Blogs

Most important thing to date that I have learned in the PIDP Program

It’s difficult to pinpoint one particular item in the PIDP program that has had the most importance for me that I have learned, as I have never taught before. I have been able to learn so many new techniques and tools that will eventually help me in my new endeavor. However, I can nail it down to about 4 items which are Lesson Planning (BOPPPS), the Feedback instrument, engaging students (classroom management), and reflection. I believe reflection is going to take me the farthest, as it is a lifelong commitment on my part to continue my journey to new learning and growth.

It took me a few courses into this program to warm up to the idea of what I actually thought about certain things, and then committing to really thinking about how I felt about a certain subject and then putting those thoughts on to paper. This is/was a process that I wasn’t used to, and reflection has been common theme throughout the program.

I have learned to interpret information or an experience, and then reflect in a deep and meaningful way in order to venture into an unknown place of fundamental change and understanding. The key will be to commit to and sustain the habit of reflection and change, and then utilize this reflection as a strategy in my teachings. If my students see me leading by example in having an open mind to change in learning new things and processes, they will hopefully follow in my footsteps in a journey of their own into life-long learning and reflection.

I believe it is crucial to the survival of the lifelong leaner’s ability to continuously seek new knowledge in order to stay competitive in today’s world. As self-directed learner seeks autonomy in the learning process, and takes responsibility for and is in control of what and how they are learning.

To me, self-reflection is about letting past experiences, endeavors, encounters, or actions run through my mind, I form an opinion, and then learn from it. What we do today, how we think, and how we stand in life is so vitally important to where we want to go, and how we define the future. I consider each day, each month, and each experience to be an important chapter in my life, and in creating each new chapter I have the potential to create new things; but above all, I will continue to learn how to learn and to self-reflect.

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The Skillful Teacher – Chapter 13 – Dealing with the politics of Teaching

What is the definition of politics? “A political process is one in which someone attempts to persuade, direct, or coerce someone else into devoting scarce resources to a particular activity,” and according to Brookfield (2006) most teachers believe that they don’t have much to do with the way of politics in the classroom and that their main job is just to teach the curriculum, assess student’s knowledge and collect a paycheck. However, Brookfield (2006) contends, “In the organized pursuit of education objectives we inevitably exercise politics through persuasion, manipulation, even coercion, and at its root, is all about the exercise of such power.”

The best possible class scenario would be for both teacher and student to have equal decision making power, and equal participation into what students are learning. The very nature of teaching and learning is change, and teachers need to be mindful to ensure they communicate the subject without bringing too much of their own influences and ideology into the classroom. Where teachers may be guilty of inciting politics into the classroom is when students are humiliated in front of other students, are excluded from participating, and chastised for objecting or disagrees with their personal views.

Aside from keeping one’s job as a teacher, the one political issue that is at the forefront is academic freedom. ‘The battle is on’ to ensure your particular course or subject is deemed important enough to support funding for its existence to continue. Where the politics lies outside of the class for example, is when new teachers are trying to ‘break’ into the institution. They face tactical shrewdness in when and how to speak, and who to trust or not trust. In amongst our colleagues are those who are referred to as ‘TABS’ (The ability to be taken seriously). These good folks are the ones that rarely say much, but when they speak, we want to get to know them, as they are very powerful and share most of our common convictions.

One way that a program can potentially remain running is to elicit feedback from the pressures of external stakeholders and former students. The outcry of this feedback could stop potential cutting of programs or loss of teaching jobs.

As a new teacher to the profession, one of the best ways to ensure unattainable transparency is to keep paper trails and document all of your conversations. Every time roles or responsibilities change within your job specifications, email your administrator or superior to confirm that the expectations are clear for all parties involved. Further, keep a file of documents relating to your accomplishments, and recognition’s, which will give you a competitive advantage in the world of politics in teaching.

 References:

Retrieved  from Brookfield, S. (2006). The skillful teacher; on technique, trust, and responsiveness in the classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, pp. 235 – 252.

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The importance of lifelong learning as a professional.

I believe the purpose of education, and specifically related to lifelong learning as a professional, is to develop our personal growth, whether it be in Vocational, Recreational, or Self-development. Education focuses on creating a lifelong independent person who is a self-directed thinker. It is one who engages in systematic and sustained self–educating activities to gain new knowledge, skills, attitudes, or values, and takes responsibility for their own learning. “Malcolm Knowles defined self-directed learning as “a process by which people identify their learning needs, set goals, choose how to learn, gather materials, and evaluate their progress” (Rubenson, 2011, p. 53).

Brookfield (2006, p. 25) states that, “…Skillful teaching, on the other hand, is teaching that is contextually informed. And one of the best ways of ensuring that our teaching is so informed is to integrate the critically reflective habit into our practice.” I believe crucial to the survival of the lifelong learner is the ability to continuously seek new knowledge in order to stay competitive in today’s world. A self-directed, lifelong learner seeks autonomy in the learning process, and takes responsibility for and is in control of what and how they are learning. One cannot dwell too long on what they have learned for someone else already has.

For the benefit of our practice as educators we need to keep informed of how our actions impact our students. Actions that are justified can be explained to ourselves and others, that the rational for our actions is inherent in our experiences, and that we consider other’s perspectives in the way we maintain consistency when disseminate messages to students. It is the very process of learning how to better learn that is crucial to instructional success, and to the importance of lifelong learning as a professional. The ultimate goal of person-centered education is: “Learning becomes life” (Rogers, 1969, p. 115).

Resources

Brookfield, S. (2006). The skillful teacher; on technique, trust, and responsiveness in the

classroom. Second Edition. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, pp. 25 – 27.

Cornelius-White, J., Harbaugh, A., (n.d.). Learner-Centered Instruction: Building

Relationships for Student Success. Sage. Retrieved  from https://books.google.ca/books?id=dLI6dcA-k6MC&pg=PA20&lpg=PA20&dq=rogers+1969+p.+104&source

The TLO. (2017). Teaching adult learners. Ryerson University. Retrieved  from http://www.ryerson.ca/lt/resources/newsletters/best_practices/pasttopics/feb2015/

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The Skillful Teacher – Chapter 6 – Lecturing Creatively

Many believe that once the internet and on-line teaching became prevalent lecturing in the classroom would become extinct. This however is just not the case according to Brookfield (2006, p. 97) who insists that, “For having been declared dead, the corpse of lecture-based teaching shows remarkable signs of life.”

Lecturing, or teacher talk, can be done in several different techniques. Whatever approach is to be used, students should be informed of the method, what it is intended to accomplish, and the relevance to their learning. Lectures, according to Brown and Race (2002) should not last longer than 25 minute intervals of uninterrupted talk. Some reasons to consider as a benefit to lecturing are as follows:

Establish a broad perspective on the material: This is a general overview of the material content and the expectations within the course guidelines.

Frequent examples: Some students learn better when they can relate the content to a specific example.

Model preferred attitudes and behaviours of students: An example of modeling such behaviour would be critical thinking. If students see/observe the teacher in deep reflection, and students are shown how this is done, then students will be able to indulge in critical thinking.

Encouraging learning interest: There is nothing more important than to engage learners by their teacher’s enthusiasm.

Teachers also need to mix up how they conduct their presentations. This can be done with film clips, PowerPoint, visual aids.

Pauses as a lecturing style can be a powerful tool as some students need time to digest the information before moving on to the next segment. Introverts would be a good example of this.

The chunk and chew is another useful method as it provides information for approximately 15 minutes of lecture, followed by a short break or activity. This break enables students to absorb the information.

Another effective tool in the classroom is the use of ‘buzz groups’. This format gives students an opportunity to discuss a topic within a group and then ask for feedback.

The ‘Siberians’ are those classic students that believe the farther that they are away from the teacher, the more likely they will not be noticed and will not have to participate. Teachers can provide extra support for these students by meandering the entire room, including Siberia.

Teachers can begin their lecture by asking relevant questions on the topic to spark the interest of students and engage them into the lesson. Further to this, one can maintain organization or classroom management, within the lesson by giving handouts as so students can follow along. Clues can be given to students such as key points of interest, sub points, and specific examples within the lesson for better clarity. A deliberating argument or different perspective can be introduced to engage students to share their own viewpoints.

An effective means of improving your lectures is to invite another teacher to observe and then provide you with peer feedback. Questionnaires are also another effective tool in providing teachers with student feedback. Finally, videotaping oneself during the lecture can provide valuable feedback on tone, pitch, delivery, pausing techniques, and effective use of meandering or positioning in the classroom.

References:

Retrieved  from Brookfield, S. (2006). The skillful teacher; on technique, trust, and responsiveness in the classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, pp. 97 – 131.

Retrieved  from http://www.collegesanddegrees.com/accreditation#loses

Retrieved  from https://accreditation.ca/?gclid=CPLJhIHckNICFUpNfgodZVwArA

Retrieved  from http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/everest-college-forced-to-shut-all-14-ontario-schools-after-province-suspends-license

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 Accreditation in Canada

In February of 2015 the Ontario Government shut down the American-based Everest College, which operated 14 private career schools within the Ontario Province and affected 450 staff and some 2,450 students. The article goes on to state that,

“Allegations of falsifying job placement data used in marketing claims to prospective students at one of the company’s U.S. campuses triggered an investigation by the U.S. Education Department, which eventually led to a severe cash shortage at the company when federal funds were withheld…As a result, Corinthian Colleges agreed to close 12 campuses in 11 states and place the rest of its campuses up for sale, including those in Canada.”

With the Canadian based Colleges now with a shortfall in funding, and forced to close, students would not be reimbursed for tuition, and further would not be guaranteed that their existing earned credits be transferred to another institution.

References:

The Canadian Press. (2015). Everest college. Retrieved  from http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/everest-college-forced-to-shut-all-14-ontario-schools-after-province-suspends-license

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Important elements of a program evaluation focuses mainly on the unique needs of health care sectors and services. The important elements of a program evaluation are as follows:

  • To assess services and focus on program improvements.
  • To develop standardized processes to improve on efficiency and reduce costs.
  • To publicly promote a commitment to offering safe and high quality services.
  • To identify leading and commendable practices.
  • To build a culture of quality, safety, and excellence.
  • To mitigate risk and support the uptake of best practices.

References:

Accreditation Canada. (2017). Why accreditation matters

Retrieved  from https://accreditation.ca/why-accreditation-matters

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Accreditation Programs

Accreditation is an ongoing process of assessing organizations against standards to identify what they do well, where they can make improvements, and how to make this happen. Surveyors from Accreditation Canada, evaluate accredited organizations every 4 years to evaluate and ensure they are meeting these standards.

There are 3 steps in the accreditation process and they are Primer, Qmentum and Distinction:

The Accreditation Primer Standards address:

  • Client safety
  • Infection prevention and control
  • Medication management
  • Safe and appropriate service delivery
  • Safe and healthy work life
  • Information management
  • Physical environment and equipment
  • Integrated quality improvement
  • Leadership
  • Sector-specific criteria

The primer takes approximately 12 – 18 to complete, and organizations that successfully complete the primer are accredited for 2 years. During this time frame organizations continue to work on their quality improvement goal with ‘Qmentum’.

The Accreditation Qmentum Standards address for sets of standards:

  • Governance
  • Leadership
  • Infection Prevention and Control
  • Medication Management

The Qmentum accreditation program focuses on quality and safety throughout all aspects of an organization’s services. This may include governance and leadership to direct care and infrastructure for the benefit of patients, clients, residents, staff and volunteers.

Throughout this program clients follow a system-wide set of standards that are customized to their needs and include:

  • Become familiar with the program resources (standards and education materials)
  • Participate in education and training
  • Administer the self‐assessment (optional) and the performance measure instruments (Work life Pulse Tool, Canadian Patient Safety Culture Survey Tool, and Governance Functioning Tool)
  • Take action on processes and practices identified as needing improvement
  • Undertake the on-site survey, which can last anywhere from two to five days, depending on the size of the organization and the services offered
  • Receive the Qmentum accreditation decision and Accreditation Report
  • Use the results to guide ongoing quality improvement activities

The Distinction accreditation recognizes clinical excellence and a commitment to innovation and leadership in a specific health care field. It is a rigorous and highly specialized program based on in-depth clinical performance measures and protocols.

  • Stroke Distinction is for organizations and programs that demonstrate excellence and leadership in stroke care.
  • Trauma Distinction is for organizations and programs that demonstrate excellence and leadership in trauma services.

Retrieved  from https://accreditation.ca/why-accreditation-matters

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Ethical Dilemmas

Working for a municipal government has a lot of great perks. For example, there is a very good benefit package for medical, dental, and retirement package. However, on the other hand the City has very strict policies on staff receiving gifts from external customers or clients. Employees are not permitted to accept cash, gift cards, free or discounted goods in the course of their job. Employees are also not permitted to organize raffles, 50/50 draws, or similar games of chance at work without obtaining a gaming licence; even if the proceeds are to be donated to charity. The expectation is intended to avoid real or perceived conflict of interest on the part of City staff in carrying out their responsibilities as public servants. The code of conduct requires that the items must be declined, or forwarded to the City Clerk.

Clearly this could become a troublesome dilemma for a lot of staff that are in positions of trust that are tempted on a daily basis to accept a lunch from a client, or a box of donuts from a vendor to give to staff. In applying one of Kidder’s 9 steps to solving ethical dilemmas, I believe the one step that sticks out for me the most is “Individual and Community” whereas, “What is good for one person may not be good for the group” (Kidder, 1995). We may think that there is no harm in just accepting a gift, just this one time, as an individual. Also, it’s just me and, “what’s the harm if I am the only one that accepts a gift?”  However, in applying Kidder’s “Ends-based thinking Rule”, we need to do whatever produces the greatest good for the greatest number of people. In this case if all staff accepted gifts, what would the impact be, and the perception of City staff in the eyes of the tax payers? The ends-based principle should be applied as it demands consideration of the most likely results of our actions and in this case City staff needs to ensure they are following the code of conduct when accepting gifts from external clients.

 References

Kidder, M. (1995). How good people make tough choices. New York: Morrow.

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The Skillful Teacher – Chapter 12 – Responding to Resistance

Why do students resist learning and what can teaches do in response to this dilemma?

Some students may feel that they are blessed with an entitlement and deserve an ‘A’ just for showing up in class. Other students are just determined to sabotage the teachers’ efforts to progressing their learning. Teachers often fight an uphill battle with sustained resistance from students, and often blame themselves for everything that goes wrong in the classroom.

Other factors that may contribute to this resistance include the fear of committing cultural suicide, ethnic or racial differences between the teacher and students. As teachers, one of the important elements to remember is to try and contain this resistance as much as possible as so it doesn’t take over and contaminate the whole class environment. We need to be mindful not to indulge in conversational obsession which focuses our attention on a small group of hard-line resisters that we are trying to convert over. We may end up forgetting to engage with those who are enthusiastic about learning and they become second in line.

I believe Brookfield (2006, p. 214) says it best when he states, “The basis for resistance to learning is the fear of change.” We have to remember that by initiating change, means for most of us, that we feel threatened and want to resist learning something new. I also agree, that for myself, this also holds true, especially when it something to be learnt that I feel has no relevance to my learning.

Some resist change as they are afraid and ultimately feel inadequate in front of their peers. This is when we can incorporate individual assignments in class to help alleviate the anxiety of some student in group work. Learning as an individual, rather than in a group environment may also be best for some as students they may be willing to take additional risks.

Setting goals for students that are not achievable, for example assignments with too short of deadlines, will most certainly foster resistance. Some students may have had bad experiences whereby being embarrassed or ridiculed in front of their peers, leaving them with a poor self-image. We will have to reach out and build up their confidence, and their self-esteem to minimize resistance toward new learning. We must rely on a facet of teaching methods to match learning to the individual student in an effort to reduce resistance to learning. Educators must be careful not to commit cultural suicide by progressing too quickly, or promoting ideas and concepts that may be viewed as radical or unfamiliar to certain cultures of students.

Brookfield (2006, p. 225) makes a good point when he shares with his readers, “…the intensity and longevity of resistance stands a better chance of being reduced…by making a deliberate attempt to create diversity in your teaching, regularly trying to get inside students’ heads, making sure your try to balance credibility and authenticity, and creating learning communities…”

Teachers can help to reduce resistance by acknowledging and describing situations when they were resistant to learning themselves. At the end of the day, we can also explain to students that they have the right to resist learning however, the challenge for teachers will be to minimize the negative impact it has on those students who are ambitious in their own learning.

Retrieved  from Brookfield, S. (2006). The skillful teacher; on technique, trust, and responsiveness in the classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, pp. 211-233.

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In next five years…

I have been a supervisor for over 15 years managing various unionized trades staff. My ambition is to now change careers and become a metal fabrication instructor. I have always had a passion for sharing any knowledge that I have learned, and there is nothing more gratifying to me than seeing someone learn something new and then apply it. Bilanich (2017) puts it best when he says, “You never learn something so completely as when you teach it to another person.” I will focus on completing the PIDP Program and continue to have conversations with department heads that offer courses in metal fabrication and ultimately be instructing full time at some point in the near future.

 Step to getting to that teaching role…

I have been looking for a PDA for metal fabrication, which provides opportunities for teachers to identify resources and engagement in activities that develop and expand knowledge and skills however, I may have to expand on this once I land an instructor’s position.

One of the other ideas that has been brought to my attention is community service. Volunteering to assist in instruction in civic/community organizations will help me to gain some teaching experience. Another idea is to facilitate as a guest speaker at some of the local high schools or institutions, to offer assistance in discussing any gaps they may have in developing apprentices for the workplace.

I am hoping to volunteer in a metal fabrication classroom to observe and learn from other instructor’s classes.  I may try and volunteer to help run the Skills the Canada Competitions for metal fabrication. There may be some conferences available that focus on trends within metal fabrication and welding trades to keep up with the latest technology.

Once I start teaching, I will be asking for a mentor that can provide me with suggestions and constructive feedback to improve my instructional effectiveness.  I will also ask to work with other experienced instructors to enhance my skills, identify strengths and weaknesses, share knowledge, and reflect on classroom practices.

Bilanich, B. (2017). 8 ways a mentor will help you find career success. Retrieved  from http://www.budbilanich.com/mentor-career-success/

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The Skill full Teacher – Chapter 9 – Teaching in diverse classrooms

It is quite amazing to me, once I actually read it in print, how diversified students have become and what challenges there will be to bridging this gap and successfully getting my message across in the classroom.

Reflecting on my current role as a supervisor, there are remarkable similarity’s in the diversity of our staff in our workplace. Not only are there many types of religious backgrounds and beliefs, there are various types of personalities, and different levels of skillsets and knowledge levels from laborer, to various levels of apprentices, full-fledged journeyman to senior management.

What has seemed to work for me as a supervisor, and I will apply the same logic in my future teaching, is to maintain authenticity in who I am. This is not to say I have, or will ignore the various degrees of diversity in the needs of students, in fact it is just the opposite where I will need to be even more creative in how I communicate the concepts and adapt my strategies to accommodate this diversity. Many of the components in teaching metal fabrication will involve demonstrations by the instructor, and then practice and demonstrations by the student to ensure understanding of the concept.

Given the stats on the variety in demographics of my future students, I will not only use verbal descriptions on how to perform a task, I believe a productive way to teach such a class would be through demonstrations as a universal way of modeling the task. Brookfield (2006, P. 165) argues that, “Demonstration as a teaching approach has the additional advantage of teachers modeling their own participation in, and commitment to, the learning activities they are asking of students…demonstration also helps to build on teacher credibility”

Retrieved  from Brookfield, S. (2006). The skillful teacher; on technique, trust, and responsiveness in the classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, pp. 153-172.

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Classroom management

Many of our students in our classroom are so distracted by events that are out of their control. This could include students using their cell phones, working on their laptops, sleeping at their desk, socializing, or just stressed out about not being able to meet assignment deadlines; ultimately not be able to focus or concentrate in our class. We as teachers can help students eliminate these stresses, anxiety and mixed emotions by creating a positive learning environment. There are many ways we can accomplish or manage this and some of these examples are as follows:

  1. Developing a positive course outline – By involving students in their learning decisions in the classroom, will motivate them to want to learn the content.
  2. Focus on the strengths of students – By reinforcing what students do well, they will be more engaged to want to learn. Also, we can work with students to identify an individual strength, and then acknowledge and reinforce those strengths throughout the course to build on their confidence level.
  3. Mindfulness of students: Be creative at the beginning of your lesson to ‘hook’ your student’s interest and make it relative to what they are learning.
  4. Goal Attainment: Teach students to set and attain their own goals, on a larger level, and also small achievable goals to build intrinsic motivation.
  5. Encourage critical thinking: Design activities and assignments that promote self-reflection. This could be attached to the end of assignments that involve personal thoughts about what they learned about themselves.
  6. Practice Gratitude: At the end of each session, conduct a quick exercise having students write down three things that they are grateful for learning or have experience during that day.

Myatt, B., Kennette, L. (2017) Classroom management; Towards a ‘positive u’. Faculty Focus. Higher Ed Teaching and Learning. Retrieved  from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/effective-classroom-management/towards-positive-u/

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The Skillful Teacher – Chapter 2: The Core Assumptions of Skillful Teaching.

Brookfield (2006, pp. 17-33) posits that most of us approach teaching a new class with a collection of biases, intuitions, hunches, and habits that frame our initial activities. We must be careful not to rush too quickly to discussion-based teaching as students come from cultural or racial backgrounds, or are just relative novices in the subject area where speaking out, or giving personal opinions is not the norm. A gradual initiation into the concepts and building blocks of knowledge will be what most helps their learning. An approach that one student finds particularly useful and congenial may well be profoundly unsettling and confusing to another student. Brookfield believes that in diverse classrooms we need to get the most accurate reading we can of the exact nature and range of the diversity we face, so that we can do our best to change practices as a result of what we learn.

Skillful teaching is whatever helps students learn as they need teacher’s encouragement and help, and some students take this as they are not capable enough to complete the work. The best teaching behaviour is sometimes to leave the student alone and not to intervene. Permitting or even encouraging learners to take a break from the struggle is what allows them to re-energize, and to engage with the next stage of their. It may seem like a good idea to encourage students we see struggling but, sometimes good teaching is leaving students without assistance until they have had time to catch their breath and feel strong enough to resume the struggle. The only way we can judge the situation appropriateness of either moving in supportively or leaving the student alone, is if we have an accurate sense of how the student is experiencing learning. The most important knowledge skillful teachers need to do work on is a constant awareness of how students are experiencing their learning and perceiving teachers’ actions.

A good teaching practice is to keep checking our classroom choices and decisions by asking ‘Will doing this help students learn?’

Skillful teaching is contextually informed by actions that are based on assumptions that have been carefully and critically investigated. One of the best ways of ensuring that our teaching is so informed is to integrate a habit of critical reflection into our practice. When we can see our practice through other’s eyes, we are in a much better position to speak and behave in ways that are perceived in the ways we want them to be.

Critical reflection:

The 4 critical lenses will increase the chances that our actions will be based on assumptions that are accurate and valid.

  1. First lens is through various classroom research techniques to help see the classroom as students do.
  2. Second lens is colleague’s perceptions – We team teach to debrief the class with us, and observe and comment on what they see happening.
  3. Third lens is reading educational literature from stories and narratives of teaching in the hope that this will suggest new interpretations of familiar dilemmas.
  4. Final lens is to review our personal autobiographies as learns so that we can make visceral connections to, and gain a better understanding of, the pleasures and terrors our own students are experiencing.

When we model critical thinking to our students, and when we name for them that this is what we’re doing, we also earn the moral right to ask them to engage in the same process. Skillful teachers realize that most of the procedural decisions (what content to teach next, what examples to use to illustrate a complex idea, who to call on in discussion, how to frame an assignment, the amount of time needed for small group breakouts, when to depart from the plan for the day, and so on) should be guided by an awareness of how students experience the classroom.

When students have decided that you have earned their trust, they may choose to speak out publicly about the negative aspects of your actions. You have to make students feel safe.

The more we teach something, and the farther we travel from our first experiences learning it, the easier it is to forget the fears and terrors new leaning can provoke. When we try, and fail, to learn something as quickly and easily as we would like, we experience all the public and private humiliations, the excruciating embarrassment, the fear, anxiety, and pain that some of our own students are feeling. As we endure these feelings and emotions, we can reflect on what it is that our own teacher’s do that alleviates this pain for us and what it is they do that intensifies it.

Students want to be treated as adults and with respect. Teachers can do this by attempting to discover, and seriously addressing students’ concerns and difficulties. They want teachers to be honest with no hidden agendas, and also want to be sure that whatever it is they are being asked to know or do is important and necessary to their personal, intellectual, or occupational development.

Retrieved  from Brookfield, S. (2006). The skillful teacher; on technique, trust, and responsiveness in the classroom. San Fransisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, pp. 12-16.

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The Teaching Perspective Inventory

After completing the TPI my profile indicates that my dominate perspective is:

  1. Transmission.
  2. Apprentice & Developmental were tied for second, but not dominant.

Transmission: Belief – 15, Intentions – 14, Actions – 14, overall score is 43.

I intend on instructing in the metal fabrication trade where my effective teaching style would require a substantial commitment to the content or subject matter. My responsibilities in this category suggest that I represent the content accurately and efficiently, and the learner’s responsibilities are to learn the content in its authorized or legitimate forms. There are many close tolerances and workplace standards involved in this trade. As a good teacher, I would take learners systematically through tasks, first leading up to content mastery, then providing clear objectives, adjusting the pace of the lecture, making efficient use of class time, clarifying misunderstandings, answering questions, and providing timely feedback. The curriculum involves approximately 70% hands-on demonstrations by students in this course, so correcting errors, providing reviews, and summarizing what has been presented, directing students to appropriate resources, and setting high standards for achievement and developing objective means of assessing learning will be important. As a good teacher, I would be enthusiastic about my content and convey that enthusiasm to my students. For many learners, good transmission teachers are memorable presenters of their content. Overall a transmission style of teaching is giving information, and role modeling the tasks for them.

Apprentice: Belief – 13, Intentions – 14, Actions – 12, overall score is 39.

As a good teacher I will be a highly skilled practitioner, whether in the classroom or at the worksite, I will be recognized for my expertise in the metal fabrication trade. As teachers we must reveal the inner workings of a skilled performance and must translate it into accessible language and an ordered set of tasks which usually proceed from simple to complex, allowing for different points of entry depending upon the learner’s capability. This is true of the learning tasks in metal fabrication as a simple task must be learnt first and mastered before the next task can be learnt. As a good teacher, I will know what the learners can do on their own and where they need guidance and direction; I will engage students in their ‘zone of development’. As my students become more competent, my role will change, as I will offer less direction and give more responsibility as the students’ progress from dependent learners to independent workers. Overall an Apprentice style of teaching is learning in the workplace, and in class is learning from an experienced teacher.

Development: Belief – 13, Intentions – 13, Actions – 13, overall score is 39.

As a good teacher I must understand how my learners think and reason about the content. The primary goal is to help students develop increasingly complex and sophisticated cognitive structures from comprehending the content. The key to changing those structures lies in a combination of two skills:

  1. Effective questioning that challenges my students to move from relatively simple to more complex forms of thinking.
  2. Bridging knowledge by providing examples that are meaningful to my students. I can achieve this by telling a story of something that may have happened to me while working in the trade.

Questions, problems, cases, and examples form these bridges that I would use to transport students from simpler ways of thinking and reasoning to new, more complex and sophisticated forms of reasoning. As a good teacher, I will adapt my knowledge to my students’ levels of understanding and ways of thinking.

Retrieved  from http://www.teachingperspectives.com

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The Teaching Perspective Inventory

The TPI could be a great tool that can be used by my students to give me feedback on my performance. All they have to do is enter my email into the top of the survey, and I would get the anonymous results from them.

Here is the link: http://www.teachingperspectives.com

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The Skillful Teacher – Chapter 1: Experiencing Teaching

I believe Brookfield (2006, pp 1-16) gives his readers a very good interpretation on what you might expect when moving into the field of teaching. I have no prior experience as an instructor, and moving into this field, I could have very easily fallen into the ‘newbie’s trap’ of thinking that I could be ‘all of the above’ for all of my students’.

Brookfield gives me a good reality check on what to expect in various situations when in the battlefield. To think that someone like Brookfield, who has 20 plus years’ experience in the teaching profession, still feels like he has to muddle through situations in the classroom is an eye opener for me. What am I going to do as an instructor when faced with some of the same situations with no prior teaching experience? How do I deal with such dilemmas as striking the right balance between being supportive to students and challenging them with tasks they resist, or how to create activities that simultaneously address all learning styles and radical traditions in a culturally academically diverse classroom?

Brookfield suggests that everyday circumstances force us to make quick decisions and judgments about what to do next in our class, how to respond to unforeseen events, and how to translate a broad pedagogic or philosophical purpose into an immediate action. He even goes on to describe how teaching can be like ‘White-Water Rafting, and even the most sophisticated practical reasoning can’t rid a classroom life of its endemic unpredictability. Finally, Brookfield believes that we rely too heavily on the opinions and truths of external experts within our own fields of expertise.

As a supervisor with quite a few years of experience managing trades staff, I can relate to what Brookfield is referring to when he talks about being in unpredictable situations and you have to muddle through to find a solution relying heavily on your own judgment and experience. Starting as a new instructor, I believe there will be hope in dealing with the menagerie of situations and challenges that lay ahead in the classroom, as I will apply some of that same logic within my supervisory role to the students in my classroom.

Brookfield enlightens us on the fact that we need to grow into our own truths of teaching and develop a trust, and a sense of intuitive confidence, in the accuracy and validity of one’s judgements, insights and experience; that I will need to recognize the fact that in the context for which I will be teaching, I am the expert. Further, I will need to take my own experiences more seriously when in times of turmoil, and trust my inner voice a little more and accept the responsibility that my instincts, intuitions, and insights might possess as much validity as those of experts within my field of expertise.

Resources

Brookfield, S. (2006). The skillful teacher; on technique, trust, and responsiveness in the classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, pp. 1-16.