons to Integrate
In the previous time, students attending school had to take courses with textbooks edited by the National Institute for Compilation and Translation. In Taiwan, we had the systematic sets of textbooks in every subject before. Was the curriculum during those years not integrated? “The curriculum innovation is the important way to fulfill the ideal of the education reform (葉信宏,2002).” But, why and how must the curriculum be integrated from the very beginning? According to the research (王華貞,2001), the curriculum should be integrated owing to the following reasons:
1. Various, Explosive and Rapidly Progressive Knowledge
At the present time, science and technology have been highly developed and
human beings’ society has become a systematic globe. People are facing the domestic competition pressure as well as the foreign or international competition pressure. To cope with this advancing society and this new era, our citizens should be in possession of some basic abilities to handle never-ending changes to live in a highly competitive life. Since education is the basis of making progress, our new curriculum should be well designed for the future necessities (歐用生,1999;柯通德,2002).
2. Increasingly Intricate Problems
Since our society has become much more multi-faceted, problems or difficulties our students in the future would encounter will become more complicated. Educators or anyone engaging in education work should rethink such problems as what kind of curriculum is suitable for our students to face the multiple society, in which way our students may accept the new curriculum in condition of keeping students’ curiosity and how teachers enlighten students’ learning motivation.
3. The Real World is Inseparable
Vehicles have been highly developed since airplanes were invented for ages.
Transportation has become cheap and rapid, and thus our world has become a global village. Inseparable world gives birth to undividable problems, so students should cultivate themselves to deal with whole, holistic, interrelated, and multifaceted problems with Ten Fundamental Abilities.
4. Brain Function Research
Our brain is born for dealing with complicated work, not just for one-line
development (王華貞,2001). As for junior high school students, their age is up to 15 and they have to learn to think in different ways in order to have a multifaceted thinking model to cope with more complicated problems in the future when they enter the society. As Vygotsky summed up, the main function of a language is communication and it is “global and multifunctional” (Vygotsky, 2000). So, according to the brain development, the new curriculum should be integrated. What is more, as the research (楊懿麗,2001) points out that the so-called “connection” in the connectionism could be compared to the synapses in the neuron. And the synapses will grow up to the summit at the age of eight or nine and then will become fewer and fewer until the age of fifteen or sixteen. It means that if one wants to learn a kind of language, the critical time should be emphasized as well.
5. The Theory of Multiple Intelligences
The theory of multiple intelligences puts emphasis on the fact that the cognition process in learning is multi-sided (吳美嬌,2001). First of all, teachers should admit that every single student has his/her own special quality, potentiality and possibility. Second, teachers should direct students with wider ways of teaching, provide more thinking time and space, and offer students more learning choices in order to make students’ multiple-intelligence grow. Third, since learning is multifaceted, assessment should be multifarious. It is suggested that teachers should assess students by means of asking them to make an observation, presentation, write a report or worksheets, present an oral report, or record the process of observation (吳美嬌,2001).
6. Giving Learning Back to Students
It cannot be denied that teachers were the main and only roles in the teaching
passage. Developing “how to learn” instead of “what to learn”, developing “how to think” instead of “judging what is right or wrong” is the core to plant “returning learning to students” into both teachers’ and students’ minds. “Meaningful learning should be put into practice in the genuine situation and combined with culture, background, meta-cognition and personal experience”(歐用生,1999). Owing to the implementation of the new curriculum, there are a lot of changes in the new trend. For example, the role of the education execution authority changes from a supervisor to a supporter; the environment of schools changes from a passive curriculum executor to an active curriculum developer; the role of a teacher changes from a passive accepter to a positive director (洪福財,1999).
And another research (巫偉鈴,2001) points out the following concepts about the reason the curriculum should be integrated:
1. The accumulation of knowledge has changed into the clarification of conception.
2. Quantitative learning has changed into qualitative learning (吳美嬌,2001).
3. Memory knowledge has changed into the uses of image, concept, web map, metaphor, or realization.
4. Cramming information has changed into the development of Ten Fundamental Abilities.
5. “Answers offered by teachers” has changed into “questions raised actively by students and solved by themselves”.
6. Grading by teachers only has changed into assessments by students themselves or by each other (陳果真,2002).
7. Feeding back has changed into feeding forward; that is, examinations were taken for the purpose of knowing how much students have learned from teachers; now, students should raise questions by themselves and solve the questions they raise by themselves; even students should raise what they need to know to have teachers lead them to work the problems out instead of just accepting the so-called standardized answers and memorizing facts only.
8. Being teacher-oriented has changed into being student-oriented (艾明光,2000).
“Child-driven learning environment” has long been the mainstream of education (吳美嬌,2001). It means that through teachers’ instructions, such as playing games, making experiments, or teamwork, students’ learning will be the most effective. First, in the process of playing, mental activities, like comparison, judgment, prediction, or imagination, will come along with playing, which may promote the abilities in learning and understanding for students. Second, in the process of making experiments, students have the similar situation to submit a supposition, to work it out and gain a real feedback by themselves. Third, in the process of teamwork cooperation, students will be motivated to direct each other, solve the problem together and attain the same goal together. Students will never see each other as competitors, but as valuable learning subjects (吳美嬌,2001).
9. Fragmental knowledge has changed into holistic knowledge (柯啟瑤,2001).
Teachers should give up obeying the traditional habit to fight alone but to
integrate every subject into teaching with peer resources and to cooperate with other teachers to convey holistic knowledge instead of fragmental knowledge. For the purpose of this goal, teachers should be in pursuit of self-learning and enrich their own professional teaching domain.
10. Textbooks changed into various teaching materials (巫偉鈴,2001).
Encouraging diverse materials is a key aspect of the concept of the 9-year
integrated curriculum for compulsory education. Previously, textbooks having long held the exalted status of “classroom bibles” may from now on be faced with tough competition coming from local governments, schools, teachers, and students themselves, not to mention multimedia available for download from the Internet. To achieve this goal, teachers should further expand their knowledge from various resources rather than textbooks only.
2.1.3 Reasons to Innovate
There are Seven Major Learning Domains in the Grade 1-9 Curriculum, one of which is “language and literature”. And English as well as other languages such as Chinese, Taiwanese, Hakka Language and Aboriginal Language belongs to the “language and literature” domain. However, English is the only foreign language, and how is it so important and necessary for students to learn? In order for students to improve their abilities in managing international affairs and then to strengthen our national competition competence in the future information era, the junior high school English curriculum is designed to base students on communicating with foreigners and widening their international views (戴維揚,1999). Therefore, it is suggested that English should be even taught from the third graders (戴維揚,1999).
As it has been already known for ages that English at most is a subject in Taiwan that one must take and study for the purpose of taking the entrance examinations, either in the Joint High School Entrance Examination or in the Joint College Entrance Examination. Most of the EFL teachers adopted the Grammar Translation Method as the main teaching approach (廖靖綺、楊惠琴,2000) and most of the English learners in Taiwan were more accustomed to listening to what was preached in English class than to speaking or practicing English with others. It follows that although students might be good at English, including memorizing a great amount of vocabulary and grammatical rules, they became speechless when encountering foreigners. To better this embarrassing and depressing situation, the new curriculum aims at improving the skills including not merely reading and writing but also listening and speaking, communicating with others in particular (艾明光,2000;楊貞婉,2001;盧玉鈴,2000;戴維揚,1999;羅秋昭,2000). Instead of cramming fragmental English rules or information, two of the Junior High School Fundamental Subject Capability Tests (國中基本學力測驗) to be a basis for junior high school graduates to go to senior high school also aims at testing students’ communication abilities (李珀,2001).
Textbooks were always the basis and foundation for teachers to preach in class
(廖靖綺、楊惠琴,2000). Following the systematic and sequential teaching materials junior high school teachers used to explain the content word by word, page by page, to cram students with rules and facts in the textbooks, to test students repeatedly in order to know if students have already learned something they think important, and to prepare themselves well for the future entrance examinations. Well-edited textbooks made teachers feel at ease in teaching and made students feel convenient in learning. However, to meet the current curriculum requirements, the teaching materials teachers themselves design in detail for their students should run for three basic needs: communication-oriented, topic-oriented, adapting-personal-differences-oriented.
a. Communication-oriented
According to what the Ten Fundamental Abilities ask for, communication/communicative competence is one of the main abilities to develop in the future, especially when it comes to a language (戴維揚,1999;蘇順發,2001). English is a worldwide language, with which foreign affairs, economic and trade, and scholastic research may march forward (鄭涵元,2000); emphasis on communication is the main goal for language courses (廖靖綺、楊惠琴,2000). Teachers should encourage meaningful and communicative activities as well as pay much attention to situational language learning. And as for the late research, “Communicative Language Teaching” is the best teaching approach for the new curriculum goals (廖靖綺、楊惠琴,2000).
b. Topic-oriented (戴維揚,1999)
According to one of the curriculum goals, “curriculum integration,” i.e. cross-curricular cooperation, is a big challenge and a new try for every teacher regardless of their teaching subjects being different. As the researcher tells (歐用生,1999), curriculum integration is not a skill to gather fragments of knowledge, but to decide a topic or a general idea first, and then to make sure some certain activities in relation to the fixed topic. That is, in the English aspect, a specialized English teacher should work out a certain topic and then work with all the other teachers in the same school.
c. Adapting personal differences
According to the Outline Protocol of the Grade 1-9 Curriculum, teaching materials and teaching approaches should fit regional properties and students’ special characteristics and needs so that teachers may choose elastic, replaceable textbooks or edit what is suitable for their own students (Ministry of Education,2002). However, students in Taipei have already been learning English since the first year in elementary schools. Their learning levels and capabilities are quite different so that it’s hard for teachers to teach them in the same class (蘇順發,2001). It means some students perform better than the others in the same class, in the same grade. To cope with this problem, first of all, students should be separated into different classes based on their different English levels so that students may go to the different classes according to personal learning differences, and teachers also may prepare different English teaching materials for each level (戴維揚,1999). And consequently, every student, even separated in different-level classes, may be learning well in each level. Second, to respect personal learning differences, EFL teachers should learn how to teach with some kinds of multi-media such as computers, tapes, tape recorders, VCDs, Cd-Roms, etc. to help students in different levels (戴維揚,1999). While Chen thinks that it’s not quite necessary for teachers to compile teaching materials but teachers should set up confidence and ability in assessing and choosing textbooks (陳泰然,2001).
2.2 IMPACT OF THE EDUCATION REFORM ON TEACHERS
Every brand-new innovation will surly encounter some problems or hindrance to some extent, and it is no exception with the education reform. In this reform, elementary school teachers and junior high school teachers are standing in the first line to face the problem and hindrance without too much psychological preparation (吳清山,1999). Especially when the reform really affects quite a great number of people, or even a countrywide group and takes a great amount of time and effort, problems and hindrance will without doubt come along. As yet, there have been at least nine types of problems existing in the reform and threatening teachers’ acceptance and attitudes.
First, the duration of such preparation for the new curriculum is too short (黃玉幸,1999;黃義良,2001;陳果真,2002). The interrelated measures such as curriculum development, teachers’ regulation, or teachers’ psychology adjustment have not yet prepared well (黃義良,2001). Even some researchers (田福連,1999;黃義良,2001) think that teachers’ trivial affairs are too many to handle so that the teachers may find little time to engage in teaching and thus the teaching quality is greatly harmed.
Second, the Outline Protocol of the Grade 1-9 Curriculum authorizes too much autonomy to teachers but it seems that the basic teachers, including elementary and junior high school ones, don’t have the equal competence at present (吳清山,1999;楊益風,1999) and times of the workshops for the new teaching materials are too limited in the present time (蘇順發,2001;陳果真,2002) or even some of the related workshops are held but few teachers are willing to get involved in (李明珠,1999). According to the investigation, almost 80.9% of the junior high school teachers have taken part in the workshops relating to new teaching materials, and 41.0% of them admitted the workshops were related to teaching assessment and evaluation, 38.7% of the teachers took part in the workshops on the media and internet application, and 35.9% of them in teaching activity designing (蘇順發,2001). In such investigation and analysis, we may conclude that a number of the workshops for the new teaching materials are too limited so that the researcher here intends to explore if the number of the workshops in English teaching for the education reform in the Grade 1-9 Curriculum is sufficient for teachers to know the main spirits of the Grade 1-9 Curriculum and to encourage teachers to take actions in the reform.
Third, the content of the workshops related to the Grade 1-9 Curriculum aims more at introducing the form and the theory of the new curriculum than authentic teaching practices (陳果真,2002). When the Taipei City Bureau of Education holds a lot of workshops for teachers to participate in, teachers always have two questions: “who may engage in the normal teaching when teachers go to take part in the workshops?” and “do these workshops in theory really help teachers teach? (郭明雪,1999).” Because “before innovation comes innovating one’s minds (劉安彥,1998)”, teachers’ attitudes toward the education reform will be the main concern.
Fourth, the opposition to the Grade 1-9 Curriculum from some of the professors or scholars is too strong (陳果真,2002). According to a research about the curriculum implementation in the U.S. (楊益風,1999), the domain of the curriculum implementation was separated into five aspects: ideological curriculum, formal curriculum, perceived curriculum, operational curriculum and experience curriculum. From this division, in the passage of the curriculum policy adopted and the curriculum implemented, the content of the curriculum will be totally different because of different directors, different executors, different cognition, or even intentional adding or omitting. So, the communication appears very much important between the decision makers in the curriculum implementation and the performers (楊益風,1999). Professors and scholars are always taking the lead in the educational field in Taiwan, so if they keep taking a wait-and-see attitude, hesitation, or unwillingness to understand the content of the new curriculum, teachers in the first teaching line will shrink back soon.
Fifth, some of the school leaders deem that it’s hard to realize the ideal of the new curriculum (陳果真,2002) because they think the ideal too idealistic and the goals of the curriculum too obscure (楊益風,1999). Therefore, the school leaders, like the principals or the deans of teaching affairs, will be the most serious hidden obstacles for the real spirit of the curriculum reform. If the school leaders choose to be indifferent to the reform, the teachers’ attitudes will surly be altered or dispelled.
Sixth, differences existing from county to county or from person to person result in the difficulty of connection between the elementary school curriculum and the junior high school curriculum (陳果真,2002). Limited information prevents country schools from getting enough teaching resources or sufficient certificated teachers. Teachers in this situation will become more isolated.
Seventh, it is more difficult to have the new curriculum realized in the junior high school stage than in the elementary school stage (陳果真,2002) because there are at least two difficulties─a deeply-rooted creed of advancing a higher school and specifically subject-separated teacher-cultivation education (林郁慧,2002;蘇順發,2001). There are only three to four classes per week for EFL junior high school teachers to finish certain lessons which are supposed to be taught to students. It follows that EFL junior high school teachers seldom design the courses as individual communicative activity learning units for students just under such pressure of too few English classes in a week. On the contrary, it’s less problematic for EFL elementary school teachers. As for elementary school students, they don’t have to pass any entrance examination to go to junior high school, so that EFL elementary school teachers are less limited to select what to teach and how to teach it. But for junior high school teachers, there is still pressure of helping students enter senior high schools; thus, junior high school teachers are always supposed to put more emphasis on examinations. And it’s quite natural that traditional paper tests are more often held in junior high schools (艾明光,2000). For passing the examinations, teachers still used to ask their students to memorize facts from textbooks instead of adopting other ways of teaching. So, the so-called “testing leads teaching” situation still extensively exists in junior high schools, which will result in a failure─it’s hard for teachers to use elastic teaching materials or approaches, and it’s also hard for students to learn actively and pleasantly (艾明光,2000).
Eighth, at present in public schools, there are on the average 31 to 40 students in an English class (蘇順發,2001), which will be a big challenge for teachers to look after every single student (劉安彥,1998). On the one hand, it’s harder for teachers to apply communicative approach to English classes because of too many students in a class. On the other hand, many teachers are still worried about a big problem that communicative teaching approach brings about poor classroom management (蘇順發,2001). It is because it takes more speaking and role-play activities for students to learn English under communicative learning environment and junior high school students feel more embarrassed out of peer group pressure owing to the juvenile age. That is to say, they may feel uneasy, frustrated, or even painful when they are corrected or laughed in the presence of their classmates. In that case, they would rather choose to be speechless than to be laughed in public. When seeing the hesitant and indecisive reactions from the students, EFL junior high school teachers also hesitate to apply communicative approach to English classes. Therefore, even if teachers’ professional autonomy is highly valued in the Grade 1-9 Curriculum, teachers may complain they have taken efforts to design some interesting communicative activities for students only to find students are reluctant or even feel adverse to work with their classmates in class.
Ninth, there are some connection problems between the old and the new curriculum and between the elementary school English materials and junior high school English materials. To overcome the connection hindrance, it is suggested that teachers should compile connection teaching units, such as interesting science usages, prolonging reading method, or word analysis. Besides, it is important for elementary school teachers a
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