scaffolding teachers’ reflection – meaning-oriented

was reading Korthagen (2017)’s article “inconvenient truths about teacher learning: towards professional development 3.0”, and saw the mention that very often teachers may find reflection not useful as they may not know how to do it. (p.392) Korthagen introduced a possible approach – ALACT model.

the 5-phase ALACT includes (1) action; (2) looking back on the action; (3) awareness of essential aspects; (4) creating alternative methods of action; (5) trial. apart from the how-to itself, Korthagen emphasised the importance of focusing on the emotional and motivational aspects (cf. rational) during the reflection. teachers should bring in their personal theories (which are grounded in their own practices and this more relevant) (cf. formal/experts’ theories). further scaffolds for the reflection to support the transition from phase 2 to 3 include asking the following questions (p.394):

0. What is the context?
1. What did I think?
2. How did I feel?
3. What did I want?
4. What did I do?
5. What did the pupils think?
6. How did the pupils feel?
7. What did the pupils want?
8. What did the pupils do?

such reflections are meaning-oriented (cf. action oriented (Hoekstra, 2007)) as it includes the dimensions of thinking, feeling, wanting and acting. for such reflections to be effective, it requires the guidance of experienced experts or more knowledgeable others. the “inconvenient truth” (p.393) for policymakers and teacher educators would be that “we will have to focus on individual teachers and support them in their idiosyncratic learning processes. (p.393)” following this argument, for teachers to effectively learn something that will improve their practices, individualised mentoring is a necessity. this perhaps explains the limited efficacy of mass-production-styled short-term workshops/courses. i think this has also serious implication on the Studios of our blended learning workshop design and implementation.

furthermore, meaning-oriented reflection should ideally include all the layers of the onion model (Korthagen, 2004): [inner most layer] (1) core qualities (“people’s personal qualities, such as creativity, trust, care, courage, sensitivity, decisiveness, spontaneity, commitment and flexibility” (p.396)); (2) Mission – what inspires me? what is my ideal?; (3) Identity – who am i (in my work)?; (4) Beliefs – what do i believe in the situation?; (5) Competenices – what am i competent at?; (6) Behaviour – what do i do?; (7) Environment – what do i encounter? what am i dealing with? [outer most layer] (as cited in p.395)

another important note towards the end of the article – always take into consideration the teacher’s (school) context of their actual work right from the beginning for any changes to occur. lastly, perhaps we already know, for any approach to be effective, it needs to be intensive and sustained over time.

Korthagen, F. (2017). Inconvenient truths about teacher learning: Towards professional development 3.0. Teachers and Teaching, 23(4), 387-405. DOI:10.1080/13540602.2016.1211523

reflection photo(acknowledgement: Photo by WolfBlur)

word of the year 2016 …

… according to the Oxford dictionary, is post-truth:

“an adjective defined as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’.”

and it appears that the phrase post-truth politics has been around for at least a decade, but it’s popularised only recently. although it’s more closely associated with politicians, sometimes, post-truth (politics) is also not too far from us if we think about it. so, ignorance is bliss as always #成语有的就是正常的 #HGXG


ACLL 2017 paper

the conference proceeding is officially published 2 days ago on the IAFOR repository.

our paper titled: Blended Learning for In-service Teachers’ Professional Development: Lessons from the Experience of a Singaporean Chinese Language Teacher Educator which we wrote about:

(abstract) Traditional face-to-face workshop is a common avenue for the professional development (PD) of in-service teachers. Chinese Language (CL) teachers in Singapore also attend such workshops frequently. Research has however shown that such workshops often failed to establish sustained learning and produce little impact on teachers’ practice, as well as students’ achievement. To address this efficacy issue, a blended learning workshop for CL teachers was designed and conducted. Specifically, this study examined the experience of designing and implementing blended learning as seen through the eyes of a Singaporean teacher educator. This teacher educator had gone from being a participant to becoming an instructor of blended learning workshop. The role switching of the individual in different settings allowed acquisition of deeper insights into blended learning workshop as a PD approach. The considerations of the instructor, and the challenges she faced during design and implementation were described. The significance of this research lies in the lessons from the findings that could be useful for consideration when blended learning teachers’ professional development workshops for better outcomes are to be designed.

the full proceeding PDF can be found here.

the local mirror goes here.