Professional development through shared adventure

Year: 1999

Author: Johnson, Richard

Type of paper: Refereed paper

This paper comes from a collaborative, school based case study that undertook to answer the question: How can computers be used to promote metacognition in primary school students? From 1992 to 1994 I worked with a teacher and her primary school students in a room with computer equipment and facilities. The students used the computers to develop curriculum based projects. The teacher and I worked collaboratively to promote metacognition through our teaching strategies. We discussed our observations, reflected on our practice and acted on our findings in order to promote metacognition through the use of computers. The case study did not focus on technology.The beginning point was the use of the computer as a tool in the learning environment; the essential focus was on the more important issues of pedagogy, learning and teacher professional development.

This paper focuses on the professional development of Margaret, the classroom teacher. While the focus of the study was on promoting metacognition in primary school students, it was clear that the teacher underwent a process of significant professional development which developed into a related feature of the study.

Key issues raised in the paper include: personal challenge; collaboration; shared adventure; purposeful enquiry; reflection on practice; teaching strategies and the teacher as researcher.