I have just completed the second week of my first course in my Masters in Educational Technology degree program via UBC. The course is on the Methodology of Educational Research. The textbook I’m (kind of) reading defines ‘educational research’ as the application of the scientific method in an educational setting.
I remember the scientific method. It was taught to me in school. I taught it to my students when I taught, likely quite poorly, Grade 7 & 8 Science. I watch it take its place inside the classrooms I visit as a principal. Except my professor stated something which I’ll paraphrase here:
She said something like, “To help frame your research question, start exploring your own practice and ask yourself questions that begin in ‘I wonder’. “
‘I wonder’ statements. In a Masters’ degree course. As a starting point for educational research. Hmmm… Not ‘Form a clearly stated purpose or question’. Not ‘Predict the outcome and form your hypothesis’. Not ‘Explore current research to help frame your question’. I was simply asked to start looking at my practice with “I wonder” statements in mind. In the same way we ask our students to look at their world with ‘I wonder’ statements in mind.
Another example of All I really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. 🙂 I think I’m really going to like this Masters’ thing. 🙂
I haven’t been nearly as prolific in my Food For Thought Friday postings or my blog postings as I should be. This is one of my goals for the new year. Part of my role as principal is to bring you some learnin’. Part of our responsibility as learners is to make our thinking visible and our learning transparent. I’m in week 2 of my Masters’ of Educational Technology studies via the University of British Columbia and exploring my own learning in other areas. This will include a commitment to more open learning from me.
I’m going to bring back the weekly post. I’m also going to continue calling it the FFTF (Food For Thought Friday) but likely ignore the date on the calendar. Sometimes it will be my own thoughts, at other times it will include the thoughts of others but it will always involve something that caused me to think about my own practice and the learning of the students and staff cI work with daily.
I came across a web site discussion on OSSEMOOC (Ontario School and System leaders Edtech Massive Open Online Course) that included excerpts from a Nov 2014 blog post from Brian Harrison, an Ontario principal colleague, who blogged a few months ago about his school’s journey in improving student achievement in math. His discussion includes some intersst ideas about ‘back to basics’ math and ‘new math’. Interesting read and video attachment. Totally FYI. And I know; it’s not Friday. 🙂