Many professionals feel that staff development is a
mandatory way of ticking the required number of hours of engagement. Learning
is personalised only when the “learning to learn” is accounted for. For many staff development events are a prime
opportunity to pick up fresh perspectives, ideas, concepts, research topics and
share good effective practice. Reflecting on some events have attended
recently, I can surely say that each event opened many ideas and suggestions
for me particularly. Events encompassed
topics like Talking
to Students, Decolonising Curriculum ACCESS, Neurodiversity
Digital Tools, Praxis -scholarship event. While attending all these events of
celebration of success and hot topics in present and the future, I realised
that the best way you can make most of the staff development is through keeping
perspective of the following.
Know who you are – Your identity as a scholar and researcher or even as a listener is important in taking away the relevant material form the session in progress. Here your work, your relevant engagements, the students and staff you cater for are extremely important. Who am I? Where can I take this topic further? Who will benefit?
Be like a sieve- Pick up topics that interest you and build on your motivation and work or academic content. There may be many topics that are highlighted and discussed and the ones that appeal to you may be totally different to you. Be selective, be critical and be open to new ideas.
Model and shape- After the sessions it is worthwhile to reflect and rethink your methods, approach, topic or may be the way you have decided to explore or research a particular area and another topic.
Build the communities- Each research or staff development event introduces you to new people and communities who may have similar or different interests. Sharing effective practice of teaching, learning and researching can be further effective in building a sense of belonging to these events. Grow and enable growth of others!
The research eco system depends on the interdependence of communities of scholars supporting each other and self in revising, revisiting and remodelling ideas, pedagogy and practice.