Maximising learning dialogue opportunities in professional field based experiences
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MAXIMISING LEARNING DIALOGUE OPPORTUNITIES IN PROFESSIONAL FIELD-BASED EXPERIENCES. Andrew Smith, Marion Sanders, Suzzanne Barthow o n behalf of the rest of the team: Bev Norsworthy, Phillip Ozanne , Cindy Weydemann and Lynne Miles,

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Andrew Smith, Marion Sanders, Suzzanne Barthow

on behalf of the rest of the team:

Bev Norsworthy, Phillip Ozanne, Cindy Weydemann and Lynne Miles,

and our admin assistance: Karen Welson, Pam Fisher, Jane Eccles and Donnelle Newson.

Maximising Learning Dialogues

  • “Enriched learning dialogue” is believed to be essential to field-based components of professional preparation.

  • Assumptions that field-based practicum experiences are effective can be inaccurate.

  • This study focuses on professional preparation programmes for Early Childhood Education and for Counselling.

  • Collaborative study: BTI, NZTC & Wintec.

  • Seeks to review the use of intentional strategies aimed at developing professional learning dialogue.

The Process

  • Initial questionnaires re perceptions of supervision – semester 1, 2010.

  • Use of four interventions through semester 2, 2010.

  • Questionnaire to review use of the interventions – end of 2010.

  • Preliminary data analysis – early 2011.

  • Running the preliminary findings past a sub-set of participants – current.

  • Report writing and resource development – May – August.

The Participant group

  • Initial group of 27 dyads, from four programmes, three institutions, based geographically through two islands from Auckland to Queenstown.

  • Counselling and Early Childhood Education degree programmes.

  • Students from each year of their programme in which practicum experience occurs.

  • Student age range: 23 – 61 years old.

  • AT/supervisor years of experience in the role: 1 – 11 years.

About supervision in general

Data provides strong statements about

  • Preferred roles within supervision

  • Desire of both students and supervisors for relationship

  • Commonality of difficulty of access/time to talk

  • Degree of agency

  • Overall effectiveness of supervision

  • Mismatch between what supervisors say and what students perceive happens

  • Mismatch between institutions’ goals and actual experience on practicum

About the interventions

  • Partnership map

    A path to go by

    Establishing solid base for a professional relationship

  • Belief inventory

    • Allowed us to see perspectives of interpretation

  • Critical incident

    • Promotes honest reflection,

    • Dealing with real life outcomes

  • Research article

    • Made us dig deeper

  • About the interventions

    Main benefits

    • Brought structure, scaffolding, intentionality, an invitation to step into learning conversations

    • Recognised link between structure and relationship

    • Facilitated discussion about beliefs, worldview, professional understanding

    • Changed nature of supervisory role – support and encouragement but also critical friend, evaluator, observer, professional peer

    • All deemed useful but…

    Proposed outputs

    • Final report and executive report

    • Journal articles

      • Counselling

      • Early Childhood

      • Teacher Education (generic)

      • Supervision

    • Self-evaluation tool for supervisors (based on repertory grid)

    • DVD – 5 habits of highly effective mentors

    • Series of pamphlets –related to mentoring. eg building relationship, encouraging learning dialogue, agency in the mentoring relationship, mentor as role model

    The challenges

    • The logistics of working across institutions – making material available, arranging times to meet, co-writing…

    • Participant recruitment – it took much perseverance to find the initial group of participants – many who were approached were “too busy” to participate despite the relatively low level of expectation of time commitment.

    • Retaining participant engagement for the duration of the project – some fell by the wayside for a range of reasons without letting us know.

    • The challenge of what constitutes robust data in a qualitative paradigm. We have important stories to tell – generalisation is in the hands of the reader.

    Thank you for listening.

    Questions and comments?

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