EDUP106 Seminar 3

Seminar 3: Approaches and Strategies to support Professional Learning

Understanding Professional Growth and the Needs of Individuals

Practice Focussed and Work Based Learning

Facilitating Collective Professional Learning

Developing and sharing the plan

Co-coaching and Learning Conversation 3

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EDUP106 Phase 3 D2

Task D2

Prepare a short PowerPoint presentation (5 Minutes) to explain your rationale based on your situational analysis from phase 2 and your proposal for action to your colleagues. Colleagues will be asked to critique and provide constructive feedback on your proposal. The presentation should demonstrate what you plan to do, why and how you plan to do it.

EDUP106 Phase 3 D1

Task D1

You should now be in a good position to develop your proposal for the coaching/mentoring intervention. To help clarify your thoughts work through the questions on the EDUP106 Project Planning Proforma (1) (Word version available on Canvas) which takes you through the various aspects that you need to consider in detail. Discuss this with your Headteacher or a senior colleague to ensure that you have support for your proposal and have considered any potentially adverse effects of your proposed actions. You are now in a position to approach a colleague or colleagues with you proposal.

EDUP106 Phase 3 C2

Task C2

Educational establishments are often encouraged to develop ‘communities’ in which collaborative and collective learning is nurtured. This notion is based on the important idea of learning occurring through participation in activity, not through acquisition of concepts and skills. Lave and Wenger were instrumental in developing this concept in the early 1990s. The following paper by Etienne Wenger charts the development of the theory:

Wenger, E. (2000). Communities of practice and social learning systems. Organization, 7(2), 225-246.

Communities of practice

The idea of ‘communities of practice’ has proven attractive to many professional groups, including teachers. Some have turned this idea into a notion of ‘professional learning communities’, which in some schools has been accepted as an inherently desirable objective. However many critical questions have been raised about its premises, and since the 1990s a range of empirical studies have shown problems with the theory. Communities of practice have been shown to have a tendency to reinforce the status quo, be conservative, and not generate or support innovation.

Read:

Watson C (2014) Effective professional learning communities? The possibilities for teachers as agents of change in schools, British Educational Research Journal, 40 (1), pp. 18-29.

Effective PLCs Watson

There is a growing body of literature looking at this interesting subject area. If you want to explore further some of the critiques and ideas covered in the above see the below book selected from the module wider reading list:

Hughes, J, Jewson, N & and Unwin, L (2007). Communities of Practice: Critical Perspectives, London, Routledge

What implications do these readings have on your views of how learning occurs among a group of teachers? How might these shape your future actions in regards to the leading of professional learning within your school/college? What actions might you take to overcome the identified limitations of communities of practice?

Make some notes of your thoughts in your journal in preparation for the next seminar day where we will be discussing these concepts in greater detail.

EDUP106 Phase 3 C1

Task C1

Although the benefits of working collectively towards a common purpose or outcome in professional learning are widely promoted in current policy, collaboration is not without its problems. Whilst building and developing coaching and mentoring relationships it is important to factor in the human element. While coaching and mentoring models provide a framework around which to design interventions, they cannot predict all facets of behaviour and interaction.

Read:

Part 1 in: Thompson, N (2006) People Problems, Hampshire: Palgrave (electronic resource)

People_Problems_—-_(Pg_20–48)

This section considers some of the issues that can arise when coaching/mentoring. The section suggests that a problem is anything that brings about negatives (e.g. behaviour) or blocks positives (e.g. actions). Thompson also asks us to consider differing dimensions of relationships (p4) in particular:

• power

• conflict

• communication

• identity

In your journal reflect upon a conversation or incident when one of these dimensions has caused a problem. What ethical considerations come into play with these four dimensions?

EDUP106 Phase 3 B1

Task B1

This module sits within a wider programme seek to develop critical engagement with professional education and learning. Themes run through the whole course and specific emphasis is placed within different modules on particular aspects of learning. The below reading covers several different important ideas that are relevant across many of the course modules and has particular relevance to the subject matter within this module in that it provides a conceptual connection between workplace learning and practice.

Read: (on laptop)

Hager, P. (2011) Chapter 2: Theories of Workplace Learning. In: M. Malloch, L.Cairns, K.Evans and B. O’Conner (Eds.) The SAGE Handbook of Workplace Learning. London: Sage.

This chapter provides some very interesting critique on theories of workplace learning. What challenges did this piece present to you and your beliefs surrounding workplace learning? Make some notes in your journal for discussion at the next seminar day.

EDUP106 Phase 3 A4

Task A4

Continuing to explore professional learning and identity through the use of metaphors,

Read:

Sachs, J. (2011) Skilling or Emancipating? Metaphors for Continuing Professional Development. In: Mockler, N. and Sachs, J. eds. Rethinking Educational Practice Through Reflexive Inquiry: Essays in honour of Susan Groundwater-Smith. Springerlink online series. Skilling or Emancipating


p155:  CPD for these teachers is about recasting themselves as active learners, and, accordingly, it is transformative in its intent and outcomes. Its remit is not just about a teacher’s classroom practice but rather about social change, where education is a driving force.

p155:  A litmus test for CPD for many teachers could include the following questions: Is it useful? Does it my improve practice? Does it improve student learning? Does it extend me intellectually, personally or professionally? Does it question orthodoxies, generate new knowledge or transform practice?

p156: Grundy and Robison (2004) identify three interconnected purposes of CPD: extension, growth and renewal. Extension is through introducing new knowledge or skills to a teacher’s repertoire, growth is by the development of greater levels of expertise and renewal is achieved through transformation and change of knowledge and practice

Retooling (p157)

  • CPD as retooling is very much based in a practical view of teaching, in which relevance and immediate application within classrooms is a prime objective…
  • However, with its focus on improving instruction it does not allow any consideration of the social and cultural factors which influence the design and delivery of teaching and learning… governments and education bureaucrats prefer this is type of CPD seeing it as an end in itself…
  • CPD as retooling can best be described as old style professional development; it is something that is done to teachers, or as Mockler (2001) calls it ‘spray on’ PD.

Remodelling (p158)

  • Remodelling does not challenge orthodoxies or beliefs, rather it reinforces a practical approach to teaching, where teaching is sometimes seen as a performance and the role of the teacher is to engage/entertain students…
  • more concerned with modifying existing practices to ensure that teachers are compliant with government change agendas
  • It is very much focussed on the enhancement of teachers’ content and pedagogical knowledge.
  • One of the shortfalls of these programmes is that they may well remodel teachers’ behaviours but not necessarily change their attitudes and beliefs about teaching.
  • this model of CPD reinforces the idea of the teacher as the uncritical consumer of knowledge, and operating at the level of improving specific skills as these relate to immediate classroom practice.

Revitalizing (p158-160)

  • very much about teacher renewal, with the shift away from development to learning.
  • revitalizing connects teachers with other teachers and with the needs of students.
  • It demands that teachers are able to engage in reflection-in-action and reflection-on-action (Schön 1987).
  • its focus is still on the individual teacher but makes teachers “feel inspired, idealistic—a reminder of what teaching’s all about”.
  • The coaching/mentoring model emphasises the importance of the one-to-one relationship between two teachers, which is designed to support CPD. It involves an equitable relationship which allows the two teachers involved to discuss possibilities, beliefs and hopes (Kennedy 2005).
  • Another form of CPD as revitalizing is to be found through professional development networks.
  • Daley (2000, pp. 40–41) lists a variety of tools which can foster a transformative view of learning including: concept maps, reflective journals, Venn diagrams, analysis of practice exemplars, action learning and creating professional learning communities.

Reimagining (p160-162)

  • this kind of CPD is different and requires imagination both on the part of those delivering CPD as well as those who are the recipients of it.
  • This type of CDP is transformative in its intent and practice, and will equip teachers individually and collectively to act as shapers, promoters and well-informed critics of reforms (Little 1994, p. 1).
  • it is highly political and serves to advocate and support change from a variety of perspectives and approaches.
  • it is a transformative view of teacher professionalism which seeks to develop teachers who are creative developers of curriculum and innovative pedagogues (Mockler 2005).
  • Given that this is political work, it requires building collaborative partnerships between various stakeholders whose task is to work together, combining their experience, expertise and resources.
  • educators must have the courage to ask tough questions and have the skills to find honest answers.
  • This approach reflects what Richardson (2003, p. 401) describes as an inquiry approach where teachers determine their individual collective goals, experiment with practices, and engage in open and trusting dialogue about teaching and learning with colleagues and outside facilitators.
  • CPD as reimagining positions teachers as researchers of their own and their peers’ practice.

Summary

retooling etc

p164: In order to achieve the aspirations of a learning profession, education providers need to ensure that the programmes offered match appropriate professional development provision to particular professional needs (Mujis et al. 2004, p. 295). The important point here is the need for CPD to be differentiated in the same way as learning is differentiated for students.

It requires that teachers are prepared to take risks and not lose their nerve when it comes to justifying positions about education against which they can provide justifiable evidence.

p165: It requires constructive dialogue between teachers, principals and education bureaucrats about what are the priorities for the school and teachers, how to ensure that the needs and interests of students are at the centre of decisions and what kind of activities can ensure an engaged and well-informed teaching profession.


Sachs introduces four metaphors to describe current approaches to continuing professional development: retooling, remodelling, revitalising and reimagining (p156). How do these analyses support your understanding of your own professional learning experiences and practices and those which are evident in your setting?

Retooling: most school-based and peer-collective sessions operate at this level. They work when necessary to transmit some new knowledge.

Remodelling: most InSet days and CPD courses operate ate this level. They provide new ways of thinking about a concept or issue. They transmit new knowledge that we construct for our settings.

Revitalising: an increasing amount of this level of working, particularly in working groups (school, cluster, LA). Potentially some InSet day dialogue works at this level. TeachMeets work at this level in terms of sharing collectively for individual gain.

Reimagining: My SCEL experience was definitely operating at this level. Practitioner enquiry has the potential to operate at this level if understood properly and the learning shared widely.

Return to your journal notes from Task A3 (this phase) and develop further your thoughts around professional identity and development by introducing the ideas introduced by Sach’s use of the four metaphors.