INNOVATION AND CHANGE AS A PERSONAL JOURNEY
If change is “to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is” (The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer) http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/change; then change in teaching and learning means reflecting on what we do as teachers to improve the learning of individual students. We instigate change and monitor growth in ourselves, our students, the programs we deliver as well as the community in which we work in. We try to broaden the thinking of the individual to make a difference in the world in which we live.
Innovation and change in Vocational Education and Training becomes a personal journey experienced by the teacher /trainer. Personal development is important for professional development.
In my professional life I have embraced change, tested my resilience, adaptability and fought for my beliefs. I started as a nurse, moved to Alice Springs to change the world and got lost. I travelled for a couple of years, trying to find meaning in the world and my existence in it. I returned to Australia and studied naturopathy, as I believed that this was a more powerful way to help people. For me, it wasn’t.
When my children were born, I pursued my long-term desire to teach. I believed that teaching was the way to instigate change. I had spent a great majority of my nursing career educating patients about their health and empowering them to make informed choices that could change their lives. Naturopathy was similar. A nurse and a naturopath both assess the individual; making suggestions that could improve their health and wellbeing; then monitor and review as change progresses.
I believed that nursing would influence people. I learnt I couldn’t save the world. I started teaching as a primary school teacher believing teaching children could change the world. Assisting children to believe in themselves and to make meaning of their world, to question, to practice, to try and to experience life was the way to change in the world. I was aiming for big change – nothing less. I felt an urgency to learn and to make a difference.
When I moved into adult education, and back to nursing I saw the importance that education and self-belief made to students of all ages. I have taught people who missed years of schooling due to drugs, alcohol, dysfunctional childhood, abuse, war and ignorance. I believe that teachers and trainers are powerful change agents. This is a responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly. A teacher/trainer has a social responsibility to nurture change, as we change the world by empowering students, one at a time.
This is a risky business, and things do not always work out as planned. This is change. We assess the individual, and continuously review and monitor the impact of education and the changes that are occurring. We change what we are doing to support our students, catering for individual difference in their learning. We learn, we change.
Embrace professional development. Embrace personal development … and change your world.
Change. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Retrieved November 07, 2015, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/change
Fullan, M. (2015, March 25). Topic Series 11 - Push & Pull: The Role of Technology . Retrieved November 7, 2015 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEO9lmmamy8