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A Teaching Development Journey
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  1. A Teaching Development Journey Skills, Collegiality and Accountability J. Brown 2012

  2. Theories on effective teaching… • Frances Fuller’s (1969) stage model of teachers’ concerns is still valid and helps predict teacher burnout. The third, highest stage is when teachers take the perspectives of their own students and teach to reach each one at their current level of development • Martin Haberman’s (2011) “Star Teacher” model argues that teachers’ beliefsare more important than either their graduate degrees or their years of teaching experience (8% of lessons were)

  3. Practical skills: Master teachers… • Model and require respectful behaviour, always • Are experts in their subjects, but also… • Know how they are learned by their students • Use a variety of strategies to address different learners (audio, visual, tactile, affective, etc.) and promote many ways of knowing and doing • Add emotion, drama, humour to their classes • Connect each day’s content to previous content • Structure their lectures; make objectives clear to students; review key concepts to conclude

  4. Master teachers (2)… • Promote independent, critical thinking regularly • Expect misunderstandings and check for them • Assess students’ progress continuously (Q. & A.) • Know their students’ strengths / weaknesses early in the term and intervene accordingly • Use assessment information to adjust the content of their courses and their teaching strategies • Expect their students to work at least as hard as they do, and rarely, if ever, blame them for failure

  5. How can Lingnan faculty begin such a journey?

  6. Establish shared purposes • Consensus amongst faculty members is necessary to (re-) establish the shared purposes of teaching in the programme • Recurrent dialogue needs to take place about those agreed purposes, specific students’ progress and the various teaching strategies that best enable good progress to occur • Adopt a “critical colleague” ethos to share in your experiences of teaching and learning

  7. A metaphor might be canoeing…

  8. Canoe journeys require that… • Everyone is in the boat on time • Everyone does their fair share of paddling • Loads are distributed evenly • Someone looks for obstacles ahead • Someone coordinates the strokes • Everyone knows the destination, but someone steers – from the front or the rear! • Each day’s paddling ends before sundown

  9. Monitor teaching developments… • Monitoring can be collegial and supervisory • “Critical colleagues” can work in pairs, trios or as entire departments (webs of development) • Documentation of teaching can be done from multiple perspectives, not just one • Self-monitoring can be documented (e.g., the Personal Construct Psychology paradigm) • HoDs can verify that monitoring has occurred

  10. Do some collegial observations… • A step toward community (not common) teaching practices (DuFour& Eaker, 1998) • Perhaps six observations per term, by invitation • Between 30 and 40 minutes long • Documented - but paper to the observed teacher • Rubrics can be used – highly recommended, and don’t re-invent them! (“Look-For” lists) • Post-observation coffee breaks to discuss • Oral reports to others in the canoe, later on

  11. The presence of a colleague helps us all focus our teaching and adopt another’s perspective • By the end of term, all faculty members could have done six collegial observations (and been observed six times), generating enough info • Faculty members can write self-reviews that draw upon colleagues’ thoughts • Best practices in teaching can be shared more quickly and consistently

  12. Meet accountability requirements… • HoDs can write summary reports for review by department members, leading to updated course syllabi • External, third parties’ requirements can be met by such summary reports • Improvement goals can be (re)set by faculty members and departments, linked to the LU Mission, programme outcomes and specific course outcomes.

  13. A cycle of continuous development

  14. Thank you!  For questions and comments, please contact me at john.brown@khda.gov.ae To try the PCP Repertory Grid, use this link: http://elementsandconstructs.de/en/scivesco