Saturday, November 20, 2010

A little knowledge

A few weeks ago I went to Florence and trained to be a PYP Workshop Leader.  One of the things we talked about there during our first day was a phenomenon that was called Michael Fullan's dip.  (Michael Fullan is an international authority on educational reform.)  This dip shows what happens when you start to implement something new.  We were asked where we were on the dip.  Were we looking over the edge wondering what we were getting ourselves into?  Were we at the bottom of the dip wondering what we had got ourselves into?  Were we coming up out of the other side of the dip and doing better?  For me, I had wanted to train as a workshop leader for several years so what I mostly felt on day 1 was excitement and happy to be learning something new.  The leaders were right, however, the dip was just around the corner.

For me I think I hit the dip once I realised that although I knew a lot about the PYP, there was still a vast amount I needed to know about inquiry, about constructivism and about curriculum.  This occurred sometime during day 2 of the training.  I started to realise that I had been selected as a workshop leader because I was a great teacher but that what I needed now was to delve deeper into the theory to go with the practice.

I came away from Florence with a list of books and articles that it's absolutely vital that I read.  Some, actually, I have read already or been fortunate enough to have actually done workshops with (Howard Gardner, Lynn Erickson, David Perkins, Daniel Pink, Grant Wiggins).  Some, I have to admit, I had never heard of before.

So now I've started reading like a crazy woman, and I'll be blogging a lot about my reading too, because I've discovered the best way I learn something is to write about it.

1 comment:

  1. I like the idea of thinking about where you are on the dip - it makes you realise that it is OK to feel unsure or even overwhelmed at times. The important thing is not staying down in the dip!

    It sounds as though you have a lot of inspiring and interesting reading ahead of you maggie, and I'm looking forward to following your blog posts as you reflect on that reading.