Helping Teachers Learn

The article on Lesson Study seems to present an interesting idea of use the tools to teach teachers with the same ideas that you want them to use in their classrooms, which seems quite powerful. Since its one thing to read about a good idea like using prior knowledge but when you can say oh, its like this exercise we did than its easier to incorporate that into your teaching. Though I wonder as I’m reading through this, how many of the teachers bought into the process and how many had to be pushed along to really contribute. Also I find it very telling that the last line of the article speaks about validating what librarians due along with collaboration, which seems connected to this idea of how librarians see themselves as superheroes at times. This is a fine line and balance to work out and I think must be one of the great challenges with working on professional development, how to be seen as an ally.

I’m struck by the idea for the workshop article of sending out surveys and asking around your school to get ideas of what teachers are curious about. This seems like an effective way to make sure that what’s being taught is what everyone cares about and that there will be an immediate benefit. Also I like that the focus is on saying get someone who is an expert and that it doesn’t have to be the librarian, which seems like an important balance of not having workshops be too much, this is what the librarian thinks we need to know. All the considerations for how the make the workshop work seem to be common sense in terms of being aware of your audience and their needs and what they know already along with considerations for time and place. The most difficult part really seems to be getting people to show up, but if you run a good workshop than teachers will be more willing to come to other ones.

The article on technological pedagogical content is fascinating in terms of how it uses a far more academic language to talk about helping teachers learn the best way to use technology. I particularly like how they state at the beginning that teaching is a highly complex skill and so should be treated as something that needs to be approached from many dimensions to understand how to improve it. The blending of content and pedagogy also makes a lot of sense, but I can see how they could get divided in terms of teacher education since few people are going to have the in depth knowledge to teach all subjects. So instead you have experts in methods of teaching and then experts in certain domains. Then technology becomes its own separate domain that holds it off from everything else and can make it seem something that only an expert truly understands instead of just one more tool. The focus on context in terms of teaching is a powerful way to frame just how tricky it can be to teach technology since its so dictated by how its being used and what it was created to do and what it might be used for. Learning by design thus ends up making the most sense as a way to teach technology since it works on helping teachers learn as they’re doing so that they can feel like they control and truly understand the technology. I found the examples they presented quite compelling in terms of how the framework can be used in practice though I do wish there had been a bit more how to mixed in with the why.

In Empowering Learners, the focus is again on technology and on making sure that teachers truly know how to use things while as the librarian keeping truly ahead of everything. The two pages truly seem to sum up quite well all the important points from the previous articles.

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1 Comment

Filed under school library management reflection

One response to “Helping Teachers Learn

  1. Kristin

    I’m looking forward to our discussion on Lesson Study. Not all people carry it out the way LB does in her article!

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