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6.1.1 Reflexive Aspects of Project Methodology

6.1.1 Teachers meetingReflexivity was an essential element of project methodology, in which the team actively sought perspectives all participants in the project.  This included the core team, teachers, students and pupils, and technical partners who were involved with the practical elements of the production.  It also extended its enquiry to people who attended the public events, parents’/carers’ events arranged by teachers and the conference.  This was done through structured reflections, recordings of project meetings, and impromptu interviews. The emphasis on reflexive tasks draws on a body of research on  teacher inquiry teaching (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1993) in which teachers research their own practice, generating new knowledge by identifying and responding to dissonances within their practice (Timperley, H., Wilson, A., Barrar, H. and Fung, I., 2007). A guiding principle was that through structured reflection, practice could be critically reviewed and hence better understood. This helped to articulate approaches to digital literacies which mapped onto the experiences of project participants.

Furthermore, the project built on the involvement of the Project Director and the Project Manager in previous UKOER programme initiatives, drawing on an approach to collaboration emphasising participants’ reflection in the process of exploring digital literacy practice and open practices within teacher education contexts. A guiding principle was the structured reflection and critical review of teaching practices and the insight gained from this. This helped in articulating approaches to digital literacies which mapped onto the experiences of project participants. In terms of practical realisation of that approach, all project participants (core team, teachers, course tutors and students) contributed to a series of reflexive tasks in which they responded to prompts provided by the project team at five points in the project lifecycle. These prompts [see http://www.slideshare.net/DEFToer3/digital-futures-in-teacher-education-reflexive-methodology  ] varied slightly for each of the groups in acknowledgement of their particular working context. Participants were encouraged to offer their responses in a variety of formats such as text, audio or video, depending on personal preferences. The responses were then collated to identify emerging themes and to gain a sense of developing understandings of digital literacy. A digest of these reflections was shared amongst participants shortly after each stage, thus contributing to a cumulative sense of meanings generated by the group. These outputs were also incorporated into project case studies and informed the development of the open textbook.

See also HEA Case Study: ‘The value of reflexive methods for enhancing pedagogical practice in the context of OER development’ (Anna Gruszczynska, 2012)

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