Friday, February 27, 2009

Honesty

We have reached a great point in our project. As in all professional development we spend quite a while building understanding , confidence in each other, and fidelity to the program.
We use fidelity in a very different sense than other programs. When we talk about fidelity is not about adhering to a specific script, instead its about confirming to "big ideas" of integration, quality and discourse.
The process by which teachers learn trust and accept the research team and vice versa is long. In my experience, it takes at least two full years of work together usually much more. I also believe that many projects never actually get to the point where participants from all sides feel confidence about what they are doing and what everyone else is doing.
In Arts LINC we are there. We now have quite a few teachers that keep us honest. Let me give you an example, one of our teachers emailed me today about a problem in our Teacher Log. Some other teachers expressed concern but he questions were concrete grounded in the work. I immediately found that in answering her questions (coming from a need to understand and help the research) I found some of the redundancy in our data collection. I was called to the carpet and found wanting (in a small way). Similarly another teacher looking at the data for kindergarten is asking pesky questions. When I say pesky I mean they bother me because they force me to think again about my chain of reasoning and force me to retrace my steps and make sure my data and interpretations are correct. I lose that- so if you are teachers on any research project, ask, question, participate. Do not let your question prevent you from action, but remember that the researchers can learn from you as much as you larn from them. That is what makes ist so valid ... and fun.
Not much about art this time-
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