Action research in curriculum design

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ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference - Anne Whisken - Teachers at a secondary school participated in a PhD action research project lead by teacher librarian Anne Whisken. It used Christine Bruce’s Informed …

ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference - Anne Whisken - Teachers at a secondary school participated in a PhD action research project lead by teacher librarian Anne Whisken. It used Christine Bruce’s Informed Learning model to consider strategies for inclusion of information literacy in discipline practice and learning experiences. This presentation reflects on the power of collegial discussion and reflective practice, and possibilities for teacher librarians to lead action research.

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  • 1. THE LEARNING POWER OF ACTION RESEARCH IN CURRICULUM DESIGN AN N E W H I S K E N ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013
  • 2. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 2 “I got lots out of this project, in terms of what we did in the meetings, sharing ideas and gaining insights. It made me think a lot about my own practice, and it sort of pushed me into doing a few things differently, trying to explore different ways of doing things I thought we cannot just talk, we need to act, and the action plan was good – because it was like doing a course” (Whisken, 2010)
  • 3. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 3 “The most interesting thing about the project was working with my colleagues and that was the big incentive for getting involved in the project “there are just not enough opportunities to sit down and really talk at length and in depth with people about educational issues and where we are with education” “it was getting some insight into what other people were doing in their classrooms and what they thought was important and how they thought about things” (Whisken, 2010)
  • 4. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 4 “I’ve had time to actually review and look at my presentation of information and how the kids receive it and just stop and really think about what I’m doing in the classroom - if I hadn’t done this, that wouldn’t have happened” (Whisken, 2010)
  • 5. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 5 Power of action research for reflective professional learning and possibilities for leadership by teacher librarians Christine Bruce’s Informed Learning model: strategies for inclusion of information literacy in discipline practice and learning experiences. PhD action research project to examine Informed Learning suitability for secondary schools. Lead by teacher librarian with 25 teachers.
  • 6. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 6 LEARNING INTENTIONS 1. Use of Informed Learning model for reflection about embedding information literacy education into curriculum design 2. Use of Action Research for professional learning in schools 3. Possibilities for teacher librarians to take an active role in action research at their schools
  • 7. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 7 Informed Learning Action ResearchCurriculum Design Content (What) Experiences (How)
  • 8. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 8 What knowledge about information literacy education do you bring to this session? What is the difference between information literacy and information literacy education?
  • 9. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 9 What is information literacy education? Just as there is a difference between science and science education, history and history education, there is a difference between information literacy and information literacy education. (Bruce, 2008) Information literacy education is ‘enabling students to work with different ways of using information to learn; the educational framework that makes it possible for students to experience information literacy in new ways’ (Bruce, 2008, p. 184)
  • 10. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 10 THINK – PAIR – SHARE Where does information literacy education happen at your school? By whom? What are your information literacy pedagogies?
  • 11. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 11 Informed Learning model (Bruce, 2008) is an information literacy pedagogy for use by curriculum designers as they build information literacy education into discipline learning. To provide expert information practice as part of expert discipline practice education, teachers Use the Six Frames checklist to incorporate information literacy into discipline content Embed Seven Faces of information use into the design of discipline learning experiences
  • 12. SIX FRAMES OF INFORMED LEARNING ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 12 • What should learners know about the subject and information literacy? Content • What expert information practices should learners be able to do in this discipline? Competency • What does it mean to think like an informed learner in the discipline’s professional environment? Learning to Learn • What good is information literacy to students? Personal Relevance • How does information use impact on society? Social Impact • Are students aware of critical ways of seeing or experiencing information use? Relational
  • 13. SEVEN FACES OF INFORMED LEARNING ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 13 6. EXTENSION extend knowledge to other situations or applications 7. WISDOM EXPERIENCE be wise about the nature of information and its impact 5. KNOWLEDGE CONSTRUCTION build a knowledge bank in this discipline 3. PROCESS the research process in this discipline 4. CONTROL controlling information for learning in this discipline 2. SOURCES the best sources of information in this discipline 1. INFORMATION AWARENESS share knowledge with peers in this discipline
  • 14. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 14 2008 - 2009 The Problem, the Research Question, and the Research Methodology Problem: Information Literacy education still largely seen as the preserve of the Library. How could I do it differently?
  • 15. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 15 ‘If you want the same result, keep doing the same thing’ What is the different thing that can be done to get a different result? What if it is possible to talk to teachers from the point of their focus and have them see the possibility for including information literacy education in their discipline practice? What if teacher practice could provide students with discipline-based views and experiences of information literacy? What if this could be built into curriculum design?
  • 16. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 16 Research Question: Could Informed Learning concepts provide a bridge between information literacy theory and practice in a blended learning environment?
  • 17. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 17 Research Question: Could Informed Learning concepts provide a bridge between information literacy theory and practice in a blended learning environment? What research methodology would enable teachers to examine their practice of information literacy using the conceptual model of Informed Learning?
  • 18. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 18 Research Methodology: requirements Owned by participants Enables researcher to be a participant Transformative, emancipatory and empowering Provide for reflection and discussion Provide for different year level groups Have structure and validity
  • 19. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 19 Research Methodology: A combination of case study and action research. Action research to provide for cycles of reflective practice which self manage and which have their own contemporaneous data collection and analysis processes Multiple case study to provide for a formalised data collection and analysis within and across a number of groups
  • 20. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 20 1. THINK – PAIR – SHARE – SQUARE - REPORT What knowledge and experience do you bring to this session about Action Research? Action Research theory? Action Research practice in schools? 2. THINK – SQUARE – SHARE What do you want to know about Action Research?
  • 21. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 21 Action Research theory Genesis: Work by social psychologist Kurt Lewin and the Tavistock Institute in early to mid C20th. Group research process of planning, acting, observing and reflecting Provided practitioners with a means of researching their own practice problems, and became a participatory and emancipatory approach for individuals and groups to change their social circumstances. (Kemmis, 1988) Kemmis and his colleagues in Australia (Kemmis, 2009) further developed the notion of the power of praxis as a way of knowing, particularly in education.
  • 22. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 22 Action Research in Education provides for both individual professional development as well as collaborative institutional change. (Herr and Anderson, 2005) ‘ … can be engaged in by an individual teacher, a collaborative group of colleagues sharing a common concern, or an entire school faculty. These three different approaches to organizing for research serve three compatible, yet distinct, purposes: Building the reflective practitioner Making progress on school wide priorities Building professional cultures.’ (Sangor, 2000)
  • 23. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 23 Action Research in Education Of the various methods within action research there is particular relevance for schools in appreciative inquiry, action learning, co-operative inquiry and participatory action research. Participative action research (PAR) methodology has an emphasis on the empowerment of individuals via attainment and application of knowledge in reflective action cycles by groups. Distinct stages in the cycles are reflection, planning, action and observation (Kemmis & McTaggert, 2005).
  • 24. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 24 How might Action Research work in a school? A team of teachers decide on an area they want to explore or develop and undertake action cycles: read research material to inform them plan how they will implement those ideas take action progressively report on their actions reflect and review. They review and read more, making changes as they go. They report on the project.
  • 25. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 25 What might it look like? An example: ILARC - Informed Learning Action Research – Carey 2010 three groups of teachers used action research to explore the Informed Learning model of good information practice in their teaching areas (total 25 teachers) individual interviews at start and end of project five meetings of two hours over terms 2 to 4. Even in a busy schedule, they managed to find mutually convenient times to meet time to read the supplied material time to take actions and reflect
  • 26. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 26 What was the role of the teacher librarian? Participant researcher and facilitator Approval of supervising body (CSU) for PhD research Approval of school administration to conduct research and recognise the project for professional development points Design of project including structure, research material, agendas, minutes, recording and collection of data, report Full organisation of mutually convenient meeting times Chair of meetings
  • 27. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 27 How do teachers experience Action Research? The ILARC participants stressed benefits of Structure: professional development in an ongoing meeting structure, with a facilitator Collegiality: shared reports on application of ideas in teaching time to talk professionally about their work
  • 28. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 28 Structure: professional development in an ongoing meeting structure, with a facilitator “I have a good model of how action research can work and I can see that that’s really powerful - and facilitating as you did where you provided us with an environment that we could air ideas and it was non judgemental and that was really great.” (Whisken, 2010)
  • 29. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 29 “your summaries of the model - I found really useful, they were interesting, they were engaging and it was good to talk about these things.” “I found the practices, the people talking about what they were doing in the classroom, the challenges they were facing and the opportunity to exchange ideas about that, that was I found most useful, most valuable” (Whisken, 2010)
  • 30. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 30 “I think the power of it is that it’s over a period of time and that it’s ongoing. Because you’re reporting back to a group and because it’s reasonably regular, I think you feel empowered to go off, give it a whirl, and report back; and there’s also a level of responsibility.” (Whisken, 2010)
  • 31. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 31 “I actually think that’s also the power of professional learning teams, but only if they’re driven by someone who will make the meetings happen, who will make the meetings attractive to attend, and who make sure that the planning is understood. So that I know that I need to do these things by this date, and I should stop making excuses because I’m signed up and I know exactly what to expect along the way.” (Whisken, 2010)
  • 32. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 32 “in terms of action research, this PD appealed to me - so often you go to PD and sit and listen and maybe ask a question, but this gave us an opportunity to actually think about doing something that’s connected with what we’ve been discussing” “The action research style of learning suits me very well, I really love and have always loved that opportunity to work with colleagues on issues” (Whisken, 2010)
  • 33. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 33 “It did make me think a lot more about the use of ICT and I really did start to investigate a lot more about web 2.0 … what was out there and what was the real value in using those modes if you like, as a way of learning, what kinds of things do students really need to know, what was the value. That to me was exciting and valuable.” (Whisken, 2010)
  • 34. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 34 “it gets you looking at the information in a different way, and then imagining activities that would help your students have that same experience. And I think, because the way we approached the project over time, it wasn’t a one day wonder it was something that you could consider as you planned a range of units” (Whisken, 2010)
  • 35. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 35 “Looking at information in different ways, I never thought about doing that, the way we present information and the way kids see information and the way we research. This makes you stop and say, so how do you actually teach students, what is good what is bad information? How do you actually evaluate that? There’s so much information coming in at them, you actually forget how much information is coming in at them that we never had to face” (Whisken, 2010)
  • 36. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 36 “I think the main thing I got was I need to be looking at how I use information and how I use technology in the classroom and how I model it personally” “I would think that action research in a group works better than on an individual basis. Otherwise I would just go into my little areas and I think you need to be accountable to a wider group and that will bring about change in the curriculum” (Whisken, 2010)
  • 37. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 37 “I’ve become a lot more explicit since doing this course and thinking about actually having to model it and explain it through. So not just one or two students pick up on it, but all of them do it” “I thought the ideas were interesting and worthwhile: the different classifications of the things that we do with information and the ways in which we use information to transform - that was really, really good” (Whisken, 2010)
  • 38. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 38 “I always reflect on my teaching but this made me reflect in a more directed way, because I thought, well I need to improve a few things” “I wanted to be committed to the idea of this course and attending the meetings, doing the reading trying to do some reflections.” “it was good, it was a really good experience, and I’m grateful to you that I was asked to participate .. It made me a better teacher” (Whisken, 2010)
  • 39. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 39 “what I’m going to do in terms of revamping the middle school geography course, is to take on more of this action research. How can we plan things a lot differently next year and approach things in a different manner.” (Whisken, 2010)
  • 40. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 40 “the action research was something that’s given me a new way of thinking, a new way of looking at things a bit more how can we use that because that’s the big picture stuff. The informed learning is the get in the engine room and do that stuff for me.” (Whisken, 2010)
  • 41. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 41 Collegiality: shared reports on application of ideas in teaching time to talk professionally about their work “what I really got out of it was the experience of being with a group of people and meeting on a regular if not frequent basis and just space in which to talk about and reflect on teaching practice and I found that very valuable”
  • 42. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 42 “I think it's a very useful model which I got a lot of value out of - and what we've done here as a group meeting and talking about how we’re grappling with this new concept of informed learning ourselves and trying to let that inform our own pedagogy.” (Whisken, 2010)
  • 43. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 43 “I really valued the discussions - what other teachers were doing in the classroom, the challenges they were finding, talking about the different strategies, the projects that they were doing. I thought that was really, really stimulating and I expected to get that and I did get it so I was very pleased with that. “Its been a wonderful model and how do we take that and apply that further to our learning as teachers, that needs to keep going on” (Whisken, 2010)
  • 44. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 44 “Look I found a lot of things that G… was saying about what she’d like to see done with IT skills, I found that really interesting I thought that could be very valuable and applied in English, the sorts of ideas she talked about - teaching certain forms that you use in organising your information in filing, in templates, etc.” (Whisken, 2010)
  • 45. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 45 “In terms of action research, I thought it is a very powerful mechanism. I like the fact that it brought a group of people together who were very open and supportive of each other and from a range of different perspectives and experiences and that was good” (Whisken, 2010)
  • 46. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 46 “the action research was something that’s given me a new way of thinking, a new way of looking at things - that’s the big picture stuff. The informed learning is the get in the engine room and do that stuff for me.” “being part of the Action Research Project I think was a really valuable thing for me to do, I really felt that sense of belonging to a group, sense of being welcomed and encouraged to participate and to explore ideas.” (Whisken, 2010)
  • 47. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 47 “I think the most powerful thing was reflecting about your teaching in light of what other people were talking about. the meetings were most powerful, I think, listening to other people and how they were thinking and what they were doing in informed learning action research made me feel that actually, there was more than I originally anticipated for LOTE, specifically.” (Whisken, 2010)
  • 48. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 48 “I think the sense of collegiality that was fostered amongst the group was very beneficial - particularly because the groups were across a few learning areas so it was interesting to look at what we were doing with a common idea across different learning areas. But also the opportunity to do some more professional reading I certainly valued that as well” (Whisken, 2010)
  • 49. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 49 “I got a fantastic opportunity to share with other staff that I don’t think we normally get across learning areas looking at how we handle information in the big picture sense, because we never get an opportunity to actually learn what goes on in other learning areas and I had insights there that I don’t get any other way, there is no other way to get them.” (Whisken, 2010)
  • 50. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 50 “The main areas that it provided for me I think were the group discussions. I found it fascinating to hear people in other fields doing similar things that could be done in my particular subject. I gained a great deal from listening to how others teach a range of materials.” “Action research – as a reality I think it’s a really worthwhile thing to do and it’s been great hearing what other people are doing in their classes and sharing that in these sessions. It’s been really stimulating, given me so many ideas myself for my own practice and helped me become a lot more reflective and to change what I’m doing.” (Whisken, 2010)
  • 51. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 51 What was the impact of the Action Research at my school? 2011 Action Learning Teams: free choice 2012 Action Learning Teams: general curriculum themes 2013 Action Learning Teams: particular focus curriculum themes
  • 52. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 52 What was the impact of the Action Research at my school? 2011 Action Learning Teams: free choice 2012 Action Learning Teams: general curriculum themes 2013 Action Learning Teams: particular focus curriculum themes
  • 53. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 53 Impact of Action Research at my school? 2011 Action Learning Teams: compulsory involvement with free topic choice - examples: P-12 Online Reporting and Assessment for Learning Science: Assessment for Learning Bus Studies & Leg Studies: VCAA data for improved teaching Maths: wikis, podcasts, iPods, etc., to enhance teaching Library & Heads of Learning: Curriculum eResources Library team: Reference and Reading Advisory Skills
  • 54. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 54 2012 Action Learning Teams: compulsory involvement & topic choice areas - examples: Different classroom groupings: impact on engagement Differentiation of self-assessment, reflection & goal setting Higher Order Thinking Intellectual Character Language Labyrinth, Blended Learning Holistic approach to reading
  • 55. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 55 2012 Action Learning Teams: compulsory involvement & topic choice areas - examples: Examples: New Learning, New Spaces for new learning Investigative, Formative and Summative Assessment in PE National Science Curriculum QR Codes Reimagining Learning Paradigm for the Digital Age Wellbeing Personalised Learning in Year 9 Science Differentiation in Yr 9 Maths eBooks
  • 56. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 56 2013 Action Learning Teams: compulsory involvement & topic choice areas – examples: Holistic approach to reading Model for Teacher Collaboration & Professional Practice Approaches to Learning Assessing Mindfulness, Meditation and Reflection Assessment and Learning Partnerships Using Rubrics effectively to support student learning Brainology Trial in Year 10 Collaborative Problem Solving Developing an understanding of Thinking Routines
  • 57. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 57 2013 Action Learning Teams: compulsory involvement & strategic goals topic choice areas – examples: Develop an Understanding of Positive Learning Differentiated Instruction in the Primary Classroom Differentiation in MS Science Differentiation in Years 8,9&10 Maths Differentiation in Y12 Psychology and Biology Differentiation in the Music Classroom Implementing Positive Education Introducing Positive Psychology to English Mellor Library Data Collection: Know thy impact!
  • 58. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 58 Teacher Librarian and Action Learning Teams: benefits of involvement Direct involvement in development and direction of professional learning across the school Establishment of common understandings with over 25 teachers across all year levels and subject areas – and building each year by involvement in more ALTs about information literacy practices in each discipline area research practices key curriculum goal areas of Visible Thinking, Assessment for Learning, Differentiation resources for learning in each discipline area
  • 59. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 59 LEARNING INTENTIONS: Traffic Light Reflection 1. Use of Informed Learning model for reflection about embedding information literacy education into curriculum design 2. Use of Action Research for professional learning in schools 3. Possibilities for teacher librarians to take an active role in action research at their schools
  • 60. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 60 LEARNING INTENTIONS: Traffic Light Reflection 1. Use of Informed Learning model for reflection about embedding information literacy education into curriculum design Understand? Yes Maybe No Use? Yes Maybe No
  • 61. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 61 LEARNING INTENTIONS: Traffic Light Reflection 2. Use of Action Research for professional learning in schools Understand? Yes Maybe No Use? Yes Maybe No
  • 62. The learning power of action research in curriculum design ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 62 LEARNING INTENTIONS: Traffic Light Reflection 3. Possibilities for teacher librarians to take an active role in action research at their schools Understand? Yes Maybe No Use? Yes Maybe No
  • 63. The learning power of action research in curriculum design: References ASLA XXIII Biennial Conference 2013 63 Bruce, C. (2008). Informed learning. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries Herr, K., & Anderson, G. L. (2005). The action research dissertation: a guide for students and faculty. London: SAGE. Kemmis, S. (1988). Action research in retrospect and prospect. In The action research reader (pp. 27-39). Victoria: Deakin University Press Kemmis, S. (2008). Researching for praxis: Knowing doing. . Paper presented at the ‘Researching practice’ conference sponsored by the journal Pedagogy, Culture and Society and Gothenburg University. September 13, 2008. Kemmis, S. (2009). Action research as a practice-based practice. Educational Action Research, 17(3), 463-474. Kemmis, S., & McTaggert, R. (2005). Participatory action research: communicative action and the public sphere. In Handbook of qualitative research (pp. 559-602). Whisken, A. (2010). PhD Data Collection (unpublished). Melbourne.