The link is to a powerpoint completed by Anne Wilson another student of practitioner enquiry. I felt that considering her approach against my own would be useful. I am aware their brief may be different but that the ideas may be similar.
Their topic was raising attainment. This was not an informative title as it was not possible to identify the input, process or output of their enquiry. The topic did link with my aims to increase attainment of male dance students.
I liked the idea of a tree with the definition of practitioner enquiry at the roots.
I felt a common theme in all of the presentations for MEd at RCS was the idea of a learning community that through practitioner enquiry would create a safe environment for personalising learning to student needs. This is clearly the stimulus for this research too.
Within this enquiry this work focuses on the content of the GTCS website. The slides show the GTCS benefits of enquiry and role of self-evaluation within this. In my powerpoint I tried to emphasise that the e-journals and reflection on observations, literature and discussions with others provide the elements needed to foster self-evaluation. I linked the stages of self evaluation to theories of reflection and learning Schon, Klob and Gibb.
I feel reflection, particularly self reflection and the use of enquiry to nurture this reflection are key to practitioner enquiry.
Practitioner enquiry and its role in developing reflection provide outlets for career long CPD and is key to development as an effective practitioner as stated in the quote above.
On a different root, enquiry must focus on the areas of a practitioners practice that benefits teaching and learning. I noticed that the area that concerned participants in the MEd was the identification of the appropriate question.
Hattie shows the zone of desired effects is greatest where practitioners investigate policy and practice. This is not unexpected as policies are designed to meet the needs of a range of teachers and students whereas enquiry is performed in situ and in the areas teachers feel are important.
There are a number of factors which the author identified as factors negatively influencing learning….
My enquiry looks at several of these as did the enquiries of the other Learning and teaching proposals from the MEd students. There was a direct project link.
This slide shows the link needed in all enquiries to get from the identification of an issue, to deriving a question to designing a procedure to measure the current situation and to monitor change. Enquiry places teachers back as learners to provide a route to their professional goal.
The author discusses in the slides the idea of ‘strands’ the practitioner who is a visible learner, who can identify problem areas and the advantage of a solution. The consequence of identifying an area to direct personal practice is inspired an passionate teachers. I link this to my practice where I observed the student teacher in the school who has just devised a problem-solving activity for the lesson and is eager to see how the children cope and if the idea works. Effective feedback to direct the practice further and dissemination are key to informing the practice of others and showing how progress has been made. I link this to my enquiry and the use of dissemination in my presentation to inform the practice of others. I feel that without dissemination other practitioners will not observe the development in my practice and consequently my development will be curtailed as the use of my findings will be limited.
The growth from the roots of enquiry depends on passionate and informed teachers. It is clear that practitioner enquiry has a role in teaching and teaching to meet the needs of the learners I will be teaching. Teachers have the potential to inspire learning through informed practice. The practitioners in the presentations and through the RCS enquiry process are more confident in their understanding and clearly passionate about their projects. This removes the necessity to view a video of teachers sharing passion as they are in the enquiry process already.
This raises the questions;
what it is about the enquiry process that ‘makes good teachers’?
what is it that within all the enquiry projects is informing practice?
The slide shows how teachers could act as activators and facilitators. My enquiry is designed to determine if this is the essence of a good teacher, should the same skills be nurtured in students and if so will this raise the performance of a new style of student who currently is under-performing in the curriculum. My approach therefore differs from Kerry as she focusses on the needs of teachers whereas I focus on the attributes of teachers which are needed to instil the same qualities in students. This places an additional level of complexity but also additional benefit to my enquiry process (I hope).
Ultimately good teaching requires assessment to determine if changes are effective and learning has been achieved. This has not yet been a focus in the objectives of the MEd but I can see the potential for this to occur in future units.
Before I slide into an evaluation of AiFL, closing the gap and the formative approaches which now direct the assessment of National 4, I redirect my focus to the feedback gained through enquiry. I have benefited from tutor and peer feedback in my course but enquiry provides a rich source of feedback based on opinions, responses to my teaching and my measurement strategies. Qualitative and Quantitative approaches have been the focus of the enquiry process. The slides of all practitioners look at how they will capture data in a formal way. I feel the feedback within a lesson whether it be the movement of my dancers or the questions they do/don’t ask , the creative ideas they suggest and their enthusiasm to learn are better indicators of teaching meeting their needs. I feel the enquiry process heightens my sensitivity to this informal feedback even although the focus is the formal results. I feel the reflection in the presentations showed an awareness of this informal feedback and this is sculpting the enquiry process. I feel the boundaries of the enquiry question keeps practitioners on track.
My enquiry focuses on closing the attainment gap between boys and girls as this is particularly prominent in dance. This is the branches of my enquiry process.
I feel the enquiry process directs my next steps but I have been in tertiary education for 15 years and still not got it, I question in my presentation how to engage under-performing students in this process. This is the ultimate aim of all the MEd enquiries.
Like my enquiry the input of the author is focussed on literature research. But the questions asked are what I felt most difficult to achieve and articulate from this.
So, I have my powerpoint, which starts and outlines my enquiry.
WERE TO NEXT….I feel I need to incorporate the inquiry process into my teaching not just to gather data but to evaluate students responses to it and reflect on the teaching and learning process in dance.