Sunday, 27 May 2007

Figure 1. The relationship between the four models of professional development

In our course, "reflective practice" is the promoted method.

So what is action research...what are these other approaches, what are the differences?

Which approach have I really adopted?

It seems that action research is more focused, more directed at change. In other words if I just hang-out, blogging to my heart's content, if I find there's been to a change to my practice, great! If not, that's probably OK as well. It's probably going to help somewhere along the way. Reflective practice seems to have more focus on self, action research in improvement in a specific situation or to solve a particular problem.

My blogging seems to have started out as something very close to reflective practice - not focussed and at times frustrating as it feels as if progress is slow, and nothing very tangible seems to come out of it. I've been trying to move towards something closer to action research - trying to aim my thoughts AT something, because I'd like to feel some sense of clear "achievement" and a greater sense of development.

Advice has pointed in both directions....and I see the benefit of having a foot in both camps.

I don't like the idea of "novice to expert". I'm always going to see myself both.

Eraut's Six Knoweldge Types relate to the Metacognitive approach. Not sure what "control knowledge" is. I am starting to understand how this is slightly different. It's more holistic. It's about seeing particular parts of "oneself" as "areas" for development. It has more focus than reflective practice but the focus is on yourself rather than a situation or specific problem. Described by many as a "map". I'm not sure how useful this is yet. Can you really treat each of these knowledge types as separate?

Can you really treat any of these methods as entirely separate?

Why am I bothering to work this out? Well, I suppose I was getting frustrated by my lack of obvious, tangible development. But now I'm recognising that keeping this loose can be valuable. In the same way that times when I'm not "officially" reflecting can be valuable. I don't always need to be goal oriented. In some ways this might be seen as a much deeper way of learning. I think I probably believe that.

Sometimes there's value in going for goals, tangibles, if it helps me to recognise the progress i've made, and maybe turn things into solutions that I can share with others.

You can find a similar argument in the Fine Arts - if you paint only for yourself - why would you ever bother to exhibit? I always liked exhibiting. I liked connecting.

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