The development of coaching and mentoring skills, leadership skills and the practice of action research or practitioner enquiry are all sustainable practices, building capacity and supporting continuous improvement of practice. The importance of action research for emerging leaders was highlighted in 2017 and 2018 through feedback on the projects regarding practical application of learning as well as making learning visible in the community and education sites. Re-introducing action research and supporting this with sufficient project days/evenings is a priority for 2019. Likewise, building in sufficient project sessions to support successful practitioner enquiry projects will remain a priority for projects focused on pedagogy, teaching and learning.
Practitioner Enquiry in 2019
We are delighted to work with sites through practitioner inquiry projects to support site priorities. This would involve site-specific elements including
agreed site-specific target areas
negotiated participant questions under the umbrella of the site focus area
As is discussed in Engaging with Educational Change (Fleet, DeGioia, Patterson), this form of collaborative research and professional learning is most effective if participants have ownership over a personally-relevant question, and if a member of the Executive Team is also participating in investigation. It is also helpful if participants are able to support each other in pairs, to enable discussion and alternate points of view.
Delivery of the program will be negotiated with each site but would include:
An introduction to practitioner inquiry either pre-recorded as a webinar with a follow-up local discussion or face to face delivery locally
4 Face to face facilitation for site-specific groups, in the style of a learning community; interested groups would negotiate with Semann & Slattery (S&S) to enable facilitators (both local and interstate-based) to work with individual groups, with some sessions on proximal days to enable effective use of flights/accommodation expenses for interstate-based facilitators
Participating sites offering time and shared learning opportunities which S&S facilitators will support
S&S would provide an on-line space for sites to have access to questions and answers and shared explorations of issues with other participants
Coaching is built into the delivery model to enable participants to have individual feedback between training sessions
A celebration/professional sharing event is included, as recommended (and as offered in various formats previously) to enable participants to learn from each other and share their findings across the sectors such as the education partnership