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Building reflective communities of practice Julie Hughes The University of Wolverhampton Head of Department, Post-Compulsory Education.

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Presentation on theme: "Building reflective communities of practice Julie Hughes The University of Wolverhampton Head of Department, Post-Compulsory Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Building reflective communities of practice Julie Hughes The University of Wolverhampton Head of Department, Post-Compulsory Education HEA National Teaching Fellow 2005 CRADLECRADLE (Centre for Research and Development in Lifelong Education) Teacher Training and Technologies Conference 2013 Friday, 1st March University of Huddersfield

2 Starting with the students The PGCE blog lifeboat – HMS HardworkHMS Hardwork. Using the weblog as an online journal became a big part of our growth as reflective writers. Using the blog tool within the e-portfolio we could share thoughts, feelings, fears, anxieties and excitement and because it was a shared space we could see the value in the perceptions, thoughts and beliefs of others in the group. It was a space where we could feel safe from ridicule and criticism. We would share war stories from the frontlines of teaching and by discussing and commenting on other’s journeys as teachers we were becoming reflective writers and practitioners without even knowing it! Karim-Akhtar et al. PGCE group 2005/6

3 The importance of mentoring and listening to staff narratives I think what I’ve noticed most is that they sort of carry on without us more if you know what I mean – whereas traditional teaching and learning is very much teacher at the centre, all information coming out through me but what often is seen to happen when using PebblePad is that they can talk to each other, they answer each other’s questions, they take threads of each other’s arguments – really oblivious to the fact that I might be there or might not be there. And this for Teacher Education is fantastic because what we see is reflection – it’s reflection in practice, reflection on action in action and it’s going on all the time – it’s crucial. Maggie, Teacher for 23 years, Teacher Educator for 8 years Pebbler since September 2008

4 Structure of today’s presentation Explore some of the framing/theorising of the work – critical theory, pedagogy and e-learning; Consider e-portfolios as tool and genre; Demonstrate (in part) how tools such as PebblePad, and dialogic pedagogies, can encourage and support critical reflective practice in our learners/colleagues. Structure of today’s presentation: 1) Consider how an e-portfolio system, PebblePad, has been used to support collaborative working; 2) Explore how staff and students engage with dialogic tools and practices; 3) Hear what staff and students say about the shift to this form of teaching and learning; 4) Reflect upon how the curriculum and practices are evolving and adapting across the School for Education Futures partnership.

5 E-portfolio teacher and teacher educator – FD, PGCE and M level -teacher and teacher educator 2004 to now. Started with 15 students (2004) now working across teams, partners, stakeholders and professional bodies. 2012/3 - approx 1400 students and 55 staff. E-portfolio mentor – supporting individuals and teams at local, regional and national levels - across disciplines. E-portfolio learner – used e-p for appraisal and CPD –attained QTLS in 2009 with an e- portfolio e- portfolio application. E-portfolio embedding. Curriculum development – revalidation and pedagogy shift. E-portfolio researcher – using e-portfolio to mentor and data- gather- usingresearcher e-portfolio as a writing frame with both students and colleagues to support publications. publications Intro to me

6 The University of Wolverhampton Situated in the West Midlands across 3 campuses Widening Participation University 23,000 students (a third are part time) 70% over students in SEF (16.7%) Vocational Employability STEM ITE One of the ‘big 4’ of ITE for PCE 7 WM colleges and RAF Cosford

7 Framing Critical reflection Collaborative learning We do not 'store' experience as data, like a computer: we 'story' it (Winter 1989, p.213). "What is the use of a book," thought Alice, "without pictures or conversation?" (Carroll (1865), p.1). Barrett (2005, p.19) suggests that reflection and “the metaphor of portfolio as story” offer, “a powerful environment in which students can collect and organize the artifacts that result from engaging in these challenging, real- life tasks, and write reflections through which students draw meaning” (Barrett 2005, p.21). Barrett

8 Critical reflexivity Shift happens - critical readers/listeners/audience? As e-portfolio teacher/assessor we need to, ‘change our ways of engaging with text. In a sense we become more than mere graders of the work; we become actual users of a work, a real-life audience interacting with the document’ (Blair & Takayoshi 1997, pp ).

9 Setting the scene – technology use in HE in the UK Teachers draw on past experience rather than actual empirical evidence and research literature. Despite the benefits and need for more scholarly activities, there is little evidence that this actually occurs. Arguably there is a need to shift to more scholarly approaches if the potential of technologies is to be realised. The vision is one in which educators are co‐innovators in understanding the key possibilities in the relationship between technology and pedagogy, leading towards a co‐evolved professional knowledge base that stems from reflective practices that are mediated and shared; a practice that feeds into the development of curricular designs that can actualise educational visions. (Conole & Alevizou 2010, p.43)Conole & Alevizou

10 E-learning theory E-learning is often talked about as a ‘trojan mouse’, which teachers let into their practice without realizing that it will require them to rethink not just how they use the particular hardware or software, but all of what they do. (Sharpe and Oliver 2007)

11 Rollercoaster – the pedagogical being is is brittle, liable to shatter suddenly’ (Barnett, 2007 p.29) – the student and ‘teacher’ being.

12 A will to learn and pedagogy for uncertain times? (Barnett 2007) Students(read teachers also) must come into a felt relationship with uncertainty in a space which supports a “will to learn” (Barnett 2007, p.1). Question Mark Grafitti by Bilal Kamoon (Creative Commons) Barnett’s vision (2007, p.7) for HE for the contemporary world includes a vocabulary of terms “such as excitement, passion, self- confidence, journey, travel, will, energy, being and becoming.”

13 Creative spaces The will to live in creative spaces and their associated temporal rhythms require positive courage; the courage to live in the future and take on tasks that have to be uncertain as to their outcomes (Barnett 2010, p.81). The focus upon the journey (the process) rather than upon arrival (the end product) as Richardson and St. Pierre (2005, p.966-7) identify that, ‘in the story (or stories) of becoming, we have a good chance of deconstructing the underlying academic ideology – that being a something… is better than becoming’.

14 Setting the scene – the ups and downs There is evidence that e-portfolio implementation can be like a game of snakes and ladders where initial rapid progress can suffer major setbacks due to a poor understanding of the nature of e- portfolios. Joyes, Gray and Hartnell-Young, 2010.Joyes, Gray and Hartnell-Young, 2010 For me PebblePad-based teaching and learning is like …. There’s no nirvana in sight (yet)

15 Pedagogic bungee jumping Learning (and teaching – my addition) in higher education calls for a courage on the part of the learner/teacher and a will to leap into a kind of void. There is bound to be uncertainty. A pedagogy of air opens up spaces and calls for a will to learn on the part of the student/teacher; to learn even amid uncertainty. In the process, it is just possible that the student/teacher may come into a new mode of being (Barnett 2007, p.1).(Barnett 2007, p.1).

16 Teachers and the taught teach each other. Their roles are interwoven, such that their boundaries become indistinct to some extent (Barnett 2007, p.132). We are witnessing ‘a new model of education’ rather than a new model of learning’ as ‘our understanding of e-learning matures, so our appreciation of the importance of theory deepens…we see how learning can be socially situated in a way never previously possible’. (Mayes and de Freitas 2007, p.13) Pedagogical bungee jumping may be catching (Barnett 2007, p.133).

17 Iterative learning – what does it feel like to be composing a professional self? It’s like emptying a big jigsaw and building it slowly in pieces. Finding pieces of work that fit together and building from there and then maybe trying a different area afterwards. There's no logical, symmetrical or linear route but emphasis upon drawing out the best points and building upon them. Claire, PGCE student A web we weave, spiralling outwards with attachments becoming part of the fabric. Elaine, PGCE student alicepopkorn

18 Learning waves – reflective writing It was built upon constantly... people were going backwards and forward with their ideas - this was something very new and exciting which changed this 1-1 relationship between tutor and essay really, rather than tutor and student. We were setting a piece of work, they were writing it up and we marked it – we weren’t really discussing the process of the writing with students, (before) we weren’t really discussing the problems they might be having. Whereas (now)... we’ve had more opportunities to intervene in essay writing along the way – they can ask questions about our questions and that’s how we take that forward. Maggie Teacher Educator

19 Culture shifts? New digital technologies and multimedia are transforming how we teach and learn. They are transforming our classrooms from spaces of delivery to spaces of active inquiry and authorship. New digital media are empowering students to become researchers, oral historians, and cultural theorists in their own right. Whether constructing their own life stories or interpreting the life stories of others, the digital format transforms students’ capacity to synthesize, interpret, theorize, and create new cultural and historical knowledge. In this way, digital formats potentially democratise learning and produce critical subjects and authors (Weis et al. 2002, p.153).

20 But … In teaching and learning currently, we tend to use technology to support traditional modes of teaching...We scarcely have the infrastructure, the training, the habits, or the access to new technology to be optimising its use just yet. (Laurillard 2007) Forgotten Classroom by ne* (Creative Commons) Are you using technology for telling (information push) or for talking?

21 What the teacher educators said about taking risks I felt confident that I knew what I was doing. However, looking back I would say that was a false perspective... I am a Luddite, I fear, in that I like the feel of pencil on paper... Feedback has been I feel, clumsy and stilted... over the year I have become more adept at this. Cathie 2008 Although I regarded myself as being quite IT literate and have always tried to embrace ILT rather than feel threatened by it...I also had concerns....there was certainly that feeling of being only a small step ahead of them (the students). David 2008 I needed to ‘face my fears and address them’. In doing so...’my teaching has completely and utterly changed, totally from how I was taught on the Cert Ed – paper based.’ Annie 2010

22 Looking awry and theorising We must acknowledge that pedagogy needs to be ‘re-done’ at the same time as it needs to be ‘re-thought.’ (Beetham and Sharpe, 2007) We need ‘a dialogue between theory and practice, as well as between learning and teaching’ (Beetham & Sharpe 2007, p.3) Give pedagogy back to the teachers. (Laurillard 2007)

23 Pedagogy shift - (e)-portfolio ways of being When teachers began developing portfolios over a decade ago, we knew what we were about – with process writing and collaborative pedagogies and, not least, portfolios – was pretty ambitious; it was, in fact, nothing short of changing the face of American education. (Yancey & Weiser 1997, p.1) Baume (1999, 2003 p.4) conceptualised the developmental portfolio as, “a compost heap…something refined over time, enriched by addition, reduction and turning over.“ Messy, non-linear – getting your hands dirty!

24 What is an e-portfolio? Well it’s... A systematic and organized collection of evidence used by the teacher and the student to monitor the growth of the student's knowledge, skills, and attitudes. (Cole et al., 2000) What is produced when persons collect, select, reflectively interpret, and/or present their own evidence to support their assertions about what they have learned, know, and can or should do. (Cambridge & Cambridge 2003) Emerging consensus (JISC 2008, p.6) process and product – digital ringbinder and learning landscape - inherent contradiction? a genre and a set of practices supported by a set of technologies. (Cambridge 2008)

25 E-portfolio-based learning (JISC 2008) Behind any product, or presentation, lie rich and complex processes of planning, synthesising, sharing, discussing, reflecting, giving, receiving and responding to feedback. These processes – referred to here as ‘e-portfolio-based learning’ – are the focus of increasing attention, since the process of learning can be as important as the end product. The use of...e-portfolios... can promote more profound forms of learning which can improve understanding of the self and the curriculum, engage and motivate learners – individually and as part of a community of practice, personalise learning and promote reflective practice (JISC 2008, p5)

26 JISC 2008, p.11 A dialogue-based pedagogy and model of/for reflective learning. Talking not telling.

27 Transition, induction and raising expectations – PGCE

28 This approach to reflective writing as ‘everyday’ and habitual has been received very positively – but you will need to examine your own teaching and feedback practices. Blog writing as warm up/rehearsal, writing patches, cumulative and developmental. Reflective blogging

29 Encouraging talkback to feedback – decentring feedback addressivity – making going backwards as a way to conceptualise development explicit. You need to consider your own online voices and literacies – what is appropriate in these spaces?

30 Action planning as assumption hunting (Brookfield 1995) – Nadia PGCE Conceptualising Personal Development Planning activity as a verb not a noun – being aware of deficit models and the potential for really great content.

31 Developing buddying cultures

32 LSIS project 2012

33 CPD – masters module, cross sector Learning from Gavin Learning from Gavin – Secondary IT ITE colleague On bloginars I found it to be a very useful exercise, to be honest, much more useful than I anticipated it would be. It has really opened my eyes to the potential of the approaches that you have shared and converted me to them in an almost 'Damascene' manner! As I was doing the exercise and it was getting longer and longer, I did wonder about the potential impact it might have on the others with a bit less experience/confidence but I figured you would probably moderate expectations at the next face to face if I misjudged what was required - and I was enjoying it! I think I also felt peer pressure to do a good job, if you know what I mean?

34 Thank you so much for this really good breakdown of the article. I really like the thematic sections and for me it is making much easier reading than trying to digest an article. I have only had time today to start reading it properly and thinking about my replies. I hope that even though a new week is here that it won't be too late to come back and comment on it? Gavin Thanks for the positive replies everyone - I'm glad you found the posts useful. Reading through your comments I am struck once again by the utility of the dialogic approach - several of you have interpreted concepts in really interesting ways that are different than I would have done - and this in turn helps my understanding develop further as it forces me to reflect and reconsider what I thought I knew - something that would not have happened had I read the article in isolation. I feel a few dialogic activities winging their way towards my unsuspecting trainees in the near future! I’m hoping so and I'll be back!

35 Unpredictable rhizomatic growth Rhizome as model/map for unpredictability Lateral, multi-forked root system Connectivity Not Western tree-like (ladder) It’s ok (and sometimes very necessary) to grow and stretch below the surface to establish good roots – your roots. Engage students and colleagues along the way, exploit and harness their knowledge about learning and teaching in this way.

36 My teaching has completely and utterly changed, totally from how I was taught on the Cert Ed – paper based... Sometimes I walk in and there’s just images on the screen (on the blog) and that is the teaching and learning of the day. Students don’t cope well now with other formats, “we were talked at for an hour and a half – we go off and do our own learning or you talk to us in a different way”. Annie (Foundation Degree Teacher for 4 years) Pebbler since September 2009

37 So what’s different about learning in these spaces? It’s more holistic, they see the links between the different modules, they see that how they are developing in one area can totally impact on something else, they get to see the growth that’s taken place – it’s almost like watching themselves from afar because the can see how they worded things, see the language they used, how they interacted, also later on when they need to think about it in their professional capacity they can see that their thought processes have changed as well. Caroline 2010, Pebbler since 2008

38 Web 2.0 ways of teaching and learning? (from the 1990s to the mid-2000s) websites tended to be like separate gardens...Web 2.0 describes a particular kind of ethos and a collective allotment. Instead of individuals tending their own gardens, they come together to work collaboratively in a shared space... Web 2.0 invites users in to play (Gauntlett 2011, p.5-7).

39 Pedagogic shift and creating a collective Scaling up to the majority will require different approaches, more strategic coordination and staff development and support. To date, on the whole, only a minority of enthusiastic teachers and those with a research interest in the learning sciences, educational technology or new media, have undertaken experimentation with new innovations in pedagogy and exploration of the use of new technologies. Embracing Web 2.0 approaches will require radically different strategies in terms of designing, supporting and assessing learning. Adoption of a more scholarly and reflective approach to teaching practice is clearly a logical strategy to help achieve this shift. (Conole & Alevizou 2010, p.21)Conole & Alevizou

40 Transformative potential? Blending and digitising f2f activities. Creativity supported and encouraged. PebblePad as the link to support integrative and iterative learning. Archive and collation focus – pool to draw on. An e-portfolio way of learning and being – LaGuardia Community College’s mantra LaGuardia Community College Collect, select, reflect, connect.

41 Attwell and Hughes’ review of technology in ITE for LLUK proposed that: diversity will emerge only if educators, researchers and communities are empowered to develop localised or novel responses to socio-technical change – including developing new approaches to curriculum, to assessment, to the workforce and governance, as well as to pedagogy. This approach, if adopted, would have major implications for the training of teachers in the use of new technologies for teaching and learning (2010, p.65).



44 Just because a technology was designed for one purpose, it does not mean it won’t be used for another. Once tools get ‘out into the wild’ they are appropriated in multiple and complex ways. Bicycles came to be appropriated in the struggle for women’s emancipation... record players changed from being instruments for dictation for tools for capturing and sharing musical cultures. Technologies are shaped and reshaped by beta testers, by early adopters... by their users (addition mine). (Facer 2011, pp.6-7)(Facer 2011, pp.6-7).

45 PebblePad has allowed me/liberated me to journey, to create, to connect and to model in ways I had never imagined with earlier technologies. Web 2.0 tools should be as open and as inviting of creativity as possible; and offer platforms where people can truly make their mark, express themselves and shape the environment...expressive messiness... is therefore to be encouraged (Gauntlet 2011, p.225).


47 References Attwell, G. & Hughes, J. (2010). Pedagogic Approaches to Using Technology for Learning. Online: content/uploads/2011/01/Pedagogical-appraches-for-using-technology-literature-review-january-11- FINAL.pdf. [accessed September 2010]. content/uploads/2011/01/Pedagogical-appraches-for-using-technology-literature-review-january-11- FINAL.pdf Barnett, R. (2007) A Will To Learn. Being a Student in an Age of Uncertainty. Berkshire: Open University Press. Barnett, R. (2010) Being a University. London: Routledge. Barrett, H. (2005) White Paper: Researching Electronic Portfolios and Learner Engagement. The Reflect Initiative. (accessed 15 August 2005). Available from:. Blair, K.L. & Takayoshi, P. (1997) Reflecting on Reading and Evaluating Electronic Portfolios in Yancey, K.B. and Weiser, I. (1997) (eds.) Situating Portfolios. Four Perspectives. Utah: Utah State University Karim-Akhtar, Y., Mahmood, K., Mcdonald, M., Mcdonald, T., McGuinness, S., Staunton, M., Purnell, E., Taylor, L. & Woodhams, J. (2006) Pebble power, ESCalate, 5, Summer 06.(accessed 5 July 2006)Available from:. Cambridge, D. (2008) Models of ePortfolio Practice. TLT Workshop. (accessed 13 July 2008). Available from:. Cambridge D, and Cambridge B. (2003) The Future of Electronic Portfolio Technology: Supporting What We Know about Learning. Keynote address presented at ePortfolio 2003 (Scenarios): The first international conference on the digital portfolio, October 10, 2003, Portier, France

48 References Conole, G. & Alevizou, P. (2010) A literature review of the use of Web 2.0 tools in Higher Education. Available: Laurillard, D. (2007) Comment on the text 48b. Conole, G. and Oliver, M. (eds) (2007) Contemporary Perspectives in E-Learning Research. Themes, Methods and Impact on Practice, London: Routledge. p.48. Mayes, T, & de Freitas, S. (2007) Learning and elearning.The role of theory. In Beetham, H. & Sharpe, R. (2007) (Eds.) Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age. Designing and delivering elearning. London: Routledge. Richardson, L. & St. Pierre, E.A. (2005) Writing: A Method of Inquiry in Denzin, N.K. and Lincoln, Y.S. (Eds.). The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research. Third edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. pp Sharpe, R. & Oliver, M. (2007) Designing courses for e-learning in Conole, G. & Oliver, M. (2007) Contemporary Perspectives in E- learning Reseach. Themes, methods and impact on practice. (Eds.) London: Routledge pp Weis, T.M. et al. (2002) Digital technologies and pedagogies. Social Justice, 29(4), pp Winter, R. (1989) Learning from Experience: Principles and Practise in Action Research. Lewes: Falmer Press. Winter, R., Buck, A., & Sobiechowska, P. (1999) Professional Experience and the Investigative Imagination: the Art of Reflective Writing. London: Routledge.

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