Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Professional Capital Ch5/6/7

I started liking Professional Capital towards the end of the read.  However, I did find it very pretentious in spots and I began tiring of all the references to trendy Finland, especially when the authors themselves warned against trying to implement international systems/programs.

Chapter 5 Professional Capital

This chapter looked at the profession of teaching and a lot of it I agreed with and didn't find too earth shattering.  What I really liked was the section at the end of the chapter called Reflective Practice.  Reflecting on my own practice is something I am really focusing on this year and am having diffulties finding time to reflect during the day.

"Our point is that mindfulness must be cultivated and that the norms and conditions of work must deliberately foster it. So it's important the teaches and leaders also engage in a third kind of reflection,...reflection about action - reflection about the things in their environment that distract them from what's important, that get them so immersed in busy activity there is no time left to think, and that are an endless set of responses and reactions to other people's agendas instead of actions driven by purposes that are the teachers' own" (page 99)

Chapter 6 Professional Culture and Communities

Well, for me this was the best chapter of the three. What resonated with me here was "the four subsets of collaborative cultures
  • Individualism
  • Collaborative cultures
    • Balkanization
    • Contrived collegiality
    • Professional learning communities
    • Clusters, networks, and federations" (page 106)
I have been a part of all four subsets of collaboration. What I have learned is that collaboration cannot be forced, nor should it be but it often is. Collaboration is hard work, very hard work but when done well, it is extremely rewarding.

Chapter 7 Enacting Change

This was a hard chapter to plow through as I felt the second half of the chapter was tacked on for administrators and directors. In the first half though, Hargreaves and Fullan outline the guidelines for Teachers which were 10 different points.  For me, it all comes down to point 2 "Start with yourself: examine your own experience" (page 155). With six months left in the school year, I plan to focus on just that. I am tired of complaining about all the problems with the system and am going to focus on my own professional capital.

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