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!
Today we met in casual roundtable to discuss academic blogging as a pursuit in the TI RA Program. During our first literature search, we determined that there are many resources out there on writing blog (key reasons [writing practice, personal interests/hobby, research journaling, etc.], style [blogs are more conversational than formal], and formatting [headings, length, images, etc.]. However, very little literature (casual or scholarly) exists on the potential applications and impact of academic blogging as a professional development tool in a higher education context. From our discussion we determined that such a literature gap creates both dilemmas and possibilities. On the one hand, there are no rules! We can experiment with what works for us, reflect on it, and create our own guidelines and metrics for success. On the other hand, oh no, there are no rules! If there are no guidelines or metrics already in existence how do we know what we are doing is impactful, helpful, or successful?
Currently, our answer is to (once again) fall back on our program priorities: 1) creating RA community and communication; 2) developing RA capacity (knowledge, skills, and abilities); 3) empowering RA learning and success. At this time, RAs desire structure and direction, and I wish to give them freedom and flexibility. To strike a balance between these two, we have created the following plan:
*EDIT: As I mentioned in the meeting, I am concerned at the amount of time in total this would take away from RA’s normal duties. I will follow up with RA supervisors before booking anything official.