learning from experience:
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DESCRIPTIONLearning from experience:. pitfalls & possibilities. Hazel Hagger Katharine Burn Trevor Mutton. Part 1: The PGCE year. How are PGCE students learning?. as reflected in their assumptions at the start of the course - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
Learning from experience:
pitfalls & possibilitiesHazel HaggerKatharine BurnTrevor Mutton
Part 1: The PGCE year
How are PGCE students learning? as reflected in their assumptions at the start of the course as reflected in their accounts of practice (planning, teaching and evaluation) as stated in claims about learning in relation to that lesson as described in more general reflections on their learning
How do student teachers anticipate learning to teach?
Expectations of the university contextPractical guidance on classroom tactics, strategies & resourcesSubject knowledge (their own responsibility?)Id rather have handy hints as to what I should be doing in school, rather than all this theory which would be great if Im planning on going into educational theory. But some of it has been useful a lot of it is the issues you need to know. But there is almost a sense among a lot of people that it would be very easy to turn round and say I just want someone to tell me what to do and tell me to go into a classroom and do that Ive found some of the professional development programme lectures quite helpful well, not helpful but interesting.
Expectations of learning from observation Almost all positive & enthusiastic Some identified specific strategies & principles; most more generalised Few recognised complexitySo, although weve been doing quite a bit of observation, actually I think weve been working at quite a basic level. Until you know what its like to do it, you dont know what a teacher is achieving. You cant see it. Its so automatic.
Expectations of learning through doing Widespread enthusiasm Many assumed it would be automatic Learning from mistakes Feedback also seen as straightforward Some saw complications and need for deliberate analysisI think for the first few years at least, Ill just be constantly analysing my teaching.Youve got to work it out what it is that you did that made the lesson go so well or so badly
As reflected in their accounts of practiceThe complexity and diversity of their thinking about teaching & learning very early on - sheer range of factors taken into account - few signs of addressing one issue & then moving on to anotherSome (but only some) refer specifically to aims for their own learning Some indication of regression in final weeks
Student teachers references to their aims for lessons
How do they think they do learn? - claims about specific instances
Not really a surprisealthough many areas of professional knowledge are dependent on some understanding of relevant public codified knowledge found in books and journals, professional knowledge is constructed through experience and its nature depends on the cumulative acquisition, selection and interpretation of that experience. (Eraut 1994:19-20) but what did they actually mean?
How: orientations to learning general reflections + specific instances
DimensionOrientationIntentionalitythe extent to which learning is plannedDeliberativeReactiveFrame of referencethe value ascribed to looking beyond their experience in order to make sense of itDrawing on a range of sources to shape and make sense of experience Exclusive reliance on the experience of classroom teachingResponse to feedbackdisposition towards receiving feedback and the value attributed to itEffective use of feedback to further learning Tendency to be disabled by critical feedbackAspirationthe extent of their aspirations for their own and their pupils learningAspirational both as learners and teachersSatisfactionwith current level of achievement
Attitude to contextattitude to the positions in which student-teachers find themselves and the approaches they take to the school contextAcceptance of the context and ability to capitalise on it Tendency to regard the context as constraining
A pro-active or deliberative (Eraut) approach: It was a bit of a controlled experiment, like, Lets see what issues arise if I plan it with that level of detail.[Liz, Science trainee]
A re-active approach:Im not learning through a conscious effort just through experience which may or may not be useful for the future. [Rob, Science trainee]
Frame of referenceRange of sources to inform and interpret experience: The analogy I use in teaching is a bit like having all these kind of bubbles in the air, and youre constantly having influences from you know, youve got the school influence here and then youve got the college influence here and the theoretical bit and the core studies and the subject studies bits all mixed in with that, and then you have got your own experience of teaching and your own personal experiences. So you are constantly kind of drawing on all these bubbles and kind of drawing them down, drawing on different elements. [Katherine - English trainee] Exclusive reliance on own experienceI really do believe that, I do believe that doing is the best way of learning. [Ed, Science trainee]
Response to critical feedback
Effective use of it to further learningI think that (the feedback) made me more critical, you know it makes me look at the lesson more rather than the experience of teaching the lesson .. I think that everything she was saying was valid. [Rachel, English trainee]
Tendency to be disabled by itI've had a few bad ones that have upset me personally because I've spent a lot of time trying to make it interesting, because initially you think 'God, it's you, it's the way you're doing it, it's wrong'. [Beth, Science trainee ]
(Specific) aspirations for their own and their students learningThats what Ive learnt, thats what I believe in, deeply believe that they have to be part of their own learning, not responsible for it perhaps, but they have to be involved in their own learning in order to learn. [Rachel, English trainee]
I really wish I could find ways of being more imaginative without confusing the children theres the desire to make the lesson more interesting. [Hanif, Maths trainee]
Satisfaction with current levels of achievementMyself and my teaching partner are looking to the end now, and thinking its nearly all over, and were not as focussed as we were Last term there was a lot more of experience learning going on, whereas now were just going through it, going through the motions a bit more I suppose. [Stuart, Science trainee]
Attitude to context (1)Acceptance and capacity to capitalise on it Im trying very much to fit in with what they (the teachers in the department) like. I think thats how you can get the most out of that school They would discourage people who wanted to do anything differently So I do feel quite constrained, but I have decided that there is no point in trying to work against that. That what you do is take the framework that they give you and within that you do, you know, little bits and pieces that you hope will interest them. And the main advantage that you have going as a trainee is that you are a fresh face and you have no preconceptions about the pupils you treat them possible better than many of the staff have treated them for a long time. [Lindsay, Science trainee]
Attitude to context (2)Tendency to regard context as constrainingAt the moment I find myself struggling I have got a lesson some time after half term when I have got to teach about food production and it is not in the syllabus to talk about genetically modified organisms it is frustrating and also once I start to talk about genetically modified organisms I would want to then branch into talking about ethics in general, but no, you cant do that and I have to learn to accept that .. I think that there probably is time but that it is difficult in the context a lot of the time really. The context of me being a trainee teacher, the context being that almost nobody else is, the context that the pupils are not expecting to be pushed in that way.. To have the issues widened for them in that way Maybe in a school where the academic standards are generally higher, maybe there would be room for that kind of thing. [Ed, Science trainee]
A major and priority task in teacher education, traditionally and still widely neglected, must be that of helping these highly intelligent and committed trainee teachers to think and learn about what will be involved in learning as efficiently as possible the diverse skills and understandings necessary for effective teachingYounger et al. (2003:262)Learning to learn?
Learning to learn from experienceUnless the practicum helps to teach prospective teachers how to take control of their own professional development and to learn how to continue learning, it is miseducative, no matter how successful the teacher might be in the short run.Zeichner (1996: 217)
What happened next?
Part 2: The induction year and beyond
How: the sources of their learning
2nd year of teaching Since not being an NQT any more I havent had the opportunity to go into other peoples lessons, which I have missedso Im much more on my own with what Im doing.. Theres a feeling Well, youve done this before, you should be able to do it.[Hannah, Science, 2nd year of teaching]
Dimensions NQT year & beyond?Intentionality
Obviously all have more experience! but different orientations persist
It is through experience, through trying things, through experimentation, trying things out to see if they