Reflections on COVA

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The views expressed on the CTE Educator website, blogs and posts are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Greater Johnstown School District, the Greater Johnstown School District Board of Directors, or Administration.

Implementation of the COVA+CSLE approach to learning is one of rejecting averages and embracing the individual learner. This approach to learning has codified and refined my approach to teaching and learning. While most of what I do in the culinary kitchen is PBL based, I have found that the COVA approach has helped me to apply a more holistic approach, asking students to reflect more, along with rewording responses to students to reflect a growth mindset approach to their learning. This is one of the most valuable pieces of the DLL experience to me. The COVA+CSLE approach and reflecting a growth mindset have made me a more reflective teacher. I engage my thinking more when responding to learners, reflecting on how to guide and coach, not answering questions, steering learners to learn, how to find answers on their own, asking instead of telling…

I will admit the process has been a struggle. While I am glad that the DLL program has helped me to become a better professional learner and classroom facilitator, the challenges to full implementation of my plan may not be successfully overcome in the near future. I have tempered my initial expectations birthed in the excitement of the initial introduction to the DLL program, COVA+CSLE, PL vs PD, and the Growth Mindset. We need to move from an ‘anything we do helps the learner’ mindset that is prevelent in today’s educational settings resulting from our failures during the Covid pandemic, to a planned response to our shortcomings. The deliberate planning and practice of pedagogy need to replace our knee jerk reactice mindset. This is a multi-year project and process that will take the remainder of my career prior to retirement, along with passing on the torch to my early adopter peers. I see my innovation plan/implementation plan as the first step to change how learning should occur in my organization. As we build upon successes, (and reflect on setbacks), we can transform from a factory model of schooling to a 21st century learner centric approach that emphasizes authentic learning.

Dweck, C. S. (2007). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (Updated Edition). Ballantine Books.

Harapnuik, D. K., Thibodeaux, T. N., & Cummings, C. D. (2018). Choice, Ownership, and Voice through Authentic Learning Opportnities.