Week 18 / My Reflective Practice

Activity 2: Reflecting on changes in my future oriented teaching practice 

Create a reflective entry to critically reflect upon how you have positively changed your practice during your postgraduate journey. Your reflections should be based on a suitable reflective model of your choice.
For this task I have chosen to use Gibb's Reflective Cycle from Finlay's Reflecting on Reflective Practise (2009). 

Step 1 (Description): By looking through the required reading, the Executive Summary of “Supporting future-oriented learning and teaching: A New Zealand perspective” (Bolstad, Gilbert, McDowall, Bull, Boyd & Hipkins, 2012). I felt that the theme that best suited my journey would be: "Changing the script": Rethinking learners' and teachers' roles. This theme is linked to the understanding that we (the teachers) are no longer the centre of knowledge in the classroom. My innovation was looking at problem based learning and having students identify, plan and solve problems relating to a particular topic.
As stated in the article - taking into account age levels and year levels is really important, I found that my younger students lacked the content knowledge to solve a problem and therefore I spent more time guiding and supporting during these lessons. The senior classes were able to utilise the scaffolding provided and impressed everyone by exceeding the high standard of work set. Overall, in both classes engagement was high, students were thinking about their learning and asking questions.
Planning for students to drive and determine their own course of learning within a set guideline is a huge mind shift for some teachers. Especially when thinking about a teachers traditional role in the classroom and how they plan for learning to happen. This quote from this weeks reading captures my current thinking: "If we believe that the main role of education is not just to transmit knowledge but also to cultivate people's ability to engage with and generate knowledge, then teachers roles need to be reconsidered." (Bolstad, Gilbert, McDowall, Bull, Boyd & Hipkins, 2012).  
Step 2 (Feelings): At the beginning of my Mindlab journey I was really excited about the path that I was on. Change and new learning is something I really enjoy. I would describe myself as an early adopter or innovator (Robinson, 2012) and so I loved being able to come up with a plan and innovation. The thing that I found more challenging was guiding others towards my innovation. As mentioned above, I enjoy change but this is not the case for everyone. Therefore trying to drive my innovation forward when I am perceived as a "jump in and do it" person proved to be quite difficult, especially with laggards. 
Step 3 (Evaluation): Overall, I feel that I have become a stronger leader over the course of this course... so far... I have a deeper understanding of different leadership and follower styles and the impact of each. When it comes to my teaching approach - my students are extremely positive about their opportunity to drive their learning through the problem based learning.  
Step 4 (Analysis): I think it is interesting to think about the changes that we are seeing in education this century. It's not just about technology, it's also about the skills needed to be a valuable member of society. The changes that I made to my practise came about by doing, by putting what I had been reading about into a plan and actioning it. Looking back at the 21st century skills from the video presented in week 2 (link here), I feel that our current pedagogy of Learn, Create, Share sits well within 21st century teaching. 
Step 5 (Conclusion): The changes made to my teaching practise are invaluable. I have a deeper understanding of 21st century skills and attributes. In terms of my leadership practise I am still learning and growing my own style. Using Kotter's 8 Steps to Accelerate Change (2017) was a helpful way to begin to plan for leadership of an innovation. In the future I feel that my ability to implement change will grow as my understanding of those who I work with grows. After all, from my experience leadership in my role is all about relationships. 
Step 6 (Action Plan): Have I achieved my goal - yes and no. I have implemented an innovation that is successful in increasing students creativity and engagement. That is successful. Are others implementing this through my leadership around 70% are. Do I feel that I need to continue to build on my own leadership skills and attributes? Most definitely.  
Future focus - continue to grow leadership capability. 

References: 

Bolstad, R., Gilbert, J., McDowall, S., Bull, A., Boyd, S., & Hipkins, R. (2012). Supporting future-oriented learning and teaching — a New Zealand perspective. Report prepared for the Ministry of Education. Retrieved from https://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/publications/schooling/109306


Kotter International. (2017). 8 Steps for Accelerating Change (eBook). Kotter International

Robinson, L. (2009). A summary of Diffusion of Innovations. Changeology. Retrieved from www.enablingchange.com.au/Summary_Diffusion_Theory.pdf

1 comment:

  1. I really like your reflections - so much detail :-). Your comment "Planning for students to drive and determine their own course of learning within a set guideline is a huge mind shift for some teachers" made me think about my students, and in what way they also could change roles in the classroom, and what leadership skills I would need to implement an innovation, and what would increase student engagement. Lots of food for thought....

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Week 19 / My Reflective Practise

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