Bringing a research lens to our work through coaching
“Critically reflective teaching happens when we identify and scrutinize assumptions that undergird how we work. The most effective way to become aware of these assumptions is to view our practice from different perspectives. Seeing how we think and work through different lenses is the core process of reflective practice” (Brookfield, 1995)
The most common point of reference in Dr Stephen D. Brookfield’s book Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher, is the notion of “lenses” on our practice. He proposes four lenses:
• Autobiographical – our own experiences as learners and teachers • Students – our students’ perceptions and experiences of what we do • Colleagues – our colleagues’ perceptions and experiences of what we do • Literature – alternative theoretical frameworks and research from inside and outside of our field
Each lens provides a different perspective from which to critically examine our practice. The lens that is perhaps not explicitly proffered so often by the coach in a coaching conversation is the literature lens. The idea that academic literature and research provide a lens on our practice rather than a definitive ‘playbook’ tends to land more respectfully with teachers and honours their contextual insight.
This session will explore how coaching might provide a powerful vehicle for engagement with academic literature and research, allowing teachers to identify both best practice and next practice (Hargreaves & Fullan, 2012).
Chris has extensive experience in supporting and leading the development of teachers and school leaders, drawn from 25 years working in Government and Independent schools, and in Initial Teacher Education at the University of Aberdeen. Since relocating to Australia in 2010, he has been responsible for professional learning strategy and the development of school coaching models, most recently as Dean of Professional Practice at St Kevin’s College, Melbourne. In 2017, Chris took up the position of Senior Consultant with Growth Coaching International (GCI). This role sees him provide coaching, and facilitate coaching training programs, for educators across Victoria and beyond.