Published on February 6, 2008
Exploring Reflective Statements: what mid-career professionals choose to reveal about their learning and its effects: Exploring Reflective Statements: what mid-career professionals choose to reveal about their learning and its effects Eileen Carnell and Anne Gold Institute of Education, University of London Doctor in Education (International): Doctor in Education (International) It offers experienced professionals exciting opportunities for a cross-cultural and global examination of professionalism in education. The new and challenging perspectives on doctoral research brought by professionals from all over the world provide for stimulating debates among staff and students Doctoral School Handbook The EdD (International) programme:: The EdD (International) programme: The reflective statements we have read for this paper are written at the end of the taught courses and before the research components. At this stage, participants have completed four assignments which have been supported by tutorials and formative comments on drafts – they have then been assessed at D level. The statement accompanies copies of the four assignments as well as the four sets of formative feedback and summative assessments, all of which are submitted as a portfolio. The reflective statement should provide the following (page 4): : The reflective statement should provide the following (page 4): A brief description of and reflection on the content of the assignments; Reflection on the relationship between the assignments and on progression across the taught courses and assignments; If appropriate, how your academic thinking has been influenced and developed as a result of the feedback; The reflective statement should provide the following (page 4) continued:: The reflective statement should provide the following (page 4) continued: Consideration of the relationship between the work you have done as part of the EdD (International) programme and your professional practice and development; Evidence of the development of your ideas for the institution-focused study (IFS) and thesis and how the coursework you have done relates to them. Nikos (page 15): Nikos (page 15) ‘This is the first time I had ever been to a school as a researcher. I had a chance to look at things as an “outsider”, as an “intruder”. I had the opportunity to feel how delicate and complex at the same time it is to interview adolescents or more mature students and how caring an interviewer should be to those who are willing to open their hearts in conditions of mutual trust…What I can say for sure is that I am now able to look upon educational matters in a different way. Now I can listen to and understand better what students have to say.’ Margaret (page 16): Margaret (page 16) ‘Professionally I have realised that research is not a thing added on to all the other things I do in my life but that it is now central to me as a professional. I have always considered myself a reflective practitioner and someone open to different ideas but through undertaking the EdD I have become even more reflective and certainly more skilled in doing so. I now see research-informed practice as essential to sound development and progress. I know that I am some way yet from being a skilled researcher but I also feel more committed and confident that this is the path I wish to continue along and I have a much clearer sense of direction.’ Jerzy (page 17): Jerzy (page 17) ‘Although it might not be instantly obvious to the reader, when reflecting on my progress, my unbiased fascination with technology has been waning and has been gradually replaced by more careful and critical judgements what still appreciate what it might offer to make the teaching/learning processes more efficient and more fulfilling to all parties involved….On a personal level, writing these essays evoked the feeling of fear and it is the Fear Factor that forces me to constantly revise long-held cheerful notions of what technology brings to our world… Chris (page 18): Chris (page 18) Gradually I began to discover new lenses for looking; these have enhanced my understanding of what educators are attempting to achieve when engaged in the complex task of leading professional development…. As I approach a new academic session, I realise that at a profound level my perceptions of what it is to be a learner and a teacher are changing…I used to enjoy reading about mountaineering pursuits…at the present time, I feel as if I have indeed reached base camp, but that there is a long climb ahead. Louise (page 18): Louise (page 18) My primary motivation has always been for personal stimulation and growth. At present, I can honestly express that I have no plans to use the degree on completion…Discovering the extent of the learning conditions in the least developed areas of the world was genuinely humbling. I believe that these exercises were essential in inciting me to think about the “bigger picture” and how the work I do might fit in against the backdrop. What we learnt about their learning (page 19): What we learnt about their learning (page 19) In some there was a main focus on coming to learn academic and professional skills and they were pleased to have done so Some others told us that they been transformed: they told us that initially they had no questions to ask or they were intent on doing just enough to pass, but instead, they were profoundly moved by the learning experience And some told us that they came with the expectation of transformative learning Slide12: A brief description of and reflection on the content of the assignments – you may also wish to comment on any new insights and understandings have you gained from writing the assignments. Reflection on the relationship between the assignments and on progression across the taught courses and assignments; How your academic thinking has been influenced and developed as a result of the feedback; Consideration of the relationship between the work you have done as part of the EdD (International) programme and your professional practice and development; in what ways have your practices changed as a result? What have you gained from a different, and international, perspective? The statement should provide the following: (page 22-23) The statement, continued:: The statement, continued: You may wish to comment about the ways in which your learning and your emotions have connected on the programme, and about the explanations for this connection You may want to write about how you see yourself as a learner at this stage in the programme – have your views of yourself as a learner changed? Have your views of learning changed? Some evidence of the development of your ideas for the institution-focused study (IFS) and thesis and how the coursework you have done relates to them.