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When sharing best practice is best practice itself


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Contemporary Issues Conference Paper

Published in: Education, Technology
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When sharing best practice is best practice itself

  1. 1. STEVE BOX
  2. 2. <ul><li>Collaboration and sharing ideas as a means to identify best practice </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying best practice is a core process for improving student outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>Process of shared learning just as important as product of efforts? </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>“ Collective capacity is essential because it produces more quality teachers who operate in concert”. (Fullan, 2010) </li></ul><ul><li>“ When educators face challenges, they are obligated to search for examples of success and explore the comparability of places where success occurred... Priinciples rather than practices translate across contexts. ” (Hirsh & Killion, 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Despite compelling evidence indicating that working collaboratively represents best practice; teachers in many schools continue to work in isolation.” (DuFour, 2004) </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>1) The outmoded nature of the traditional Professional Development delivery models; </li></ul><ul><li>2) Improved teacher efficacy/capacity as a result of collaborative, connective and sharing-based mediums; </li></ul><ul><li>3) Positive impacts upon teaching and learning. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Abundance of out-moded PD processes </li></ul><ul><li>Unfocused, insufficient and often irrelevant to day-to-day problems </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities through technology, new models of teacher leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Research and the drive for better has meant schools and educators are hungry for more powerful, more current models </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Traditional ‘lecture-style’ professional development </li></ul><ul><li>Professional Learning Networks (PLN) </li></ul><ul><li>Professional Learning Communities (PLC) </li></ul><ul><li>Unconference Models (TeachMeet/EdCamp) </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Lecture-style </li></ul><ul><li>Expert presenter in one-way </li></ul><ul><li>communication </li></ul><ul><li>Product-centred </li></ul><ul><li>Desired outcome often driven by presenter rather than recipient </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of contextual application </li></ul><ul><li>Not reflective of desirable classroom practices so... </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Joint stewardship </li></ul><ul><li>Personal interest </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Connection </li></ul><ul><li>Makes use of online interactions/medium </li></ul><ul><li>Harnesses passion, encourages contextual application </li></ul><ul><li>Directed by the learner, not the presenter </li></ul><ul><li>Access to experts for individual purpose </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Distinct from PLN </li></ul><ul><li>Mechanism for school change and improvement </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration for common purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Focused on improving school performance </li></ul><ul><li>Driven by the context </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraged as an organic function of collegiality </li></ul><ul><li>Reason to establish is student improvement, reason for its success is staff engagement </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Helps PLN values jump from online to in person </li></ul><ul><li>Often coordinated through social media </li></ul><ul><li>TeachMeet & EdCamp to common examples </li></ul><ul><li>Delivered by educators for educators </li></ul><ul><li>Usually range of topics and delivery styles </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis on the collaboration as much as content </li></ul><ul><li>Reflective practice motivating </li></ul><ul><li>In themselves advocates of sharing </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Each features some collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Common element is sharing </li></ul><ul><li>PLN Model uses online platform </li></ul><ul><li>for sharing </li></ul><ul><li>PLC success hinges upon sharing within community </li></ul><ul><li>Unconference model exists because of sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Limitations of traditional model are through the lack of collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>This positions collaborative and collegiate practices as best practices </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>What and how teachers practice impacts student learning </li></ul><ul><li>Effective professional learning maximises possibilities for quality teaching practice </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative approaches identified as desirable by teachers, more likely to improve outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>“ Teachers who work together to meet shared goals have an even greater impact on student achievement” (Wheelock, 2000) </li></ul><ul><li>Conduit through which professionals can ensure that students receive most effective education </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Don’t advocate sharing for the sake of sharing </li></ul><ul><li>No single model is a sustainable approach </li></ul><ul><li>Four components: </li></ul><ul><li>- Establish professional learning agenda </li></ul><ul><li>- Inservice of staff by staff in learning networks </li></ul><ul><li>- Allocation of time and resources </li></ul><ul><li>- Extend opportunities for personal interest </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>We have spent decades as educators demonstrating good practice. We have research and insight that has allowed us to develop better practice. We have invested time, money and energy coming together to share what we believe are best practices to enrich teaching and learning in our schools. Surely now the overwhelming evidence allows us to see that the sharing of these practices represents best practice itself. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Allowing this sharing and collaboration to occur as part of a program of best practice sharing within or external to individual school contexts further adds weight to not only the learning process, but the learning product. </li></ul><ul><li>Professional learning can have a strong impact upon teaching and learning </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative and sharing approaches should have a stronger impact than non-collaborative approaches. </li></ul><ul><li>Our responsiveness to capitalise on the process of professional learning and escape the search for pure outcomes is critical in order to see teaching and learning manage the complicated environments in which we operate. </li></ul>
  16. 16. STEVE BOX