Effective teaching is about evolution. Your practice cannot grow and develop without thoughtful analysis and reflection. Part of that growth stems from thoroughly evaluating your own classroom and looking at what works and/or areas that can be improved. Proposition 4 speaks to that end and requires that a teacher commits themselves to continued growth.
This is displayed fully in the following Action Research Project, which looked at the net positive effects of requiring weekly summary papers over a reading assignment. The research considered whether the summary writing adequately prepared students for multiple choices quizzes and the general interest level of the assignment. The assignment had a varying completion rate that indicated that students weren’t completing it on a regular basis and therefore were not preparing for the weekly multiple-choice quiz.
The research investigated whether or not changing the summary paper to a reflection paper would increase the completion rate of the writing assignment and improve quiz scores. This sort of action research is at the soul of Proposition 4.
Proposition 4 highlights the importance of continued reflective practice. While this Action Research Project represents a substantial amount of work and should be respected for that, it means nothing if the teacher fails to implement or learn from his or her efforts. Learning from experience means making changes. It means that a teacher has looked at what they are doing and is adjusting their practice based on that data or research. Proposition 4 requires a plan of action. Teachers need to ask themselves, “What will I do with the knowledge gained?” And then after they make a change, “What will I do with what I learned from that?” Reflective practice doesn’t stop and that’s what Proposition 4 means.
Proposition 4 is also about being open to new ideas and about questioning your own habits. Marzano (2007) introduced 10 instructional strategies that teachers can use in their classrooms. The attached Powerpoint is designed to be shared with faculty and represents what I learned from the text. The slideshow describes things I do, things I do well, things I don’t do at all, and things I don’t do enough within the classroom, all under the auspices of what I learned from Marzano (2007). It is the ability of a teacher to consider new ideas and to challenge others that aligns well to Proposition 4.
I was compelled when creating this Powerpoint to do more than summarize the text. For me the slideshow needed to demonstrate what I took away from the reading, though it was slightly counter to the assignment instructions. A simple restating of the material would not help me analyze and synthesize the information. I needed to use Marzano’s (2007) techniques to improve my practice and the “What I Learned From Marzano (2007)” Powerpoint was an avenue to show what, why, and how I could. It turned out to be quite fitting for Proposition 4.