Skip to main content

Bringing it All Together: Taking a Critical Look at Educational Research and its Applications 5

Bringing it All Together: Taking a Critical Look at Educational Research and its Applications 5

LEAD DATA TEAM SEMINAR 23

Overall learning goal

2016-2017

Based on the learning outcomes of the last seven years where team members focused on data literacy, data-driven decision–making and collaborative inquiry, in order to ‘stay ahead of the curve’, this year’s topic is Taking a Critical Look at Educational Research and Its Applications: A One Year Cycle.

The aim of this year’s topic is for Lead Data Team (LDT) members to become confident consumers of research by developing healthy skepticism and adapting findings into practice. The one year cycle of seminars aims to support school board teams’ ability to implement evidence-based teaching and learning across their schools.

The overall focus for the two day seminar is Bringing it all together: reviewing the year’s learning, planning action research projects in each school board, and creating Special Interest Groups (SIGs) as a means of collaborative support.

Participants overall learning goal is to be able to answer the question ‘will it work for me?’

Synopsis

Seminar 23 forms the completion of a one-year cycle of inquiry into educational research and its applications. The goal of the two day seminar is Bringing it all together: reviewing the year’s learning, planning the action research projects to be led by each participant in their respective school boards, and creating Special Interest Groups (SIGs) as a means of collaborative support.  

Throughout the two days, participants spend time at five stations, preparing their respective projects. Day 1 focuses on the big picture and the interactions between participants, the LDT, individual contexts and the broader community.  On day 2, participants work towards a plan that takes into account their context for implementation and deals with the cost question. They finally build a network of inter-board SIGs that will get together to exchange on their projects before bringing all the pieces from the year together and asking ‘Will it work for me?’ The driving assumption leading participants to develop action research projects for their schools is that a change in practice will have a positive impact on student learning.

Instructional design

Introduction
Warm Up: Scavenger Hunt

Warm Up: Scavenger Hunt – in the hot seat: Participants are given seven question cards aimed at reviewing all topics and concepts covered over the year. They circulate around the room asking colleagues to answer their questions before a group discussion about issues raised by the activity.

In order to move forward to think about an action research project to test and answer the question ‘will it work for me?’, the facilitator briefly reviews all of the components covered during the one year cycle taking a critical look at educational research and its applications.

Reflection:

Participants are asked to reflect on the key ideas taken from the morning’s scavenger hunt and record their thoughts in their journals.

Development
Day 1: The five stations

Day 1: The five stations (activities) that participants will visit over the two days are introduced & described. Participants will visit the first three stations during day 1.  

Station 1 – choosing a project: In order to help participants focus on a particular action-based project, they each receive a form to complete, comprising of three columns: what I know; what I want to know; and where I will find it. They are given 15-20 minutes to do this.

Station 2 – making connections

Day 1: The concept of Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are introduced and discussed.  The facilitator outlines the key conditions needed for successful SIGs. Participants will explore SIGs further on day 2.

Station 2 – making connections: Participants connect with someone from a different board interested in a similar topic. Ideas are fed back to the group and listed.

Reflections: Participants are asked to consider their theory of action for their respective projects – if X happens, then we will get Y.

Station 3 – self-assessment

Day 1: The afternoon’s focus is to determine what level of knowledge participants have relative to their goal, with an emphasis on the importance of personalizing planning and becoming responsible for one’s own learning.

Station 3 – self-assessment: Participants use a form and materials provided to help them become familiar with the eight dimensions of the Learning Forward Standards for Professional Development, before determining their level of proficiency in each. Using blue & green dots on a bull’s-eye target, they rate their current level of knowledge & their desired level.  

Participants end the day by creating and taking part in a gallery walk to review the day’s work.

Day 2: Station 4 – implementation

Day 2: The previous day’s learning is reviewed and discussed before participants turn the focus onto the implementation of their own projects and the process of implementation.  

Station 4 – implementation: Participants consider the context of implementation, who will be involved, how many hours of PD will it involve, what the calendar of training will look like, the costs etc.

Station 5 – Networks of SIGs

Station 5 – Networks of SIGs: Participants are led by the facilitator to discuss and possibly begin the formation of SIGs to support the implementation of their action research.

Conclusions

The overall learning goal of the one year cycle is reiterated – to become confident consumers of research by developing healthy scepticism and adapting findings into practice. The meta-purpose of the creation of the LDT and seminars is also reviewed – to build capacity in schools and create a trickle down economy.

Looking ahead

Looking ahead – Bringing it all together: Does it work? How does it work? How much does it cost? Will it work for me? Is it working for me?

Challenge:

Participants are asked to draft and refine their individual action research projects and share them with the group via google drive. Hand outs are given to remind and guide them through the process.

Participants are reminded of the basic assumption and reason for what we do.  A change in practice will have a positive impact on students.

Each participant receives the book Visible Learning into Action.

Evaluation

Feedback forms