Brookfield’s becoming a critically reflective teacher


My copy of the new edition of Brookfield’s becoming a critically reflective teacher arrives. I actually read the introduction with mounting excitement and a sense of possibilities. These really are areas that I want(ed) to examine with groups I work with.


I was particularly struck by his insight into power and discourse in teaching. Applying this thinking to reflective practice, reflection, and portfolios is a topic that has long tempted me and one which I think I will not be able to resist after this.

I fully admit to not having read this before, despite using his “four lenses”. As usual it was really instructive to go back to the original text. Not to be all old fashioned librarian on it, but I learn more and more, every year, how important a commitment to scholarship is.


Reflective practice, reading and learning

I spent several days reviewing my course notes, learning materials, videos for Reflective Practice and Professional Development including further reading. I also reread old chapters and rewatched videos to decide whether to keep them or change and also as it had been some time since I had read some of the materials.

I felt pretty confident of delivering a good experience to the group in Cork and was happy to have changed to Weebly in the knowledge that they should have a working portfolio that they could update at the end of the session.

eportfolios in Weebly

We are changing our supported platform from WordPress to Weebly. I was particularly dissatisfied with WordPress in the classes I didn’t get much time with and from the pilot project. I had originally inherited WP from my brilliant colleague Tricia Harris, now a furniture designer. And garden designer too. This was many years ago and it was chosen for reasons of privacy, extensibility, and portability. These were all valid choices but platforms and web services evolve. WP has got too large, too confusing, and too difficult for the most students. Weebly and Wix are the two most common alternatives so I set about producing a version of the eportfolio in each. My guidelines were

  • it must create a portfolio suitable for use and one that you can take and expand as you grow
  • it must be capable of being the fulcrum in your digital identity
  • it can be used for ELD, MATE, and the NF pilot project

The selection was based on what produced the best results, and seemed easiest to learn. I made a site in Weebly and have chosen this and will roll it out for the CTE/MATE RPD class next week in Cork. It’s that easy. FWIW I hated Wix.

weebly front page for PD

This took me a couple of days at least and was a commitment I think I was loathe to make – changing. The delay in doing it cost me time on this project as I didn’t want to do a site I was going to change.

I now have to update this site in at least two, and realistically 3 to 5 platforms. Which if there is anything I learnt from Helen Barrett it must be that commitment.

I’m delighted I have belatedly begun to be a more capable mentor.

Copyright law

Sometimes I love my job. So much I take it home with me. I am expected to know about intellectual property. Mostly keeping up to date with this involves reading short sections of text books, law articles, or sometimes case law and legislation. Very rarely does it involve reading comics and listening to music*. This is not a good thing as listening to music and reading comics are activities I can really buy into!

I think this blog doesn’t often deal with the amount of reading that I do, and I can guess a few reasons for this, but at least there are some representatives. This book, though written by lawyers, brilliantly focuses on morality and creativity. Concepts that are frankly absent from IP law. Though there is discussion of creators, rights holders are the focus. It’s about the money, not the sustainability of artistry and creativity, the productivity of the creative sector, and creative innovation. Due to the absence of these concepts from courts of law we have deliberate stagnation of creativity and a culture obsessed with retro.  While the tone of this book is not entirely to my taste, and the female author is objectified and sexualised in the illustrations gratuitously I think, I really enjoy this and recommend it to all fellow librarians that have professional and teaching responsibilities in IP that also love music, history, and comics.

That’s a surprisingly large audience I think!

*I have insisted that a sampler be brought into the classroom for law intellectual property classes, and I have tried to get comics as learning materials whenever possible because: reasons.

Various activities on 29th of March


Wrote catalogue notes for exhibition on migrants for the library- this is a first for us and we will be joining it to an online exhibition. Need to learn Omeka.


Koha email list – learning how to do acquisitions. I began the list and it hasn’t been used much. I hope to kickstart it and lead the community a little bit.

Began using the Outlook/Office 365 project management tool for the Delegated Authority  project


What is professional development?

I was nominated to represent the group in the project and suggest a definition of professional develooment. Here are some starts and what I sent in.

Striving to improve myself in my profession, seeking to improve my profession.

Seeking recognition for the change and development I have undergone and that the profession does. Seeking to keep up to date with changes as far as possible.

This sounded better last night.


Professional development means me striving to improve myself in my professional life. It also indicates a goal of me striving to improve my profession and its recognition. It also means recognition and validation of that development externally. I believe it also should include seeking such improvement in those around me and in recognising that and using it to manage, measure, and reward performance in an organisational environment.

On a basic level professional development includes updating skills and upskilling, but it should also seek to interrogate and inform the professional, ethical, and philosophical standards.