In my current role I have found collaborating regularly in a community of diverse people/thinkers drawn together by a common interest or focus, to be imperative. Wenger, McDermott & Snyder (2002, p4) define CoP's as “groups of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interaction on an ongoing basis”.
The Core are: the subject matter experts, show leadership, direct the vision of the CoP.
The Contributors are: the informal leaders, develop content, participate regularly, moderate with feedback.
The Collaborators are: those with self-selected involvement, support the CoP through questioning and making suggestions, increase their own understandings on the subject or focus.
The Consumers are: the general audience, they read, watch or listen regularly, try out the ideas presented, are exposed to new ideas and to how a CoP works.
I went from a regular contributor to CoP's for Literacy, Mathematics and Inquiry based pedagogies, and with in-school planning teams, to a lurker/consumer in new on-line groups.
I am very grateful to the leaders of these groups who got me up and running a lot quicker than I would have managed otherwise. There is limited scope for collaboration in specialist areas within a school. For that I have had to attend conferences and visit other schools with specialist art teachers (very few in NZ).
The two questions I am considering are based on observations of my students following adjustments made to my practice based on research about TAB (Teaching for Artistic Behaviour), Choice Based Art and Guided Inquiry models. These link in that they both borrow from the flipped learning model.
1) How can I use blended learning to improve engagement and achievement for target children
I noticed that some students find choice based learning and the ideation process challenging, even confusing. They achieve better (feel more confident) with the 'Show me' model and need gentle guiding toward 'Let me do it for myself'.
For them, I want to look at compiling past lesson resources into digital guide books to refer to, with the aim of combining these with more and more of their own ideas, as they grow in confidence. In the past I have written many lesson guides for teachers, so I could start by adapting these.
Creating a large and visible running sheet of ideation strategies that we add to each time we come up with another way to get ideas, could be beneficial for students too.
2) How can I promote student agency from Kindy -Y6?
While most conferences in a choice based learning environment are specific to a student, I do find myself repeating certain concepts or techniques multiple times. I have been thinking about creating short, sharp movie clips that answer these questions and loading them to a central cloud-based location for students to access independently, Then they can review skills and techniques from week to week, even year to year, as they need to. Despite looking for such resources on-line, I have not yet found anything suitable.
This resource will further enhance other changes I have already made to support independence in my classroom and possibly be of worth to share across my school to support classroom teachers in their practice. Who knows, maybe even shared globally through on-line CoP's.
Having already created and shared videos for teachers (like this one below), this is a new aspect I am looking forward to.
Help Me Learn Video Tutorials on You Tube
Padget, S. (2013). aealearningonlinlive.Retrieved on November 28, 2017 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtM-6isRCtU
Wenger, E., McDermott, R., & Snyder, W. (2002). Cultivating Communities of Practice: A Guide to Managing Knowledge. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
With love, as always
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