Weblog with Podcasts about all things teaching and learning in the FE sector. Housed by UELconnect.
We feel that embarking on teacher training is a massive and exciting undertaking and one that warrants reflection.
The PGCE and Cert Ed. qualifications are a journey through which pre-service trainees are able to begin to construct a professional identity and through which in-service trainees are able to further reinforce and shape their already existing identity.
It has long been recognised that for effective teaching to take place, teachers need to unite both theory and practice – they are two sides of the same coin. Practice uninformed by theory is never going to be critical and will be blinkered – it will be always kept in the dark. Whereas theory uninformed by practice will be pointless and merely abstract. Uniting theory and practice is essential for sound reflective thinking – being able to see the connections between what you do, how you feel about it, how you evaluate it and what research and theory also tells you. The unification of theory and practice is referred to as ‘praxis’ – that attempts to link them result in a far greater outcome than simply having theory and practice separate from each other.
For a while now, we have used the term ‘reflective practitioner’ in teacher education to refer to the ways in which good teachers, as part of their professionalism, reflect upon what they do with a view to making their practice more informed and ultimately improved. This term, developed by Schön (1983), is seen to be at the very heart of what being a professional is.
Teacher professionalism, and initial teacher education courses such as the PGCE and the Cert Ed., are what we call a ‘community of practice’ (Lave and Wenger, 1991). By this we mean that such training courses seek to induct the participants into a shared set of values and to help all involved to feel a sense of belonging to a mutually supportive group. We want you to develop the habit of always evaluating, reflecting and thinking about your teaching, but we also want you to develop the habit of talking with others about your work and your practice. We feel that there is a hugely important role for your colleagues and peers to play in helping you to think about your teaching and that this mutual dialogue is absolutely essential in being a professional.
Jarvis (1992) says that we only learn something – anything – in relation to our experience. That for us to ‘learn’, we need to link it to what we already know and compare and contrast it to ideas we already have about the world. This is what we are asking of you in this journal – to try and link your experience to your actions, to what your peers have to say and to what the research literature suggests. This is important in order for your own professional identity to become established. In the same way that we would hope you are able to encourage your own students to become reflective learners, we are asking the same of you…
Podcast # 96 Developing/finding your reflective voice
In this podcast, recorded after assessing the recent M1 introduction assignments, we consider how you can develop further your reflective voice.
Jarvis, P (1992) The Paradoxes of Learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Lave, J and Wenger, E (1991) Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Schön D A (1983) The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. New York: Basic Books.
Following the successful elearning tasks undertaken by my students over the past few months/weeks and the reflections these have resulted in (see posts on this blog here – http://bit.ly/vse8dj), I thought I would try and provide a couple more examples.
Maybe this can be a regular feature – elearning tips number 1, 2, 3 etc?
elearning tip #1 Most of the trainee teachers I am currently working with, on completing the earlier elearning tasks, have reflected very positively about Woodle, so, given this, I now offer for your consideration….spiderscribe – here: http://www.spiderscribe.net/
See the teachertraining video here: http://bit.ly/n0tDGz
elearning tip #2 For supporting individuals and groups with social bookmarking – and sharing links and commentaries – see Delicious here:
elearning tip #3 For those of you who have enjoyed using Prezi, you might also like the mind-mapping interface developed by Bubbl.us -
This is somewhat similar to spiderscribe above in intent, but with an interface that is somewhat similar to Prezi
As always, enjoy… let me know if you have used these and what you think…
In these two short podcasts we consider the next modular assessment – split into assignments M2.1 and M2.2
Podcast #93 on M2.1
Podcast #94 on M2.2