Module 1 of my Charter teacher course (way back 5 yrs ago!!) with UOP stated that we should:
“Through reflection, analyse and evaluate professional values, personal commitment and personal development”.
Pollard (2003) suggests that critical reflection and systematic investigation of our own practice should become an integral part of our daily classroom lives and reminds us that this was also the central idea of the educationalist, Lawrence Stenhouse (1975)
Jean McNiff states that Action Research involves teachers thinking about and reflecting on their work and can also be called a form of self-reflective practice.
She also states that the idea of self-reflection is central and that it is an enquiry conducted by the self into the self, and discusses how to modify practice in the light of the evaluation of a piece of research……..
‘Perhaps in addressing one issue, you have unearthed other issues that you had not expected. There is no end, and that is the nature of developmental practices, and part of the joy of doing action research.’
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This statement describes exactly the cycle that I feel I have now been drawn into as a direct result of taking part in the Chartered Program.
During this ‘Dissertation’ section of the Chartered Teacher journey, reviewing the literature has allowed me to access relevant materials. Because of the ‘new’ nature of the topic under review, I am aware that there are going to be brand new useful references becoming available throughout the course of this study.
One of the recent Economist.com Debates is a prime example of this. The third debate in the series started on January 15th 2008:
“Social Networking: does it bring positive change to education?”
The results are now ‘live’ (27/01/2008), and have already stirred up a new wave of debates.
Ewan McIntosh from Learning and Teaching Scotland was the speaker for the motion, and Michael Bugeja, Director of Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication at Iowa State University, spoke against.
During the time of the debate, Ewan McIntosh posted on his Blog that:
“………Another of the main points of argument has been in the very definition of what social networking is, with three of those who I respect for their expertise in this domain being largely contradicted by what the vast majority of teacher professionals believe. Far from being the simplistic friends list social networks of Facebook that spring to mind, these educators see their own blog, Twitter accounts or even Flickr pages as the basis of their social networking. Furthermore, I’m not convinced we can simply write this off as the dumbness of crowds, given that nearly all those doing the contradicting are professionals who work with this stuff day in day out, many with their own students.”
He also wrote that social networks will change educational methods for the better.
The Future of ICT and Learning in the Knowledge Society http://ftp.jrc.es/eur22218en.pdf states that:
…….These fundamental issues are related to the possible political, emancipatory and empowerment objectives of ICT-enabled learning, and also to the risk that innovative learning via ICT will only be beneficial for the already privileged. This report, however, has also pointed to the inclusive potential of ICT-enabled learning to provide learning opportunities to more people, especially disadvantaged people, families and groups. As repeatedly argued, this will not happen automatically. People will only be motivated to return to learning if it is relevant to their daily lives, their social context and social networks.
Future research could contribute by investigating how such initiatives could be undertaken. Understanding the potential of ICTs for learning requires that we also understand better how to merge pedagogy and technology. This could be done, for instance, by looking at how the younger generation makes use of ICTs. This is the generation that already behaves and thinks digital. Learning from the digital generation should enable us to understand better what lifelong learning (which also involves older people) in the future knowledge-based society will mean. This report has just provided a first glimpse. There is still a lot to learn………..