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Learning, Talking and Creating Change: Different Formats for Conversations About Practice


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Presentation from the 2006 National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals Conference

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Learning, Talking and Creating Change: Different Formats for Conversations About Practice

  1. 1. Learning, Talking and Creating Change: Different formats for conversations about practice Mary Fisher and Brooke Baker Indiana Paraeducator Support Project Indiana University at IUPUI Wanda Hubbard Indianapolis Public Schools “ Building the Future- One Student at a Time” National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals Minneapolis, May 11, 2006
  2. 2. This afternoon <ul><li>IPSP?!? </li></ul><ul><li>Issues in preparation and inservice professional development across IN </li></ul><ul><li>Our response </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Format </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Connection between our learning and K-12 student learning </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. The folks at home today
  4. 4. What is IPSP anyway… <ul><li>2002 survey </li></ul><ul><li>2006 follow-up (partial findings) </li></ul><ul><li>Major issues around preparation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Availability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Format </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Impact </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Your thoughts on these issues <ul><li>Availability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>__________________ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Format </li></ul><ul><ul><li>__________________ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>__________________ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Impact </li></ul><ul><li>1 day preservice? </li></ul><ul><li>1-4 days inservice? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>_______________ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Drive by? </li></ul><ul><li>Other? _______________ </li></ul><ul><li>District driven? </li></ul><ul><li>Your choice? </li></ul><ul><li>_______________ </li></ul><ul><li>Session evaluations? </li></ul><ul><li>Follow-up on the job? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Our response <ul><li>The usual </li></ul><ul><li>Study groups </li></ul><ul><li>Book clubs </li></ul><ul><li>Team coaching conversations </li></ul><ul><li>Individual coaching conversations </li></ul>
  7. 7. Study Groups <ul><li>Who </li></ul><ul><ul><li>6-8 participants and 1 facilitator </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Group decides – Doyle, French, Compilation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When </li></ul><ul><ul><li>During school day or after school </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Where </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conference room </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Paraview </li></ul><ul><li>I like the way we shared different ideas about discipline and how to work with the children. </li></ul><ul><li>In our weekly meetings with a facilitator we have learned to really focus on the positive aspects of our job, not just see the negative parts. We brainstorm, exchange ideas, and we do a lot of reflection on what we are doing in the classroom. This is really important and helpful. </li></ul><ul><li>Supports </li></ul><ul><li>Administrative – director, principal </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher -- classroom </li></ul>
  8. 8. Example Agenda <ul><li>New and good </li></ul><ul><li>Thoughts on the reading </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“Save the last word” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Problem solving about one child </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Share, clarify, brainstorm, select solution and set a goal for next meeting </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Share log sheets </li></ul><ul><li>Agenda for next time </li></ul>
  9. 9. Book Club <ul><li>Who </li></ul><ul><ul><li>8-10 participants and 1 facilitator </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Group decides among 2 or 3 possibles – Paley & Gossins </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Any time </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Where </li></ul><ul><ul><li>On line </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Paraview </li></ul><ul><li>I can enjoy reading and then be stimulated by others’ comments. </li></ul><ul><li>The time is open. I don’t have to be somewhere. There are people in Indianapolis and southern IN I can “meet” with! </li></ul><ul><li>I can talk with paraeducators in a non-supervisory role! </li></ul><ul><li>Supports </li></ul><ul><li>Access to a computer </li></ul><ul><li>Books provided (at this time) by IPSP </li></ul>The books…
  10. 10. Sample Questions <ul><li>“You can’t say you can’t play” </li></ul><ul><li>By Vivian Gussen Paley </li></ul><ul><li>Children whom you know who may experience rejection? Commonalities with Paley’s picture? </li></ul><ul><li>In what ways is the rule fair or unfair? </li></ul><ul><li>How would you present this rule to your students? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it easier to open the door? </li></ul><ul><li>Other ideas for giving children a voice? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Team Coaching <ul><li>Who </li></ul><ul><ul><li>3-5 team members and 1 facilitator </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A child who worries the team </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When </li></ul><ul><ul><li>During work hours </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Where </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conference room or classroom </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Paraview </li></ul><ul><li>It has been very helpful to meet regularly. We had tried some of these ideas before but we let them fall by the wayside. </li></ul><ul><li>It is important to have the outside person. She comes without the history. She is not so likely to be discouraged. Her enthusiasm helps us be more willing to try again. </li></ul><ul><li>She asks us questions that we don’t ask ourselves. </li></ul><ul><li>Supports </li></ul><ul><li>Outsider willing to be a critical friend </li></ul><ul><li>Team investment in the conversation and solutions </li></ul>
  12. 12. Individual Coaching Conversation <ul><li>Who </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1 coachee and 1 coach </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A child who worries the coachee or a new strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When </li></ul><ul><ul><li>During work hours </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Where </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Classroom </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Paraview </li></ul><ul><li>I can’t believe that someone is interested in my work! </li></ul><ul><li>It works for me when there is a strategy I need to work on so that I can ask my coach for feedback on something specific. </li></ul><ul><li>Supports </li></ul><ul><li>Outsider willing to be a critical friend/coach and ask thoughtfully worded questions </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher support for content/strategy acquired! </li></ul>
  13. 13. Why conversation <ul><li>Improve our own practice </li></ul><ul><li>Generate change for children/youth </li></ul><ul><li>Energize each of us </li></ul><ul><li>Identify common interests/concerns </li></ul>
  14. 14. Prerequisite for group membership <ul><li>Sincere desire to work with colleagues to improve teaching and learning </li></ul>
  15. 15. Changing perceptions about our profession <ul><li>Isolation no longer the norm </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge coming from the classroom/schools rather than the outside </li></ul><ul><li>Educators as the quality controllers … </li></ul>
  16. 16. Criteria for our work together <ul><li>The topic chosen for study must concern the teaching/learning process </li></ul><ul><li>The topic must be within our scope of influence </li></ul>
  17. 17. Your thoughts District? Appeal? Coaching Book clubs Study groups Usual
  18. 18. Why friendship? <ul><li>The literature and our survey data </li></ul><ul><li>My experience </li></ul><ul><li>Bryan’s experience </li></ul><ul><li>And all the other children </li></ul>
  19. 19. The friendship why <ul><li>Need for belonging </li></ul><ul><li>Significant to families </li></ul><ul><li>Consortium findings (Meyer, et al, 1998) </li></ul>
  20. 20. Frames of Friendship <ul><li>Ghost or guest </li></ul><ul><li>The inclusion kid </li></ul><ul><li>“ I’ll help!!” </li></ul><ul><li>Just another kid </li></ul><ul><li>A regular friend </li></ul><ul><li>“ Friends forever” </li></ul>
  21. 21. The classroom <ul><li>An instructional environment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>academics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social environment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>social rules of human interaction </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Children benefit from having friends <ul><li>enhanced development and positive self-esteem (Newcomb & Bagewell, 1996). </li></ul><ul><li>peers can sometimes be better teachers than adults </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Piaget's &quot;just manageable disequilibrium” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vygotsky's &quot;zone of proximal development&quot; </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Adult caregivers, including teachers, are responsible for <ul><li>children's well-being and sociopersonal development as well as </li></ul><ul><li>children’s academic and intellectual development. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Consortium Work <ul><li>Based in participatory research </li></ul><ul><li>Constituents are involved in every step of the research process -- from the question through the method, results, analysis, to the interpretation. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Interventions <ul><li>Doable in context </li></ul><ul><li>With available resources </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainable over time </li></ul><ul><li>Constituency owned and operated </li></ul><ul><li>Culturally inclusive </li></ul><ul><li>Intuitively appealing </li></ul>
  26. 26. Making Connections between our learning and the children’s learning <ul><li>A log sheet </li></ul><ul><li>An outsider for specified periods of time </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Paraeducator interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Principal interviews </li></ul>
  27. 27. Individual goals <ul><li>Learn how to promote independence </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid being a barrier to interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Teach student how to respond to teasing </li></ul><ul><li>Be creative in providing support to my student </li></ul>
  28. 28. Student Outcomes <ul><li>changes in proximity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maria, Jasmine, Aaron, and Harry </li></ul></ul><ul><li>changes in whole class </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Peter -- prosocial curriculum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maria -- yellow pages and tea party </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Room 106 and the Garden Project </li></ul></ul><ul><li>new “strategy” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Patrick -- social story </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jenny – reading aloud </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sara – letters and sounds and concepts about print </li></ul></ul><ul><li>new activities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Isaac --summer camp </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Outcomes related to paraeducators’ role <ul><li>Copy of IEP objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Development of an IEP/Activity matrix </li></ul><ul><li>New vocabulary </li></ul><ul><li>Access to resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>web sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MAAP conference tapes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MAS (Durand & Crimmins, 1985) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interactive style questionnaire (Ayers & Hedeen, 1997) </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. How to initiate a conversation <ul><li>Books </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Text” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trade </li></ul></ul><ul><li>An article </li></ul><ul><li>Solving a problem </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing ways to facilitate interaction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Like singing together </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. For example, Collecting Text Sets <ul><li>Consider qualities that make a picture book “good” to Read Aloud with children. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A TEXT SET of 5-7 books using AUTHOR, GENRE or TOPIC as the common element across the books is an excellent start. For organizing it is helpful to create a “catalogue sheet” that identifies the TITLE, AUTHOR and PUBLISHING information for each book, identifies the age/grade for your text set, gives a brief intro to the books, and provides specific learning engagements – ideas or how you would use the books. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Avoid using “holiday”, “dinosaur”, “all about me”, or series books (Clifford, Frog and Toad, Dora, Magic School Bus…). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>These are great, however, this is an opportunity to help children think about other important issues such as friendship or bullying or loosing someone you love; science concepts like gardening or rocks. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This is an opportunity for your VOICE! </li></ul>
  32. 32. Thank you! <ul><li>Indiana Paraeducator Support Project IPSP </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>(317) 274-3326 </li></ul><ul><li>902 West New York Street </li></ul><ul><li>Indianapolis, IN 46208 </li></ul>
  33. 33. Keep on dancing! Keep on...