AERA 2017 in Review

The LAMPE blog and twitter feed has been fairly silent recently and this is partially due to our team travelling and presenting at several national and international conferences. Tim travelled to San Antonio, Texas to present at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual meeting, and Déirdre, Tim, Caitlin, and Stephanie all went to the PHE Canada National Conference in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador to present in the Research Council Forum. We learned a lot from attending these conferences and heard many excellent presentations that have pushed our thinking in new directions. We were also lucky to meet many new friends and colleagues and catch up with some older ones too. In the next few posts we will provide synopses of the presentations we delivered at these conferences, and interested readers can access some of the slide decks on our Presentation page.

The first presentation was by Tim at the AERA conference on a study he, Déirdre, and Mary had conducted, which was titled: Teacher educators’ experiences of accessing and responding to students’ engagement with pedagogies of teacher education. In the study we set out to be more intentional and systematic in how we sought out students’ perspectives about their learning as a result of the approaches we used to promote their learning about meaningful physical education. We felt that too often we relied upon our own observations (mainly of their body language) to gauge students’ engagement with their learning and wanted to change that so that we heard from students directly.

Our main findings showed the value of using self-study methodology – a form of practitioner research – in helping us become more intentional in seeking students’ perspectives about their engagement. In particular, Déirdre and Tim found the collaborative nature of their inquiry, relying on each other as critical friends, helped to deepen their respective understandings of student engagement. We found that by choosing to focus on student engagement our reflective practice was much sharper in that regard. Interestingly, Déirdre tended to have student engagement shape her reflection on-action (guiding her analysis of lessons taught and helping her to plan future lessons) while Tim used it to guide his reflection in-action, influencing the decisions and actions he made moment-to-moment in the lessons he taught. Our main takeaway message is that there is tremendous value in being very intentional and clear in talking to students, seeking their feedback (particularly in writing), and asking carefully designed questions about their learning. It has prompted us to place more emphasis on learning about our students’ learning in response to our teaching about teaching.

In the next few posts we will hear from Déirdre, Steph, and Caitlin who will provide some quick snapshots of their research presentations at the PHE Canada Conference.


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