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Teachers as co-learners – helping teachers lead change

June 8, 2015 by meghastie   

Change won’t occur until the individuals within the organisation implement the new way. For individuals, change is a personal experience, and individuals have different feelings, perceptions and capacities to change to the desired outcome (Hall 2013, Fullan 2013a, OECD 2005, Shin et al 2014, Ertmer & Ottenbreit-Leftwich 2010, Inan & Lowther 2010).. Change always requires individual growth of self-confidence and competence, and consequently within any organisation there are varied responses to the proposed change and the individual’s new role (Hall 2013). Three aspects of change cause concern – how it affects the self, the task and its potential impact.  Central to developing an environment conducive to educational change is the way teachers are professionally developed.  Systems need to draw upon the same techniques being advocated for student learners.  Professional development starts with helping create a sense of agency for teachers, highlighting teacher voice and leading to leadership (UNESCO 2008). However concepts of teacher agency are frequently undertheorised and often misconstrued so that agency and change are conflated and seen synonymously as positive. This agency is not about the lone teacher, but reinforces an ecological construct of teacher agency that includes not only teachers, but also students, administrators, the community and non-human aspects such as infrastructure (Strong-Wilson et al 2013).  It requires a flexible and networked capacity, moving away from the powerpoint lecture style of much traditional teacher professional development.

implementing change

From Fullan & Langworthy (2013)

 

Similarly, creating an environment where teachers learn by doing, and then engage in communal reflective practices around their own learning is vital to strengthening change (Reading & Doyle 2010, Kriejns et al 2013, Kreijns et al 2014, Preistley et al 2012, Strong-Wilson et al 2007, Strong-Wilson et al 2013). Training needs to provide opportunities for teachers to engage deeply with the complex realities of the learning process (Hibbert et al 2008, Lankshear & Snyder 2000). It models the need to build from current knowledge and practices, and allows a search for discrepancies between their beliefs and practices, as well as supporting their pursuit of their own questions in order to generate their pedagogical knowledge.  By fostering collaborative and creative contextual learning, teachers own practice not only reflects the new environments they are seeking to build, but this system has been demonstrated to be much more effective in embedding new pedagogical beliefs and practice.

change 1

From Fullan & Langworthy (2013)

 

Systems and schools need to allow time and practical support that promotes this networked approach that advocates dialogue, shared practice, and evaluation.  Administrators seeking change need to acknowledge that knowledge production is time-consuming and complex work that requires an investment.  This contradicts the quick fix mentality of “lead teacher” approach that locks teachers into hierarchical roles in the process. It assumes teachers only need to be taught how to implement change rather than think, learn and adopt themselves.

 

REFERENCES

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Ertmer, P. A., & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. T. (2010). Teacher technology change: How knowledge, confidence beliefs, and culture intersect. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 42(3), 255-284.

Eyal, L. (2012). Digital Assessment Literacy—the Core Role of the Teacher in a Digital Environment. Educational Technology & Society, 15 (2), 37–49.

Fullan, Michael (2011) Choosing the wrong drivers for whole system reform, Centre for Strategic Education Seminar Series Paper No. 204, May 2011, accessed http://edsource.org/wp-content/uploads/Fullan-Wrong-Drivers1.pdf

Fullan, Michael (2013a) Stratosphere: Integrating technology, pedagogy and change knowledge, Toronto: Pearson,

Fullan, Michael (2013b) The Principal: Three keys to maximising impact, San Francisco: John Wiley &Sons,

Fullan, Michael & Langworthy, Maria (2013), Towards a New End: New Pedagogies For Deep Learning, Collaborative Impact Seattle, www.newpedagogies.org

Hall, Gene E. (2013),Evaluating change processes, Journal of Educational dministration, 51, 264 – 289, http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09578231311311474

Hibbert, Kathryn M, Heydon, Rachel M. & Rich Sharon J.(2008) Beacons of light, rays, or sun catchers? A case study of the positioning of literacy teachers and their knowledge in neoliberal times Teaching and Teacher Education 24  303–315

Inan, F. A., & Lowther, D. L. (2010). Factors affecting technology integration in K-12 classrooms: A path model. Educational Technology Research and Development, 58(2), 137-154. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11423-009-9132-y

Kreijns, Karel, Vermeulen, Marjan, Kirschner, Paul A. van Buuren, Hans & Van Acker, Frederik (2013) Adopting the Integrative Model of Behaviour Prediction to explain Teachers’ willingness to use ICT: a perspective for research on teachers’ ICT usage in pedagogical practices, Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 22:1, 55-71, DOI: 10.1080/1475939X.2012.754371

Kreijns, Karel, Vermeulen, Marjan, Van Acker Frederik & van Buuren Hans (2014) Predicting teachers’ use of digital learning materials: combining self-determination theory and the Integrative model of behaviour prediction, European Journal of Teacher Education, 37:4, 465-478, DOI: 10.1080/02619768.2014.882308

Lankshear, C., & Snyder, I. (2000). Teachers and Technoliteracy: Managing literacy, technology and learning in schools. Crows Nest, Australia: Allen & Unwin.

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Matzen, N. J., & Edmunds, J. A. (2007). Technology as a catalyst for change: The role of professional development. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 39(4), 417-430.

OECD (2011) Building a High-quality Teaching Profession: Lessons from Around the World, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris. http://www.oecd.org/edu/school/programmeforinternationalstudentassessmentpisa/buildingahigh-qualityteachingprofessionlessonsfromaroundtheworld.htm

Priestley, Mark, Edwards, Richard, Priestley Andrea & Miller Kate (2012) Teacher Agency in Curriculum Making: Agents of Change and Spaces for Manoeuvre, Curriculum Inquiry, 42:2, 191-214

Reading, Chris & Doyle, Helen (2013) Teacher Educators As Learners: Enabling Learning While Developing Innovative Practice In ICT-Rich Education, Australian Educational Computing 27(3) 109-116

Shin, Won Sug, Han, Insook & Kim Insuk (2014) Teachers’ Technology Use and the Change of Their Pedagogical Beliefs in Korean Educational Context International Education Studies, 7 (8),11-22

Strong-Wilson, Teresa, Pasinato, Manuela, Ryan, Kelly, Thomas, Bob, Mongrain, Nicole, Harju, Maija-Liisa & Doucet, Richard (2007) Line Up Your Ducks! Teachers First!: Teachers and Students Learning With Laptops in a Teacher Action Research Project, Learning Landscapes 1(1), 2007 199-220

Strong-Wilson Teresa & Smith-Gilman Sheryl & Bonneville Penny Albrant (2013) Re-forming Networks Through “Looping”: An Ecological Approach to a Teacher’s Incorporation of New Technologies in Early Childhood, Learning Landscapes 6 (2), 369-384


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