Thursday, December 8, 2016

Week 4 - Leadership Research-informed teaching

Notes:Research-informed teaching enhances the student experience, improves student learning outcomes and enriches the education experience.
Developing Research Informed Practice Develop a personal commitment to review research to determine what is likely to works best and to determine what ‘best-practice’ models exist.
Encourage your peers to work with you to empower a collective of teachers who collectively participate in research and literature reviews.
Disseminate information and research findings with your students and your peers to raise awareness of research informed practice and decisions in your school.
Encourage your students to be reflective of their actions and decisions so that they learn to self critique and take greater responsibility for their learning outcomes.
Develop a class culture of referring to credible sources of data and let the class develop a sound understanding of how to evaluate data/content soruces.
Be a consumer and promoter of evidence
Pose questions without pre-determined answers or expectations. Identify ways to enhance a commitment to investigation.

Creativity and InnovationAccording to Tucker (2008), there is a relationship between being creative and innovative. Creativity helps coming up with ideas and being innovative means bringing them to life. Hatching ideas is the ‘creative’ part; bringing them to life successfully in the form of a new product or service or management method is what makes a raw idea an innovation.

Warlow (2007) defines the following attributes of an innovator:
Curious; constantly questioning things
Open to new ideas; putting oneself in situations where one can receive stimulation
Dare to be different; being prepared to act against accepted or conventional wisdom and challenge the unchallengeable
Be ready; as innovative ideas can strike at any time, there is a need to capture them before they disappear from the mind
Persistent; time is needed in finding the solutions which are innovative
Collaborative; ideas can be thought of when working with others

The World Economic Forum (2016) in analysing 21st century skills, identified creativity and collaboration as competences, but curiosity is a character quality, as is initiative. To be innovative, we need not only competencies but also character qualities.

Tucker, R. B. (2008). Driving growth through innovation. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.Warlow, R. (2007). Being an innovative entrepreneur. Retrieved April 2, 2010 from

Knowledge is adaptive"Early in the 17th century, two astronomers competed to describe the nature of our solar system. Galileo built a telescope and found new planets and moons. Francesco Sizi ridiculed Galileo’s findings. There must be only seven planets, Sizi said. After all, there are seven windows in the head—two nostrils, two ears, two eyes, and a mouth. There are seven known metals. There are seven days in a week, and they are already named after the seven known planets. If we increase the number of planets, he said, the whole system falls apart. Finally, Sizi claimed, these so-called satellites being discovered by Galileo were invisible to the eye. He concluded they must have no influence on the Earth and, therefore, do not exist (National Institute for Literacy, 2010, p. 2)." (as cited in Benseman, 2013. p.15)

Knowledge is adaptive, as Benseman (2013) states "what is self-evident today is tomorrow’s fallacy or tale of ridicule" (p. 15). In sum, the quality of Research informed teaching (RIT) evidence is ensured by accessing peer-reviewed literature "Although the research evidence is rarely clear-cut or irrefutable, it does provide a sturdier platform to base our teaching than the alternatives of old habits and hearsay” (p. 15).

Benseman, J. (2013). Research-Informed Teaching of Adults: A Worthy Alternative to Old Habits and Hearsay?. Unitec ePress. Number 2. Retrieved From

The case for evidence based teachingKrokfors et al. (2011, p. 2) quotes Griffiths (2004) who identified four main ways that research relates to teaching:
1. research-led, where the curriculum content is based on the research interests of Teachers
2. research-oriented, where the process of learning content is seen as important as the content itself and hence, an emphasis on learning inquiry skills
3. research-based, where the curriculum is based on inquiry-based activities rather than acquisition of content
4. research-informed teaching, which consciously draws on systematic inquiry into the teaching and learning process itself.

Although teachers’ responses in their interviews suggested they wanted to be learner-centered, our classroom observations quite clearly showed that instruction was highly teacher-directed. If teachers controlled the classroom, and they intended to be learner-centered, how could a teacher-directed system of instruction result? Our answer harks back to the concept of socialization. We concluded that teachers are so intensely socialized into a teacher-centered form of instructing that they teach in teacher-centered ways, despite intentions to be learner-centered (2001, p. 110)

One possibility is to identify ‘effective teachers’ and study their teaching for indications of what effective teaching involves (see for example, Benseman, 2001; Looney, 2008; Medwell,Wray, Poulson, & Fox, 1999). The challenges of this approach lie in the question of who identifies the effective teachers and the criteria for their selection.

draw on learners’ perspectives on what they see as effective teaching/teachers. These studies survey large samples of learners about what they believe helps them learn most effectively. They can identify particular characteristics (such as the ethnicity or gender of the teacher), their teaching behaviours (such as specific teaching methods) or their learning environment (such as various aspects of logistics in educational settings) that learners identify as helping them learn

Learner-driven studies are particularly useful for showing us what learners value and are therefore probably useful for telling us what factors are likely to increase their participation rates and retention for example, but they also have their limitations. The difficulty with this approach is that learner ratings (typified in smiley-face type evaluation sheets) do not necessarily indicate learner impact in its entirety as measured in other outcome indicators(Scriven, 1994)

The justification for this strategy is usually expressed as ‘common-sense’ or a vague“research tells us that people learn in different ways and they prefer different learning styles” (Apps, 1991, p. 40). However when learning styles research is examined more closely,a quite different picture emerges.

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