PP Gerry Devlin

Report
Professional Competence and Reflective Practice
Teachers as lead intellectuals!
‘the lad/lass o pairts’
Dimensions of Development
Evidenced by
• greater complexity in teaching e.g. in
handling mixed-ability classes, reluctant
learners, classes marked by significant
diversity, or inter-disciplinary work;
• the deployment of a wider range of teaching
strategies;
• the ability to adduce evidence of one’s
effectiveness;
• basing teaching on a wider range of
evidence, reading and research; and
A pronounced capacity for self-criticism
and self-improvement; the ability to impact
on colleagues through mentoring and
coaching, modelling good practice,
contributing to the literature on teaching
and learning and public discussion of
professional issues, leading staff
development , all based on the capacity to
theorise about policy and practice.
A confluence of three ideas
Problem Solving
Research Lesson Study
Communities of Practice
Karl Popper
Problem solving and the nature of
knowledge
P1
TS
EE
P2
Knowledge as problem solving
• Retrograde Motion
Sharpe, R. (2004)
Professional Knowledge is no longer viewed as
just consisting of a standardised, explicit and
fixed knowledge base. It is now seen as
knowledge which exists as knowledge in use, is
ethical in its use and is changed by experience.
The distinctive nature of professional knowledge
lies in the interplay between its construction and
use. When teachers use their knowledge, use
changes what knowledge is.
Research Lesson Study (RLS)
TS1
P1
TS2
TSn
EE
P2
Professional Communities
Community as normative prescription or empirical description
Gemeinschaft or Gesellschaft?
A Definition
Communities of practice are groups of
people informally bound together by
shared expertise and passion for a joint
enterprise.
They are not new:
e.g.1 corporations of metal workers,
potters, and masons in Classical Greece
e.g.2 Craft Guilds in the Middle Ages
How they compare with other groups.
A Snapshot Comparison
Communities of practice, formal work groups, teams and informal networks are useful in complementary ways. Below
is a summary of their characteristics.
Community of
practice
Formal work group
Project team
Informal network
What’s the purpose?
Who belongs?
What holds it
together?
How long does it
last?
To develop members’
capabilities; to build
and exchange
knowledge
Members who select
themselves
Passion, commitment,
and identification
with the group’s
expertise
As long as there is
interest in
maintaining the group
To deliver a product
or service
Everyone who reports
to the group’s
manager
Job requirements and
common goals
Until the next
reorganisation
To accomplish a
specified task
Employees assigned
by senior
management
The project’s
milestones and goals
Until the project has
been completed
To collect and pass on
business information
Friends and business
acquaintances
Mutual needs
As long as people
have a reason to
connect
negotiated enterprise
mutual accountability
interpretations
rhythms
local response
joint enterprise
mutual engagement
engaged diversity
doing things together
relationships
social complexity
community
maintenance
shared repertoire
stories
styles
artefacts
actions
tools
historical events
discourses
concepts
Dimensions of practice as the property of a community
•Mutual engagement
•A joint enterprise
•A shared repertoire
‘Communities of practice’
Learning, Meaning and Identity
Etienne Wenger 2006
They don’t replace existing structures but
complement them and radically galvanise
knowledge sharing, learning and change
However, the organic, spontaneous and
informal nature of communities of practice
makes them resistant to supervision and
interference!
Successful managers cannot mandate
communities of practice they can only
hope to create them together by:
• providing an infrastructure to nurture them;
and
• bringing the right people together.
Competent membership of a
community of practice
• The ability to engage with other members and respond
to their actions;
• The ability to establish relationships as a basis for
participation;
• The ability to understand the work of the community
deeply enough to take some responsibility for it; and
• The ability to make use of the repertoire of practice to
engage in the history of practice and to make this history
newly meaningful.
Communities of Practice: the
Organisational Frontier?
&
Organisational Challenges
Burns and Stalker -The
Management of Innovation
Ideal types (after Weber)
Mechanistic organisations
V
Organic organisations
A Practical example
The Problem (P1)
Pupils in key stage 3 don’t work well in groups
TLRP findings (1)
Blatchford et al (2001-2004)
Group work can be made to work with
benefits to attainment, motivation and
behaviour.
Group work skills need to be approached
developmentally: social skills first, then
communication skills, then problemsolving.
TLRP findings (2)
McGuinness and Sheehy (2001-2004)
Developing pupils’ capacity to learn takes
time and special attention needs to be
paid to those with poorer cognitive and
social resources.
This in turn requires teachers to develop
both their practices and their beliefs about
learners.
TLRP findings (3)
Hughes et al and Brookes
Attention needs to be given to the creation of positive
classroom climates characterized by respect, trust and mutual
exchange of dignity.
The most fundamental form of education – the process of
becoming a person – requires as much careful consideration
as the acquisition of knowledge and skills.
Personalized provision in schools should build on an
understanding of the development of these strategic
biographies, and respond to the social, cultural and material
experiences of different groups of learners
Tentative solution
Plan a lesson which approaches group
work from a development perspective.
What social and communication skills do we
need to explicitly factor into our lesson
plan?
How can we build a positive classroom
climate which facilitates pupils working in
groups?
RLS (1) and (EE)
RLS(2) and (EE)
RLS (n) and (EE)
Modified problem 1 or new problem 2
Process begins anew
Professional competence
leading to
Ontological security

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