Teacher change in science education in a Vietnamese university : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Education at Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand
This research investigated the ways in which Science lecturers changed their teaching strategies to enhance active learning in English for Specific Purposes (ESP) classes. It also included the examination of the beliefs of the eight lecturers about active learning, their change process, and the factors that influenced their beliefs about change. The qualitative action research study was conducted through interviews, observations, and planning meetings over three sequential semesters.
The findings of the present study revealed that participating lecturers underwent varying degrees of positive pedagogical shift, from traditional lecturing to an active learning approach. Their positive beliefs about active learning were primarily related to student-centredness and classroom interaction. The collaboration with the researcher also allowed the lecturers to understand more about the roles they played as agents of change and to implement interactive activities relevant to their current practice.
This thesis aims to contribute to the knowledge of teacher change in ESP by developing a holistic theoretical model of the intertwined linkage of lecturer beliefs, and their professional roles as well as contextual factors. Understanding the dynamic relationships within this holistic model provides insights into the nature of teacher change as a process of personal learning and professional growth in relation to social practice.
Teacher change towards more active learning of students is connected to the Vietnam government’s goals of reforming teaching and learning in higher education. Thus, the present findings suggest a need for further action research into the positive impact in a wider community of ESP teaching. Insights into the beliefs about support for teacher change led to the implications and recommendations for ESP lecturers, Science lecturers, and policy makers.