Presentation Title

Critical reflexivity and the role of yarning to support the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL)

Abstract

This presentation concerns a study positioned at the intersection of trauma-informed education, professional learning and yarning (an Indigenous cultural form of conversation) with a focus on digital technologies, learning strategies and practices. It reports on a collaborative autoethnographic SoTL study involving four UNDA academics at various stages of their teaching and research careers. The study, grounded in the UNDA Objects and core values, captures the lived experiences of the four academics teaching an online course for an entire period of lock down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The presentation explores the role of yarning and characterises the impact and effect of mentoring and professional learning to create a supportive learning community for student success and wellbeing in a trauma informed context.

There is little available research on the interconnectedness of professional learning, yarning and trauma-informed education. Covid-19 has provided a complex and nuanced higher education context for us to reflect as teachers on our teaching, learning and assessment. The COVID-19 illness and Governments’ attempts to manage its impact bring a range of new social, physical and psychological challenges for educators to consider. A key challenge for educators is keeping abreast of technological developments. Yarning enables the exploration of such educational topics in more depth, which results in information emerging that more formal research processes may not facilitate (Bessarab & Ng'andu, 2010).

As such, yarning and journaling were employed as the data gathering tools. Yarning was also used to establish relationships amongst the four participants prior to gathering their stories (also known as narrative). Yarning enabled the four academics to talk freely about their experiences, thoughts, and ideas. Early findings from this study include the importance of the power of teaching teams and experience across the academic career continuum; knowing oneself and the team; regular yarning and regular oral and written communication; collaboration; distributed leadership to foster and sustain relational trust; collegiality, shared common goals for the betterment of the team and our students; shared accountability; and enhanced well-being as result.

Theme

blended learning

Presenter Bio

Dr Lauren Stephenson

Dr Lauren Stephenson is a Professor of Learning, Teaching and Educational Leadership. Lauren holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Sydney and has over 30 years of experience in a range of educational leadership roles and is an experienced educator with a combined 30 years in English as an additional language/dialect (EAL/D), teacher education, educational leadership, research methods, second language acquisition and service learning. She has an extensive record of scholarly activities at national and international levels and has quality publications in the areas of ELT, EAL/D, educational leadership, teacher education and professional learning, work integrated learning, adult learning, action research, autoethnography and narrative inquiry.

Dr Cynthia àBeckett

Dr Cynthia àBeckett is an experienced early childhood teacher who has worked with young children and their families in a number of different early childhood settings. She also worked as an advisor for early childhood teachers and for the past twenty years as an academic in early childhood education programs at Queensland University of Technology, the University of New England and now here at UNDA. Her research interests explore connections between the sociology of childhood, young children and families and early childhood education, and the topic of play. Her thesis entitled Playing in the In-between: implications for early childhood education of new views of social relations, explores these ideas in a more detailed way. She has presented her work both nationally and internationally.

Kylie Fitzgerald

Kylie Fitzgerald is an Associate lecturer in the School of Education, Sydney. Kylie has extensive experience working in primary schools in NSW. For over 19 years, Kylie has worked as a classroom teacher, Reading Recovery teacher, English as a Second Language/Dialect and Learning Support teacher. Kylie has taught across a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate primary education programs at the University of Notre Dame, Sydney, including Mathematics, English, History and Geography, Visual Arts, Diversity, Inclusive Education and Foundational Principles of Teaching.

Bahai Malas

Bahai Malas is an experienced educator within the secondary school context across a range of roles including Head Teacher of English, Year Adviser and Professional Experience coordinator. Her passion for Education and Research has led her to initiate and successfully complete innovative projects with a focus on improving student learning outcomes.

Presentation Type

Presentation

Location

Zoom session commences 10am AWST/12 noon AEST

Start Date

29-9-2021 11:16 AM

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Sep 29th, 11:16 AM

Critical reflexivity and the role of yarning to support the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL)

Zoom session commences 10am AWST/12 noon AEST

This presentation concerns a study positioned at the intersection of trauma-informed education, professional learning and yarning (an Indigenous cultural form of conversation) with a focus on digital technologies, learning strategies and practices. It reports on a collaborative autoethnographic SoTL study involving four UNDA academics at various stages of their teaching and research careers. The study, grounded in the UNDA Objects and core values, captures the lived experiences of the four academics teaching an online course for an entire period of lock down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The presentation explores the role of yarning and characterises the impact and effect of mentoring and professional learning to create a supportive learning community for student success and wellbeing in a trauma informed context.

There is little available research on the interconnectedness of professional learning, yarning and trauma-informed education. Covid-19 has provided a complex and nuanced higher education context for us to reflect as teachers on our teaching, learning and assessment. The COVID-19 illness and Governments’ attempts to manage its impact bring a range of new social, physical and psychological challenges for educators to consider. A key challenge for educators is keeping abreast of technological developments. Yarning enables the exploration of such educational topics in more depth, which results in information emerging that more formal research processes may not facilitate (Bessarab & Ng'andu, 2010).

As such, yarning and journaling were employed as the data gathering tools. Yarning was also used to establish relationships amongst the four participants prior to gathering their stories (also known as narrative). Yarning enabled the four academics to talk freely about their experiences, thoughts, and ideas. Early findings from this study include the importance of the power of teaching teams and experience across the academic career continuum; knowing oneself and the team; regular yarning and regular oral and written communication; collaboration; distributed leadership to foster and sustain relational trust; collegiality, shared common goals for the betterment of the team and our students; shared accountability; and enhanced well-being as result.