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ACTION RESEARCH AND COLLABORATIVE COMMUNITIES FOR LEARNING AS A MEANS OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND IMPROVED PRACTICE

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Title: ACTION RESEARCH AND COLLABORATIVE COMMUNITIES FOR LEARNING AS A MEANS OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND IMPROVED PRACTICE


1
ACTION RESEARCH AND COLLABORATIVE COMMUNITIES FOR
LEARNING AS A MEANS OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
AND IMPROVED PRACTICE
Dr Donald Gray Dr Dean Robson Dr Laura
Collucci-Gray School of Education, University
of Aberdeen
2
Scottish Teachers for a New Era
Developing teachers increasing learner gains
  • Scottish Executive Education Department
  • Hunter Foundation
  • University of Aberdeen
  • Opportunity for Change
  • Research Informed Development

3
What is STNE ?
  • Design Principles
  • Decisions driven by evidence
  • Engagement with Arts Sciences
  • Teaching as an academically taught clinical
    practice
  • Key Aims
  • To develop a
  • Teacher for a New Era
  • New Learning Environment
  • New Framework for Continuous Learning
  • New Professional Culture
  • Development and research
  • Build an evidence base inform developments,
    add to knowledge
  • New collaborative model of teacher development

4
Review of ITE Stage 2
I want universities, local authorities and
others to work together in a way which allows
them to develop theory and practice
simultaneously (Peter Peacock, Minister for
Education and Young People, Ministerial Response,
2005, p6)
5
Research Aspects Evidence-informed development
  • Building an evidence base
  • Six year plan for data collection, analysis and
    reporting
  • Reviews of Literature
  • Adding to knowledge and understanding
  • Building research capacity

6
Working in partnership to
  • Build a seamless continuum of teacher
    development from pre-service through induction to
    continuous professional development.

7
TTA Teaching 2020
What sort of teachers will be needed then, and so
what kind of teacher education and training?
Whatever happens in 2020 schools and teachers
will be very different. The teachers we are
training now, and those currently teaching and
engaging in CPD, need to be prepared to be
flexible, to manage change, and more than that,
to be agents of change.
8
Globalisation (Mortimore, 2001)
  • International comparisons show effects of
    motivating staff, focusing on TL, enhancing the
    physical environment, changing the culture of the
    school. However, while many similar strategies
    used, the different context meant similar actions
    did not always produce similar results.
  • Improvements must fit the grain of society
    indiscriminate borrowing from other cultures may
    not achieve the desired results there is no
    quick fix for school improvement change has to
    be carried out by the school itself.

9
Teaching and Research
What constitutes the relevance of research, for
instance, depends to a large extent on what
questions are being asked, in what context, and
for what practical ends. Davies (1999)
Teachers engaging in research is a third seed of
professional knowledge creation. Hargreaves
(1999)
the uniqueness of each classroom setting
implies that any proposal needs to be tested and
verified and adapted by each teacher in her or
his own classroom. McIntyre (2005)
The evidence indicates how teachers involvement
and confidence can be built in expansive learning
environments characterised by specialist support,
collaborative working, and the development of
mutual trust. Brown (2005)
10
STNE Research Impetus 2007?
  • Programme Evaluation and Development
  • Learning Projects
  • Action Research Initiatives

11
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12
What is Action Research ?
  • Applied to classroom, action research is an
    approach to improving education through change,
    by encouraging teachers to become aware of their
    own practice, to be critical of that practice,
    and to be prepared to change it. It is
    participatory, in that it involves the teacher in
    his own enquiry, and collaborative, in that it
    involves other people as part of a shared
    enquiry. It is research WITH, rather than
    research ON.
  • McNiff, J (1988) Action Research Principles and
    Practice. BasingstokeMacMillan Education

13
ACTION research investigates everyday problems
experienced by teachers
14
Why Action Research ?
  • GTCS recognition of importance of teacher
    research.
  • Standards and Professional Recognition Frameworks
    (SITE, SFR etc).
  • Models of CPD.
  • Defined aims of STNE RD project link to the
    continuous development of a research engaged
    teacher within the envelope of integrated whole
    career professional learning.
  • Classroom-based investigation of pupil (learner)
    gains.

15
Standard for Initial Teacher Education
  • Benchmarks
  • Professional Knowledge and Understanding 1.3.2
  • Professional Skills and Abilities 2.4.1, 2.4.2,
    2.4.3
  • SITE details
  • http//www.gtcs.org.uk/Becoming_a_Teacher/Training
    tobeateacher/TheStandardforInitialTeacherEducation
    .asp

16
Teachers for Excellence A Model for CPD
  • 4 Stages of CPD
  • Becoming Aware
  • Becoming Interested
  • Integrating into Practice
  • Innovating and Creating
  • National CPD Team, 2006 Link
  • http//www.ltscotland.org.uk/cpdscotland/images/Oc
    casional20Paper2082020Teachers20for20Excelle
    nce_tcm4-410558.pdf

17
Defining the Action Research Learning Community
  • BEd (P) Year 3 students
  • BEd (P) Year 4 students
  • Probationer Teachers in 6 STNE local authority
    partners
  • Action Research Scholars in 6 STNE local
    authority partners
  • Role of SBTN (Supporting Beginning Teachers
    Network)

18
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19
A R Scholarships
  • Research seminars
  • University mentors
  • Links with APS
  • Focus on classroom practice
  • Focus on pupil (learner) gains
  • 2007 Funded 15 teachers

20
What are Pupil Gains ?
  • Links to a Curriculum for Excellence
  • Link
  • http//www.curriculumforexcellencescotland.gov.uk/
    about/essentialinformation/purposes.asp

21
STNE AR Scholarships 2007
  • Examples (PS)
  • The impact of using drama in media studies in a
    CfE.
  • New approaches to introducing P1 children to
    ICT.
  • Video-based approaches to problem solving
    (maths recovery).
  • Writing through role-play structured
    activities.
  • Personal Learning Planning
  • Enterprise in mathematics

22
Supporting Beginning Teachers Network
  • Partnership with Local Authorities
  • 3 target groupings
  • Virtual and physical network
  • New teachers, Mentors/Supporters, LA personnel
  • CPD
  • Communities of Learning
  • Collaborative Research
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