Proceedings of The 4th International Conference on Modern Research in Education, Teaching and Learning
Practice Teaching in the Pandemic -Creating constructive practice learning environments through interactive multi- media methods’
Cindy O’Shea & David O’Donovan
Reflective practice is a signature pedagogy (Schulman) which is central to the education of professional youth and community work practitioners. Good reflective practice is based on the ability to connect the self to learning and experience. The Covid 19 Pandemic created unique opportunities for us as educators to frame practice in innovative and creative ways. In the absence of direct engagement with fieldwork Placements it was essential to develop learning frameworks that enabled students to deconstruct learning and create meaning; we cannot learn from experience unless we have the tools to do so. As teachers in professional education contexts, we needed to create a learning environment that facilitated the conversion of knowledge into applied practice by providing meaningful but accessible learning contexts.
Providing the learner with tools that can heighten awareness of themselves as learners and provide them with a valid way to legitimise older and existing knowledge as well as the assimilation of new knowledge is the key task. The challenge is to create an environment that can enable the participant learner to ‘join the dots’ that exists between their experiences, concepts that construct meaning and the skills required to reapply the knowledge from these experiences to new and unique situations.
While critical reflection can provide a learning lens to either allowing students to look back at a situation and understand it in a particular way or deconstruct a situation as it unfolds before us while engaging with it, the capacity to articulate that journey is central to the development route the student will take towards full capacity to integrate the personal, professional, and theoretical in a practice environment.
Using multimedia as a learning tool to enable students to engage effectively with the growth and development of their practice we could facilitate dynamic discussion and experiential conversation in a safe learning space.
Informed by key frameworks for facilitating the deconstruction of professional learning, this paper presents reflective models designed to enhance the student’s deconstruction of their learning through guided and focussed discussion. The processes used enabled scaffolded learning and development of skills required for critical reflective enquiry.
We consider these innovations in the context of working with mature students undertaking a professional youth and community work undergraduate courses in Ireland. However, we argue that our experience in the creative use of multimedia has broader value for professional education and training.
keywords: Reflective Practice; Competency: Interactive and experiential learning.