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Embracing the Uncertain and Evolving with Change Professional Development through Collaborative Teacher Action Research.

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Presentation on theme: "Embracing the Uncertain and Evolving with Change Professional Development through Collaborative Teacher Action Research."— Presentation transcript:

1 Embracing the Uncertain and Evolving with Change Professional Development through Collaborative Teacher Action Research

2 Folk Tale  Once upon a time a young peasant rescued a fair princess and returned her to her father, the King of all the land….  “How shall I thank you for returning my fair daughter?”  “Oh my King I am but a humble man with humble dreams….”

3 Grains and Chess  “Tomorrow place 1 grain of rice on the first square of this chess board, the next day place double the grains on the next square ….”

4 Payments Day# Grains 11 22 34 48 516 6….32 10512 111,024 20524,288 40549 Billion 649,223,372,036,854,775,808 Total2 64 − 1 = 18,446,744,073,709,551,615 1 2 3 Doubling 1,000 x the global production of rice in 2010

5 All the King’s men….  And all the king’s horses couldn’t put all of the grains together for him.

6 Hyper speed to …..Moore’s Law  In 1965 Gordon Moore  First person in his family to attend college.  Co-Founder of Intel  “the amount of transistors on a microchip will double every two years”  “….the power of information technology will double about every 18 months.”  Will occur for the next 10 years.  In 2002 the 27th doubling occurred.

7 Doubling  This is exponential change that has never been seen this fast in human history.  Every 12 months:  Internet bandwidth doubles  Size of the Internet doubles  Growth in robotics doubles every 9 months  Number of scientists, scientific journals, and papers doubles every 15 years

8 So what does this mean in our daily lives?  It took 15 years + $12 billion = map of human genome  Now 31 days + $10 = map a virus.  Amount of computer memory for 2mil Colombian pesos doubles every 15 months

9 The world is different between sunrise and nightfall. (Kash cited in Garreau, 2005, p. 60)

10 EvolutionYears Earth’s formation to multicellular organisms Approx. 4 billion mammals400 million monkeys150 million hominids30 million homo erectus16 million cave dwellers4 million permanent settlements 10 k Roman Empire4K Industrial Age1,8 K To the moon169 Information Age20

11 How do we make sense of it all?  Overwhelmed?  Too Much?  Shallow knowledge  Situate global learning into our local reality.

12 Teaching


14 Action Research  Systematic data collection  Deeper Analysis  Leading to logical conclusions  Applying new knowledge in a situated context

15 “Education, for it to be educative requires a sense of the uncertain, the unknown. It’s greatest enemy is not ignorance, but expertise.” George Johnson

16 Doubling & Learning  Learning HOW to learn  More efficiently and effectively  In a shorter time  Measure effects of change How much does all this massive information truly make a difference in our mission as language educators? How do we boil this massive ´corpus´of information down to its essence and sprinkle it into our own reality?

17 Raising awareness Stopping old habits Invest time & energy Exercise new procedures and habits Re- stabilizing Improved Efficiency 1940 Model Source – “Frontiers in Group Dynamics” Lewin (1947) step-change-theory/

18 We are convinced that the disposition to study… our own teaching is more likely to change and improve our practices than is reading about what someone else has discovered of his teaching. (Corey, 1953, p. 70)

19 Brief History Lewin – 1946’s Corey, 1953 Pedagogy Heron, 1971 Cooperative inquiry Argyris, 1978 Double-loop Learning Research ´with´ vs. ´´on´´

20 Why do it?  Why should teachers do action research?  See what your students really do  Understand why something worked or didn’t  To justify the teaching and learning choices you make.  To depend less on other people’s decisions

21 Action Research  Relevant to your own practice and concerns for:  evaluating outcomes  enhancing student achievement  improving educational practices


23 Niggling whispered question….  How can I get my students to put their cellphones away in class? question behind the question….  When do my students use their cellphones in class and does that tell me something about their level of engagement?....a question you can do something about  What can I do to engage my students sufficiently that they will not use their cellphones in class?

24 Triangulation Source 2 Source 1 Source 3

25 Types of Action Research IndividualCollaborativeInstitutional Focus Classroom (1) Classrooms (2+)Areas of collective interest - Organizationally Support Coach/Men tor Technology Data analysis Substitutes Release Time Peer Observation/ dialogue Administration Admin. Commitment Leadership Communication External Partners (university, associations) Impact Curriculum Instruction Assessment (CIA) CIA + Policy Potential restructuring Policy Community Involvement Program Evaluation Side Effects Info usually not shared Improved (CCC) Collegiality Collaboration Communication CCC +Team building +Factions Adapted from: Ferrance, E. (2000). Action Research. Themes in Education. Providence, RI: Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory At Brown University

26 You can also pose questions like:  Ask your friends  Convince curious minds to join you  Identify an end point to your research and then plan backward.  Set meetings about every two weeks  Specify the agenda of each meeting very clearly. Why is it that even after four semesters of studying English my students still can’t use the third person singular correctly?

27 Steps  Plan  Identify.  Narrow it down  Find out: When, who, where, how.  Think about why it might be happening.  Talk to other teachers and/or read to get more ideas about this.  Identify a solution and how to put it in practice  Figure out how you will know if it is working.  Teach / Act  Observe  Gather evidence to see if it is working or not.  Reflect  Analyze the evidence. What will you tweak, throw out, add? Sue Davidoff and Owen van den Berg (1990)

28 Topics for English Language Teaching  Four skills (reading, writing, listening or speaking)  Classroom interaction  Learner language  Grouping arrangements  Materials  Grammar and vocabulary  Assessment

29 Tips for Success  Start with a very small question – avoid 2 64  Collaborate with a circle of ‘critical friends’  Stick to the plan  Let your students in on the secret  Use obstacles as opportunities  Accept that your conclusions won’t change the world…. They will lead you to more questions.

30 Where to go next?  Examples     Books  Burns, A. (2010). Doing Action Research in English Language Teaching: A Guide for Practitioners. Routledge. E-book available  Mills, G. (2011). Action Research: A Guide for the Teacher Researcher. Pearson  Communities        Journals  GIST - Education and Learning Research Journal GIST - Education and Learning Research Journal  

31  Gail Ritchie Teacher Research is not an add-on; it is a way of being! 'extraordinarily re-experiencing the ordinary' Ira Shor Empowering Education : Critical Teaching for Social Change

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