Undertaking 32 weeks long learning journey through the Mind Lab postgraduate programme this year as an addition to the full time teaching workload, was challenging regarding time frames and deadlines, however it was extremely useful, inspiring and insightful experience for me as a practicing teacher at the same time. Would I do it again? Yes, definitely, and I am convinced we reached the point in teaching practice that this is becoming a necessity.
Many educationally successful and progressive countries or individual schools that show high achievement rate are employing highly educated teachers that are continuously evolving their pedagogical and professional context.
Introduction to new teaching tools and technologies, like robotics, 3D printing, Augmented Reality and gamification allowed me to contemplate, trial and consider their future application in my practice. After being introduced to some of them, personal search, conversation with colleagues and students brought forward additional useful applications, allowing me to start creating a ‘shortlist’ of those the most useful, practical and applicable for my own classes.
I am truly pleased that I was able to list evidence with ease for all the required teaching criteria in e-learning as prescribed by Education Council NZ. This will certainly become an excellent guidance for my future years of practice.
Practising Teacher Criteria and e-learning
Professional relationships and professional values
- Criteria 1: Establish and maintain effective professional relationships focused on the learning and well-being of all ākonga.
- Criteria 2: Demonstrate commitment to promoting the well-being of ākonga.
- Criteria 3: Demonstrate commitment to bicultural partnership in Aotearoa / New Zealand.
- Criteria 4: Demonstrate commitment to ongoing professional learning and development of professional personal practice.
- Mind Lab Postgraduate Certificate Course
- MYOB Conference 2015: https://docs.google.com/a/westlakegirls.school.nz/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=d2VzdGxha2VnaXJscy5zY2hvb2wubnp8dGVhY2hlci1hcHByYWlzYWwtYnJpZ2l0YS1iaW9uZGljLTIwMTV8Z3g6N2RiZDEwNWE0YjA4YmZkMw
- Criteria 5: Show leadership that contributes to effective teaching and learning.
- Science Department E-learning 2015 (mid-year presentation): https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1zzRNeDAOWgYk2tRto4gFxH_C3dC57Wvi8sElB2bGeqo/edit#slide=id.p
- Mind Lab LDC 1-3:
- Transformational Leadership: https://docs.google.com/a/westlakegirls.school.nz/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=d2VzdGxha2VnaXJscy5zY2hvb2wubnp8dGVhY2hlci1hcHByYWlzYWwtYnJpZ2l0YS1iaW9uZGljLTIwMTV8Z3g6NzQwZTA1MjViYWI4MzQ4Ng
- Leadership in a role of e-facilitator for Science Department: https://docs.google.com/a/westlakegirls.school.nz/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=d2VzdGxha2VnaXJscy5zY2hvb2wubnp8dGVhY2hlci1hcHByYWlzYWwtYnJpZ2l0YS1iaW9uZGljLTIwMTV8Z3g6NGMzZDExYmJiZjA3YjE2Mw
- Implementation of Digital Formative Assessment – Kahoot: https://docs.google.com/a/westlakegirls.school.nz/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=d2VzdGxha2VnaXJscy5zY2hvb2wubnp8dGVhY2hlci1hcHByYWlzYWwtYnJpZ2l0YS1iaW9uZGljLTIwMTV8Z3g6MTc0YWVmOWQ4YzVkYTI4ZA
Professional knowledge in practice
- Criteria 6: Conceptualise, plan, and implement an appropriate learning programme.
- Geology Y10 unit:
- 1. Blendspace Lesson: https://www.tes.com/lessons/HIexEzDaAIm0yQ/edit
- 2. Revision Google Form: https://docs.google.com/a/westlakegirls.school.nz/forms/d/1yZqzUQTSFO2pSAt4ygE4FoqyyuTk7XlLQTSBYLlYhMQ/viewform
- 3. Geology test: https://docs.google.com/a/westlakegirls.school.nz/forms/d/1NXQYVFTzWm2w1kRBg2Z3Ki5lEOUcSuQmTbQh923qdbY/viewform
- Criteria 7: Promote a collaborative, inclusive, and supportive learning environment.
- Criteria 8: Demonstrate in practice their knowledge and understanding of how ākonga learn.
- Criteria 9: Respond effectively to the diverse and cultural experiences and the varied strengths, interests, and needs of individuals and groups of ākonga.
- Criteria 10: Work effectively within the bicultural context of Aotearoa NZ.
- Criteria 11: Analyse and appropriately use assessment and information, which has been gathered formally and informally.
- TAI Biology meetings: https://sites.google.com/a/westlakegirls.school.nz/teacher-appraisal-brigita-biondic-2015/meetings?pli=1
- Need to digitalise formative assessment with Kahoot: Mind Lab DCL 1-3, https://sites.google.com/a/westlakegirls.school.nz/teacher-appraisal-brigita-biondic-2015/professional-inquiry
- Criteria 12: Use critical inquiry and problem-solving effectively in their professional practice.
- Mind Lab RCP 1-3:
- Applying Action Research Principles into Analysis of Design Thinking Process and its Effects on Students Learning Outcomes: https://docs.google.com/a/westlakegirls.school.nz/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=d2VzdGxha2VnaXJscy5zY2hvb2wubnp8dGVhY2hlci1hcHByYWlzYWwtYnJpZ2l0YS1iaW9uZGljLTIwMTV8Z3g6OTkyMjUwNjAwZDljNjI1
- Design Thinking Process and How It Effects Students Learning Outcomes – Literature Review:
- https://docs.google.com/a/westlakegirls.school.nz/viewer? a=v&pid=sites&srcid=d2VzdGxha2VnaXJscy5zY2hvb2wubnp8dGVhY2hlci1hcHByYWlzYWwtYnJpZ2l0YS1iaW9uZGljLTIwMTV8Z3g6NzZmNDUzODU1MGU3OTQ1NA
- Design Thinking Process Action Research Plan:
DESIGN THINKING PROCESS & AGILE LEARNING
From the numerous new approaches in teaching pedagogy Design Thinking and Agile Learning immediately sparked my interest as I see a great potential in their educational application. They can easily create a process that is cognitively effective, learning productive and knowledge inducive. The Design Thinking is the process with established steps that contributes to productive creation and implements variety of the 21st century skills like critical thinking, problem solving, social awareness, collaboration and team work. Agile Learning is a model with definite time limits for each task step which creates extremely fast thinking, action and response spans, thus eliminating time waste and non-productivity.
These two processes combined together in a classroom practice can make both teaching and learning more conducive and effective, with a consequence of a better understanding and a higher knowledge retention.
STUDENT CENTRED LEARNING
Finally, I got it! … and I intend to expand it. It became very clear, that the only way to make students more knowledgeable, socially responsive and self-aware future citizens is through the personal empowerment and establishing of Mana. Students that are active participants of their learning, useful contributors in meaningful projects and co-creators of learning experiences are those that will be more engaged and motivated to reach future goals.
As a teacher I have to step aside and orchestrate meaningful learning process, to allow students to develop their full capacities. My (bold) aim for the near future is to reduce my teaching to about 25% of class time and to create student guided learning though collaborative projects and via digital media for 75% of time. This would enable me to have more time to work ‘one on one’ with students who need more support, encouragement and tutoring to allow them better achievement, as well as to establish better communication and positive relationships with all akonga.