Thursday, August 12, 2004

First Research Conversation

My research partner and I conducted (joined - listened - participated in) the first research interview on Tuesday. I was a little anxious at first, or during the the days leading up to the session - generally b/c I have not had enough time to prepare as well as I would have liked - but that's just one of those things ... Anyway, in the end it went off really well. The conversation was lively and rich, open and generally well focussed and critically reflective. I had been concerned about whether or not we would find and be able to promote the kinds of conversations that would be valuable, both to the project and to those taking part. It's big ask to come along to a session like this one after a long day teaching and still be able to offer insights and ideas to a couple of strangers - so I'm really grateful that these excellent teachers saw some value in taking the time to do this.

For some of them it seemed like an opportunity to talk about some of the challenges etc. they were facing vis-av-vis the VIT and the process of registration. Some really honest and frank responses that I'm sure the VIT would rather not hear. And it wasn't all negative talk - some mentioned some 'positives' of the process. Some suggestions were really interesting but perhaps understandable considering the pressure of the process (suggesting a return to expert 'observers' in the rear of the classroom with checklists assessing teacher proficieny!) There were a couple of Monash grads who are from the BD mould - funny how much influence this one person has had over the next generation of English teachers in Victoria - a huge influence - and such a positive one.

Anyway, I need to make some more detailed notes. We have another session tomorrow at another school.


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