I had been thinking about the essential question in the context of a given organization and reading the other blogs made me realize that our class would have been a good example to use responding to the topic. As I read through other blogs, I was reminded about the significance of our various experiences when we contribute to our own shared knowledge and understanding as a cohort in this course.
Cherie (@cherbabes) in particular wrote about her own process of learning and improving in her practice and how that self-reflection was an important part of her capturing her knowledge and understandings; her commitment to continuing this on a regular basis helps her to document her process but to also formulate her ideas and thoughts to share with others. I can definitely relate to her experience since I tend to reflect quite a bit at various stages, whether it’s with others or just to myself.
Cherie mentioned that she occasionally video-logs her reflections, which I thought was a great way to capture something in the moment where she can verbalize her reflections and not be focused on wording or written format. I commented on her blog that I often reflect more during times of stress or problem solving; when I have a lot of concepts, decisions, and tasks to manage, it helps me to take a quick “side step” and consider where I am headed and what could be improved. It can even seem that I don’t reflect as much when I have successes because then the problem is solved and I have moved on to another task. She reminded me that it was important to reflect and document throughout the knowledge creation and sharing process to capture pockets of meaning and coherence making.
On Tyler’s (@iamindlgak )blog, I was intrigued by the peer reviews being implemented at their school; does a more “formal” or intentional process set up the expectation for better feedback and knowledge sharing and creation? Does it create a structure so that those involved can get more comfortable with the process and potentially come up with their own methods and strategies for peer review that are more meaningful? Will this contribute to a positive peer learning community among the teachers at the school?
My answer to these questions would be yes, if the school is indeed a “healthy educational organization” as we’ve been discussing this week, then the peer reviews have great potential to lead teachers to more meaningful knowledge creation and sharing that contributes to a positive culture of change. On the flip side, I did comment on Tyler’s blog post that when I hear of teachers who are resistant to feedback or peer reviews, it strikes me as ironic. Considering that teachers regularly expect students to give and receive feedback, it seems that we need to model that as well in our professional practice. Tyler’s blog post mentioned several new practices being implemented at their school and that their principal was actively working to improve processes and collaboration.
Whether it’s the veteran teachers, the principal, new processes and tools, there are clearly many aspects of an educational organization that can positively contribute to its vitality. Genevieve (@gkkapatak) summed up three recommendations that I felt could also be related to classroom learning:
*We can make it safe for students to learn and share – to try new ideas, challenges, and take risks.
*We can make it count for students to learn and share – it should be relevant, meaningful, and rewarding, and
*We can make it social for students to learn and share – make room for feedback, interaction, collaboration, accountability, and celebration.
If we ask students to do all these things and work towards this type of learning environment, then we must model this knowledge creation and sharing ourselves!