Week 32- Key change in Reflective Practice

Critically reflect on a key change in my practice

Using the Rolfe et al., (2001) reflective model I am going to critically reflect on a key change in my practice that aligns with the Standards for the Teaching Profession:

  • Design for learning – Design learning based on curriculum and pedagogical knowledge, assessment information and an understanding of each learner’s strengths, interests, needs, identities, languages and cultures (Education Council, 2017).

Step 1 (What): One key change I wanted to make in my practice was to develop an authentic learning opportunity through collaboration and digital technology in my Design and Visual Communication (DVC) class. I wanted to move away from assessment driven outcomes to student driven outcomes. With this class I had the opportunity to develop the learning programme with the students. I was able to allow for flexibility, as well as include students interests, passions and ideas to develop the coursework and content.


Step 2 (Now what): Using Osterman and Kottkamp (2015), Cycle of Experiential Learning, I will evaluate the identified change outlined above.

Stage 1: Problem identification
I wanted students to be engaged in a project that they could sustain for an entire term. It had to be something that they were interested in and that they could drive the development of (Pearce, 2016). The work still needed to be used for assessment purposes, however, I did not want that to drive the learning and outcomes. It was also important for me to challenge myself to work on this project, implementing an authentic learning project was a new area of learning for me.

Stage 2: Observation and analysis
I used student voice to generate the change, I asked questions and gathered feedback on what the students wanted to see, do and how they wanted to develop their work. As this programme was experimental, success was driven by the students, so therefore their buy-in was the most important part of the change (Pearce, 2016).

Stage 3: Abstract re conceptualization
Even though this change initiative was to be student driven it still needed to fit within the technology curriculum frameworks and achievement objectives. So I needed to ensure there were still elements of assessment interwoven within the programme.
For this I included using a modified Design Thinking Model, this was designed so students were able to still work on an authentic task as well as have evidence for assessment purposes. I did not want the assessment component of the course to drive the learning. The Design Thinking model acted as a guide for their planning and also provided evidence to meet the achievement objectives.

Stage 4: Active experimentation
After implementing the change I was aware of many areas that I could have improved on. One was letting go of the need to ‘follow’ assessment obligations as this interrupted the flow of the project. I feel I spent too long on the content driven activities which cause the students initial interest and motivation to wane. A number of students still showed elements of disengagement throughout the project, for future planning I need to ensure that there are constant tasks for students who struggle with the self-management aspect of a student driven project.

Step 3 (What next):  My next step is to integrate the idea of authentic learning outcomes into all areas of my teaching. I want to ensure that the work that is taking place in my classroom is relevant to the learner and not solely assessment driven. I can do this by ensuring that their ideas, interests, strengths and needs are being met with the activities and assessments that are taking place (Education Council, 2017). As well as taking into consideration their culture, identity, prior knowledge, voice and viewpoints when planning and co-constructing work with them (Bishop, 2012; Kia Eke Panuku, 2013-2016).



Edtalks. (2012, September 23). A culturally responsive pedagogy of relations. .Retrieved from https://vimeo.com/49992994

Education Council. (2017). Our Code Our Standards. Retrieved from: https://educationcouncil.org.nz/sites/default/files/Our%20Code%20Our%20Standards%20web%20booklet%20FINAL.pdf

Kia Eke Panuku. (2013-2016). Culturally Responsive and Relational Pedagogy. Retrieved from https://kep.org.nz/dimensions/culturally-responsive-and-relational-pedagogy

Osterman, K. & Kottkamp, R.(1993). Reflective Practice for Educators.California.Corwin Press, Inc. Retrieved from http://www.itslifejimbutn otasweknowit.org.uk/files

Pearce, S. (2016, April). Authentic learning: what, why and how? e-Teaching Management Strategies for the Classroom, (10). Retrieved from http://www.acel.org.au/acel/ACEL_docs/Publications/e-Teaching/2016/e-Teaching_2016_10.pdf

Simons, T., Gupta, A., & Buchanan, M. (2011). Innovation in R&D: using design thinking to develop new models of inventiveness, productivity and collaboration. Journal of Commercial Biotechnology, 17(4), 301+. http://dx.doi.org.libproxy.unitec.ac.nz/10.1057/jcb.2011.25



Week 31 – Indigenous Knowledge and Cultural Responsiveness

Indigenous Knowledge and Cultural Responsiveness

For this reflection I will use the Rolfe et al., (2001) reflective model to articulate my ideas around Indigenous knowledge and culturally responsive pedagogy in my own practice.

Step 1 (What): Culturally responsive pedagogy for me has to be about building relationships with all learners. By building positive relationships with students so that they feel their voice, views, values and ideas are valued and respected in the classroom. Bishop (2012) states that relationship centered education and showing learners that you care can enhance their engagement, attendance and academic achievement.
One aspect of student voice I have introduced into my practice this year is getting the Year 7 students to tell me what they dislike and are afraid of in Visual Art. I did this to open up an honest dialogue about my subject so I can work with them to better understand their needs and challenges.

An area in my practice and classroom that I feel I have some success would be communication methods. I use co-construction methods with students for them to unpack their learning intentions and success criteria, what does the learning look like for them and what are their expectations? I also use self-assessment and give students the opportunity to critique and give feedback on the unit and work. The student feedback is used to continually improve and develop learning outcomes. I do not believe in deficit thinking and believe every student is capable of success.

An area that I would say needs work and improvement is planning and assessment. Although student voice is used to improve the content of the classwork, the planning and assessment is fixed. The overall units of work have not changed in years (before my time). The units have not been updated to meet the changing needs of the learners. Greater learner agency and more opportunities for all learners to bring their own ideas and views into the learning would allow for greater engagement (Bishop, 2012).


Step 2 (So what): When reviewing Milne’s (2017) presentation and thinking about where I as an educator fit on the continuum was somewhat confronting. You would like to think you are doing the right things for your students and ensuring that they feel valued and respected. However, I am not in the red area. I feel that I would fall between purple and green, not because I feel that is what is right and what my classroom should look like, but because of the way the system and hierarchy dictate expectations, assessment and what success looks like. Learning outcomes are preplanned and preconceived and content is taught to meet these outcomes. Milne (2017) describes culturally sustaining pedagogy as freedom, but what does that freedom look like when you are confronted by tick box requirements.


Step 3 (What next): Our code, our standards highlights as educators we must respect the diversity, culture, language and heritage of all learners, as well as their educational aspirations. We must be inclusive and support their needs and abilities and not let our assumptions or beliefs affect our teaching. Kia Eke Panuku (2013-2016) describes relational pedagogy as allowing learners to connect new learning to their prior knowledge and cultural experiences. Through relating the learning to the interests and abilities of individuals. For me in my practice educational disparities are not just present between Maori and European, I also see this between female and male students, where male students are less engaged. Not only do I need to work towards supporting all ākonga in my classroom, I also need to encourage students to feel they can engage in work that has meaning to them. As Bishop (2012) states I need to create a learning context where all ākonga can bring themselves to the learning conversation.


CORE Education.(2017, 17 October). Dr Ann Milne, Colouring in the white spaces: Reclaiming cultural identity in whitestream schools.. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cTvi5qxqp4&feature=em-subs_digest

Edtalks.(2012, September 23). A culturally responsive pedagogy of relations. .Retrieved from https://vimeo.com/49992994

Education Council. (2017). Our Code Our Standards. Retrieved from: https://educationcouncil.org.nz/sites/default/files/Our%20Code%20Our%20Standards%20web%20booklet%20FINAL.pdf

Kia Eke Panuku. (2013-2016). Culturally Responsive and Relational Pedagogy. Retrieved from https://kep.org.nz/dimensions/culturally-responsive-and-relational-pedagogy


Week 30 – Emerging Trends Influencing Education

EMERGING TREND: Heightened Demand for Career Readiness

Using Rolfe et al., (2001) reflective model, I am going to unpack the emerging trend of Heightened Demand for Career Readiness outlined by Daggett, 2014.

Step 1 (What):
One trend that resonated with me was career readiness. As a senior Academic and Pastoral Dean supporting students with their future endeavours is a large part of my role. Enabling students to leave high school as best prepared as they can be for the ever changing future is what we need to be doing, but are we? Daggett (2014) states that the current education system (globally) is not preparing students for the changing climate in jobs. Entry level jobs are becoming less common as technology develops and surpasses the skill level people are required to have for these jobs. Therefore we need to upskill young people to be prepared for a higher level of skills and understanding of technology for future job requirements.

In order for teachers to support learners to be prepared for a world, and for jobs that do not yet exist, they need to also be ‘up-skilled’. Professional Development is required to prepare teachers so they can in turn prepare students.

Step 2 (So What):
Daggett (2014) highlights the key issues with higher education and job expectancy and readiness. He states that students who attend university are leaving without the right qualifications to support them in the 21st century workplace. 48% of students leaving university are entering jobs that do not require the level of education they have, and 37% of students are working in jobs that do not even require a university degree. Therefore are we preparing students at high school to make the right decisions with their university plans. The OECD (2010), highlights some of the key shifts for 21st century citizens, one of the key fundamentals is that students need to be able to continuously learn and apply new knowledge and skills. Students need to prepare themselves to be life-long, self-directed, adaptive learners, they need to prepare themselves for jobs that do not exist and have to ability to adapt to new technology that is yet to be invented.

21st century skills are an important part of preparing students for the future unknowns, however, the Future Frontiers Analytical Report, 2018, suggests that students also need to develop ‘sound learning dispositions’… for example they not only need to know how to collaborate, communicate, use critical thinking etc, they also need to be able to concentrate, show resilience, have curiosity and have the ability to function in learning relationships (Buchanan, Ryan, Anderson, Calvo, Glozier & Peter, 2018).

Step 3 (Now What):
The NCEA review shows a level of commitment from the New Zealand government to prepare our students for future unknowns. The plan to introduce Project Based Learning (PBL) into NCEA Level 1, shows a willingness to move with global trends. The idea behind this introduction is to give students the opportunity to become lifelong learners, where they can work on projects that will support their learning, community and needs. PBL will also help them develop their knowledge, skills and attitudes for their future (Ministry of Education, 2018). PBL helps students build 21st century skills, students are able to work collaboratively, apply new skills to challenging situations and think for themselves (Boss, 2012), it also allows students to develop the key skills outlined by Buchanan et al., (2018). The NCEA review had mixed feedback from colleagues, many were concerned for the PBL inclusion, however, supporting learners to be ready for the future is essential and I believe this is a step in the right direction.


Boss, S. (2012, May 2). How Project-Based Learning Builds 21st-Century Skills [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org

Buchanan, J., Ryan, R., Anderson, M., Calvo, R. A., Glozier, N., & Peter, S. (2018). Education: Future Frontiers – Preparing for the best and worst of times. Report prepared for the NSW Department of Education, University of Sydney, Australia.

Daggett, B. (2014). Addressing Current and Future Challenges in Education. Retrieved from http://www.leadered.com/pdf/2014 MSC_AddressingCurrentandFutureChallenges.pdf

Ministry of Education. (2018). Kōrero Mātauranga; Big Opportunity 1: Creating space at NCEA Level 1 for powerful learning. Retrieved from https://conversation.education.govt.nz/conversations/ncea-have-your-say/big-opportunities-he-aria-nui/big-opp-1/

OECD, P., & Centre, F. E. R. A. I. (2010). Educational research and innovation; the nature of learning : using research to inspire practice. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com


Week 29 – Social media in Professional Development

Using Social Media in Professional Development

For this reflection I will use Jay and Johnson’s Reflective Model to unpack how I currently use social media in my Professional Development and what areas I should look at improving.

Step 1 (Descriptive stage): After completing the ‘Social Media survey’ I realised I actively use social media tools. Tools I engage with on a regular basis are Facebook, Google + (Mindlab), Pinterest, Blogs (Edutopia and Mindshift) and TED Talks.

Facebook would be the tool I use the most, this is where I interact with my Community of Practice (CoP) and other ‘teacher friends’ (through messenger and a private group). I follow pages relevant to my practice, such as Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Art Educators, Arts Online, Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand, New Zealand Council for Educational Research and Core Education. I regularly read Mindshift and Edutopia blog posts through Facebook and often save many articles to revisit later or share with colleagues.

Though I do use other social media tools, I find Facebook to be the main platform I keep coming back to.  Mainly because everything is there, I can access blogs, TED Talks as well as discuss issues and ideas with teacher friends and colleagues through instant connections.

Step 2 (Comparative stage): What resonated with me the most when reading ‘What connected educators do differently’ (Whitaker, Zoul, & Casas, 2015) was the way they described educators who want to connect. Connected educators intentionally seek out other educators who they can pursue their ‘lifelong learning’ goals alongside. When I think of my ‘teacher friends’ that is exactly why I connect with them, because they are the educators who share the same passions that I do. We share and discuss in private interactions, but that is as far as my online interactions go.

When reviewing the survey responses and seeing what social media tools others used, there were two areas that I do not use, but a large number of the responses did – Blogs and Twitter. 76% of the responses from the survey stated they used blogs and 42% used Twitter. Blogs and Twitter are areas of social media I have dabbled with, however, never fully connected. I met an avid Twitter fan at a ConnectEd conference in 2015, she inspired me to ‘give it a go’, I lasted six months. I can see the value in Twitter, the professional connections and organised EdChats and how these would help with professional development. I did not mind reading others’ tweets and retweeting, it was the engaging and interacting on a personal level, I did not enjoy. Still (2012) discusses ways in which to use Twitter correctly, one thing she suggests not to do is constant retweets, she states that you should interact and engage in conversations. She also suggests not tweeting about all of your interests and having separate accounts! Retweeting is far easier than interacting, and I have other interests, I barely survived keeping active with one account!

Step 3 (critical reflection): I am aware that my online presence is not an active one, Arnold & Paulus (2010), would describe my online interactions as ‘pedagogical lurking’. Being where I actively view content, however, I am not interacting or engaging on a personal level. Sharing personal views and ideas on a public platform is daunting, your name and identity is attached to it. What happens if you tweet or say the wrong thing? How do I know I am interacting in the correct way? I do not want to ‘destroy my twitter cred’ before I even really begin (Still, 2012).

One thing I will say is that I have enjoyed using Google+ to interact with members of Mindlab through comments, interactions and discussions. Writing the blogs has been insightful too, and that Twitter account is still active…


Arnold, Nike, & Paulus, Trena. (2010). Using a Social Networking Site for Experiential Learning: Appropriating, Lurking, Modeling and Community Building. Internet and Higher Education, 13(4), 188-196.

Jay, J.K. and Johnson, K.L. (2002). Capturing complexity: a typology of reflective practice for teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 18, 73-85.

Still, B. (2012, March-April). Ten surefire ways to destroy your Twitter cred. Learning & Leading with Technology, 39(6), 32+. Retrieved from http://link.galegroup.com.libproxy.unitec.ac.nz/apps/doc/A282824112/AONE?u=per_unit&sid=AONE&xid=ad1b62f6

Whitaker, T., Zoul, J., & Casas, J. (2015). What connected educators do differently. New York, NY: Routledge.


Week 28 – Legal and ethical contexts in my digital practice

Appropriation, emultation and authenticity: Plagiarism and intellectual-property violation

Using Rolfe et al., (2001) reflective model, I am going to unpack an ethical dilemma in Visual Art through the use of digital technology and digital practice. I will also use points from the Ehrich et al., (2011) model of ethical decision-making to support my reflection.

Step 1 (What): In Visual Art the use of digital images and found imagery is a large part of students research, inspiration and development process. However, there are many implications around proper appropriation, emulation and authenticity. Artist Sherrie Levine is a classic example of challenging the notion of appropriation and authenticity. Levine recreates the works of well known male artists to make a statement about ownership, she titles the works “After… (their name)” to acknowledge who she has appropriated the work from (Artnet, 2018). Though controversial, her work is still an appropriation as she changes the images (even if only slightly) (The Museum of Modern Art, 2018). With students, using artist models’ ideas is a large part of developing their practice, going as far as emulating the artist models use of subject matter, composition and techniques. But there comes a point when students take using other influences and “found imagery” too far. I have seen this before, where a student finds an image (often on Pinterest) and directly copies it. This goes beyond appropriation or emulation. But does the student really understand the difference? With digital imagery being so expansive, it is hard to keep track of what is authentic and what has been taken from external sources. In my field (digital photography) students often photograph subjects outside of school, a lot of trust is given that the student has in fact taken the photographs themselves. However, there is some accountability, as part of the New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA) requirements, students must give assurance that their work is their work, and as teachers we must sign off that the work submitted has been completed entirely by the student (NZQA, n.d.).

Step 2 (So What):

The critical incident, which triggers the ethical dilemma: Misappropriation and copying of others work.

The individual’s values, beliefs, and ethical orientations in relation to the dilemma: Students misunderstanding of appropriation and emulation. If a student has copied work, did they do it directly or indirectly? Therefore, how much trust should be given when students work independently and how much help could they have had from external sources.

The choice, which could be no action or the action taken formally or informally, internally or externally: When a student is found to have blatantly copied directly, without appropriation, emulation or reference to the original source it is plagiarism. NZQA has clear guidelines around authenticity, and I would fail the student. However, what happens if this was done indirectly? Did they intend to appropriate the ideas, but not successfully achieve this? Does the same outcome still stand? In this instance is failing the student the right outcome to take? At the end of the day it is still an intellectual-property violation.

Step 3 (Now What): It is clear that appropriation and emulation can fall into grey areas. The Standards for the Teaching Profession; Learning-focused culture, Design for learning and Teaching, clearly outline the responsibilities that as a teacher I need to follow to support my students in their understanding and to meet their learning needs. Therefore, I need to explicitly teach the values and understanding of what is right and what is wrong when it comes to using others work. For example staging a photograph to emulate an artist model to show your understanding of conventions is completely acceptable. Taking someone’s work and copying it, is not. I also need to ensure students have a clear understanding of how they are appropriating and using ideas from different sources, genres and cultures.


Artnet. (2018). Sherrie Levine. Retrieved from http://www.artnet.com/artists/sherrie-levine/

Ehrich, L. C. , Kimber M., Millwater, J. & Cranston, N. (2011). Ethical dilemmas: a model to understand teacher practice, Teachers and Teaching: theory and practice, 17:2, 173-185, DOI: 10.1080/13540602.2011.539794

Education Council. (2017). Our Code Our Standards. Retrieved from: https://educationcouncil.org.nz/sites/default/files/Our%20Code%20Our%20Standards%20web%20booklet%20FINAL.pdf

New Zealand Qualification Authority. (2017). Assessment Report. Retrieved from https://www.nzqa.govt.nz/ncea/subjects/assessment-reports/visualarts-l2/

New Zealand Qualification Authority. (n.d.). Authenticity. Retrieved from https://www.nzqa.govt.nz/providers-partners/assessment-and-moderation/assessment-of-standards/generic-resources/authenticity/

The Museum of Modern Art. (2018, May 23). Live Q&A with MoMA Photography Curator Sarah Meister (23 May) [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXB6F51xXyY

Week 19 / Community of Practice

For this final reflection I will use Jay and Johnson’s Reflective Model to unpack my inquiry ideas and how it will align with and support the community of practices (CoP) views and needs.

Step 1 (Description): The inquiry topics I have chosen are broad, both ideas are similar, but I feel the content and knowledge that will be uncovered will support the learning across multiple disciplines and year levels.

The two areas of inquiry I am interested in are: Engaging students to develop critical thinking skills and Developing resilient, self-regulated learners (SRL)

The reason for choosing broad inquiry themes is the CoP I discuss and share ideas with are like minded secondary school teachers from different disciplines.

Joint enterprise: we want to support our learners the best we can through effective teaching and learning

Mutual engagement: we use group chat, Facebook group, study sessions and coffee groups to engage in critical conversations around teaching and learning to support each other

Shared repertoire: sharing relevant resources, thoughts and ideas from wider practice to inform our own practice

The inquiry will also support my role as a Dean and how I can support the wider community of teachers I work with beyond my small CoP.

Step 2 (Comparative): Growth Mindset, Critical Thinking, Resilience are all topics we discuss, so it was an obvious choice to include these components into my inquiry topics.

Why Self-regulation: Karlen (2016) states that self-regulated learning “is highly relevant for personal development as well as educational outcomes.” (p. 253). Self-regulation is about supporting learners development to be able to problem-solve, use specific learning strategies to support their own learning outcomes, process complex information and motivation to learn (Karlen, 2016). Self-regulated learners are able to set their own learning goals and evaluate their learning and information. Brown ((1998, as cited in De La Fuente, Manuel Martinez-Vicente, Lopez-Garcia, Zapata, Mariano-Vera, 2017) states that self-regulation is having the ability to monitor and change behaviour in different situations, challenges and changes that are happening. For learners to be self-regulated they need to be able to adapt.

Why Resilience: Resilience is an important skill to have when dealing with challenging situations. Resilience also works alongside developing positive and growth mindsets. Students will often find themselves in challenging situations, socially, emotionally or academic. To be able to continue to work and discover ability in these challenging situations is important for learners (De La Fuente et al,. 2017).

Why Critical Thinking: Critical thinking requires not just the ability to have higher order thinking, critical thinking requires motivation, cognition, attitude and disposition (Wechsler et al,. 2018). Critical thinking goes beyond the ability to process solely academic tasks. Learners who are able to use critical thinking skills see more success in their day to day personal and social lives (Wechsler et al,. 2018).

Step 3 (Critical reflection): Are all of these ideas necessary for an inquiry project, the more I researched the themes and discussed with the CoP and shared resources (The Learning Pit) I realised that maybe the inquiry project should be more focussed on mindsets. Positive Mindsets and Growth Mindsets were key areas that came up throughout my research. Resilience is key for growth mindset, self-regulation supports growth mindset. Critical thinking encompasses all of the these ideas. So maybe an inquiry around Mindsets, challenging thinking and ideas will support the CoP’s teaching and learning practices.



De La Fuente, J., Manuel Martinez-Vicente, J., Lopez-Garcia, M., Zapata, L., & Mariano-Vera, M. (2017). Personal Self-Regulation, Learning Approaches, Resilience and Test Anxiety in Psychology Students. Estudios Sobre Educacion, 329-26. doi:10.15581/004.32.9-26

Dweck, C. (2015). Carol Dweck revisits the growth mindset. Education Week, 35(5), 20-24.

Jay, J.K. and Johnson, K.L. (2002). Capturing complexity: a typology of reflective practice for teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 18, 73-85.

Karlen, Y. (2016). Differences in students’ metacognitive strategy knowledge, motivation, and strategy use: A typology of self-regulated learners. Journal Of Educational Research, 109(3), 253-265. doi:10.1080/00220671.2014.942895

Wenger-Trayner, E., & Wenger-Trayner, B. (2015). Introduction to communities of practice: A brief overview of the concept and its uses. Retrieved from http://wenger-trayner.com/introduction-to-communities-of-practice/

Wechsler, Saiz, Rivas, Vendramini, Almeida, Mundim, & Franco. (2018). Creative and critical thinking: Independent or overlapping components? Thinking Skills and Creativity, 27, 114-122.


Week 18 / Future-oriented Learning and Teaching : Personalised Learning

Using the Gibbs Reflective Cycle I have chosen to reflect about Personalising Learning.

Step 1 (Description): Personalised Learning is a concept I have tried to emulate in my own practice over the past 10 weeks. In Design and Visual Communication (DVC) I have implemented a student driven project that focuses on the students developing the content and ideas. The project allows for students interests and fosters engagement in their own learning (DfES, 2014). Personalised learning pathways allows for students to work collaboratively with others to shape and have control of their learning (Prain et al., 2013).

Step 2 (Feelings): I have been trying to implement a personalised “authentic” learning approach into the coursework by allowing students to develop their own projects and pathways. The biggest challenge has been the specific assessment based tasks. The focus on assessment based tasks took away from the personalised learning approach. Leadbeater ((2005, 2005) as cited in Bolstad et al., 2012) states that personalising learning enables success through motivation. When students were working on set tasks their motivation waned significantly from what it was when they were exploring their own content and ideas.

Step 3 (Evaluation): Allowing for student voice and vision enabled students to bring their interests into the learning. The most challenging part for the students was developing their own ideas. Once students overcame the challenges of thinking like an ‘innovator’ they were able to see success in their own ideas. To support the learners, as a teacher and facilitator I needed to scaffold the process in a more succinct manner. An area I am still developing is co-constructing the Learning Intentions and Success Criteria with the students. As the project has progressed the students have become more au fait with this process. This also allowed for students to have full ownership over what success would look like.

Step 4 (Analysis): On review, the type of personalised learning in my classroom would be considered more shallow (simple) personalisation, where I have tried to allow for personalisation within the constraints of the curriculum and coursework (Bolstad et al., 2012). The authentic learning underpinning the implementation was to ensure that students were passionate and engaged in what they were working on and that it was relevant to them. However, the authentic learning didn’t involve the wider community outside of the classroom. Students did work collaboratively to produce real life ideas and needs. But the learning would still fall in “the shallow expression of practice…” (Bolstad et al., 2012, p. 49).

Step 5 (Conclusion): The driving factor was developing student engagement through an authentic project. But were the students really engaged? And how do I measure engagement? Almarode (as cited in Schwartz, 2016) states that there are eight different qualities that can indicate whether students are engaged in a lesson. Having at least three of the characteristics present in a lesson will enable students to have higher levels of engagement.

How well did the project develop engagement?

  1. The project allowed for personalisation, but was it enough to sustain high levels of engagement?
  2. Expectations were modelled, however, additional scaffolding was needed…
  3. There were opportunities for collaboration, class discussion and critique
  4. The project allowed for authentic outcomes

Step 6 (Action Plan):
The four points above were evident within the project, however, they were not necessarily happening in every lesson. Ensuring that at least three of the qualities are integrated into the planning for each lesson in future should enable students to have higher levels of engagement. As well as ensuring students are engaged in the learning, more personalisation is needed, students need to be able to work at their own pace through activities (Bolstad et al., 2012). As well as having more opportunities and flexibility around content, coursework and outcomes.

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

Department for Education and Skills (DfES). (2004). A national conversation about personalised learning. Nottingham: DfES. Retrieved from http://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/DfES%200919%20200MIG186.pdf

Finlay, L. (2009). Reflecting on reflective practice. PBPL. Retrieved from http://www.open.ac.uk/opencetl/sites/www.open.ac.uk.opencetl/files/files/ecms/web-content/Finlay-(2008)-Reflecting-on-reflective-practice-PBPL-paper-52.pdf

Prain, Vaughan, Cox, Peter, Deed, Craig, Dorman, Jeffrey, Edwards, Debra, Farrelly, Cathleen, . . . Yager, Zali. (2013). Personalised Learning: Lessons to Be Learnt. British Educational Research Journal, 39(4), 654-676.

Schwartz, K. (2016, December 9). How To Ensure Students Are Actively Engaged and Not Just Compliant [Web log message]. Retrieved from https://www.kqed.org