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.