The time has come to introduce changes to reshape CPD on a national level. The Teaching of Phonics is a capacity building course aimed at enhancing teachers’ knowledge and skills. It was introduced following the implementation of the new Malaysian Curriculum Standard Document in 2010 which is based on a modular approach. It includes a new component on ‘Phonics’ for lower primary pupils.
This development brought an urgent need to equip in-service English Language teachers with basic phonic knowledge and strategies to teach phonics. The curriculum for the Teaching of Phonics course was developed using a top-down curriculum development model and the training was conducted through a cascade model. Teachers who have been trained at the first level of a cascade model have a responsibility to train other teachers to pass on the essence of the training to their colleagues (Wedell, 2005).
In phase one (2011 -2012), this course was delivered through face to face workshops. The second phase was conducted as a 4 week blended mode course in 2013, in line with goals in the Malaysian Education Blueprint. It comprised face to face workshops and an online course.
The researcher was involved in the development of the blended-mode course and moderating the participants’ progress. The aim of this paper is to share findings of a case study on the perceptions of teachers on the CPD they had during the blended-mode course using the Canvas learning platform. The data collection was conducted using instruments such as survey forms, feedback cards and course evaluation reports. Some of the data for this research analysis was retrieved from the Canvas learning platform for the two cohorts of teachers who attended this course in 2013.
The findings of the research showed that while the organiser and course designers hoped a blended mode course design would bring about a new change in the way of delivering CPD to adhere to the new aspirations in the Malaysia Education Blueprint, there was a puzzling outcome in the unexpectedly high drop – out rate of the teachers from the course. This paper will address some of the reasons that caused this situation.
Ministry of Education, Malaysia. National Education Blueprint 2013 – 2025. Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia. Putrajaya, Malaysia.
Wedell, M. (2005) Cascading Training Down into the Classroom: The Need for Parallel Planning. International Journal of Education Development. Volume 26, Issue 6. Page 637-651.