Closing the Gap between the Theory and Practice of Teaching: Implications for Teacher Education Programmes in Hong Kong

Mar. 30, 2010

Source: Journal of Education for Teaching International research and pedagogy, Volume 36 Issue 1 (2010). p. 91 – 104.

The gap between the theory and practice of teaching is an issue of concern in teacher education. Although researching this gap is not new, few studies have been conducted in Hong Kong. It is worth investigating the contemporary Asian models of teacher education that can provide reference to the international literature.

This article examines this theory-practice gap by reporting a study that researched the inconsistencies between student teachers' best teaching strategies and their most commonly employed ones.

Specifically, the authors investigated:
(1) the considerations that contribute to the inconsistencies in the student teachers' conceptions of teaching;
and (2) the enhancing factors of the teacher education programme which help to close the gap between the theory and practice of teaching.

Through examining the interview data, the findings revealed three main dimensions of consideration attributing to the inconsistencies in the conceptions of teaching:
pre-training experience, teaching context and student needs.

These considerations lead to expansive or constraining impacts on the student teachers' selections of teaching strategies.

Influences from the teacher education programme that might close this gap are identified. Implications for improving teacher education programmes are also discussed.

Updated: Sep. 27, 2010