Notes from Reading Task One (September 20th 2012)

Reading Task:
On the morning of the 20th you will team up with your learning group and discuss your responses to the different readings you have been given. You are advised to use the following questions to prompt your thinking and help you to structure your response:
So I arrived a little late to the session and missed the beginning of my groups discussion but was provided with a quick summary of what had already been discussed.
The first text ‘……..’ was concerned with the idea of REFLECTIVE PRACTICE:
  • The active process of looking at what you are ‘practicing’ to improve your ‘practice’ in future.
  • It can be undertaken individually or as a group and on a short term or long term basis.
  • It was discussed that it can be difficult for some students to engage with this process through fear or embarrasement of their practice coming under scrutiny.
  • It was noted on the other hand that group reflection can create a supportive ‘community’ also.
The text also introduced the idea of CONSTRUCTIVE ALIGNMENT
  • A form of Reflective Practice where looking at one area of a practice can be used to improve another.
The second text our group had been assigned (and the one I read), was from the writing of Gloria D’all Alba (https://www.dropbox.com/s/gx4yi6zej2rodql/DallAlba%202005.pdf?m) on ‘Improving Teaching : Enhancing ways of being a University Teacher’.
  • It was summarised D’all Alba was focused on the idea that EPISTEMOLOGY (knowledge) was not in itself enough to make a good teacher but rather we should aspire to integrate that knowledge with ‘acting’ and ‘being’ – ONTOLOGY.
  • She also suggests we should look further than the idea that students learn from teachers but rather we can learn also from ourselves, our peers, literature, learning content and so on.
  • Gloria also champions the EDUCATIONAL INTERVENTION (that is to say making changes in our teaching practice to enhance it based on this integration of knowledge and being.
The third text ‘…….’ was on COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE.
  • This was defined as a conscious or unconsciously formed domain of shared interest between individuals actively engaging in discussion and advancement of understanding and activity relating to that interest.
  • It was noted this could manifest as a physical meeting or take the form of online social media. For example practitioners who meet for lunch, as part of a club or society, a facebook group or to play instruments in a public house were equally part of a Community of Practice.
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