ASSIGNMENT No. 2
Q.1 How can Gibb’s cycle develop the blocked mental faculties?
Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle was developed by Graham Gibbs in 1988 to give structure to learning from experiences. It offers a framework for examining experiences, and given its cyclic nature lends itself particularly well to repeated experiences, allowing you to learn and plan from things that either went well or didn’t go well. It covers 6 stages:
Description of the experience
Feelings and thoughts about the experience
Evaluation of the experience, both good and bad
Analysis to make sense of the situation
Conclusion about what you learned and what you could have done differently
Action plan for how you would deal with similar situations in the future, or general changes you might find appropriate.
Below is further information on:
The model – each stage is given a fuller description, guiding questions to ask yourself and an example of how this might look in a reflection
Different depths of reflection – an example of reflecting more briefly using this model
This is just one model of reflection. Test it out and see how it works for you. If you find that only a few of the questions are helpful for you, focus on those. However, by thinking about each stage you are more likely to engage critically with your learning experience.
This model is a good way to work through an experience. This can be either a stand-alone experience or a situation you go through frequently, for example meetings with a team you have to collaborate with. Gibbs originally advocated its use in repeated situations, but the stages and principles apply equally well for single experiences too. If done with a stand-alone experience, the action plan may become more general and look at how you can apply your conclusions in the future.
For each of the stages of the model a number of helpful questions are outlined below. You don’t have to answer all of them but they can guide you about what sort of things make sense to include in that stage. You might have other prompts that work better for you.
|Group work assignment|
|For an assessed written group-work assignment, my group (3 others from my course) and I decided to divide the different sections between us so that we only had to research one element each. We expected we could just piece the assignment together in the afternoon the day before the deadline, meaning that we didn’t have to schedule time to sit and write it together. However, when we sat down it was clear the sections weren’t written in the same writing style. We therefore had to rewrite most of the assignment to make it a coherent piece of work. We had given ourselves enough time before the deadline to individually write our own sections, however we did not plan a great deal of time to rewrite if something were to go wrong. Therefore, two members of the group had to drop their plans that evening so the assignment would be finished in time for the deadline.|
Here you can explore any feelings or thoughts that you had during the experience and how they may have impacted the experience.
What were you feeling during the situation?
What were you feeling before and after the situation?
What do you think other people were feeling about the situation?
What do you think other people feel about the situation now?
What were you thinking during the situation?
What do you think about the situation now?
Example of ‘Feelings’
|Group work assignment|
|Before we came together and realised we still had a lot of work to do, I was quite happy and thought we had been smart when we divided the work between us. When we realised we couldn’t hand in the assignment like it was, I got quite frustrated. I was certain it was going to work, and therefore I had little motivation to actually do the rewriting. Given that a couple of people from the group had to cancel their plans I ended up feeling quite guilty, which actually helped me to work harder in the evening and get the work done faster. Looking back, I’m feeling satisfied that we decided to put in the work.|
Here you have a chance to evaluate what worked and what didn’t work in the situation. Try to be as objective and honest as possible. To get the most out of your reflection focus on both the positive and the negative aspects of the situation, even if it was primarily one or the other.
What was good and bad about the experience?
What went well?
What didn’t go so well?
What did you and other people contribute to the situation (positively or negatively)?
Example of ‘Evaluation’
|Group work assignment|
|The things that were good and worked well was the fact that each group member produced good quality work for the agreed deadline. Moreover, the fact that two people from the group cancelled plans motivated us to work harder in the evening. That contributed positively to the group’s work ethic. The things that clearly didn’t work was that we assumed we wrote in the same way, and therefore the overall time plan of the group failed.|
The analysis step is where you have a chance to make sense of what happened. Up until now you have focused on details around what happened in the situation. Now you have a chance to extract meaning from it. You want to target the different aspects that went well or poorly and ask yourself why. If you are looking to include academic literature, this is the natural place to include it.
Why did things go well?
Why didn’t it go well?
What sense can I make of the situation?
What knowledge – my own or others (for example academic literature) can help me understand the situation?
Example of ‘Analysis’
|Group work assignment|
|I think the reason that our initial division of work went well was because each person had a say in what part of the assignment they wanted to work on, and we divided according to people’s self-identified strengths. I have experienced working this way before and discovered when I’m working by myself I enjoy working in areas that match my strengths. It seems natural to me that this is also the case in groups.
I think we thought that this approach would save us time when piecing together the sections in the end, and therefore we didn’t think it through. In reality, it ended up costing us far more time than expected and we also had to stress and rush through the rewrite. I think the fact we hadn’t planned how we were writing and structuring the sections led us to this situation.
I searched through some literature on group work and found two things that help me understand the situation. Belbin’s (e.g. 2010) team roles suggests that each person has certain strengths and weaknesses they bring to a group. While we didn’t think about our team members in the same way Belbin does, effective team work and work delegation seems to come from using people’s different strengths, which we did.
Another theory that might help explain why we didn’t predict the plan wouldn’t work is ‘Groupthink’ (e.g. Janis, 1991). Groupthink is where people in a group won’t raise different opinions to a dominant opinion or decision, because they don’t want to seem like an outsider. I think if we had challenged our assumptions about our plan – by actually being critical, we would probably have foreseen that it wouldn’t work. Some characteristics of groupthink that were in our group were: ‘collective rationalisation’ – we kept telling each other that it would work; and probably ‘illusion of invulnerability’ – we are all good students, so of course we couldn’t do anything wrong.
I think being aware of groupthink in the future will be helpful in group work, when trying to make decisions.
In this section you can make conclusions about what happened. This is where you summarise your learning and highlight what changes to your actions could improve the outcome in the future. It should be a natural response to the previous sections.
What did I learn from this situation?
How could this have been a more positive situation for everyone involved?
What skills do I need to develop for me to handle a situation like this better?
What else could I have done?
Example of a ‘Conclusion’
|Group work assignment|
|I learned that when a group wants to divide work, we must plan how we want each section to look and feel – having done this would likely have made it possible to put the sections together and submit without much or any rewriting. Moreover, I will continue to have people self-identify their strengths and possibly even suggest using the ‘Belbin team roles’-framework with longer projects. Lastly, I learned that we sometimes have to challenge the decisions we seem to agree on in the group to ensure that we are not agreeing just because of groupthink.|
At this step you plan for what you would do differently in a similar or related situation in the future. It can also be extremely helpful to think about how you will help yourself to act differently – such that you don’t only plan what you will do differently, but also how you will make sure it happens. Sometimes just the realisation is enough, but other times reminders might be helpful.
If I had to do the same thing again, what would I do differently?
How will I develop the required skills I need?
How can I make sure that I can act differently next time?
Example of ‘Action Plan’
|Group work assignment|
|When I’m working with a group next time, I will talk to them about what strengths they have. This is easy to do and remember in a first meeting, and also potentially works as an ice-breaker if we don’t know each other well. Next, if we decide to divide work, I will insist that we plan out what we expect from it beforehand. Potentially I would suggest writing the introduction or first section together first, so that we have a reference for when we are writing our own parts. I’m confident this current experience will be enough to remind me to suggest this if anyone says we should divide up the work in the future. Lastly, I will ask if we can challenge our initial decisions so that we are confident we are making informed decisions to avoid groupthink. If I have any concerns, I will tell the group. I think by remembering I want the best result possible will make me be able to disagree even when it feels uncomfortable.|
Different depths of reflection
Depending on the context you are doing the reflection in, you might want use different levels of details. Here is the same scenario, which was used in the example above, however it is presented much more briefly.
|Short example of Gibbs’ reflective cycle:|
In a group work assignment, we divided sections according to people’s strengths. When we tried to piece the assignment together it was written in different styles and therefore we had to spend time rewriting it.
I thought our plan would work and felt good about it. When we had to rewrite it, I felt frustrated.
The process of dividing sections went well. However, it didn’t work not having foreseen/planned rewriting the sections for coherence and writing styles.
Dividing work according to individual strengths is useful. Belbin’s team roles (2010) would suggest something similar. I have done it before and it seems to work well.
The reason piecing work together didn’t work was we had no plan for what it needed to look like. We were so focused on finishing quickly that no one would raise a concern. The last part can be explained by ‘groupthink’ (e.g. Jarvis, 1991), where members of a group make a suboptimal decision because individuals are afraid of challenging the consensus.
I learned that using people’s strengths is efficient. Moreover, planning how we want the work to look, before we go off on our own is helpful. Lastly, I will remember the dangers of groupthink, and what the theory suggests to look out for.
I will use Belbin’s team roles to divide group work in the future. Moreover, I will suggest writing one section together before we do our own work, so we can mirror that in our own writing. Finally, I will speak my mind when I have concerns, by remembering it can benefit the outcome.
Q.2 Identify a problem for action research, make it narrow and propose a plan for the triangulation.
Teacher research can be a powerful form of professional development that can change a teacher’s practice. But what is it exactly and what does it involve?
Teacher research is practical, action-based research. It enables educators to follow their interests and their needs as they investigate what they and their students do. Teachers who practice teacher research find that it expands and enriches their teaching skills and puts them in collaborative contact with peers that have a like interest in classroom research. Some researchers call this type of research “action research.” By definition (Mills, 2002):
Action research is any systematic inquiry conducted by teacher-researchers, principals, school counselors, or other stakeholders in the teaching/learning environment to gather information about how their particular schools operate, how they teach, and how well their students learn. This information is gathered with the goals of gaining insight, developing reflective practice, effecting positive changes in the school environment (and on educational practices in general), and improving student outcomes and the lives of those involved.
- Teacher-researchers simultaneously act as participants and observers as they conduct research in their own classrooms. With these dual roles, they complete the following tasks:
- Develop research questions based on their own curiosity about teaching and learning in their classrooms.
- Systematically collect data and research various methods of conducting research.
- Analyze and interpret the data and the research methodology.
- Write about their own research.
- Share findings with students, colleagues, and members of the educational community.
- Discuss with colleagues relationships among practice, theory, and their own research.
- Examine their underlying assumptions about teaching and learning.
- Assume responsibility for their own professional growth.
- Teacher research can change a teacher’s practice, but it can also have a profound effect on the development of priorities for schoolwide planning and assessment efforts as well as contribute to the profession’s body of knowledge about teaching and learning.
- Teacher-research projects often yield findings and implications that result in:
- Increased sharing and collaboration across departments, disciplines, and grade levels.
- Increased dialogue about instructional issues and student learning.
- Enhanced communication between teachers and students.
- Improved performance of students.
- Revision of practice based on new knowledge about teaching and learning.
- Teacher-designed and teacher-initiated staff development.
- Development of priorities for schoolwide planning and assessment efforts.
Contributions to the profession’s body of knowledge about teaching and learning. For teachers to become involved in teacher research, they need additional time and resources to conduct, evaluate, and share their findings in meaningful ways. Fortunately in my school district, Fairfax County Public Schools, we have a number of resources available for teachers wishing to become involved in teacher research.
The Office of Staff Development and Planning (a division of Instructional Services) supports a network of teacher-researchers within our school system. The Office provides staff development funds to teams of teacher-researchers to meet periodically during the school year as they support one another in their research. Each spring, the Office holds an annual conference where teacher-researchers share their projects with members of the broad educational community in round table presentations and panel discussions. Workshops are also available on topics such as grant writing to support research and tips for publishing projects. Marion S. MacLean and Marian M. Mohr provide actual teacher research project reports by Fairfax County teachers in their book, Teacher-Researchers at Work (1999).
Q.3 Critically analyze current syllabus of English being taught at grade four.
List four class criteria that shape the traditional view of a profession: remuneration, social status, autonomous or authoritative power, and service. Perpetually, a list of characteristics is typical of occupations that have been traditionally regarded as professions, especially law and medicine. These characteristics include: professional autonomy; a clearly defined, highly developed, specialized, and theoretical knowledge base; control of training, certification, and licensing of new entrants; self-governing and self-policing authority, especially with regard to professional ethics; and a commitment to public service. The presence of a collegium among the essential characteristics of a modern profession. Eight characteristics common to most professions are having an esoteric service; pre service study; registration and regulation by the profession itself; peer appraisal and review; professional code of conduct; earned status; the ideal of public service and client concern. The fundamental aspects of a profession as specific body of knowledge, ideal of service, ethical codes, autonomy and distinctive culture.
The selected seven characteristics of a profession are: essential service to society, motivated by call to serve, special knowledge and skills, specialized advanced university training, public trust and status, code of ethics and performance standards, and professional organization.
Professional teachers should develop as lifelong learners, reflective thinkers, and ethical leaders exemplifying the ideals of literacy, scholarship, and social justice in a diverse and ever-changing world. National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education has defined dispositions of a teacher as the values, commitments and professional ethics that influence behavior towards students, families, colleagues, and communities, and affect student learning, motivation, and development as well as the educator’s own professional growth.
The dispositions or the characteristics of the educator thus have a direct impact on all with whom he connects. A number of studies have been done in demarcating the characteristics of an educator. Historically, research studies have yielded copious lists of attributes and attitudes exhibited by effective teachers. The Purdue studies for all identified specific characteristics that were associated with effective teachers. These characteristics were gathered from a variety of perspectives including student opinions, observation and teacher self-reporting.
Didactic and pedagogical skills are not only understood as familiarization with techniques that are then used mechanically, but also as the acquisition of routines which, without a doubt, every teacher needs in order to save time and energy for the more significant aspects of his work; at the same time, they refer to a set of theoretical principles and research data that lead to a variety of techniques and strategies which a teacher chooses and shapes, depending on the circumstances (for the discussion on teacher skills as an element of professional competency).
A plethora of related studies shows specific actions by teachers which can be considered factors for their effectiveness. With regard to the teaching approach, it seems that the more effective teachers: set realistic objectives, try and give incentives to students for learning, apply various teaching methods, select participative forms of teaching, test and create didactic material, present information in a clear manner, combine words with pictures, use various teaching aids, maximize teaching time through systematic measures (e.g. planning, reduced disturbances in the classroom), assign work that will stir the interests of the students, monitor and evaluate the progress of students, set evaluation criteria for students and inform the students about them, and provide feedback to the students. Another decisive factor in effectiveness is a teacher’s ability to recognize the diversity of students, to choose the best method possible for each student, and to create incentives for students.
First, to account for sorting of students to schools and teachers, I exploit in observation scores within schools, across adjacent grades and years. Specifically, I specify models that include school fixed effects and instructional quality scores averaged to the school-grade-year level. This approach assumes that student and teacher assignments are random within schools and across grades or years, which I explore in detail below. Second, to isolate the independent contribution of instructional practices to student achievement, I condition on a uniquely rich set of teacher characteristics, skills, and practices. I expect that there likely are additional factors that are difficult to observe and, thus, are excluded from my data. Therefore, to explore the possible degree of bias in my estimates.
I test the sensitivity of results to models that include different sets of covariates. Further, I interpret findings in light of limitations associated with this approach. Results point to a positive relationship between ambitious or inquiry-oriented mathematics instruction and performance on a low-stakes test of students’ math knowledge of roughly 0.10 standard deviations. I also find suggestive evidence for a negative relationship between mathematical errors and student achievement, though estimates are sensitive to the specific set of teacher characteristics included in the model.
I provide main results and threats to internal and external validity. I conclude by discussing the implications of my findings for ongoing research and policy on teacher and teaching quality. Although improving the quality of the teacher workforce is seen as an economic imperative, long-standing traditions that reward education and training or offer financial incentives based on student achievement have been met with limited success. Almost three decades ago is the “nature of teachers’ work”. They argued that the “imprecise nature of the activity” makes it difficult to describe why some teachers are good and what other teachers can do to improve. Recent investigations have sought to test this theory by comparing subjective and objective (i.e., “value-added”) measures of teacher performance. Principals were able to distinguish between teachers in the tails of the achievement distribution but not in the middle.
Correlations between principal ratings of teacher effectiveness and value added were weak to moderate: 0.25 and 0.18 in math and reading, respectively (0.32 and 0.29 when adjusted for measurement error). Further, while subjective ratings were a statistically significantly predictor of future student achievement, they performed worse than objective measures. Including both in the same regression model, estimates for principal ratings were 0.08 standard deviations (SD) in math and 0.05 SD in reading; comparatively, estimates for value-added scores were 0.18 SD in math and 0.10 SD in reading. This evidence led the authors to conclude that “good teaching is, at least to some extent, observable by those close to the education process even though it may not be easily captured in those variables commonly available to the econometrician”.
Q.4 Chose a most prevailing educational practice which have experienced. Describe this practice and critically reflect upon how this practice has influenced your work?
As knowledge regarding human development and learning has grown at a rapid pace, the opportunity to shape more effective educational practices has also increased. Taking advantage of these advances, however, requires integrating insights across multiple fields—from the biological and neurosciences to psychology, sociology, developmental and learning sciences—and connecting them to knowledge of successful approaches that is emerging in education. This article seeks to contribute to this process by drawing out the implications for school and classroom practices of an emerging consensus about the science of learning and development (SoLD), outlined in a recent synthesis of the research.
Using these articles as a foundation, we synthesize evidence from the learning sciences and several branches of educational research about well-vetted strategies that support the kinds of relationships and learning opportunities needed to promote children’s well-being, healthy development, and transferable learning. In addition, we review research regarding practices that can help educators respond to individual variability, address adversity, and support resilience, such that schools can enable all children to learn and to find positive pathways to adulthood.
This work is situated in a relational developmental systems framework that looks at the “mutually influential relations between individuals and contexts”. This framework makes it clear how children’s development and learning are shaped by interactions among the environmental factors, relationships, and learning opportunities they experience, both in and out of school, along with physical, psychological, cognitive, social, and emotional processes that influence one another—both biologically and functionally—as they enable or undermine learning. Although our society and our schools often compartmentalize these developmental processes and treat them as distinct from one another—and treat the child as distinct from the many contexts she experiences—the sciences of learning and development demonstate how tightly interrelated they are and how they jointly produce the outcomes for which educators are responsible.
Key insights from the science of learning and development are that the brain and the development of intelligences and capacities are malleable, and the “development of the brain is an experience-dependent process”, which activates neural pathways that permit new kinds of thinking and performance. As a function of experiences, the brain and human capacities grow over the course of the entire developmental continuum and across the developmental spectrum (physical, cognitive, affective) in interactive ways. What happens in one domain influences what happens in others? For example, emotions can trigger or block learning. Emotions and social contexts shape neural connections which contribute to attention, concentration, and memory, to knowledge transfer and application. Understanding how developmental processes unfold over time and interact in different contexts can contribute to more supportive designs for learning environments.
Furthermore, general trends in development are modified by interactions between unique aspects of the child and his/her family, community, and classroom contexts. As a result, children have individual needs and trajectories that require differentiated instruction and supports to enable optimal growth in competence, confidence, and motivation.
A central implication for educators is that this integrated and dynamic developmental system is optimally supported when all aspects of the educational environment support all of the dimensions of children’s development. This calls for a deeply integrated approach to practice that supports the whole child in schools and classrooms that function coherently and consistently to build strong relationships and learning communities; support social, emotional, and cognitive development; and provide a system of supports as needed for healthy development, productive relationships, and academic progress. This holistic approach must necessarily connect with family and community contexts: developing strong, respectful partnerships to understand and build on children’s experiences and, as needed, to strengthen any aspects of the developmental system where there are challenges to children’s health and well-being.
In what follows, we describe the implications for practice of these interrelated systems that address major developmental needs: the need for strong, supportive relationships that enable students to take advantage of productive learning opportunities in cognitive, social, and emotional domains, plus additional supports (physical, social, emotional, and/or academic) needed to address individual circumstances that need attention at a moment in time to maintain a positive developmental trajectory. We stress that all of these are interactive and interrelated and that these aspects of education must be designed to work together in a tightly integrated fashion. Figure illustrates the four areas that structure the remainder of this review:
- Supportive environmental conditions that foster strong relationships and community. These include positive sustained relationships that foster attachment and emotional connections; physical, emotional, and identity safety; and a sense of belonging and purpose;
- Productive instructional strategies that support motivation, competence, and self-directed learning. These curriculum, teaching, and assessment strategies feature well-scaffolded instruction and ongoing formative assessment that support conceptual understanding, take students’ prior knowledge and experiences into account, and provide the right amount of challenge and support on relevant and engaging learning tasks;
- Social and Emotional Learning that fosters skills, habits, and mindsets that enable academic progress, efficacy, and productive behavior. These include self-regulation, executive function, intrapersonal awareness and interpersonal skills, a growth mindset, and a sense of agency that supports resilience and productive action;
- System of supports that enable healthy development, respond to student needs, and address learning barriers. These include a multi-tiered system of academic, health, and social supports that provide personalized resources within and beyond the classroom to address and prevent developmental detours, including conditions of trauma and adversity.
Q.5 Describe the significance of sharing and publishing. Enlist some forums for both categories.
haring and promoting your article form an important part of research, in terms of fostering the exchange of scientific information in your field and allowing your paper to contribute to wider scientific progress.
In addition, bringing your research and accomplishments to the attention of a broader audience also makes you more visible in your field. This helps you to get more citations, enabling you to cultivate a stronger reputation, promote your research and move forward in your career. This page describes how you can share your article responsibly and offers advice to help you promote it widely.
One of the cornerstones of academia is archival journal publication. Publishing provides a communication channel for researchers within a field, a repository of important research efforts, and a recognition mechanism for researchers and institutions alike. However, despite its ubiquitous presence, the publication process remains both daunting and confusing to some doctoral students and newer faculty members. The junior academic knows that not meeting archival journal publication standards in quality and quantity may result in her or his career being severely hindered or even truncated. Other than this threatening consequence, new engineering faculty members have been offered little in the way of structured advice regarding a successful publication career.
This CD ROM attempts to explain the process generically and simply. It gives tricks of the trade, best practices and definitions. It also provides advice and motivation on why and how to publish.
But the best way to achieve mastery of this subject is by doing – write the paper, send it for review and deal with the reviews, revisions and rejections that follow.
Learn how to search abstracts, check your citations, analyze the impact factors of the journals in which publish.
Get involved with a journal – volunteer to review a paper, nominate yourself or get nominated to join the editorial board as an associate editor.
This process is our process – it is organized and implemented by fellow academics. It is only as good as the care, effort and thought that each of us puts into it!
There are several key benefits to publishing research in journals:
- Publishing in journals can give your work visibility among other researchers in your field, outside of your immediate circle of contacts and colleagues.
- Journals can makes your work more discoverable, as they are already being read by circles of interested readers.
- Journals often have sophisticated distribution networks, placing work into libraries, organisations and institutes, and through letterboxes of readers around the world.
CONTRIBUTING TO THE RECORDS OF RESEARCH IN THE FIELD
- Journal publication helps to preserve your work in the permanent records of research in the field.
- Adding your work to this record involves you in the active research community for a topic, helping to expand your professional network, increasing potential for collaboration and interaction with peers.
- Publishing your work through visible sources helps others to learn. By adding your experiences to the literature of the field, it helps to build the corpus of knowledge in your subject area.
THE BENEFITS OF PEER REVIEW
- The peer review process helps improve the presentation and communication of research. The feedback can help you to frame your arguments in the most effective ways, and may even present valuable new insights into your own work. In addition, the peer review process can also help you reach peers and senior members of the research community by having journal editors, editorial boards and reviewers read your work.
DISSEMINATION AND IMPACT
- Selecting the appropriate journals can help add information to the public discussion of contemporary topics, beyond academic circles.
- You may be required by funding agencies to publish your work in certain journals, as open access, or meeting other criteria stipulated in your grant award.
- As well as the publication itself, particular journals may help you to engage with audiences, and meet requirements to achieve or provide certain impact metrics, evidence of engagement and interaction with your work.
- Publishing in particular journals can be an essential component to advance your career, by meeting necessary assessment criteria and output performance targets.
PREVENTING DUPLICATION OF EFFORT
- And last but by no means least, publishing your work can prevent waste and increase efficiencies, by enabling others to build on your achievements or avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts.