Needless to say I have been reflecting on what to write here all week. Here it is Friday, and still thinking. Perhaps still reflecting is a more apt descriptor.
I think that is one of the things I am beginning to learn (or at least articulate) — we can do lots of reflecting, though without somehow making it present and sharing it, there may not be much benefit for the larger community.
While this mooc is focused around “new lecturers, people entering higher education teaching from other sectors and postgraduate students who teach,” I initially thought it may not be the best fit for me, in that I have taught online, I teach courses on how to teach online, and I study and learn and virtually live online (pun intended), but the power of a mooc to think and reflect and informally interact (potentially) with other really interesting people has really captured my thinking, and while my own blended course that I am teaching is beginning at Pace University (where I am teaching the course NURS 840: Teaching and Learning in Advanced Practice Nursing), there is always a benefit in considering one’s own teaching and learning practices. Even if I learn a few things along the way that helps my own teaching (and in the process my own learning), then kudos to us all.
I believe taking the opportunity for my own considering my work and direction, especially as I am beginning to teach my own new university course, may hopefully benefit my own students (all adult learners who have a lot of professional education and significant responsibility in their own roles). With this said, I really like the assignment that the mooc organizers have invited us to engage in (with the beginning of the Reflective Writing verbiage here):
Your reflections are your own and personal to you. Your reflective writing should therefore focus on whatever is most useful to you at this time. However, a successful MOOC relies on open sharing of ideas and resources, so we hope you will share your reflections.
If you are unsure about what to focus on, then you might try the following suggestions. If you have chosen to be assessed, please follow the guidelines below.
We suggest that in this first week you reflect on your overall experience to date as a teacher; what kinds of students have you taught, what have you discovered from the experience, and what have you most enjoyed in your teaching?
With this in mind, I am increasingly very aware that my biggest challenge with sharing this reflecting is just starting the writing process. I find the same challenge as I work on my doctoral thesis — I have all of it floating around in my mind, with my biggest challenge to sit and begin to write about it.
Phew, with this start now out of the way, I find I am already (and quite naturally, I might add) considering the suggested elements of the The UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching and supporting learning in Higher Education 2011 in this light, and expect to continue this thinking in another post tomorrow.
Until then, good reflective practice to you.
I journaled and reflected on this question with everything I write here on my blog, my public journal I share with a few colleagues and friends who are king enough to stop by and offering some thoughts from time to time.
So, after working through this paper, and thinking about our readings, I will try to draw some of these things together hereas the first step in pulling together some of what I will discuss with my cohort colleagues:
- the excerpts we read of Donald Schon’s work were not terribly helpful for me–it seems that either people refer to Schon in ways he did not discuss, or I really need to read him more thoroughly and closely.
- Wenger’s work with communities of practice seem to be a theoretical framework that can be applicable in a wide variety of works. I wonder, though, how organizations really use these without being manipulative (to get more work from people without more expenditures). I suppose I am wondering how these can be used and cultivated within organizations, since I have not really seen many that are organic, rather than organizationally-sponsored.
- Laurel Richardson’s work really surprised me with how rich it is. It seems that some of my colleagues also found it and Ellis / Bochner’s work valuable, while others did not seem to be able to make heads or tails out of it. I am finding that my thesis (the UK term for dissertation) seems headed down that direction . . .
- I am beginning to find more value in sharing and collaborating online than I ever have before. It seems my slowly-growing informal network of doctoral support is becoming increasingly valuable to me. As our current module is entitled The Development of Professional Practice, this seems ironically (and completely unexpectedly) fitting.
I am going to review some of our readings, and comment on this a bit more throughout this week.
This is my first foray into sharing my doctoral journey, specifically through my decision to share my 5-10 minutes a day of writing about my process and thinking as per my program’s recommendations in our current module (and which I discussed here and here). I hope that reflecting aloud may be helpful for others who are considering this for themselves—either as a model for what can be done, or as a suggestion for what to avoid (the challenges or the process of sharing here itself).
I have to begin thinking about my research ideas for this module, which is entitled Development of Professional Practice. I really like this concept, and think it is more than fitting that I am developing this practice, and exploring it in my own life, here, where my colleagues (both current and future) can join me on the journey.
As I am beginning to formulate my ideas for this mini-project (around 3800 words, +/- 10%), I am going to consider some of the concepts that interest me, as I think some brainstorming is in order:
- identity and learning
- autoethnographic inquiry (both as a researcher and as studied in others who engage in this)
- exploring various personal identities, and the transition from one to another
- transformative learning
- reflective practice related to constructivist / critical frameworks
- individual identity development and self-definition within communities of practice
- juggling of identities as a process of personal learning
Will have to play around with these, and see what feedback my cohort offers.