Action Research in China's Experimental Centre for Educational Action Research in Foreign Languages Teaching at Ningxia Teachers University

Foreword to the Website:

China's Experimental Centre for Educational Action Research in Foreign Languages Teaching was opened in December 2003, and has now become an active organisation from within the department of the Foreign Languages and Literature Department at Ningxia Teachers University. It is the only centre of its kind in the world, and its purpose is to improve the learning experience for all children in China! We're starting with Ningxia Province! Such an ambitious project has made a promising beginning as this website demonstrates. China has a New Curriculum and that has become the main focus for our AR work. In short, the New Curriculum advocates task-based approaches to teaching and learning and turns the traditional modes of didactic teaching on their head, thus requiring greater flexibility and creativity from teachers and students. This enormous challenge gives the impetus to our work. However, it is broader than that too. We are also seeking to evolve a new form of action research, which we are calling 'Collaborative Living Educational Theory Action Research with Chinese Characteristics'. Our case-studies and reflective writing bear witness to these early attempts in developing a new epistemology.

The work on this site is the result of four years of collaboration between colleagues of the English Department in Guyuan and at the Hui Zhong (Moslem Middle School) in Haiyuan. It is also the result of collaborative work between the leader of the Centre, Dean Tian Fengjun, his assistant Li Peidong, and the Centre's advisor, Professor Moira Laidlaw (formerly a VSO volunteer there, and soon to be employed by the university full time). The work also represents international collaboration with Professor Jean McNiff at St Mary's University College (Surrey University, U.K) and Dr. Jack Whitehead from the University of Bath.

If you scroll down the site, you will see work over the last four years by English teachers of varying experience in the profession, helping students majoring in English and in other subjects, to improve their learning. Some colleagues have written two case-studies, and a few of them have been published in international books. There are also a few entries by grade three students from Professor Laidlaw's Teaching Methodology classes as well as they make their action plans and reflect on the efficacy of their new teaching methodologies. You will also find two Teaching Methodology Handbooks, copyright belonging to the Centre, but which you are welcome to use if you want. There is also a short guide to Action Research by Tian Fengjun and Moira Laidlaw. There are also some details about the opening of the Centre and Professor McNiff's and Dr. Whitehead's visits here over the last three years. These contain pictures.

For readers in China, you might be interested in the Chinese website at: http://www.nxtu.com.cn as this gives detailed lesson observation notes, and guidance about action research work being done at the Centre in Chinese.

Professor Moira Laidlaw, July 2006.


Format Description
CECEARFLT - CHINA'S EXPERIMENTAL CENTRE FOR EDUCATIONAL ACTION RESEARCH IN FOREIGN LANGUAGES TEACHING
html The Opening of China's Experimental Centre for Educational Action Research in Foreign Languages Teaching, at Guyuan Teachers' College, Ningxia Province, China.
Click here for the opening images, in your browser
jpg The China Friendship Awards for 2004 with Wen Jiabao, Premier of the State Council on the 30th September 2004 in The Great Hall of the People, Beijing.
gif President Chen presenting Jack Whitehead with his accreditation as Visiting Professor of Guyuan Teachers' College on the 13 October 2004.
HANDBOOKS AND PAPERS FROM PROFESSOR MOIRA LAIDLAW
htm 'Living Educational Theorising: How I developed a more Democratic Educational Practice.' September 2008.
htm Being a long-term VSO volunteer: accounting for my time with VSO. December 2006.
htm How Might We Enhance the Educational Value of our Research-base at the New University in Guyuan? Researching Stories for the Social Good. Inaugural Professorial Lecture by Moira Laidlaw Ningxia Teachers University, 13 June 2006.
pdf How Might We Enhance the Educational Value of our Research-base at the New University in Guyuan? Researching Stories for the Social Good. Inaugural Professorial Lecture by Moira Laidlaw Ningxia Teachers University, 13 June 2006.
htm Developing Educational Methodologies through a Living Theory Approach to Action Research. Dr. Moira Laidlaw's Inaugural Lecture of China's Experimental Centre for Educational Action Research in Foreign Languages Teaching, for colleagues at the Longdong Institute, Gansu Province, China.
html Handbook One 'From Competence to Performance': English-Teaching Methodology for 'The New Curriculum' in China.
html Handbook Two: Teaching Communicative Methodology for the New Curriculum to Student-Teachers.
pdf Handbook Two: Teaching Communicative Methodology for the New Curriculum to Student-Teachers.
pdf What are the standards of judgement I am developing in my educational practice? A contribution by Moira Laidlaw to the British Educational Research Association Practitioner-Researcher e-seminar 2005.
word Action research revolutionises the classroom. See the text of Matt Perrement's article in the May 2005 issue of China Development Brief on the work of China's Experimental Centre for Educational Action Research in Foreign Languages Teaching at Guyuan Teachers' College.
html Moira Laidlaw's commentary on Liu Xia's class, 8th June, 2005. Appreciate the quality of Liu Xia's educational influence and the quality of Moira Laidlaw's educational response.
html How can I help to promote educational sustainability at our AR Centre and beyond? A draft interim-report by Dr. Moira Laidlaw, December 2004. China's Experimental Centre for Educational Action Research in Foreign Languages Teaching, Guyuan Teachers College, Guyuan 756000, Ningxia Province, P.R. China.
html Developing Some Appropriate Standards of Judgement for our Action Research Enquiries in China. Dr. Moira Laidlaw's Second Lecture for The Longdong Institute, Gansu Province, March, 2004, China's Experimental Centre for Educational Action Research in Foreign Languages Teaching, Guyuan Teachers College.
word Developing Some Appropriate Standards of Judgement for our Action Research Enquiries in China. Dr. Moira Laidlaw's Second Lecture for The Longdong Institute, Gansu Province, March, 2004, China's Experimental Centre for Educational Action Research in Foreign Languages Teaching, Guyuan Teachers College.
html Doing Your Action Research (AR): A Brief Guide, by Dr. Moira Laidlaw and Dean Tian Fengjun From China's Experimental Centre for Educational Action Research at Guyuan Teachers College - (75600), Ningxia, P.R of China.
html Here is Moira Laidlaw's paper on, How can I help to enable sustainable educational development in our AR Centre at Guyuan Teachers College? From China's Experimental Centre for Educational Action Research at Guyuan Teachers College - (75600), Ningxia, P.R of China, for the Monday evening educational conversation on the 12th July 2004 in the Department of Education of the University of Bath.
html Here are the Action Research Report Abstracts For the British Educational Research Association Practitioner-Researcher Day at the University of Bath on the 19th June 2004. From China's Experimental Centre for Educational Action Research at Guyuan Teachers College - (75600), Ningxia, P.R of China.
ACTION RESEARCH REPORTS FROM CHINA'S EXPERIMENTAL CENTRE FOR EDUCATIONAL ACTION RESEARCH IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE TEACHING
pdf Dean Tian Fengjun's action research account, 'How can I help my colleagues to become more collaborative and thus promote sustainable educational development?', for presentation and discussion in the Department of Education of the University of Bath on the 11th July 2005.
html How can I create a more relaxed atmosphere in my College English class in order to improve learning? Sun Weimin, June 2006.
html How can I attract my students' attention educationally? by Ma Li Juan, CECEARFLT, Ningxia Teachers University, Guyuan 756000 Draft, May 2006.
html Can I respond to Ma Li Yuan's draft action research report on 'How can I attract my students' attention educationally?' in a way that contributes to her educational influences, in her own learning, in the learning of her colleagues and to the development of research at Ningxia Teachers University. A response by Jack Whitehead, May 2006.
html How can I balance my methodologies in the class in order to promote the learners' autonomy? by Ma Xiaoxia, Ningxia Teachers University, CECEARFLT, June 2006.
html How can I improve my student's pronunciation? Chen Dan, Ningxia Teachers University, CECEARFLT, June 2006.
html How can I improve my students' writing ability? Ma Yangui, Hui Zhong, Haiyuan. April, 2006.
html First AR report from Hao Cailing, a teacher new to the profession last term at CECEARFLT: 'How can I help my students to build their vocabulary?'
html Moira Laidlaw's evaluation of Hao Cailing's teaching on the 13th October 2005.
pdf Fang Fang's Action Research report. How can I foster non-English majors' interest and motivation? China's Experimental Centre for Educational Action Research in Foreign Languages Teaching, at Guyuan Teachers' College, Ningxia Province, China, October, 2004)
html Tao Rui's Action Research report. How can I improve my students' motivation so they can improve their learning? - A draft case study of AR into Integrated Skills of English. Foreign Languages and Literature Department, Guyuan Teachers College, Ningxia, P.R. China. June, 2004.
html He Lina's Action Research report. How can I help my students' motivation in speaking? (Foreign Languages and Literature Department, Guyuan Teachers College - (75600), Ningxia, P.R of China)
html Wang Ying's Action Research report. How can I improve students' learning by increasing their interest and confidence in learning English? A case study of AR into College English(Foreign Languages and Literature Department, Guyuan Teachers College - (75600), Ningxia, P.R of China)
html Cao Yong's Action Research report. How can I improve the pronunciation and intonation of the first-year English Majors to meet the demand of the New English Curriculum? June 2004 (Foreign Languages and Literature Department, Guyuan Teachers College - (75600), Ningxia, P.R of China)
html Ling Yiwen's Action Research report. How Can I Improve the Students' Self-Confidence in our Classroom Activities in order to enhance their learning? June 2004 (Foreign Languages and Literature Department, Guyuan Teachers College - (75600), Ningxia, P.R of China)
html Liu Binyou's Action Research report. How Can I Cultivate My Non-English Students' Interests in English? June 2004 (Foreign Languages and Literature Department, Guyuan Teachers College - (75600), Ningxia, P.R of China)
html Li Jun's Action Research report. How can I help the non- English students improve their reading ability? (Foreign Languages and Literature Department, Guyuan Teachers College - (75600), Ningxia, P.R of China)
html Liu Hui's Action Research report. How can I help my students become more active in class? (Foreign Languages and Literature Department, Guyuan Teachers College - (75600), Ningxia, P.R of China)
html Liu Hui's Draft of her second Action Research report of January 2006. How can I help my students become more engaged in reading comprehension through Integrated Skills of English? CECEARFLT, Guyuan Teachers' College, Ningxia, 756000 (Foreign Languages and Literature Department, Ningxia, P.R of China)
html Liu Xia's Action Research report. How can I develop students' self-confidence through respect and encouragement? June 2004 (Foreign Languages and Literature Department, Guyuan Teachers College - (75600), Ningxia, P.R of China)
html Ma Hong's Action Research report. How can I help students who are comparatively poor at English? June 2004 (Foreign Languages and Literature Department, Guyuan Teachers College - (75600), Ningxia, P.R of China)
html Gong Lixia's draft Action Research report. How Can I Improve Two Young English Majors' Confidence In English Learning, June 2004 (Foreign Languages and Literature Department, Guyuan Teachers College - (75600), Ningxia, P.R of China)
html Wang Shuqin's Action Research report. How can I Help the Students to Improve their Speaking Ability Through the Speaking and Listening Part in the Class of Integrated Skills of English?
html Wang Ying's Action Research report. How can I improve my students' participation in class for non-English majors so that they have more interest in learning English?
html Li Peidong's draft Action Research report. How can I improve my students' self-confidence in their class work? by Li Peidong, Draft, May 2004. (Foreign Languages and Literature Department, Guyuan Teachers College - (75600), Ningxia, P.R of China)
STUDENT TEACHERS' ACTION RESEARCH
html How can I help my students to build a better communication with me in order to improve their English learning? Qiao Qian. Draft, Ningxia Teachers University, CECEARFLT, June 2006.
word Liang Ruixiu's classroom evaluation with an introductory paragraph from Moira. Foreign Languages Department, Guyuan Teachers College, Ningxia, P.R. China

View the Preface to Moira Laidlaw's stories from China and access the stories by clicking here



ACTION RESEARCH WITH DR. MOIRA LAIDLAW AT GUYUAN TEACHERS COLLEGE IN NINGXIA PROVINCE, P.R. CHINA

Action researchers at Guyuan Teachers College have a significant contribution to make to our understandings of how to develop inclusional, collective and collaborative approaches to action research that value the creative contributions, integrity and identity of individual action researchers. As I work with my colleagues at Guyuan in the third year (2003-2004) of my Voluntary Service Overseas, I am hoping to learn more about Chinese approaches to action research and to communicate these to other communities of action researchers. Some of the learning resources produced by Jack Whitehead for the groups of teacher-researchers he is working with from the University of Bath, may be of use to my colleagues in Guyuan. In his work with teacher-researchers at John Bentley and Westwood St. Thomas secondary Schools in Wiltshire, Jack has explained why he thinks this work is significant in understanding the nature of living educational standards of judgement and practice in relation to the ideas of other researchers working in different international contexts.You can access this explanation at:

http://www.actionresearch.net/jbs/jbsconnect.html

As the action research reports of colleagues and students at Guyuan are written, my intention is to share them with you. You can access here the draft of Zhao Xiaohong's enquiry, 'How I can improve my students' motivation so that they can become more responsible for their own learning? An Action Research Enquiry into Integrated Skills of English.'


Moira talking with Haley in Year 8, 2001
Click here - the movie clip should open in Quicktime 6.4 or above

Here is Moira's letter of 2nd Nov. 2003 at the end of a Conference on Action Research with colleagues from Guyuan Teachers College, from the Longdong Institute and from the Haiyuan Middle School
DOWNLOAD THE AR CONFERENCE LETTER IN WORD FORMAT

Here is Moira's letter of 2nd Nov. 2003 at the end of a Conference on Action Research with colleagues from Guyuan Teachers College, from the Longdong Institute and from the Haiyuan Middle School
VIEW THE AR CONFERENCE LETTER IN YOUR BROWSER
Here is Moira's story from September 2003 at the start of her third year of VSO at Guyuan Teacher's College
The Sun Child

Here is Moira's draft of February 2004 on - A Description of my Logic - for presentation at a seminar on the 9th February 2004 in the Department of Education of the University of Bath.
Click here

Here is the Action Plan for Improving Practice of Dean Tian Fengjun - of October 2003 to view in your browser
Click Here. Foreign Languages Department, Guyuan Teachers College, Ningxia, P.R. China


Here is the Action Plan for Improving Practice of Dean Tian Fengjun - of October 2003 to download in Word
Click Here. Foreign Languages Department, Guyuan Teachers College, Ningxia, P.R. China


Helen King's Action Plan. Longdong Institute, 11/3/04.
Click Here to view in your Browser



Planning my Action Research with some preliminary results - Draft by Ling Yi Wen, China's Experimental Centre for Educational Action Research in Foreign Languages Teaching, Guyuan Teachers College, Ningxia, P.R. China. January, 2004.
Click Here


Here is the Action Plan for Improving Practice of Dean Tian Fengjun - of October 2003 to download in Word
Click Here. Foreign Languages Department, Guyuan Teachers College, Ningxia, P.R. China


Here is Paulus Murray's response to Tao Rui's action research report
Click here to view in your browser



Here is Ma Jianfu's report
How I Have Been Doing My Action Research? Work in progress by Ma Jianfu, Summer, 2003. Foreign Languages Department, Guyuan Teachers College, Ningxia, P.R. China


You can access here, on your browser, Cao Yong's Draft action research report on
How can I Improve the Pronunciation and Intonation of the first-year English Majors? from , Guyuan Teachers College, Ningxia, P.R. China. November 20th, 2003.



 

 

( Note - Moira Laidlaw's abstract and contents of her doctoral thesis on HOW CAN I CREATE MY OWN LIVING EDUCATIONAL THEORY AS I OFFER YOU AN ACCOUNT OF MY EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT? can be accessed by clicking here)



Moira Laidlaw can be contacted at moiralaidlaw@hotmail.com



(HTML version for viewing in your browser) My Life In Guyuan, Ningxia Province - the text of Moira's talk about her experience in China as a VSO volunteer and about her vision for the role of education in developing China - 14th January, 2003, Department of European Studies and Modern Languages, University of Bath



(Word version for downloading) My Life In Guyuan, Ningxia Province - the text of Moira's talk abaout her experience in China as a VSO volunteer and about her vision for the role of education in developing China - 14th January, 2003, Department of European Studies and Modern Languages, University of Bath



MOIRA LAIDLAW'S GUIDE FOR STARTING ACTION RESEARCH - IN GUYUAN TEACHERS' COLLEGE, CHINA



Download a Word file of the Joint Action Plan for Improving Practice in the Foreign Languages Department at Guyuan Teachers College by Dean Tian Fengjun and Dr. Moira Laidlaw

View a PDF file (you may have to rotate this file in your browser) of the Joint Action Plan for Improving Practice in the Foreign Languages Department at Guyuan Teachers College by Dean Tian Fengjun and Dr. Moira Laidlaw

 

 

OTHER PAPERS BY DR. MOIRA LAIDLAW

MOIRA LAIDLAW'S ACTION PLAN FOR HER SECOND YEAR ON VSO AT GUYUAN TEACHER'S COLLEGE, CHINA

click here to download in Word


How can I promote sustainable development at Guyuan Teachers College in my work as a VSO volunteer? - by Dr. Moira Laidlaw, June 2002. In memory of Martin Dobson , Department of Education, Bath University.

click here to download in Word


Click here to download Moira Laidlaw's paper 'As a Voluntary Services Overseas volunteer, how can I improve the quality of my educational development-work as a Methodology teacher with Grade Three students at Guyuan Teachers College in The People's Republic of China?' - The format is Word 98.
This paper will form the basis of a conversation with Moira and the Monday evening conversation group (21st January 2002, 5.00-7.00 1WN 3.8 Department of Education, University of Bath)




 

Click here to download in word

Click here to read in your browser
Moira Laidlaw's paper,

'In loco parentis with Sally, a matter of fairness and love'.

1997

 

 

Click here to download
Moira Laidlaw's paper,

'Accounting for an improvement in the quality of my provision for some Equal Opportunities issues within my English teaching, 1997-8'

1998

 

Click here to download

Moira Laidlaw's paper,

'How can I continue to improve the quality of my provision of particular Equal Opportunities values in my teaching of English to a Year Eight group? '.

2 May, 2000

 

Click here to download in word

Click here to view in pdf
Moira Laidlaw's draft paper,

'In the last months of my employment at Oldfield School, how can I help 8X to enhance their sense of community, as I assist them in improving the quality of their learning about English?

4 March 2001

Click here to download Moira Laidlaw's final paper for action researchers in the Department of Education of the University of Bath, before her voluntary service overseas in China begins in August 2001.

'What has the Holocaust got to do with Education anyway?'

Accounting for my value of 'responsibility' as a developmental standard of judgement in the process of helping to improve the quality of my educational influence with students over thirteen years

View Moira's, Jack's and Peter's paper on
Living Educational Theory


We want to share with you our understanding of Love, Beauty, Truth, Goodness, Freedom, Democracy, Material Security, Compassion, Forms of Knowledge, Systematic Enquiry, Political Participation, Economic Well-Being and Employment, and Use Value, as Educational Standards of Judgement. These educational standards are evolving in our life and work and we are inviting you to share in the evolution of their meanings as we strive to understand them better, to develop them, to learn from them, and to live them more fully in our relationships and productive work.

We feel good in being together. This isn't said lightly. This experience of feeling at one with ourselves when we are together is what we mean when we say that we share a sense of community. This does not mean that we do not sometimes experience tension and some discord. In our work together we recognise each other as unique individuals each with our own personal and educational enquiries. Whilst respecting the uniqueness and integrity of each other we share a concern to understand the nature of the educational standards of judgement which we use to validate and legitimate each others' contributions to educational knowledge and educational theory. We also wish to understand and participate in the politics of educational knowledge as we enquire into the possibility of gaining academic legitimacy for these standards of judgement in the Academy.

Like Plato we are influenced by Socrates' notion of the art of the dialectician in holding both our syntheses (the One) together with our analyses (the Many). We understand that western epistemologies have emphasised the analytic pole of dialectic in claims to knowledge and that it is only recently that efforts to legitimate holistic claims to knowledge are being rewarded with legitimacy in Western Academies. We see ourselves as attempting to hold both the One and Many together in the sense that as individual and community enquirers we wish to experience wholeness in our knowing.

This is not to deny the importance of our analytic and critical capacities. We recognise the importance of exercising these capacities in understanding the ideas of others and in judging the validity of their ideas and our own.

What we want to explore is the possibility of developing new educational standards of judgement for validating and legitimating claims to educational knowledge. We want to stress that we do not believe that these are new standards in relation to what good teachers do in their educative relationships with their students and pupils. We do believe that some of these standards, or values, have not been recognised or understood in the criteria used to validate and legitimate claims to educational knowledge within the Academy.

The papers we are including in this collection in November1997
are, Ben Cunningham's, 1995 & 1997 papers

"How can we understand and help each other? Accounting to my spiritual self in my educative relationships and loving communities"

"How do I express, communicate and have legitimated as valid knowledge the spiritual qualities in my educational journey?"

and Peter Mellett's, Moira Laidlaw's and Jack Whitehead's,

"What is it to ask - what this thing, Living Educational Theory, is?".

We are sharing our accounts through the internet as part of our commitment to public and democratic accountability. We believe that education is a power for good in the world and that every individual's living educational theory can contribute to improving the world.

We are inviting you to share our concern with living our values as fully as we can in our lives and work. This does not mean that we are asking you to accept our values. Indeed we hope that where you think them inappropriate or too limited you help us to understand how we might develop them. We would welcome your help as we account for ourselves. We hope that you will feel moved to share with us your strategies for living your values as fully as you can in your life and work.

With special thanks to Terri Austin, of the Alaskan Teacher Action Research Network for stressing the importance of community during our conversations and seminars with her on her visit to the Action Research in Educational Theory Research Group during July 1995.