Professional development: Walk-through/Walkabout!

A challenging educator I have come across on Twitter is Craig Kemp.

Kemp is an advocate of positive reflective change in teaching and learning. The piece that I first noticed from him was published on his blog last November. It was titled “Classroom Walkthroughs – Inspirational PD for your school“.

I had intended writing about his posting for the past-while and was reminded last weekend when Amy Burvall (on Twitter of course) wrote a posting (with some great graphics) called “PD Walkabout: A Tourist in One’s Own Land“.

Like Kemp, Burvall asks great questions!

  • What if we were able to visit other divisions and departments and do a little ethnography?
  • What if teachers could give tours of their classrooms, sharing examples of student work, discussing the learning spaces and their pedagogy?

Both educators give practical worked examples as to how we as teachers might go about this, in a way that celebrates learning by teachers, who appreciate themselves and their work in the classroom, as adult learners.

Both blogs are well worth reading and I would love to hear of examples from Ireland and beyond of teachers who have engaged in this type of process.

In Ireland we have many staff-meetings where teachers share aspects of practice. I wonder could we encourage a sharing of that practice into our classrooms? I’m sure its happening – anyone happy to tell us about it?

 Image credit: Amy Burvall, published in her blog posting cited above.


Pedagogies for Change… and Martin Buber

I want to give a “shout out” to an online resource I refer to from time to time in my own research on things educational -

They describe themselves as “millions of users and hundreds of pages exploring education, learning and community. We specialize in the theory and practice of informal education, social pedagogy, lifelong learning, social action, and community learning and development.”

I find infed particularly useful for readable pieces on educational researchers and educational ideas.

It is the type of site that is non-threatening to the person not trained in research and also useful to the researcher who needs some insight into an aspect of education.

Have a look at their full list of “Thinkers and Innovators” here.

I rather like the one on Martin Buber and the acknowledgement of his focus on relationship and the dialogical nature of existence. I wonder what Buber would have made of social-media?

I like to think though that he too might have used

Photo: The picture of the Martin Buber stamp is taken from from Flickr and is reproduced under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) Creative Commons licence. The photostream is listed as ‘On Being’. photos/speakingoffaith/4970374742/

Stepping back and Returning…

My last posting on eLearningIsland was on June 7th, rather a long time ago in the digital scheme of time.

I have been abroad in Spain and Austria and have also changed my job, with a move from Portmarnock Community School and the classroom to the Junior Cycle Team and the implementation of whole-school Continuing Professional Development.

I will write about that move shortly.

Being away presents a dilemma for some bloggers – some suggest recycling old posts and scheduling them on say a weekly basis. I think not!

I was just reading an editorial by Diana G. Oblinger in the May/June issue of the Educause Review Online. It is entitled “The Post-Digital Potential of Man and Machine” (here) and is an interesting short piece on the digital-humanities.

Oblinger writes “The human and the digital are increasingly inseparable“. And yet we need to make decisions about the inseparable and the separable and times when we must act on both.

Stepping back from the weekly blog is healthy and educative – it allows me to re-imagine ideas without a rush to write them for the next posting.

Yet there is now an anxiousness to blog again on a regular basis – someplace within that anxiousness are Oblinger’s ideas about man controlling the machine and the machine controlling man!

Time to take control again!

Image credit: The Image above is entitle Man and Machine and is in the public domain (details here).