Archive for October, 2011

Interaction analysis: foundations and practice

Interaction Analysis
An interdisciplinary method for the empirical investigation of the interaction of human beings with each other and with objects in their environment. It investigates human activities, such as talk, non-verbal interaction, and the use of artefacts and technologies, identifying routine practice and problems and the resources for their solution.

 

At the core of Interaction Analysis is this, “Knowledge and and action are fundamentally social in origin, organization, and use and are situation in particular social and material ecologies. Thus, expert knowledge and practice are seen not so much as located in the heads of individuals but as situated in the interactions among members of a community engaged with the material world.” Additionally, the authors situate learning as evidenced by the social interactions of the actors within a network. “Interaction Analytic studies see learning as distributed, ongoing social processes, in which evidence that learning is occurring or has occurred must be found in the ways in which people collaboratively do learning and do recognize learning as having occurred(p. 41).”

 

Reference:

Jordan, B., & Henderson, A. (1995). Interaction analysis: Foundations and practice. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 4(1), 39–103.

Interaction analysis: foundations and practice

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Guidelines for effective Professional Development

Abstract:
The author collected and analyzed 13 recent lists of characteristics of “effective” professional development and came to three conclusions. First, little agreement is apparent among researchers or practitioners on criteria for effectiveness. He urges going beyond evidence based on teacher self-reports to focus instead on the end goal of student achievement. Second, statements about effective development programs generally include “yes, but” qualifiers, frustrating policymakers and practitioners seeking simple answers. Yet, he agrees, the complexity of real-world context makes one-size-fits-all statements impossible. Finally, he says, while the promise of research-based decision making on professional development remains unfulfilled, it does not need to remain so. He urges identifying the strategies of effective teachers in each school and sharing them with colleagues as a basis for highly effective professional development in that context.

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According to Guskey(2003), there is no explicit formula for generating effective professional development. There are a number of factors, such as differences in communities, cultures, socio-economic status, teacher turnover, and student turnover, that affect the whether or not a program will be successful. Due to these powerful contextual influences, broad-brush policies and guidelines for best practice may never be appropriate or accurate (Guskey, 2003).

Reference:

Guskey, T. R. (2003). Analyzing lists of the characteristics of effective professional development to promote visionary leadership. NASSP Bulletin, 87(637), 4

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Chapter 12- TPCK in in-service education

In chapter 12 of the Handbook of TPCK for educators, Harris(2008) points out the discrepancy between teachers actions and  leaders’ vision. This is a reoccurring theme in many of my readings from Cuban’s(2001) book to some of the more recent articles from journals. Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading this chapter as I was able to relate to and think of ways I can help in-service teachers gain TPCK skills.

According to Harris(2008)

  • Technology “should assist with – not overshadow – teachers helping students to meet curriculum-based standards.” (p. 252)
  • “To an experienced educator, teaching is much like jazz performance: a well-practiced fusion of
    • careful, creative planning and
    • spontaneous improvisation” (p. 251)
  • Technology integration is defined as “pervasive and productive use of educational technologies for purposes of curriculum-based learning and teaching” (p. 252).

According to the author, the “wicked problem” of technology integration can be solved by understanding a number of interwoven aspects related to pedagogy, teaching and technology. It is necessary to recognize  that TPCK is not only focusing on knowledge from several domains such as CK, PK, TK, PCK, TCK, TPCK as suggested by Koehler and Mishra’s (2006) diagram but also is highly situated and thus is “influenced by contextual factors such as  culture, socioeconomic status, and organizational structures”(p. 255).

“… well-developed TPCK may be positively correlated with general teaching expertise” (p. 256).

The author recognizes that experienced teachers need a different type of professional development than novices. She proposes that professional development be developed around activity types (structures) within and across curriculum-based disciplines.

“given the socially situated, event-structured, episodic, and pragmatic nature of experienced teachers’ knowledge( Moallem, 1998; Putnam & Borko,2000)” (p. 257) activity structures”- ( as in sociocultural theory) can be used as “cultural tools that perpetuate and standardize interaction patterns and interaction norms and expectations”( p. 257) of teachers.

  • TPCK structure combinations: imitate, assimilate, innovate (p. 262)
    • => activity structures/types approach to TPCK-focused professional development for experienced teachers:
      • knowledge-building activities (p. 263)
      • knowledge expression activities (p. 264)
      • divergent knowledge expression activities (p. 264)

In conclusion, the author argued that activity structures/types approach is the way forward for in-service professional development that would provide opportunities for the  experienced teachers’ to be expand move towards a deep philosophical change.

Reference:

Harris, J. (2008). TPCK inservice education: Assisting experienced teachers’ “planned improvisations.” In AACTE Committee in Innovation and Technology (Ed.), Handbook of Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK) for educators (pp. 251-271). New York, NY: Routledge.

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Learning principles

I came across an interesting talk by Dr. Marsha Lovett’s of CMU Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence on how we can derive principles for creating learning materials( esp. OER) based on the research on Learning Sciences. She discussed three key principles:

  1.   Learning is skills specific. – Students learn the skills they practice and only those they practice
  2.   New knowledge is acquired through the lens of prior knowledge – Students see things differently from the way we do( What we intuitively feel will foster learning may not even be understood by students).
  3.   Learners refine their knowledge and skill with timely feedback and subsequent opportunities to practice – feedback and opportunities for additional practice is important part of learning process.

The entire video of this presentation is available at mms://wms.andrew.cmu.edu/001/OLI/OLI_2008_s1.wmv

 

 

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Goals of Learning science

“Learning results from what the student does and thinks, and only from what the student does and thinks. The teacher can advance learning only by influencing what the student does to learn.” Prof. Simon of CMU.

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