All posts by Goolii

The best expectations … Actions … And the results…

 

In the beginning I did not know how to start and where to go. The questions that stated in my head were how to cope with this task and make it compatible with task requirements.  It started well and I have done the first part which was generally theoretical. I had my idea and was interested in this topic. To tell the truth, I think I made it hard and that was my first challenge that I faced. The task was to find people who ever created online teacher professional portfolio. That was the uniqueness of research. However, talking to different persons I barely found about 2 people. Another challenge was to find suitable time and place to conduct the interview.

Since it was small scale research I did not have a lot of questions. But during the interview I have learned a lot of new information about online teacher professional portfolio. Teachers shared their ideas about its benefits and challenges. Moreover the conclusion of the conversation was to develop that branch and emphasize its necessity in educational arena.

It was valuable experience for me and I would suggest following advice to my peers:

  1. Listen carefully your interviewee, it will help you to grasp the most important things;
  2. Make some notes even if you use Dictaphone, it is beneficial to ask targeted questions during the interview;
  3. Do not stick to your questions only, let the conversation take its flow, however be careful to lead conversation to wrong direction; Keep the topic;
  4. Support your interviewee, smile or nod; I consider it useful and helps to get more information;
  5. If you use your mobile phone to record interview, it is better to switch to offline regime, if somebody calls you conversations will not be recorded;
  6. You can praise you interviewee with chocolate to encourage them;

 

I wish good luck to all my groupmates with data collection process. It is the most important part of the study.

Online learning is very profitable tool to study any topic you need at any time and place but with set deadlines. Online learning helped me to go through the thesis writing procedure which I consider very beneficial.  The only struggle that I faced is time that I need to complete tasks. It is hard job to take together your work and master program, however it taught me to juggle my time and prioritize everything. The systematic work will give success in online learning.  This experience of online learning will help me to write a thesis. This online course was fully embedded to the application of thesis writing process.

There are few tips how to complete tasks in online learning:

  1. Read the tasks carefully;
  2. Follow the task deadlines;
  3. Devote at least three hours per week to complete tasks;
  4. Read the teacher’s comment to improve the quality of your work.

I would like to thank our instructor Phillipe, who guided us in online learning and provided descriptive feedback in order to improve our English and a make it academic.

Inquiry based learning

As a middle year program,  I would like to introduce the inquiry based learning, which I consider as an innovative technology of teaching. Inquiry based learning is one of the main approaches in teaching of middle years program International Baccalaureate.  Inquiry based learning based on cycle of reflection, action and inquiry. Inquiry based learning could start at any point of cycle. One of the main indicators of inquiry based learning is that students ask question about the topic. It comes from the  Constructivist theory of John Dues, where students construct their understanding and knowledge of the world by experiencing things and then reflecting on those experiences.

 “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

Benjamin Franklin

(http://www.goodreads.com/)

This quote is the best description of inquiry based learning. The essence of inquiry based learning is creation of conditions for asking questions. This is student centered approach in teaching; teacher guides the inquiry as it is necessary in the process of teaching. However, students gain knowledge themselves through the asked questions.  There are several types of inquiry based learning in classroom. They are open or full inquiry, guided inquiry, couple inquiry and structured inquiry.   Students’ knowledge will not depend on teacher directed activities. It is more than just memorizing facts, it is about learning skills to synthesize the information and find answers. The teacher plays an important role in inquire based learning, teacher provides feedback; helps lead the students in the right direction in the  inquiry,  teacher takes supportive role in education.

The given video will provide better understanding of inquiry based learning in classroom.

Reference

http://www.lewiscenter.org/

http://www.goodreads.com/

Literature review: My personal experience

I have changed my topic of thesis recently. Now I will be focusing my research on topic “Appraisal is a tool of improving teaching quality”. So I guess, you can understand my current position with literature review.  I need to find relevant literature that will really support my hypothesis and research. To tell the truth, I am struggling with this part, I am reading a lot in order to find a better definition to the “teaching quality” in my thesis.  For this moment I have already found about five appropriate articles.  Another challenge that I face is lack of time. Taking into account the coming verification visit of IB MYP my position of middle years programme coordinator does not let me focus on thesis a lot.

Here are tips that I am using to make my literature review more compatible with my research:

Firstly, you need to define the key words that will help you to find the appropriate research to your topic. I would consider it as a very important part of literature review. If you find words that don’t fit with the topic, while reading the material we will get lost. And it will even take away you from your thesis topic.

Secondly, read the introduction of each article and see its relevance with the topic of thesis. Sometimes, the findings of the article and conclusion can give you better understanding about the article.

Thirdly, make a table which will help you to sort information. This table will help you to see the relevance to cite necessary parts of article and you do not need to read the whole article again and again. This table could simply consist of two columns research area / source and description/main findings/arguments.

Fourthly, I would suggest some useful links that will help you to find recent resources like EBSCO, www.ascd.org , google scholar.

This is the approach that I am using for this moment and hope that it will help me to succeed.

My thoughts about citing and formatting

The meaning of the word “citation” is a quotation from or reference to a book, paper, or author, especially in scholarly work.  (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com) Literally, citing means to rely on different resources and use ideas, images, theories, words etc. from those resources. The idea of citing is to avoid plagiarism and promote the research work.   Citing a source is a strength of writing and it supports information, which is provided in the work. Moreover, it brings evidence to your work and shows that proper research has been done towards the written work. Citing has different formats like APA, ACS, MLA, MHRA etc. However, it has common elements like author, article title, resource title, volume, date of publication and pages. The common rules of citing and formatting gives to the whole community clear understanding of using somebody’s ideas, theories and images.  For example, looking at the reference you can easily define the type of resource it could be either book or article. The difficulties of citing is to follow the particular style of formatting.

 Reference 

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com

ONline LEARNing

02_HalfWidth_290x175_onlinelearning

If you search the words “online learning” in Google search, in 0,39 seconds you will get 1 060 000 000 results. Top ten results  are different universities that offer online learning. They are Harvard Online learning, MIT and some trusted sites like Coursera that suggests free online courses from more 120 universities around the world. This could be considered as a good indicator of popularity of online learning in the world. As Martin and et al mentioned in his article about growth of online learning in the world. The world market shows that self-paced e-learning reached $35.6 billion in 2011 with the 7.6% of annual growth rate.  The highest growth rate is in Asia with 17.3% after goes Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America.

I would like to look at benefits and drawbacks of online learning from employers and educators (virtual teachers) perspectives. The online learning is a strategic tool in organisations that is used as continuous professional development and it has following benefits:

  1. it makes a positive influence to the organisation;
  2. it helps the organisation to achieve its aims and goals;
  3. the workers are aware of different aids planning;
  4. it gives them opportunity to gain knowledge and skills which helps to advance within the organisation;
  5. it allows organizations to save budgets, move forward organisation and train employees and decrease the cost of international recruitment. (Martin et al, 2011)

To my mind, this kind of approach could lead to the intensification of employee. This could be considered as a drawback of either online learnig or bad time management skills.

Educators have pointed several benefits of online learning. One of them is that it allows them to differentiate their teaching style. A lot of courses are developd by international experts, who worked out excellent training materials that helps to cope with obstacles of distance, absence of contacts with other learners and application innovative teaching approach that will increace students interest. Another benefit is promotion of lifelong learning. It gives chance to update your professional skills and gain new knowledge without leaving your workplace. Thus many learner will be able to study accoring to the university or work requirements from home.

Reading these two articles I understand that online learning is more than just a slogan or trend, it is an approach of lifelong learning that benefits more.

References

Bates, T., & International Institute for Educational Planning. (2001). National strategies for e-learning in post-secondary education and training (Vol. 70). Paris: Unesco.Web resources

Martin, S., Diaz, G., Sancristobal, E., Gil, R., Castro, M., & Peire, J. (2011). New technology trends in education: Seven years of forecasts and convergence. Computers & Education57(3), 1893-1906.

Picture is  from http://www.learningtimes.com/what-we-do/online-learning-services/

To Sit Beside…

What comes to your mind when you read the title To Sit Beside?

assessment-wordle

The root of the word “Assessment” comes from Latin “assidere” which means “to sit beside”. (E.Harris, 2002) Literary, it means to sit beside the learner. As a teachers we have known the term “assessment” very well.  Do we know anything about assessment of teachers’ achievement???

My thesis will be about evaluation of teachers’ achievement. I had a great chance to read article by Kim Marshal “It is time to rethink  teacher supervision and evaluation” which actually inspired me and gave ideas to research. This article outlined the main issues of teachers’ supervision and evaluation. Principals observes lesson only if they get complaints from parents. And when teachers are asked about principal’s feedback they just say that the principal rarely talks to them. Principals evaluate only a tiny amount of teaching. If teacher teaches 900 lessons per year. A principal who evaluates one full lesson, in this case it is only 0.1% of the teacher’s instructions. And other 99.9 % of teacher’s work with students is unobserved. Even if principal observes three full lesson it is still 99.7%. It is not enough to make decisions about teacher’s level of teaching. Microevaluations of individual lessons aslo do not carry to much weight. Administrator give feedback to teacher according to the lesson that they have seen only. However, given feedback does not mean a lot to most teachers; they know that principal does not see their everyday struggles, curriculum planning, grading, work with colleagues, parent outreach and professional growth. Principals think that they show to teacher that they know everything about what they do.  Evaluation almost never focuses on student learning and evaluation often give teachers judgemental feedback.

My plan is to conduct case study at my school to research Principal and teachers perception of teachers supervision and evaluation.

The first year of study was really challenging and it gave me clear picture of Kazakhstani education system. I saw it from different perspective, perspective of leader or implementer.  The whole year was full of different task and readings which improved my time management, reading. thinking and writing skills.  I guess, this year is somehow easy however it demands us to provide evidence of all gained knowledge.