That feels real to me! Using cases for professional learning

This presentation will discuss a process of collecting, critiquing and employing professional narratives as a means of informing teacher learning in the NSW Department of Education and Training. It will discuss how and why stories, narratives, vignettes or cases can and should be used as a professional learning tool; what it is that makes them so potentially powerful and compelling. Narrative inquiry can be a potent means of understanding professional practice for narratives are one of the chief means by which we make sense of the world. It is a legitimate, rational form of knowing. The intellectual act of making meaning from events, as told in a narrative form, can lead the knower to reconstruct and reconceptualise previously held beliefs and understandings. However, this cannot occur unless there is some kind of stimulus or trigger that will render the narrative problematic. In the project reported here teacher leaders from across the state were gathered together to develop a series of cases directed to issues surrounding developing school professional learning plans. These cases were then subject to critique, refined, developed and trialled. The presentation will report upon all phases of the study.