Monday, 1 September 2014

A Different Way to View Our World

I recently participated in the third Masterclass for my efellowship held in and around Wellington. We spent time becoming well acquainted with the data we had gathered, discussing our findings and what journey this was taking us on, as well as the ins and outs of research in general.

John and Shannon from CORE had found us an amazing Book-a-Bach right on the beach at Raumati.  Most of us spent some time walking on the beach reflecting on our projects, where they might take us next and the myriad of questions that were thrown up as a result of our research. It was just stunning.

Then came the challenge from Karen Melhuish and Chrissie Butler, also of CORE.  On our next school visit we were to change the lenses through which we viewed what we saw.  This was a huge eye opener with regard to the things we do in schools. I catch myself walking the mile in others shoes even now.

We were asked to look at what we saw from the perspective of a dyslexic parent, an autistic student and a new teacher aide.

As a teacher there were some things that were amazing, clever, well thought out and justified.

Then the lens shift happened.

Some of the things I had thought were amazing were not going to suit the parent or the teacher aide or the student. It was a huge shift in thinking for me. And a real introduction to the concept of Universal Design for Learning, something I had thought I had a handle on. Not so.

It is something I would love to investigate further - UDL fits in well with the research project I am undertaking and could, in reality, be a major component of the scaffold around teachers adopting e-learning practice that has been missing.

Oh look - another direction my project could morph into. Watch this space...