prior to operationalise

prior to operationalising some (new) pedagogy, teaching approach, methods, or (fill in the blank), something needs to be addressed. we just so happen to talk abt this over lunch yesterday in our 3-men gathering. and a while ago, this post was surfaced via su fen‘s fb feed “How to Design a Classroom Built on Inquiry, Openness and Trust“. 无巧不成书也。

as the word “How to” in the title suggests, the article primarily addresses the Operational aspects of things. but the experience from my recent work, coupled with past experiences, tells me that something probably needs to be addressed prior to operations — the Psychological aspect. to be specific, the Beliefs (of teachers; note: not students, yet). questions to be addressed would include:

what are your beliefs about Learning? what are your assumptions about how your students learn? what beliefs of learning are the target/new pedagogy/approach/method founded on? how does these match/clash with your current beliefs/assumptions? going a step further, how many or which of these are informed or guided by Learning Sciences?

w/o addressing Psychology/Beliefs, teachers can probably still psuedo-operationalise anything. and the end results would likely be akin to SDL = student completes assigned homework independently; CoL = working in groups. and when the boss doesn’t ‘demand’ it anymore, would the practice still stays, or we go back to square one? as a side note, we discussed abt the practice of ‘lesson study’ in school during lunch yesterday.

while belief(s) cannot be changed overnight, it needs to be addressed right at the beginning, and revisited very often. why? so that it becomes something teachers include in their review/reflection of their practice/operations. in doing so, we’ll likely see more successful shifts and hear more success stories. this is #myHypothesis w/o digging into the literature yet 😛

gears photoPhoto by el_rogos

a quick quote related to teachers’ PD

“(contrary to commonly held notions) change in teachers’ attitudes and beliefs is primarily a result, rather than a cause, of change in the learning outcomes of students. In the absence of evidence of positive change in students’ learning, it suggests that significant change in the attitudes and beliefs of teachers is unlikely.” (Guskey, 2002, p.386)

— chanced upon via tandfonline