Action research mentoring for supporting professional development of teachers as learners in Croatian educational context Branko Bognar

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  • Slide 1
  • Action research mentoring for supporting professional development of teachers as learners in Croatian educational context Branko Bognar
  • Slide 2
  • My professional way I started my professional career in the fall of 1987 as teacher in small school 50 km from Zagreb. I started my professional career in the fall of 1987 as teacher in small school 50 km from Zagreb.
  • Slide 3
  • A need for learning Despite my wish to improve quality of my teaching and beginning successes after two years I came across lack of new ideas. I have also realized how my formal education was only enough for surviving but not for inventing new possibilities. Therefore I started with learning in more or less formal way. Despite my wish to improve quality of my teaching and beginning successes after two years I came across lack of new ideas. I have also realized how my formal education was only enough for surviving but not for inventing new possibilities. Therefore I started with learning in more or less formal way.
  • Slide 4
  • My new role as pedagogue After my pedagogy study, which I completed while I was working, I was hired as a school pedagogue in a primary school Vladimir Nazor in Slavonski Brod. In my new role as a pedagogue I have tried to assist teachers in introducing changes which aim was to break from the boundaries of traditional teaching. After my pedagogy study, which I completed while I was working, I was hired as a school pedagogue in a primary school Vladimir Nazor in Slavonski Brod. In my new role as a pedagogue I have tried to assist teachers in introducing changes which aim was to break from the boundaries of traditional teaching.
  • Slide 5
  • Professional information is not enough to start educational changes I believed that the most important factor in accomplishing this task was continued professional development. In spite of the quality of different forms of professional development and teachers wishes for learning and changes, teaching practice did not changed significantly teaching still retained the form in which teachers were oriented to meet official program with little effort to develop different childrens capabilities and especially their creativity. I realized how professional information, on which is professional development of teachers mostly reduced, is not sufficient for the true educational changes. I believed that the most important factor in accomplishing this task was continued professional development. In spite of the quality of different forms of professional development and teachers wishes for learning and changes, teaching practice did not changed significantly teaching still retained the form in which teachers were oriented to meet official program with little effort to develop different childrens capabilities and especially their creativity. I realized how professional information, on which is professional development of teachers mostly reduced, is not sufficient for the true educational changes.
  • Slide 6
  • Reasons for starting a new project That is why I decided to start a project which would, in addition to professional information, include reflective approach in education, improve teachers capabilities, and assist them in creating their pedagogical vision, plan of changes and questioning their accomplishment based on gathered information. That is why I decided to start a project which would, in addition to professional information, include reflective approach in education, improve teachers capabilities, and assist them in creating their pedagogical vision, plan of changes and questioning their accomplishment based on gathered information.
  • Slide 7
  • The role of a teacher in Croatian schools The role of a teacher as a reflective practitioner or an action researcher in Croatia is still insufficiently appreciated and promoted.
  • Slide 8
  • The teacher as mediator or technicians In our country, the teachers are most frequently perceived as mediators or technicians whose task is to prepare and implement the tuition based on devised out-of-school expert instructions. Their role is more artisan-like, being less professional and creative.
  • Slide 9
  • Action researches enables improvement of practice Action research enables the teachers, along with other education-process participants (students, parents, expert confreres), to initiate the changes aiming at the improvement of educational practice as well as personal emancipation. Emancipation implies liberation of invisible limitations caused by prejudices, compulsion, and ideology.
  • Slide 10
  • Living action researches Whitehead argues for living approach to educational theory which is growing in the living relationship between teachers, pupils and professional researchers and embodied within their forms of life. (Whitehead, 1989a, p. 3) It is the value laden practical activity to difference of the traditional science approaches which intent to be of neutral value. Neglect of our values could impel us to undertake the action to change that situation. In the same time values serve as the criteria for assessing results of ours activities. (Whitehead, 1989b, p. 3) Whitehead argues for living approach to educational theory which is growing in the living relationship between teachers, pupils and professional researchers and embodied within their forms of life. (Whitehead, 1989a, p. 3) It is the value laden practical activity to difference of the traditional science approaches which intent to be of neutral value. Neglect of our values could impel us to undertake the action to change that situation. In the same time values serve as the criteria for assessing results of ours activities. (Whitehead, 1989b, p. 3)
  • Slide 11
  • My values I wanted to fully realized the following values in my practice: Education based on freedom Education based on freedom Future oriented education Future oriented education Emancipatory education Emancipatory education Communicational acting Communicational acting
  • Slide 12
  • My living contradiction My role of pedagogue professional adviser - has not often been in accordance with my values: freedom, future oriented, emancipated and communicational education. My role of pedagogue professional adviser - has not often been in accordance with my values: freedom, future oriented, emancipated and communicational education. At that time I lost my time dealt with timetables, statistics, servicing the computers, writing letters and reports. In this manner my values were neglected in my practice. Obviously, it was my living contradiction. At that time I lost my time dealt with timetables, statistics, servicing the computers, writing letters and reports. In this manner my values were neglected in my practice. Obviously, it was my living contradiction.
  • Slide 13
  • Certainly, not all my values were neglected. Ive done many jobs which were in accordance with my values. For example Ive organised workshops, helped teachers to improve their teaching, helped teachers and students in using the computers etc. Certainly, not all my values were neglected. Ive done many jobs which were in accordance with my values. For example Ive organised workshops, helped teachers to improve their teaching, helped teachers and students in using the computers etc.
  • Slide 14
  • How could I improve my practice as a pedagogue (professional adviser)? With my aim to live my values fully, I invited 18 teachers from several elementary schools to join and start with action research project with main question: With my aim to live my values fully, I invited 18 teachers from several elementary schools to join and start with action research project with main question: How can I help teachers and myself to undertake, in our circumstances, the new role of the reflective practitioner and the action researcher who is capable to improve one's own practice? How can I help teachers and myself to undertake, in our circumstances, the new role of the reflective practitioner and the action researcher who is capable to improve one's own practice?
  • Slide 15
  • The project The Project started in spring 2000 years and officially finished in spring 2002 years. Unofficially we have never finished the project. The Project started in spring 2000 years and officially finished in spring 2002 years. Unofficially we have never finished the project. We divided the project in two parts. In the first part, we realized ten workshops which aim was teachers learning and practicing new skills. We dealt with themes just as Confrontation with the risk of change, the Reflective Teacher, Multiple Intelligence, Vision of Future School and so on. We divided the project in two parts. In the first part, we realized ten workshops which aim was teachers learning and practicing new skills. We dealt with themes just as Confrontation with the risk of change, the Reflective Teacher, Multiple Intelligence, Vision of Future School and so on.
  • Slide 16
  • Example of one workshop in the first part of the project Structure of the workshop Dealing with the risk of changes 1.Associating of teachers at the beginning of workshop. 2.Teachers introduced themselves. 3.I introduce the topic of workshop. 4.I prepared worksheets in advance. 5.Teachers talked about their experience with changes in their practice. 6.Participants tried to determine positive and negative sides of changes (group working). 7.They made presentation. 8.Spokespersons reported common conclusions. 9.Teachers discussion about their positive and negative experience wi