Self-study collaborations: A model for innovation in research and teaching

Year: 2015

Author: White, Peta, Cripps-Clark, John

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Self-study methodologies have been employed by a scholar group to engage in research around teaching practices and student learning in teacher education. Reflective practice is crucial to continue developing our teaching and research. This presentation reports on the findings of the Collaborative Reflective Experience and Practice in Education (CREPE) Group who are engaging in scholarly collaborations in initial teacher education and reflective practice research with self-study methodology. The scholarship of teacher education is explored through several focussed research projects that then become the data for meta-analysis within the overarching collaboration project through interviews, meeting conversations and Cloud based (asynchronous) conversations. This research builds the capacity of these researchers both individually and collectively (personally and professionally) as well as augmenting their reflective practices through multiple, focussed research projects where the collaborative connections provide opportunities for clarity and perspective. Our inspiring research question was: How can we continue to develop our teaching practice to ensure we are high quality, contemporary teacher educators, and practice informed researchers?

The birth of self-study methodologies (in 1990s) has probably been the single most significant development in the field of teacher education research and brings an important commitment to the field in this time of TEMAG in the search of quality teacher education. The goal of self-study scholarship is to enable teachers to gain tacit knowledge about their teaching as they seek to improve and assess their teaching, its impact on student learning, and its contribution to the knowledge base of teaching. Through open, reflective, collaborative, and systematic investigation self-study can generate a deeper understandings and learnings of our teaching practices.

This presentation reports on the findings of the focussed research projects: Designing Visible Pedagogies: making teaching pedagogy choices and decisions visible (and therefore instructive) to students; Teaching Sustainability: through an arts based pedagogical practice in two different contexts (Drama education and Senior Biology education); and Engaging Curriculum and Assessment Design: critically reflecting on and reframing practice and learning experiences to improve student learning and engagement. Additionally, the meta-analysis within the overarching collaboration project will be presented including the examination of the transformative development of the group (over its 18 month longevity) mediated by the values and identities of the participants, the processes of reflection (including critical friend and focused research projects), and the structures of communication and organisation.