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Contemporary Teacher Leadership

1714.1 Master of Teaching (Secondary)

Assignment 2:
Critical Reflection


Xiaoyan Ji/Allen
Group presentation:
Critical Reflection

With the rapid pace of globalization, increasing amount of work and life involves
multidimensional communication and cooperation. Thus, it is highly important to
develop essential skills and inclusive understanding regarding diverse backgrounds
and intercultural knowledge. This crucial move should take place at schools and
extend to other aspects of life. As indicated by Donnelly and Wiltshire (2014),
Australia values its position on global stage and seeks to prepare students for the roles
in the future. As correlation between Australia and Asia approaches to a new era, with
such countries as China and Japan being Australia’s major import and export partners,
high frequency of intercultural communication will be unavoidable. Coming from this
perspective, our project aims to improve students’ confidence to embrace competitive
work with specific emphasis on those who are from low social economic

In order to have a clear reflection of our professional identity as change maker to not
only individual schools but also wider communities, we employed project-based
learning (PBL) and constructed a program that involves cross-curricular
communication and links all parties to the maximum. With Japanese, History and
Music as primary focus of the project, we combined our thoughts through zoom
meeting and summarized key points to start with. For example, before collecting data,
a couple of meetings were organized to set tones for the outline. KWL chart was then
agreed on to ask ‘what I know, what I want to know and what I learned’ with
consideration of both vertical and horizontal scales. Macro skills of Japanese,
comprehensive knowledge of historical events and understanding of music styles were
carefully integrated into individual chains. Individual competence is demonstration of
compatibility of social structure and various roles should be measured in contexts
(Australian Curriculum, Assessment, and Reporting Authority, n.d.). However, due to
some objective issues that sporadically occurred to our team members, for instance, I
was in Japan for 20 days, one guy went to the bush where there was no internet, plan
had to be accommodated accordingly. It was these unpredictable occasions that tested
us as a team and thanks to my amazing teammates, all the challenges were turned into
valuable experience through communication and collaboration. Also, with help of
internet and panoply of online tools, we could surmount limit of time and space and
ensure smooth implementation of our ideas. Facebook, Messenger and Zoom are
regularly adopted.

As for the process of waving theory into practice, we were guided by the concept that
social support contributes to both individual and collective development and our
ultimate goal was to yield school-level progress. In order to glean consistent and
accountable data, both qualitative and quantitative data analysis were applied so that
the cross-curricular statistics could find ways to reflect connections in different
contexts. Neuman (2013) believes that qualitative and quantitative data analysis
supplement each other if managed properly. We employed survey and semi-structured
interviews throughout the project to evaluate students’ intercultural understanding
growth pattern and influencing factors. While doing so, it was very important that we
collaborated as a team, with each person allocated certain tasks to do. I was in charge
of data collection design and protocols, Ben was doing project goals and Stewart was
dealing with evaluations. Along the way, we all put our progress on a timeline chart
for the whole team to have conspicuous understanding of the overall proceeding.
Everyone was generous to take on extra responsibilities if needed, which was why the
team spirit was very high and things advanced quickly. This also shed lights on real
life faculty collaboration, indicating what is needed to promote efficiency.

When it comes to the final presentation of our project, everyone is very nervous about
how it will appear to others. Because we were shown exemplars of past work, it was
not too hard to put our pieces together. However, everyone wanted to make ours
outstanding and so quite a few meetings were spent on ways to be different. Although
there was not much creativity to show on general structure, we delivered our speech
taking turns with some slides incorporating group talking. This displays our collective
effort and demonstrates our understanding of the project as a whole. I feel sorry to my
teammates for the first Monday meeting I missed. We agreed on a time but then I
suddenly found out there was a clash. They showed great understanding to me and we
appointed another time to meet up. From this incident I learned how important it is to
have a supportive team and we should always be prepared with a plan B.

Video shooting went smooth as a result of good preparation. We all understood the
significance to make our design understandable and applicable school wide.
Intercultural programs involve wide range of knowledge and comprehensive
understanding (Marx & Moss, 2011). Therefore, we tried to stand from observers’
angle and explain the project carefully in details. It allowed us to view things
differently and think as a teacher and a practitioner. As for sustainability of the project,
our goal is to keep systematic record of statistics and encourage more people to
contribute to the base and use it to facilitate future researches. Due to the complexities
of the project, especially where intercultural exchange and cross-curricular integration
occurs, we found it challenging to cover sufficient range, so in the group presentation
there was a brief outline to show the skeleton of key concepts. Looking back at the
journey of the project, I am grateful to have had an insightful lecturer who is patient
to our questions and gives us constructive suggestions. Furthermore, active
commitment from our team also provides considerable boost to the smooth
proceeding of the project. My take away from it is that teaching is an inclusive
process that involves support from many parties. The more supportive we are to one
another, the better result we will get.
Asia Literacy Teachers’ Association of Australia (2016). Asia literacy: Making it happen
Retrieved February 23, 2016 from http://www.asialiteracy.org.au/Asia_Literacy.php.
Australian Curriculum, Assessment, and Reporting Authority. (n.d.). Personal and Social
Capability. Retrieved from
Donnelly, K., & Wiltshire, K. (2014). Review of the Australian curriculum: Final report. Canberra:
Australian Government Department of Education.
Marx, H., & Moss, D. (2011). Please Mind the Culture Gap: Intercultural Development During a
Teacher Education Study Abroad Program. Journal of Teacher Education, 62(1), 35-47. doi:
Neuman, W. L. (2013). Social research methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Pearson