I will be using Jay & Johnson’s model of reflection in this post to reflect on how my possible inquiry topics relate and contribute to my Community of Practice (CoP). Below is an image I created of my exploration of my CoP.
Innovative learning spaces and my COP.
- An inquiry into future-focussed classroom environments that make the most of digital technologies, and enhance student learning in the technology area. This inquiry could be especially relevant to technology teachers within my school, as it would relate directly to our collaborative practice. It would also require collaboration with other Digital Tech Teachers & Facilitators, as their expertise and knowledge would assist my inquiry.
- It would contribute to my Digital Tech Teachers & Facilitators group because I would be exploring digital pedagogies within this inquiry topic.
Design Thinking and my COP.
- This enquiry topic would contribute to my COP because it relates to the technology curriculum, so would therefore explore the domain & shared practice I have with other technology teachers.
- An inquiry in this area would contribute to my in-school Mindlab community as I have a number of collaborative practices based around design thinking with my Mindlab colleagues in my school.
For the sake of simplicity going forward, I am going to be referring only to the second group within my COP – Digital Technology Teachers & Facilitators within my School.
Leadership in Innovative Learning Spaces
Upon discussion, a perceived strength of this area of inquiry was the potential for establishing a creativity, future-focussed space within our school. As we currently have some great resources that are under-utilised, it would be beneficial to investigate how we can best integrate these in to our classroom, and engage students with the space around them to improve learning. There was a perception in oru COP that Innovative Learning Spaces were solid, brick & mortar classrooms in our school. This meant a number of members perceived that a weakness may be that there was not budget or ability to work outside of the confines of the four walls of our current classrooms.
Design Thinking in the Classroom
A strength of this area of inquiry that was discussed in our COP was that there is potential to collaborate and integrate the Technology Curriculum into our theme classes for junior students. As Design Thinking is very closely related to the technology curriculum, an inquiry topic that looks into how Design Thinking could be explored within our school and made more widely available (outside of special interest subjects such as Wood Materials, or DVC) to students, is an area of interest for this COP. This research would support Digital Technology teachers to engage with a wider audience of students, and teachers, at our school. A potential weakness could be that as I am already teaching design thinking within my subject area, the inquiry itself it could be pointless if I don’t work outside of my own classroom.
It was particularly interesting to me that my COP perceived greater weaknesses within the Innovative Learning Spaces line of inquiry. It interested me because I had not previously thought about expanding the inquiry beyond the physical environment of my classroom, but this perception made me consider going beyond this and into a line of inquiry focussing on how to effectively engage and combine physical and online learning spaces in our context.
Wenger-Trayner, E., & Wenger-Trayner, B. (2015). Introduction to communities of practice: A brief overview of the concept and its uses. Retrieved from http://wenger-trayner.com/introduction-to-communities-of-practice/
Wenger, E., McDermott, R. and Snyder, W.2002. Cultivating Communities of Practice: A Guide to Managing Knowledge, Boston: Harvard Business Press.