RSA: feedback from LSIS grant interview

As I posted recently I am undertaking a practitioner research project where I hope to create a community of practice (CoP) between a small group of HE tutors and their students and look at the impact of taking part in this CoP has on their professional development.

This week I attended an interview for a research development fellowship grant from LSIS, and despite initial reservations about attending this interview, I’ve found talking about the project with the tutors at SUNCETT has already had an impact on my thoughts on the project.

In the morning we had group presentations and here is the feedback I got from this:

Things they liked about the project

1. That the project was lead by the pedology, about HOW technology can be used to support learning and not centered on the technology itself.

2. That it was about teachers and students working together and that the project was about inclusive teaching and learning.

3. They talked about links to research by Laura Unwin (need to check reference) on apprenticeships, where it was found that at times it was the students teaching the ‘masters’.

I feel really pleased by this feedback, particularly about the reference to the technology. I am a bit of a Tech Geek, but I’m not really technically minded, what I like about technology is what it can do and this always comes first. Start with a purpose and then learn the skills.

Things to consider

1. They suggested that I refine my research questions. At the moment there are three areas around students PDP, tutors CPD and the technology. What I haven’t considered in my question is the relationship between the students, between the tutors and between the students and tutors. There is also my role within this, and how this fits in.

In the afternoon there were 1-2-1 interviews. This was really exciting and the opening question was around what I saw as the main outcomes from from my project. After talking for a couple of minutes she said, quite forcibly, “ok, now write this down…..”



Power Balances

This is something I am certainly that I consider quite a lot in my practice, whether this is between myself and my ESOL students (I’m really interested in the Reflect Approach to ESOL), between myself and my CELTA trainees (although I think I possibly consider this the least – I wonder why that this?) but quite often between myself (as ATLC for HE) and other HE tutors across college. Reflecting now, I think this is something I consider a lot, I never want to position myself as anything other than another tutor who has as much to teach as well as learn from other tutors.

Therefore, this project I’m undertaking now is quite radical. Not only do I want to create a space for tutors to come together as equal partners with each other and myself, I want the students to have equal access to that ‘space’ too.

What next?

All the tutors have now collected their devices and they are approaching their students about joining. One tutor has let me know that they have one student who definitely wants to join the project, another has said that two students have expressed an interest so they are thinking about how to ‘choose’ and the other three tutors have explained the project to their groups and awaiting volunteers.

If this idea of power is going to become a central theme to my research I need to find out early on about the relationship between the tutor and the student, so I need to think about the best way to do this. I also need to think about how to find out about the student’s views on their own Professional Development Planning (PDP)

LSIS Grant

I really really really want this! The interview was concluded with ‘If you are successful in gaining the grant the next time we will see you is in the Marriot Hotel on the seafront in Sunderland’. If I don’t get one then that was just mean!!


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