Summary and reflection: Day 1 (EDN550)

This summary and reflection are part of my coursework for EDN550 Transition to Teaching, the initial intensive unit of the Graduate Diploma in Education at Murdoch University in 2018. This is the first of five such summaries and reflections.

Summaries and reflections: Day 1 • Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5

Summary

  • Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, from AITSL.
  • John Dewey, learn from experience and reflection on experience.
  • Donald Schön, an ​influential writer on reflection—framing and reframing to improve perspective.
  • Levels of reflective writing: descriptive writing, descriptive reflection, dialogic reflection, critical reflection.
  • Will eventually become fluent in lesson planning, may even eventually do away with written lesson plans (they’ll be in my head).
  • Lesson plan template: general information, curriculum content description, prior knowledge and experience, learning objectives, learning evaluation, preparation and resources, catering for diversity, timing and learning experiences, lesson evaluation.
  • Meta-ethics, normative attics, applied ethics.
  • Ethics is about negotiating what is right (morality) and what is legal (policies, laws).
  • Teacher Registration Board Western Australia: Professional Standards for Teachers.
  • Department of Education: Policies.
  • Department of Education: Duty of Care for Students.
  • Technical, practical and critical reflection (Van Manen, 1977, 1991).
  • Reflection-on-action (after the fact) vs. reflection-in-action (during the fact) (Schön, 1983, 1987).
  • Killen (2013) has a good list on ‘Characteristics of reflective teachers’ in chapter 5.
  • Strategies for reflection: reflective journal writing, feedback from students, recording lessons, reflective partnerships, lesson study.
  • There are extensive benefits to formalised and explicit lesson planning. With experience, you develop effective techniques which might reduce the amount of written lesson planning.
  • Lesson purpose (why) vs. lesson outcomes (what).
  • Domains of learning: cognitive (thinking), psychomotor (moving), affective (feeling).
  • Beyond Bloom’s taxonomy: Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching and Assessing (Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001).
  • Cognitive processes: remember, understand, apply, analyse, evaluate, create.
  • Types of understanding: factual, conceptual, procedural, metacognitive.
  • Table 4.2 (Killen) has command words (action verbs) for each of the cognitive processes.
  • Killen (2013) has a 3-page checklist for planning teaching and learning, that is “not exhaustive”!
  • The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians was published the year after I graduated high school. It promotes equity and excellence, critical/creative thinking, literacy and numeracy and technology, collaboration, individuality and expression and self-worth, and social responsibility, including Australia’s political and legal values and systems.
  • The Australian curriculum is an ongoing work-in-progress. It’s 3D: learning areas, general capabilities, cross-curriculum priorities.
  • General capabilities (21st century skills): literacy, numeracy, ICT, critical/creative thinking, personal and social capability, ethical understanding, intercultural understanding.
  • Cross-curriculum priorities: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, engagement with Asia, sustainability.

Reflection

The first day’s worth of content really focused on reflective practice and lesson planning. Even the parts about ethics stressed reflection. This isn’t entirely new to me. In my teaching practice so far (English language and then secondary mathematics), reflective practice has always been a policy.

What did surprise me was that I wasn’t put off at all by the lesson planning stuff. I have never planned lessons this explicitly before, although I have spent a lot of time on year plans and 5-year plans. I was worried at first that lesson planning would feel like a chore, something that I could look forward to dispensing with only after several tedious years. However, to my surprise, I found the planning process and lesson plan template made a lot of sense.

I was very impressed by the AITSL standards for professional teachers. Not only do I feel as though I can match and direct my teaching experiences to the standard, but I feel like it makes sense to do so. They are succinct and meaningful.

Killen’s two chapters (5 and 4) offered some deep insights into reflection and planning. I was encouraged by the depth of research and cognitive science present. It did surprise me to find that so much progress has been made beyond Bloom’s taxonomy, of which I was only casually aware.

I believe several of the taxonomies and frameworks will be quite helpful for me. For example, Van Manen’s categories of reflection: technical, practical and critical. These categories should help by giving my thinking a little more structure, and giving me confidence that my reflection is comprehensive.

The reflective journal strategy is already one that I am using effectively, and so I found this part of the reading very affirming. I keep a private journal (using the Day One app) and I blog publicly about mathematics, technology and teaching (on Medium and now on WordPress, and hopefully later on my own website). Getting involved in blogging has also introduced me to and connected me with the informal international community of mathematics teachers, which seems to be brought together mainly through Twitter. It’s a potential jungle to get lost in, but I think I have the skills to be selective about who I follow and what I read.

I am already familiar with the concept of ‘command words’ (action verbs) through my teaching in the International Baccalaureate (IB). So, I was thrilled to see command words matched to Anderson & Krathwohl’s cognitive processes (Table 4.2, Killen). I will extract that table and make a ‘teacher card’. Same for the 3-page “not exhaustive” checklist for planning teaching and learning on pages 106 to 110.

References

Disclaimer

These are personal notes and reflections. Portions of the summary are taken verbatim from the various lectures, presentations, readings and videos. I have not distinguished between what are my own ideas, what is my own writing (or paraphrasing), and what is taken from the source materials.​

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