Today I met with a small group of faculty in the face-to-face Faculty Lounge. I have to say, I really enjoyed the experience and I look forward to more conversations like it.
Here is what we talked about:
Faculty talking with faculty about teaching and learning – nothing else.
We considered using various models to help our thinking, such as:
1) Teacher Research
2) Evidence Process
3) Communities of Practice
4) Collaborative Inquiry
5) the Studio method of critique
I shared some resources about the “evidence process” that included various protocols that groups of instructors can use to look at student work together (taken from “The Evidence Process: A Collaborative Approach to Understanding and improving Teaching and Learning”. Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education).
Here’s the gist:
The folks at Project Zero call it it the evidence process because they “..wanted to develop a model for teachers to assess their instructional practice…grounded in specific artifacts of learning and teaching that come directly from the classroom – samples of students at work, teacher created materials and so on. These artifacts can make student learning, and how teaching supports learning, more visible or more evident” (p.2).
Parts of the Evidence Process (p.12):
1) Questions: what are you curious about in your own teaching or in your students’ learning?
2) Evidence: what student work or other artifacts could you share that would be related to your question?
3) Examination & Discussion: the group works together to examine the evidence shared, and discuss what is seen.
4) Protocols: Structured ways to look at and talk about questions and evidence.
5) Facilitation: Skills that keep the process focused and moving forward.
6) Collaboration: Groups of instructors working together.
Examples of possible questions below:
How can I help my students become better editors of their own work?
How can I tell if I’m talking too much in my classroom?
How can we help students develop critical thinking skills?
The question I personally worked with last semester was twofold:
How can I engage students in the Teacher Research process? and
How can I support my students as they become professionals in the field of Early Childhood Education?
I shared just one piece of evidence for the group to consider – two video clips of students talking about the Teacher Research Project I assigned. The students on the video were reflecting on what the Teacher Research Project meant to them and if they plan to use the method in their future work in the field of Early Childhood Education.
After listening to my inquiry question and examining my evidence (the video clips), the Evidence Group offered their feedback. This was really helpful as they talked about what they saw and heard in the students’ comments.
In the short period of less than an hour, I felt like I participated in a process that was personally and professionally important to me. It is an intimate thing to share with others details of one’s work with students. This felt like a safe environment in which to truly build an understanding about student learning on a level different from what I’m able to attain on my own.
A very special thank you to those that attended today!
The next Evidence Group meeting is scheduled for Wednesday December 8 at 4pm in room 1046.
In the meantime, we will work on various questions and what might be useful to bring next time in terms of evidence.
The meeting will be during the last week of the semester. I hope you can stop by and chat. I’ll bring cookies and I’ll even throw in some healthy snacks too!
hope to see you then, Carrie