Professional learning while delivering pre-written MAPPEN curriculum: Personalised teacher reflections on inverting the upfront model

Year: 2019

Author: Margrain, Valerie, Ritterman, Mark, Ritterman, Danny, Green, Karen

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Teachers deliver curriculum on a daily basis as part of their professional work. Typically, teachers move outside of the classroom, or their regular classroom roles to engage in upfront professional learning. It is innovative to foreground the delivery of pre-written concept-based curriculum as a way for teachers to learn new strategies. It is also innovative for teachers to use reflections about these strategies as a vehicle to reinforce and synthesize the use of these strategies across their practice.

Delivering concept-based curriculum provides opportunities for teachers to respond to contemporary issues of social justice that arise in local contexts or which are reflected through global media. MAPPEN is a specific resource which provides teachers with access to an online curriculum repository that addresses mandated content in Australia through concepts. 3,500+ users belong to the MAPPEN curriculum community. The aim of MAPPEN model is that teachers can effectively and appropriately synthesize new information to use in their classrooms. MAPPEN curriculum supports education for a socially just world with the inclusion of broad conceptual learning sequences such as: ‘Our Sustainable World’ (foundation level), ‘Celebrating Differences’ (y1-2), ‘Someone Else’s Shoes’ (y3-4), and ‘Making Democracy’ (y5-6).

This mixed-method, interpretivist study analysed an archive of online teacher responses regarding their professional learning, use of MAPPEN and its potential impact on their pedagogy. 697 teachers contributed 2,106 reflections about what they had learnt, how they might apply what they had learned in their practice. These reflections were analysed according to keyword searches, tense, and thematic analysis. Initial analysis across the 2106 responses determined a useful differentiation between responses which we have categorised as personalised reflections and content summaries.This presentation shares the findings of the data coded as personalised reflections, identified through the use of terms ‘I’, ‘me’ or ‘my’.

In this presentation we share:

1. ways in which teachers directly connected reflections to their own practice and learning;
2. reflections that include a commitment or a pledge indicating teachers plan to modify or change their practice;
3. teacher insights about cross-curriculum usage of strategies; and
4. teachers’ commentary on concept-based curriculum.

Implications for further investigation include:

1. deeper exploration of responses from highly reflective teachers;
2. the influence of school leadership on curriculum; and
3. barriers to widespread uptake of concept-based curriculum.