Welcome to the May 2019 edition of Psychology for Positive Change, a blog about how psychology can make a positive difference to lives/society. In this article I will explore the concept of Stress Mapping and how we can use it to support ourselves and/or others.
Welcome to the November 2018 edition of Psychology for Positive Change, a blog about how psychology can make a positive difference to lives/society. In this article I will explore the concept of core human needs and signpost to a language of needs that can help us to understand either ourselves or others.
What do you want to achieve? Where do you want to be in five years’ time? To what extent are you on-track to achieve your goals? What might you need to keep doing or do differently? In short, how are you doing, and what’s next? Whatever your role, it can help to regularly set aside some time to take stock of your situation, revisit your vision and values, review progress and learning points, and plan next steps for the future. With September 2018 marking five years since the beginning of APS as a service, it seems a timely opportunity for me to reflect on our own journey so far. In doing so, I will cover three core strands:
Welcome to my first blog article of the new academic year – typically (in education, at least) a time of new beginnings, and an opportunity to think about what we want to achieve in the time ahead. With that in mind, this post offers some thoughts on the nature of the creative process, what it takes to make our ideas a reality, and the importance of persistence and determination as we shape and refine our efforts.
For the final PfPC article of the year I’m going to completely swerve away from the theme of the rest of this academic year’s articles, and am instead going to offer some personal reflections on an aspect of my recent practice that didn’t go as well as I would have ideally liked. In so doing I will draw upon the spirit and messages of Black Box Thinking, Matthew Syed’s engaging and inspirational book on the importance of systematically learning from failures.
So far this academic year, this series of articles has outlined a psychology-informed coaching approach to lesson observations that can be applied to support education practitioners to reflect on and further develop their classroom practice (see the APS blog archives, September 2016 to January 2017). In this article I’m going to expand on one particular component of this approach – how we can support and guide reflection on practitioners’ successes – while also highlighting how we can use the process to develop teachers’ skill at being reflective.
Making Lesson Observations Work (Part 3): A Seven-Step Framework for Supporting Practitioner Learning and Development.
My previous two articles have focused on:
This post represents the third part of this series of articles, outlining a seven-step psychology-informed framework (Adams, 2015) that can be applied in the context of lesson observations to support practitioner learning and development.
My Term 1 blog post focused on some of the problems that can be associated with traditional lesson observation procedures (see the archives, September 2016). This post outlines some ways in which the application of principles from evidence-based psychological approaches can transform the process and enhance the likelihood that it will result in change.
Making lesson observations work (Part 1): Problems with traditional approaches to lesson observation.
A central concern for any school is how to support and enhance the performance and development of its classroom teachers. It is for this reason that observations of classroom practice have become such a prominent feature of the landscape in education settings, with observations now taking place many times during the academic year for each individual teaching practitioner. Observation processes are linked to and inform, among other things, performance management appraisals, school inspections, and continuing professional development (CPD) for teachers. Being observed at work can be, in my view, a good thing, in that it can bring strengths to one’s attention, inform consideration about areas for development, and raise awareness about blind spots one might have about one’s practice. It stimulates learning and reflection, guards against complacency, and is a helpful vehicle for challenge. Observation is thus a key tool for supporting practitioner learning and development, which in turn supports the ongoing process of school improvement. It is also a potentially valuable component of coaching engagements in schools if the aim is to support the development of classroom practice. However, there are a number of factors associated with observation procedures that, in my view and experience, can either confound the process or interfere with the aim of supporting practitioner learning and development. This blog post outlines some of these factors.
Carol Dweck’s work on mindsets (Dweck, 2006) has very much permeated the modern educational landscape, and is a good example of how findings from psychology research can influence people’s thinking and practices. A related but equally informative area of exploration from Dweck and her colleagues’ research, in my opinion, is their work on performance goals and learning goals. My decision to make this topic the focus of a blog post was inspired by a conversation with my 10-year-old daughter that took place earlier this year.
Psychology for Positive Change is a blog about constructive applications of psychology to everyday living.
Mark Adams is a Chartered Psychologist who is passionate about how psychology can be applied to make a positive difference to lives and society. He is the author of Coaching Psychology in Schools, published by Routledge in November 2015.
For other psychology-related resources, please visit the resources section of the APS website.