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Teacher Leader Development: A Narrative Inquiry

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Presentation at CRPP Conference, 2015

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Teacher Leader Development: A Narrative Inquiry

  1. 1. Teacher Leader Development: A Narrative Inquiry into Senior Teacher Development in two Secondary Schools in Singapore CRPP Conference 2015 3 June 2015 Lloyd Yeo St Gabriel’s Secondary School
  2. 2. Teacher Development Movement in Singapore: 2001-2015 2001: Edu-Pac & Master Teacher Scheme 2009: PMTT & LT Scheme. Teacher Development Centre / AST and Professional Learning Community initiative 2014: WP Seminar 2014: Growing Our Teachers, Building Our Nation: Belief in students, self, others and something larger Teacher Leaders’ Programme (TLP)
  3. 3. The Teaching Track
  4. 4. School A and School B Schools Students Teachers Ratio of STs/LTs: Staff (2012) Ratio of STs/LTs: Staff: (2015) 1164 92 1:23 (4) 1:30 (3) 1248 98 1:98 (1) 1:19.6 (5)
  5. 5. Background of participants Name / School Yrs Education Career trajectory Main rationale for joining ST Mr Yong 24 yrs Tr ST (20th yr) Area of interest: outside subject Ms Hari 17 Yrs Pr Tr  Ed  Sec Tr  ST (9th yr) Already doing the job Ms Chen 20 yrs Tr  MM  ST (20th yr) Sense of Stagnation Ms Yip 22 yrs Tr ST (20th yr) Sense of Stagnation Mr Row 23 yrs Tr  MM  VP  LT (20th yr) Passion for Subject Mean: 21.2 yrs Median: 22 years
  6. 6. Research Design Individual NI a. Selection of individuals b. Face-to-face c. Field Notes Origins/Sta rt/ Self Field text a. Storification/ Re- storification b. Clarification c. Approval for Analysis a. Pattern-identification b. Reconceptualize and reinternalize new understandings as a community of teachers Reflexive: Researcher role / peers/ anonymity Research Text Mediational tool for community learning Surface vs. deep
  7. 7. Potential Tr Ldrs Tr Ldr Appt and Identity Accreditation Standards and Write-out Family Sch Leader Cluster/ Subj Chapters HOD ST Colleagues Portfolio Interview Panel Systems Roles and responsibilities Assumptions: Tensions and internal contradictions as principles of self- organization of an activity system and enablers of continuing devt
  8. 8. Subject: The Potential TL Stagnation / Learning/ Contribution Desire to Learn More/ Self- efficacy Ms Chen: The idea started when I wanted to step down from a management role. I had enough of running departments and evaluating them. I felt stagnant. I felt I wasn’t spending enough time in teaching. I just grab-and-go  Ms Yip: I just wanted to get out of my CCA. I got fed up and tired of it because I felt I was not contributing and learning.  Mr Yong: I was a GEO 1A3 officer for so long and already doing the job. I never saw it as additional burden and just thought I would just apply Ms Hari: My worst enemy was myself because even despite the constant encouragement, I needed more confidence
  9. 9. Community: Family, School Leaders, Cluster / Subject Chapters at AST Mr Row: Sir, you are wasting your time here Mr Yong: It was School Leader encouragement and their systematic and more structured way of preparing me STUDENTS SCHOOL LEADERS FAMILY Mrs Hari: was concerned it would take me away from my motherly duties. TEACHERS Ms Yip: AST:You better go. It is good for you. Keep an open mind I look to her as a teacher who can make it and she said, ‘just try’.
  10. 10. Rules and Tools Beliefs Action The Written Level:/ Mr Yong: They helped to vet and re-organize my accreditation standards and write-outs into various headings. There were so many people helping me to vet – the ST, my HOD and the VP. Even then I was not clear. I eventually adopted a template that I had I had come: What did I do? Why did I do it? How did I go about doing it? What have I learnt? What have the boys /mentee/ teachers learn? How can I do it better? The Reflection/ Ms Yip: We usually take reflections for granted and say it is ‘bo liao’. We are already so busy You reflect when you type. I was unknowingly writing my beliefs down as well. This really helped me when I had to do the accreditation forms and translate my beliefs into actions and verbalize them at interviews. The Interview
  11. 11. Rules and Tools The Interview  Ms Yip: And I always tell myself “Wah! So many things to do”. “Jing Joi Mik Kia” (Hokkien for so many things). I realized that it was my life’s work of what I did as a teacher for the past 1o to 20 years. These were the things that we had been doing and what we were about it. It actually forces you to reflect on your journey and how we have grown as teachers. To have deep meaning, you must see it as a journey. Then it will be meaningful. You have to go through it. Don’t just listen or ‘tia’ (hokkien for listen’. Ms Hari: I had to plan everything by standards, look back and old emails and it was very time-consuming. But it also made me realized that I had done so much in my career at the school and grown so much as well. Ms Hari: It looked kind of ridiculous in a strange way. There I was with 2 large portfolio files and the SHs/ HODs were going with just a thin writeout.
  12. 12. Rules and Tools The Interview . Prep Sessions, Mock Interviews and Books/ Mr Yong: They also held sessions where they prepared me for the kind of questions I would be asked at the interview. These helped me think about what I wanted to say and to organize my thoughts. Ms Hari: They directed me to some books by Stephen Covey to familiarize me with some of the Learning Organizational tools and terminologies I could use. Emotional labour of interviews/ Bilingualism/Mr Yong: I just could not articulate my thoughts and put them into words. I was quite tongue tied. I was discouraged and disappointed because I had put so much effort and yet failed. Language and Beliefs/ Ms Yip: At the post mortems, I was told to be myself and phrase things in the way I did . To start with my beliefs and then rationalize and explain why I did certain things. I saw the interview process in a whole new light The Interview OJT and Scoping/ Ms Chen: Another important milestone was my experience of taking on the role of SCM for 10 weeks. This was baptism by fire and this gave me confidence
  13. 13. Division of Labour  The Division of Labour ifor ST Development is enacted through different platforms, positions and histories as a complex web in relation to each other. Mentoring, Subject Teaching, Form Teachership, Programmes Mr Row: Sometimes it is like a ball of confusion. So many platforms and so many people involved. Mr Yong: At one time, I thought of leaving because after a while I am tired of doing just progammes year after year. I am never the School Coordinating Mentor and hardly do mentoring . SSDP/VP LT/STs HOD Cluster Schools Zone AST/Subject Chapters
  14. 14. Towards a sustainable and social-based approach to ST/LT development.  Teacher Career Cycles: The disenchanted (who can be re-enchanted), the quiet ones, the introverts, the resistors and reprobates. (Day, 2012; Hargreaves & Fullan, 2012)  Role negotiations and development  Identity Formation in Learning Communities for ST devt:/ Activity  Ball of Confusion and the band played on….and Ms Yip: Focus on the journey and reflect on the journey. This will make things more meaningful Discussion/ Recommendations Proff communities/ bureaucracy, Loci of Control, time and privacy to navigate fault lines (Lieberman & Miller, 2008)
  15. 15. Identity Formation in Learning Communities for ST devt to growing altriusm for adult learning in multiple and authentic teacher communities :  Ball of Confusion and the band played on….and Ms Yip: Focus on the journey and reflect on the journey. This will make things more meaningful Dispositions Hardware/ Structures  Each colleague as valuable  Honoring Tr knowledge  Human learning in proff practice and relationships  Inquiry stance for evidence-informed conversations  ST Empowerment & Agency  Clarity of purpose  Collective focus on mentoring and classroom practice  Theory of Action & Participation  Problem solving dispositions  Practice in mentoring and observation  Platforms for mentoring, sharing, dialogue, critique  Routines and forums for sharing, dialogue, co-creating  Participatory methodologies / facilitation for real commmunity Tr empowerment  Regularity of conversations/meetings to build collegial relationships and inquiry based on trust and openness  Guided reflection n teaching through reflection on learning  Multiple entry points  Reflection and internalization (over the long haul) Discussions/Recommendations Ball of Confusion and the band played on….and Ms Yip: Focus on the journey and reflect on the journey. This will make things more meaningful
  16. 16. Day C., (2012) New lives of teachers . Teacher Education Quarterly. 39(1), 7-26 Hargreaves, A. & Fullan, M. (2012). Professional capital: Transforming teaching in every school. New York, NY: Teachers College Press. Leana, C.R. Lieberman, A. & Miller, L. (2004). Teacher leadership. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Lieberman, A., Hanson, S. & Gless, J. (2012). Mentoring teachers: Navigating the real-world tensions. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Schon, D. (1983). The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. New York: Basic Books Little, J.W. (1995). Contested Ground: The basis of teacher leadership in two restructuring high schools. Elementary School Journal 96 (1), 47-63 York-Barr, J. & Duke, K. (2004). What do we know about teacher leadership? Findings from two decades of scholarship. Review of Educational Research, Fall 2004, 94 (3), 255-316. Education Service Professional Career Plan 2001. http://www.moe.gov.sg/media/press/2001/pr26092001.htm#ANNEX A Selected References

Presentation at CRPP Conference, 2015

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