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