Bridgette Fincher- Masters in Educational Technology and Leadership. 2006

Terms and Classes

Summer '05

Fall Term '05

 Winter Term '06

Spring/Summer Term '06

Action Research Project

July 21, 2005 Thursday. First Reflections on Leadership

1. How do people learn?  People learn in a multitudinous  ways which differ depending on preferred mode, circumstance and engagement with the task at hand. All learning has a social element embedded in it, the amount a person engages others in their process of learning differs from individual and task to task.

2. Given your answer to #1, how should teaching happen? To my mind, teaching is one in which the teacher has a good idea of where the students need to go and gives the students the tools they need to go down the path but the journey is theirs. There must be room for modification of the tasks and flexibility to go beyond the parameters. My job is to watch and monitor as they make their way.  Thus, there should be questioning, ambiguity, gray areas, failures, times for reflections and times for celebrations as the students build their learning scaffold. The students have both an individual journey and a collective journey they take with their classmates. The combination of the two leads to a more enriching and greater gestalt

3. What is the nature of leadership?There are many types of leadership…both positive and negative. Negative leadership happens through guilt, coercion, or social/physical power. Positive leadership comes from either leadership through expertise, knowledge, and charisma or social/physical power.

4. How have your ideas on 1-3 changed (if at all) in the past year? Yep…pretty much on number three. Situations at work readily provided examples of both sets. I was able to learn from both negative and positive experiences.

5. What are the skills you bring to your workplace, and how have they changed in the last year? I changed jobs at the start of the year last year, in that after 13 years in Japan, both my husband and I moved to Taiwan to teach at an independent school there. Like any new job, years of known expertise and reputation were left behind as I tried to assimilate a new culture (Chinese) within the context of a new school culture. It was not the easiest of transitions as the skill sets that I brought in technology and in educational knowledge were not a mesh for the school. Although the school was purported to be American curriculum, it was based on the traditional English system. The highest level of technology in the lower school in the classroom was the beginning introduction of digital cameras to document student work. Needless to say, it was not a year of advancement for me but a holding pattern. 

6. How would you characterize your identity within your workplace, and how has it has changed in the last year. Hah! Does the term “pain in the butt” explain it well enough? My principal appreciated the change element that I brought and valued what I did. So did my parents and students as reflected in the 360 survey results given to all my parents and students. My team mates…well, three of us were new this year and three old. The three old found a lot of my questions to be problematic. I was just the newbie who asked more of the questions that the three of us wanted to know. Unfortunately, due to the circumstances of my father’s health, I still will not know if the second year would have been the year of resolution of these issues.


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