Category Archives: 1.1 Social Justice

Participating in Practitioner Enquiry…

So what is a Practitioner Enquiry?

A practitioner enquiry is an individual who actively engages with their own practice based research.  They will reflect on their research to help them improve/deepen their own knowledge.  Practitioner enquiry is key in when being professional as it will allow you to gain a better understanding of your practice which is essential with primary teaching as it’s a profession which is continuously changing.  Being involved in practitioner enquiry doesn’t always mean research into your profession alone, it can also be groups of individuals who come together to share their research and knowledge which they’ve learned from their reflection.  Learning and sharing within a group allows teachers to explore questions which have cropped up during their lessons or during observations in another’s lesson.   

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http://www.gtcs.org.uk/professional-update/practitioner-enquiry/practitioner-enquiry.aspx

So why should we participate in practitioner enquiry?

Here is a list of some of the benefits;

  1. Increases the teacher’s knowledge which benefits not only them themselves but also the; children, parents, school and community.  
  2. Gaining a greater knowledge will benefit the children’s learning experiences and the learning environment of which they learn in.
  3. Sharing and discussing information with other teachers can help improve your own understanding on it while allowing you to use this appropriately.
  4. Having a deeper knowledge will improve a child’s achievements as you will be more equipped when teaching them.
  5. Also having a deeper knowledge will improve the pupils development as a greater understanding  from the teacher will allow a significant positive impact on the child.
  6. The teachers who are getting involved with practitioner enquiry are able to be greatly more involved with current challenges which are discussed within the education.
  7. Allows teachers to continuously develop and keep a record of their development.
  8. Improve techniques of research for teachers allowing them to use and manipulate these techniques within lessons or other aspects of their profession.
  9. When sharing research it allows for ideas from colleagues which can improve your understanding.

The potential gains from teachers engaging in practitioner enquiry, as noted above, offer significant value for the wider school improvement agenda. Staff are able to work individually and collectively to investigate, question, consider and plan for change and development. This kind of school improvement is evidence-informed and critically justified.

 http://www.gtcs.org.uk/professional-update/practitioner-enquiry/why-practitioner-enquiry.aspx#benefits

Here is a list of some of the Challenges;

  1. Many teachers/students may find it intimidating as it will highlight areas which they thought they were comfortable with therefore it will push them out their comfort zone.
  2. It involves developing new skills for many teachers which may unsettle them.
  3. It includes seeking further knowledge on subjects which are ‘touchy’ and are often just accepted.
  4. The outcome is not always fast nor is it always clear.
  5. The research found must always relate back to education.
  6. Must plan your time when participating.
  7. You are challenging yourself which is a very difficult task for many people.

Therefore taking both the benefits and the challenges into account I feel for me as a student, being an enquiring practitioner is essential.  Personally I like to question why and find out more information on many subjects however I don’t take this approach normally when I’m looking at ‘school’ or ‘university’ topics.  I feel coming straight from school has built me up to accept information that I was taught, memorise is and re-write it in an exam. However being at university is the exact opposite.  I find that this course allows me and encourages me to question my techniques on learning and understanding.  It also encourages me to question the knowledge i’m being taught which allows me to seek further information, ensuring I’m understanding it and interpreting it in my own way.  Also using this Eportfolio is helping me record my development where I can look back at certain blog posts to find out whether my views have changed after reading something related.  It is also helping me to communicate and share my knowledge and information with me peers and allowing me to view there’s which I find to be hugely interesting and helpful as sometimes makes me question my own thoughts on parts of the course where I go back over it and discuss their thoughts with them.  I find this to be the start of my participation in being an enquiring practitioner.  It’s something I’m finding to be greatly helpful and interesting and I’m excited to take this throughout my journey into becoming a primary teacher as it will make a significant difference in terms of my impact on the; children, parents, school, community and colleagues.  

 

 

 

Inspiration

This video of Joseph Lekuton which was linked within the online unit has filled me with such admiration and has inspired me considerably.  Listening to him tell the story of the blind man and the man with no legs was incredible.  It made me think and link it to lots of different ideas I have but most importantly the idea that this is the type of situation that will be happening when I’m teaching a class.  The children will be the legs where I will be their eyes.  I will be able to lead them to a positive destination by the end of the year, not only in their academic life but also within their personal lives.  They will come into my classroom at the start of the year having no idea in their minds of where they will be when they finish their 12 months with me.  Even if I were to tell them everything I plan on doing with them throughout the year they still won’t understand how much they will develop throughout the year.  I will though, which means I can use my education and my own experiences/connections to aid the children as Joseph is doing with his community.  I will be able to teach them the academic course set out for the year however that’s not what school is wholly about.  I will be able to teach them and guide them on so many different personal, social or global issues that they become aware of throughout the year .

Joseph has a 5 year plan to make his community a model which can help others develop.  This is what I aim for in my classroom.  My classroom to be an environment in which children are; happy, having fun, enthusiastic, confident, supporting each other, working together efficiently, working individually, setting goals, achieving/working on these goals, helping their community, becoming wonderful citizens, aware of the outside world, sharing their knowledge and stories with me, continuously communicating with myself and their peers, and so much more!  All of these things will work together, being combed to make a brilliant classroom ethos which aid others in their development!

Joseph described in this video how he wasn’t going to make this community on his own but he was ‘introducing students to different fields to produce a comprehensive group of people who can return to help a community grow…’.  This is what being a teacher essentially is.  It’s supporting children develop into individuals who can continue into young students who benefit themselves by going into a field of work which then positively effects their community.  If this was happening all over the world then no community would be suffering.  Education is the key to building; a better community, a better society, a better world.  By education I don’t just mean academic education (which of course is hugely significant) but also education on life and the skills needed which benefit not only you in your lifetime but the other surrounding you.

This is a message I feel is extremely important when going into the teaching profession and it is one which I know will make a great impact on my attitude when I go into a classroom preparing to teach the individuals who will soon be leading; communities, cities and countries.