FTF Feb 12 - Creative Teaching Framework

Report
From the gym window most Sundays – I observe?
Deliberate Practice
• Colvin (2008) noted that exceptional performers, were not necessarily the most talented in terms
of their earlier biographies, but had certain attributes and practices that distinguished their
expertise over time. Of most importance was what is now referred to as Deliberate Practice.
According to Colvin, Deliberate Practice is characterized by a number of key elements:
• The activity (practice) is carefully designed to improve specific aspects of the
performance, often with a teacher’s help
• It requires much repetition
• Feedback on results is continually available
• It is highly demanding mentally (whether a physical or mental task)
• It isn’t much fun (in the main; but may be for some).
Expert Teachers – what does this mean?
• The notion that learning inevitably improves over time and that experience is central to
such improvement is not founded. Yes, time on task is important and so is experience.
However, it is more about what is done when on task that really makes the big difference
in the experience. For example, why is it that some people, who have many years of
experience, still display limited competence, whereas relative newcomers achieve good
competence in a comparatively short time?
The conclusion of Berliner (1987) offers insight into such questions:
…experience will probably only instruct those who have the motivation to
excel in what they do and the metacognitive skills to learn from their
experience…we believe that individuals with that kind of motivation to
learn and in possession of a set of strategies for learning from experience
are literally transformed by their experience. (p.61)
What differentiates Expert Teachers?
• Turner-Bisset’s (2001) summary on expert teachers’ capabilities
Expert teachers are able to read and process the complex mass of information which any
classroom provides, much more rapidly and meaningfully.
...expert teachers use a repetoire of strategies, selecting the most appropriate for use in a
particular context and adapting it if necessary for a group of learners (p.69)
• Hattie (2012), from extensive research, support this heightened capability of expert teachers as
well as providing insight into how they are likely to be more creative:
• Experts possess knowledge that is more integrated, in that they combine the introduction of new
subject knowledge with students’ prior knowledge; they can relate current lesson content to other
subjects in the curriculum; and make lessons uniquely their own by changing, combining, and adding
to the lessons according to their students’ needs and their own teaching goals. (p.28)
Routine & Adaptive Expertise
• The work of Hatano & Inagaki (1986) is of particular interest in terms of differentiating
performance at the highest level of competence, which is expertise.
• They distinguish between two broad categories of expertise, “routine expertise” and “adaptive
expertise”. Routine expertise is characterized by a high level of technical proficiency across the
typical range of real world problem solving contexts.
• However, as problems become less familiar or novel, the performance of routine experts can dip
significantly. In contrast adaptive experts can reframe problems in different ways, modify or
invent strategies and combine skills to deal much more effectively in solving such problems.
Research shows that effective professional development
abides by the following principles
• The duration of professional development must be significant and ongoing to allow time for teachers to
learn a new strategy and grapple with the implementation problem
• (to implement newly learned methods is challenging because in learning a new skill, the memory and understanding aspect is rarely
as difficult as the doing – hence people get frustrated and give up; also teachers don’t want to create confusion for students)
• There must be support for a teacher during the implementation stage that addresses the specific challenges
of changing classroom practice
• Teachers’ initial exposure to a concept should not be passive, but rather should engage teachers through
varied approaches so they can participate actively in making sense of a new practice
• Modelling has been found to be a highly effective way to introduce a new concept and help teachers
understand a new practice
• The content presented to teachers shouldn’t be generic, but instead grounded in the teacher’s discipline (pp
3-4)
Supporting the Development of Adaptive Expertise
In the context of education, Hatano & Inagaki note the following important
supporting factors:
• the extent to which the situation has flexibility of options, rather than rigid procedures, to
enable exploration of new approaches
• the degree to which people can tackle problems with a degree of playfulness and acceptance
of some risk in terms of it not working out in practice
• an organizational culture that encourages better practice from professionals as a key goal –
even when trying new versions of the procedural skill may initially be at the cost of efficiency.
(p.270)
Teacher as Intellectual as compared to Teacher as a
Technician
• Teacher as Technician represent a competent application of the Core
Principles of Learning
• Teacher as Intellectual can also do this, is an Adaptive Expert. This is A
Creative Teacher
• Requires time and resources which allows teachers to think through
and create innovative teaching methods (p.23)
Teacher professional learning and development . Timperley, H.
International Academy of Education, Education Practices Series 18, 2008
“Professional knowledge and skills that do have a positive impact on student
outcomes are consistent with evidence-based principles of teaching effectiveness”
(p.10)
The core question is, “What do we as teachers need to learn to promote the learning of our
students:
• Nature of the content or understanding to be developed and the skills to be refined
• Need to identify what their students do
• What they themselves need to learn
• Develop these

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