What I learned about myself, my practice, and the people involved in my action research project? ..
Although I have completed my action research project, I feel the learning is continuing. The Bishop's School asks me to introduce my action research project to the whole school faculty next year. I feel there is a lot to share and there is a long way for me to go.
Looking back on the process of my learning from the beginning of this program, I think this Action Research Project has been an eye opening, enjoyable, and positive learning experience for me.
This project has actually changed me. I went from a
to a constructivist learning approach, from a didactic teaching style to encouraging social learning style. My role has shifted from “sage on the stage” to “guider on the side,” I have learned that students should actively search for and explore answers instead of receiving standard interpretations. In applying the educational theories in my classroom I experienced social constructivism and learning by doing. I have witnessed the effects of the change in my students and myself. My students are happy with how they learn and are delighted with what they have learned. My job was made easier and more effective. I am enjoying the process of facilitating, and role of "Guide on the Side." I am teaching less but my students are learning more through discovery and through the help of their fellow students, and their peers in China. I feel students have never learned so much and so enthusiastically without me walking them through it. I was able to set up the learning environment in such a way that they took charge of their own process. My practice has improved and my students process of learning and understanding has improved as evidenced in their own reflections and actions. Technology integration has helped this shifting process for me and students.
Computer technologies and the Internet are powerful tools for assisting these approaches to language teaching. Even though constructivism is not a theory associated with using technology, constructivist assumptions are guideposts for developing a vision for integrating technology into the language curriculum.
For the first time I have discovered that digital portfolio is so powerful. I think if students present their portfolios to their parents, parents are then able to see so much more than a grade marked on a paper would have told them. The data collected have shown me that the projects students designed allowed them to get a new sense of themselves as learners - that setting a goal and working together to achieve it was something valuable to them. Self knowledge and reflections have deepened their learning.
The Pepperdine program has provided new lenses in which to see and understand how people learn and the applicable theories on which to base actions. What a worthy and productive Action Research Project!
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