The opportunity to learn through Mindlab has provided me with data and research to back up many existing conceptions, new tools, pedagogy’s and ideas to challenge my thinking and the consolidation of the framework of academia, that I am slowly beginning to appreciate.

It has given me the reassurance that where we are heading in education is not some ‘trial and error’ situation, rather it is a (peer-reviewed) researched, data driven dream that is future-focused and ambitious.

I will never forget the way Mindlab has challenged my thinking, provided the research where others just waft and busted so many myths of education!


Rolfe’s (2001) advocates for a ‘What, So What, What Next’ model for professional reflection that I will use to reflect on some specific outcomes from my Mindlab experience.

 

 


Criteria 6 of the Practising Teacher Criteria (PTC) in e-learning is to Conceptualise, plan, and implement an appropriate learning programme.

The what of this is what is an appropriate learning programme? For me, this should be evidenced based, data driven and not a ‘hunch’ or something that can be photocopied. This created the challenge of changing from a ‘do this worksheet (or the modern version – check out this website and make a Google Slide about it) to a constant question – what does the research say about how students learn? What have my own reflections taught me? How are ALL my learners needs being meet?

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The What Next around planning appropriate learning programmes is not getting into bad habits, rather being deliberate in planning to meet needs, based on research. It may mean that things take more time, that learners are all working at different parts of a learning journey, that things get messy. Learning should be messy though, learning should be noisy, exciting and fun!

My goal is to keep up with current research, to understand the difference between a fad and evidence based best-practise and to apply my understanding to meet the needs of all my learners. I want to apply UDL principles to all learning – all the time.

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From http://www.udlcenter.org/

Criteria 1 of the Practising Teacher Criteria (PTC) in e-learning is to Establish and maintain effective professional relationships focused on the learning and well-being of all ākonga. One of the themes that has been interwoven throughout much of Mindlab is the importance of communities, connections and collaboration.  I see a huge opportunity to achieve this outside of the silos of our own schools with Communities of Learning. 

The So What will be learning to work for the good of all our learners – not just those that currently fall under our care. To meet the standards of Criteria 1, teachers involved in COLs must learn to effectively contribute to their COL. Initially, the focus may be on establishing these links, but with an underlying goal of improving the learning and well-being of all learners, this must be prioritised by all.

The What Next for me will be to contribute to structures, tools and goals to make our COLs a collaborative, not cooperative, consortium.


References:
Ministry of Education. Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako https://education.govt.nz/ministry-of-education/col/
National Center on Universal Design for Learning. http://www.udlcenter.org/
Rolfe, G., Freshwater, D., Jasper, M. (2001).Critical reflection in nursing and the helping professions: a user’s guide. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

TKI. Universal Design for Learning. http://inclusive.tki.org.nz/guides/universal-design-for-learning/

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