Skip to main content

Innovation Through Reflection

Last week whilst catching up with a close friend of mine the question was posed “How have you become such an innovative educator?” This question took me by surprise, he is a well-known lawyer known for his ability in court to be incredibly pioneering and he was asking me for advice!

After taking the time to think about this I believe I found my answer. For me I feel that the key driver behind the innovative practices in my classroom was reflection. Looking at what I had previously done, analyzing this, making some minor adjustments and then trying it again.

This is something that in my previous career as a Gymnastic Coach I would always do with my athletes but until that moment I hadn’t made the connection to innovation.

An example form of my reflective processes was in the past I would write down how I felt a lesson went, what went well, areas that needed to change and how students interacted. For many years this worked; however, it didn’t give me much traction. So at the beginning of 2014 in one of our staff PD sessions I was introduced by Bill Gates to the concept of “Video Analysis in Education”. Again this was something that as a coach I would use almost every training session; however, I had never considered bringing it into the classroom.

Now once a month I place a small camera at the back of my room and record about 30 minutes of a lesson. Each time I do this I choose a different KLA and focus area e.g. student behavior and engagement, lesson introduction, lesson conclusion, lesson individualization and differentiation and group work. I then upload a small snapshot of this to youtube so both my teaching mentors and I can give me feedback. Making that small minor adjustment to improve my teaching practice. It is simple, easy and effective as you can see you as a practitioner and you students interact with the content you are delivering.

Popular posts from this blog

What does a post-industrial class look like? Part 2

This post is the second part of a series that I have been working on to identify what does a post-industrial class look like? In my previous post, I looked at using video, collaborative discussion, grouping and student-centred learning.

Why a large display and one to one? The large electronic display is used as it offers many benefits to a given lesson; these include demonstration and modelling as the teacher could showcase the application or video from the board (Moss, et al, 2007). It is easy to show the important features of particular web-based activities and have students interact with the material on their own devices. The board can accommodate different learning styles (Herrington & Harrington, 2006). Interactive boards can help tactile learners by touching and marking the board. Audio learners can have the class discussion and auditory multimedia, visual learners can see what is taking place as it develops at the board and it offers multimodal learning which can be tailored …

What can Western Education Learn from the China's History?

Sitting travelling at 307km an hour travelling from Beijing to Suzhou for 5 hours with a group of 80 gives me time to reflect on some of the engineering, architectural, fashion and acrobatic feats of China. This trip our group have been give the privilege of walking on the Great Wall, cruising through the canals of Suzhou and riding on the high speed train. What I have noticed is all of these engineering marvels were completed with amazing efficiency, are structurally sound and have aesthetic appeal. Our tour guides said this is because of the time taken to plan and execute, taking into consideration the natural beauty of the region and working with it. They suggested the public only sees the rate in which something is built; however, highlighted that it took long term vision to create something that was radically new for their culture. This idea resounds with me!
As educational change agents and leaders we need to see the budding talent encompassed within our students and support them…

How can Change Management be Enhanced by Reflective Practices?