I have one new and one updated tip sheet for you. See attached:
A few of you have asked me to revisit the concept of critical friends. I would like to share my facilitation notes from that specific Lunch & Learn session:
Think about one person in your professional, academic, or teaching lives that fits this description. They…
Without saying who this person is, what stands out as about them? What do you do together? What do you talk about?
Costa & Kallick define a critical friend as “trusted person who asks provocative questions, provides data to be examined through another lens, and offers critique of a person’s work as a friend. A critical friend takes the time to fully understand the context of the work presented and the outcomes that the person or group is working toward [and they are] an advocate for the success of that work” (1993:50).
We find them in many different contexts and roles:
With these components in mind, what is unique about a “critical friend”? What might not be a “critical friend”?
As Schuck and Russel (2005:108) describe, critical friends are essential to self studies for a number of reasons:
“[A critical friend in self-studies] champions the co-construction of knowledge through collegial inquiry, conversation, and collaborative reflection within a climate of mutual vulnerability and risktaking, trust and support (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1991; Bullough, Knowles, & Crow, 1991)” (Fuentealba & Russel, 2016).
Self-studies using critical friends share often have these focal points:
What might get in the way of a critical friendship?
How might we be a good critical friend to others?
To bring our session to a close, I would like to invite you all to take a moment to acknowledge a critical friend in your life. Be it a note, United Way Gold Star, in-person statement of gratitude, or something unique to your friendship. Their value goes well beyond what we can capture in research.
Costa L. Arthur, and Bena Kallick. (1993). “Through the lens of a critical friend.” Educational Leadership, 51:2. 49+.
Fletcher, T., Chroinin, D, N., & O’Sullivan, M. (2016). “Multiple layers of interactivity in self-study of practice research: An empirically-based exploration of methodological issues.” In Dawn Garbett and Alan Ovens (eds.), Enacting self-study research as methodology for professional inquiry (19-26). Herstmonceux, UK: S-STEP.
Fuentealba, R., and Russell, T. “Critical friends using self-study methods to challenge practicum assumptions and practices.” In D. Garbett & A. Ovens (Eds.), Enacting self-study as methodology for professional inquiry. (227-234). Herstmonceux, UK: S-STEP.
Schuck, S. & Russell, T. (2005). “Self-study, critical friendship, and the complexities of teacher education.” In Studying Teacher Education 1(2): 107-121.
This Tuesday, we launched the Lunch & Learns (L&L) for W2017! Over sandwiches, we introduced the RAPID Program’s W2017 Portfolio activity, outlined L&L topics, and dove into our first materials.
In this session, the goal was for RAs to reflect on the RAPID self-studies research question in relation to the guiding questions of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and Educational Development (ED).
To begin, we outlined Dr. Nancy Chick’s four elements of SoTL (Chick, 2015):
Then we asked: What kinds of questions might a SoTL approach ask? In Opening Lines: Approaches to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (2000), Pat Hutchings presents a taxonomy of four types of questions integral to SoTL research:
From here, we inquired into how Educational development (ED) creates the conditions supportive of learning and teaching (Leibowitz, 2014). We specificially drew on McDonald et al (2016: 8) definition of educational developers as sources of expertise in teaching, student learning and development, and change management on three levels:
Once again, we asked ourselves what kinds of questions might this work ask. McDonald et al outline three key questions to educational development research. How do I…(adapted from McDonald et al, 2016: 8-9):
Split off into two groups.
The results were as follows:
Chick, N. (2015). “A scholarly approach to teaching.” Retrieved from: http://sotl.ucalgaryblogs.ca/understanding-sotl/a-scholarly-approach-to-teaching/
Hutchings, P. (2000). “Introduction: Approaching the scholarship of teaching and learning.” In Opening Lines: Approaches to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. 1-10. Stanford: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Leibowitz, B. (2014). “Reflections on academic development: what is in a name?” In International Journal for Academic Development 19:4, 357-360, DOI:10.1080/1360144X.2014.969978
McDonald, J., Kenny, N., Kustra, E., Dawson, D., Iqbal, I., Borin, P., & Chan, J. (2016). Educational Development Guide Series: No. 1. The Educational Developer’s Portfolio. Ottawa, Canada: Educational Developers Caucus.
In case you need, the PDF for the RA Portfolio TOC and Lunch & Learn notes is here: RAPID W2017 Lunch & Learn Topics – FINAL.
Hello new and returning RAs! Welcome to the W2017 Lunch & Learns! We are meeting from 12:00-1:00pm in the TI conference room, and lunch is sandwiches and salad. Hope to see you there!
A HUGE congratulations to Galicia on completing her guide on cognitive development!! As Nancy stated on the TI email, “[The] idea is that the more we know about how our students think about knowledge (what it is and who has it), the better equipped we are to help them learn, to recognize where and why they struggle, and to identify ways of helping them move through struggle toward greater understanding. This is the fundamental idea of the research on students’ cognitive development.”
Read the Guide on the TI website here: http://www.ucalgary.ca/taylorinstitute/guides/cognitive-development.
Excellent job, Galicia!
Please join me in congratulating Judy (and her supervisory team!) on the completion of her KNES213 course trailer! It looks fantastic, and represents a lot of work and dedication!
Keep up the great work, Judy! We’re very proud of you!
At the TI Research Associate Program’s third Lunch & Learn, we discussed navigating work at the TI. Our session began by acknowledging that regardless of our roles, we all operate within the context of the TI as a workplace. Therefore, we all: 1) contribute to achieving the TI’s overall vision “to lead a community of innovation, research and excellence in post-secondary teaching and learning” (Taylor Institute, 2015:7); 2) operate using the TI’s guiding principles (transparency, flexibility, and collaboration); and 3) support the TI’s educational development and scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) initiatives while reflecting on our practices with a commitment to continuous improvement.
To model the TI’s message of reflection, I will use the example I outlined during our session, Rolfe’s framework for reflective practice (Rolfe, Freshwater, & Jasper, 2001):
Level 1: “What?”
Level 2: “So what?”
Level 3: “Now What?”
Educational Development Unit. (2015). Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, Educational Development Unit: Strategic Plan, 2015-2018. Calgary, AB.
Palmer, P. (1998). The courage to teach: Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher’s life. San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
Rolfe, G., Freshwater, D., & Jasper, M. (2001). Critical reflection for nursing and the helping professions: A user’s guide. New York: Palgrave MacMillian.
On July 12, our Lunch & Learn focused on mapping RA’s development – the knowledge, skills, or abilities transferable across academic and workplace contexts that RAs bring to and gain from their roles. After a brief overview of the definitions and examples from the tip-sheet, Identifying RA Knowledge Skills Abilities, we applied our reflective and critical efforts to this Worksheet – Mapping Your Development. However, after 10 minutes it was clear that RAs wanted to push the content and processes of this material even further. As everyone shared many questions and anecdotes, I took a whiteboard and mapped out what the landscape of “transferable” knowledge/skills/abilities might look like as we were talking. It was messy and scribbly process, but Tiffany was a great sport as we questioned, critiqued, unpacked, and evaluated her graduate and RA work as our common example! After reviewing our work, everyone grabbed their own whiteboards and engaged in the exercise for themselves. I went around the room offering any help I could, and made note of the guiding questions each RA found helpful for in their individual positions. In the last 15 minutes, everyone shared their work with the group, gave each other feedback on other ways to think about their points, or mentioned a knowledge, skill, or ability they had forgotten to write down.
Our Final Mapping Process
The final product of our mapping process was as follows:
The first surprise was that this Lunch & Learn took an intense and exciting direction I had not planned. However, I was so thrilled at the hard work the RAs put into their tasks that I’m grateful for the detour. They were completely fearless, bold, and open!
Individual RAs also reported surprises regarding how they think about their work, e.g: