My learning journey began in FE and studying to be a Nursery Nurse as careers told I could never teach as my parents could not support me financially to go to University.
I am now a Professional Development Manager in an FE institution, teaching and observing trainee teachers alongside associate lecturing for a local University. I have since gained a Foundation Degree in Early Years, Bachelor of Arts, Post Graduate Certificate in Education, Master of Arts and QTLS.
Hopefully I will soon to be awarded my Senior Fellowship and Advanced Teacher Status.
Engaging with the Sharing Transformational Approaches to Teaching and Learning as part of my ATS studies, one key term resonated with me and that was transformative learning. I used this term to undertake my action research with my Early Years learners for my ATS. I captured my reflections on my ATS e-portfolio and it was my interaction with my diary that inspired me to transform my teaching environment and the reflective module I deliver to my Early Years learners.
From my diary extract, I chose my quality improvement plan title, “Developing effective teaching strategies for reflection/reflective theory for trainee teachers and teaching assistants and its impact upon their professional practice.”
Within this small action research, I chose to investigate a range of pedagogical approaches to reflection and analyse its impact upon the learners in their professional practice and capture data as to their preferred method of delivery to embed reflective practice.
I introduced my learners to five different teaching strategies these being, using a poem and creating a reflection using I, another teaching strategy was for all learners to independently research different reflective theories, another method developed was for all learners to use Art and the written form to create a This Is Poster. The fourth teaching strategy was for every learner to write weekly reflections about their practice in a reflective diary, reflecting on stories and activities from their vocational practice.
Transformative learning took place when learners were able to reflect and link theory to practice and my learning environment was transformed when my learners commented that, “I learn best from these as they encourage me to evaluate my own practice whilst continuously improving my learning and development through teaching”, “I liked the diary as all my thoughts were in one place”
The impact of this action research and my transforming of learning has allowed my learners to have an environment where they can reflect and embed vocational practice to reflective theory, an environment where non-judgemental, reflective dialogue flows freely, and where the use of I and uniqueness is celebrated.