LIBE 467 Assignment 2: Behaviour Change – An Exercise in Opportunity and Risk

“Often the biggest barrier to innovation is
our own way of thinking.” – George Couros

For the purpose of this assignment, I will discuss two fictitious teachers who work in the same elementary school and their effective use of reference resources in their pedagogical practices.  Using the Concerns-based Adoption Model (Figure 1) to evaluate the success of new programs and techniques, as well as SAMR model ( Figure 2) of technology integration, I will compare the two teachers in their approach to change.    



Teacher 1 – Emerging

Background

Emerging has just started their first full-time position in a grade 4 classroom.  They have been a certified teacher for a couple of years, but mostly in the role of a Teacher Teaching On Call (TTOC).  Emerging wants to engage students in resource-based learning activities but finds the experience chaotic and difficult to clearly identify when learning occurs with her students.  Emerging is working on developing stronger classroom management skills as their students have a difficult time demonstrating the necessary self-regulated learning skills required for personalized learning and inquiry activities.   The helpful and supportive teacher-librarian in their school suggested using the SAMR framework for technology integration and a document called Leading Learning: Standards of Practice for School Library Learning Commons in Canada to assist in developing their students’ information literacy skills.  Emerging is starting to take pieces of information from both sources and applying them to their practice.  As the information is new and their pedagogical practice in the early stage of development the resources feel overwhelming and it’s difficult to see results.  Emerging uses some forms of technology in their classroom including visuals and videos but is reluctant to extend the use of technology to her students. Emerging is worried that her lack of framework and experience around technology usage may lead her students to become distracted and resulting in wasted time.  Emerging’s students lack basic information literacy skills and typically use print resources from the library and photocopied learning resources from textbooks. When researching online, students use laptops to access Wikipedia and Google searches. Students in Emerging’s class tend to demonstrate their learning in a variety of written and oral formats including posters, skits, and speeches.

Evaluation

With respect to technology integration using the SMAR model, Emerging is at the substitution level.  Emerging is using online technologies as a direct replacement for offline techniques. For example, instead of documenting research on paper students are documenting research online.  In terms of using the library reference materials and services using the CBMA model, Emerging is at the ‘Personal’ level and at the ‘Information’ level in terms of innovation. They are focusing on their own needs and asking themselves questions like, How does this new approach work?

Direction

In order to move Emerging’s practice forward in the area of technology integration, they could consider using technology to transform the learning experience. Instead of using a word processor to individually create content, Emerging could work to create a more collaborative classroom environment and encourage students to write in a collaborative manner on the same document using Google Docs or Microsoft 360.  This would represent a shift wards modification in the SAMR model. In terms of the CBMA model, Emerging would benefit from developing a mentor relationship with someone in their school or school district. They would also benefit from partnering with the teacher-librarian and engaging in team-teaming activities around information literacy.

Teacher 2 – Established 

Background

Established has been an elementary school teacher for 15 years.  They have worked in a variety of schools in the same district and usually teach upper intermediate aged students.  They have a passion for student-led learning experiences and are currently enjoying the rich discussions, inspiring guest speakers, and cognitive dissonance that their Master in Education is Resource-Based Learning provides them.  They consider themself a lifelong learner but feel they need to create more play-based and student-centered learning experiences for their students. Established is active on social media and believes that it is important to develop a strong personalized learning network.  They share their educational successes and setbacks regularly and understand that learning is personal, non-linear, and involves deep explorations (Couros, 2014). Established likes to use theoretical frameworks and sound pedagogical models to anchor their lesson design, lesson planning, and learning experiences with students but they don’t always have the skills to achieve their goals.  They have a strong collaborative relationship with their school’s teacher-librarian and think it’s important to help develop and strengthen students’ information literacy skills. When researching online, students are encouraged to use the school’s online databases rather than general Google searches for their reference needs. Students in Established’s class use a variety of print and digital media and are exposed to some student-led learning experiences.  When asking students to create artifacts of learning she encourages students to combine audio, video, and text into their presentations. Some students remarked that it’s sometimes a little chaotic in the classroom and there is too much freedom.

Evaluation

Established is transforming their practice, and in terms of technology integration on the SAMR model is in the ‘modification’ zone.  For example, when working on presentations Established has moved beyond the realm of a poster or a simple slideshow with text into the realm of multimedia content.  In terms of using the resources and services from the library to facilitate learning, Established is in the collaboration phase heading towards refocusing on the CBMA model.

Direction

Established is in an excellent position to embrace and move their teaching practice forward. Already in the phase of ‘modification’ with respect to SAMR, it would not take much effort to continue the transformation by using technology for the creation of new tasks not previously possible.  For example, when studying content presented by the teacher, Established considers making connections-based learning partnerships instead, or Established may consider directing students towards a more interactive presentation like Nearpod.  In terms of the CBMA model, Established could take on a leadership role in their school around the process of change – a change champion among the rest of the staff and a mentor to those in the earlier stages of concerns and levels of use of innovation.      


Conclusion

“Change is a highly personal experience, involving developmental growth in feelings (the Stages of Concern) and skills (the Levels of Use)” (The Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM), 2008) that often requires a catalyst to ignite momentum.  These catalysts can materialize at any moment and from unexpected sources. It requires opportunity and a little risk to embrace and tackle unfamiliar tasks. Those in the process of change need a foundation of support on which to build upon.  Mentors, virtual networks, and pedagogical frameworks such as SAMR and CBAM and help during these transitional phases in an educator’s life. Teacher-librarians can help support teachers in their school by utilizing these models to “improved student achievement through the refining of instruction for essential literacy, research and inquiry and communication skills” (CLA, 2014).

References

Bringing Engagement and Joy to Every Classroom. (n.d.). Retrieved March 2, 2020, from https://nearpod.com/

Canadian Library Association (CLA). 2014. Leading Learning:  Standards of Practice for School Library Learning Commons in Canada. Available:  http://llsop.canadianschoollibraries.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/llsop.pdf

Couros, G. (2014, December 27). Retrieved from https://georgecouros.ca/blog/archives/4974

LaurieElishPipe. (2015, December 6). Concerns Based Adoption Model is a helpful  tool to ensure you provide coaching support Ts need when they need it. [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/LaurieElishPipe/status/1041487873374126087

The Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM): A Model for Change in Individuals (2008). [PDF File]. Retrieved from https://s3.wp.wsu.edu/uploads/sites/731/2015/07/CBAM-explanation.pdf

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