The Provincial Instructors Diploma Program has taught me a lot of foundational concepts in the ability to guide and teach students in the skill of welding. As a part-time Instructor now, I have implemented some of these skills in and outside the classroom walls. As I looked back into what I have learned and eventually taught in “The Foundations of Education”, I felt I have handled the following lessons with a distinct flavor of my own. I have learned what I believe is needed and this is encouragement and motivation that was modelled to me at an early age. I feel my ability to instruct is ideally suited under the model of Constructivism so that I am able share the ideas of concepts and goals towards students who can be mentored and eventually lead into the ability to self-direct their own learning which in-turn will lead to their autonomy in their field of career choice. Getting my ideas across to students was helped and shown to me in this module by integrating Kolb’s model of learning with Grow’s. I wanted to show that I understand the concepts that I learned but also construct my own ideas to flow with these theories learned. I do this now in my Instruction, demonstration, and lecture activities that line up with my own work experiences. I feel confident that this is done through an Instrument Feedback Document. I learned about the trends in education that needed to be prepared for. These trends are on-going and will continue to be so in a day and age of emerging technology. I learned that the heart of a teacher is to work with others in a manner that will engender sound techniques, to enhance meaning with collaborative efforts that facilitate curiosity, dialogue and questions. In “Curriculum Development”, I learned the importance of being prepared beforehand for a lesson plan. This starts with a curriculum that outlines learning goals and outcomes for the students that are communicated to them. It is about setting these learning goals with the help of the Institution and working collaboratively to ensure students are successful in their ability to be guided towards their own self –directed learning goals. In “Student Engagement Techniques”, I found that engaging with students can be challenging but also very rewarding through the passion of concern, empathy and on-going communication. I can appreciate a straight up approach to teaching that allows the students to get to know, trust and most of all like an Instructor. An Instructor should have rules and expectations for the students that show these boundaries are respected because they respect their Instructor. I get the impression that an Instructor is appreciated when he is able to be mindful of his students with care and is able to use his learned and intuitive skills to create an atmosphere of bonding and community with students. I can appreciate as well, the ability of Instructors to understand and acknowledge students within the context of their learning environment which embraces their individuality by allowing them a voice to help them understand their need to be heard. From an emotional point of view, I am truly moved in my heart with the compassion towards students who may be struggling outside the classroom walls. The ability to acknowledge the hurts we have in life make these challenges workable when help and understanding are there. Understanding and recognizing this can be all the difference needed for a student to succeed. Several ways to help in this matter is to simply care with listening ear, establishing inclusion in group work, developing a positive learning environment, or looking for teachable moments that will enhance and encourage meaning that in turn will engender competence. In “Professional Practices”, “I believe it is important for students to see their Instructors as an authority figure they can trust and who is their biggest supporter. Students need to know their Instructor has something to offer to them in the realm of their acquiring and understanding knowledge. Furthermore, I believe it is important for students to see that their Instructor cares for and is sincerely involved in the matter of their learning. I believe and agree with Brookfield, that the key elements students need to see in an Instructor , is the credibility and authenticity of someone who is able to balance his/her authority with the ability to support and partner in the learning of his students. I get the impression that an authority figure really is not valued in an Instructor if the Instructor is not aligned to the student’s perceptions concerning the integrity of a consistent, credible and authentic relationship with them. The value of these attributes need to exist in an Instructor and realized within, as a vital aspect to the learning of students. I cannot pin down the best thing I have learned in here but I can say that “The Instrument Feedback Document ” has been a valuable tool for me to use with my students. It has helped me to understand where my students are at in regards to their learning. I also feel that humour is a very good place for the classroom .The blog I have read the most is from Jessica , I like her honesty and practical approach to the Provincial Instructors Diploma Program . https://tabletalk2017.wordpress.com/
References: Student Engagement Techniques: Elizabeth F. Barkley, Copyright by John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2010. Published by Jossey-Bass. San Francisco, CA.
Merriam, S.B. & Bierema, L.L. (2014), Adult learning: Linking theory and practice. Published by: Jossey-Bass San Francisco, CA.
Stephen D. Brookfield; The Skillful Teacher, Published by , Jossey-Bass, 2015.
I had a chance to read Brookfield’s comments on student evaluations in the book he wrote called ” The Skillful Teacher. ” I am sure that the evaluation process can be a bit challenging to the Instructor and I am very interested in how to balance this skill while teaching students. Students who come to class need to feel that their Instructor has their best interest at hand when it comes to their learning and this can simply be stated to them in a warm and caring manner . It can also be stated that evaluations will be done in a fair and honest manner that best reflects the students abilities . Students invest a fair amount of time into the Instructor evaluations and this is where an Instructor needs to find the balance in regards to building a supportive role in the relationship with his students . I believe that building a strong foundation of communication is the key to emphasize the importance of how evaluations are completed . I can remember how an evaluation did not go well with myself when I was waiting on a project to be evaluated that I had worked on . The project took several days to prepare and it was to be evaluated in two (2) stages . I did all the preparations and then went through the first part of the given procedure . I then had to wait for the Instructor to look at my work so that I could continue on afterwards into the second part of the assignment. The evaluation was not a favorable one because of minor flaw in the procedure which meant I had to start the task all over . I was extremely disappointed in the evaluation process but I did walk away with a proper evaluation that I had learned from during the task of this assignment . The part of this evaluation that I remember the most however , was the encouragement I received from my Instructor . He was not overly critical of my work and told me the job was well done. He then pointed out the flaw that was very noticeable upon inspection . His encouragement and advice on how to correct the flaw helped me to have a positive approach to redo the required task . As I look back , I learned that his encouragement was my motivation to get back and redo the work . Furthermore, I learned the key to evaluation is to be honest , authentic and encouraging . According to Brookfield , a properly done evaluation can help the student clarify and understand what is meritorious about an assignment and what needs further effort . A proper evaluation will also provide students with clear directions for help in future endeavors and will encourage the student to engage in further inquiry . Characteristics of a healthy evaluation can be communicated to students in what an Instructor will be looking for during his assessment . Certain criteria can be clearly communicated in an assignment, and project or demonstration examples can be shown to explain what would be an expected outcome . Some other characteristics of a good evaluation are , regular interaction with students , encouragement of feedback and being accessible to students . Fostering a positive learning environment will help students respond to the suggestions of an Instructor who is guiding his students into a justifiable future-oriented education that will gain momentum as they venture into their careers .
Stephen D. Brookfield; The Skillful Teacher, Jossey-Bass, 2015.
In reference to an assignment requirement , I read an article online about the loss of accreditation to Trinity Western University in Langley , British Columbia . The loss of accreditation was seen as an issue in Trinities policy of same sex marriage . In reading this article , I tried hard to take an unbiased approach to this without coming to any conclusions myself based on any moral obligations I hold within my heart . For the most part , I found the article rather interesting in that it attacked the core issue right way . First of all , I want to say that I believe in a persons right to choose , as long as it does not affect or infringes on the rights of others . I can celebrate an individuals ability to make his or her own choices in which they may see it as best for them . If I look at this matter , I am a little perplexed that is such a huge issue . Apparently Canada legalized same sex marriage in 2005 , and called it equality within the Country . What is at stake is here is that Trinity University’s policy states that sex can only be within the legal realm of man and woman in the bonds of holy matrimony . Now some will agree to this and some may not . My question however is this , ” How in the heck does this affect the students ability to learn law”? If Trinity Western has a sound curriculum of law to learn and practice , then let them teach this . I think what may be the question here is whether same sex partners can learn in this institution and the consensus answer is “no” based on the schools policy guidelines . If this a privately funded school , then its financers should have the right to write their policy’s based on their need to stay true to their heartfelt convictions without prejudice .
Because the courts in Canada upheld the denial of accreditation to a Christian law school, and holding to their policy of this private school’s prohibition of homosexual behavior , this was seen as sufficiently discriminatory . Its degree program will be invalidated for that reason alone. I did not read how discriminating against its own policy is grounds to invalidate the law degree that can be earned in the facility . In my mind they are two different issues that can be dealt with . If I don’t agree with same sex marriage , does this preclude me from going into a coffee shop that may be owned by a same sex couple or learning law in a college from someone who may be married to the same sex ? I believe there is the moral obligation to understand our own hearts and act accordingly . If my beliefs state that its wrong for a person to do such a thing then , I will act on those beliefs without infringing into the lives of others . The stand must come from conscience of mind and heart . When same sex people however cannot learn in an institution that apparently discriminates against this then there is the question again , how does ones sexuality affect my ability to learn ? It comes down then respecting the dignity of each others beliefs and then recognizes the alternatives . Can the individual who has the same sex partner respect the views and faith beliefs of the University and can the University respect the life choice the married couple have made ? If so then they can agree to disagree on this issue and go their separate ways . Now I know this may seem like a cop out , because what if this University is just around the block from the married couple and this is their choice for them to have one of them learn at ? I can see the ethical dilemma here but we must first appreciate the others persons convictions . In the same token , if I was in the coffee shop that I liked to frequent with friends and I did not agree with same sex marriage , and I was asked not to come back . I would have to respect and honour that request . I did not read in this article as well about those students who were discriminated against who agree with the policy in place . I don’t understand how nor do I agree on how the degree evaluation process was marginalized based on a policy that reflects the belief of a majority in a privately funded school . The decision said , ” it was for the better good however” My question is who decides what is good in our society ?
The schools policy itself does not focus on same sex only , in my opinion, but lets everyone know their policy’s view on sex and the need for it to be holy in marriage between man and woman . So if a person is living with and having sex outside of marriage with the opposite sex , the policy still stands . The pros and cons have been argued in the courts and the courts have made their decision apparently without prejudice . Christians don’t agree with same sex marriage , and so they choose to go to this University . The courts however say , ” that individual evangelical Christians could not claim to have had their freedom violated by the ruling either , because they could still attend law school elsewhere”. This is biased and contradictory statement in my opinion and leaves me wondering why this could be worked out in a better matter . If all things are equal , they could have said , ” the same sex people could attend another University as well “. It is a private school for those who choose to have a Christian based education for the majority . The right to attend is based on policy held within the faith . In my opinion , I feel the courts failed the people in this matter because of the consequences in the loss of accreditation for the University . Students and parents alike are affected either way and their lives aggravated by a possible commutes to learning facilities outside their own districts . This goes without saying as well, how this affected the students already enrolled in their law programs at the University . All these issues of course may incur higher tuition costs and travel expenses . I personally have nothing against people who may be in a marriage with same sex . I will treat them as I would any other persons with the dignity and respect we all deserve. I do however have my own faith beliefs and will offer them to those who want to know . Above all else , we need to care for one another .
In a recent article posted in ” Faculty Focus ” , I wanted to share a few thoughts on the outcome of a study by Maryellen Weimer, PhD that conclude and support evidence-based instructional practices . In this article , Ms. Weimer seeks to find her way into the need for data that supports quizzing, and if it merits the evidence-based label.
In tracking down the evidence in this study , the findings were challenging and not easily searchable. It is my opinion, the study was not as complete as Ms. Weimer wanted them to be . She found that although the research showed more positive than negative results, there were still researchers who found no evidence that indicated quizzes had an affect on learning outcomes. From personnel experience however , I have learned that quizzes have kept me sharp in the process of my learning . If I failed or did not do well in one , the challenge or motivation was to review where I may be falling short in my ability to understand or comprehend a lesson or concept previously given .
In reading this article , it seems to me , that this research study provided some beneficial fruits by which it was picked out to produce . Although some of the research showed no positive results in learning outcomes, Ms. Weimer concentrated on a set of random studies that allowed her to review them collectively . She determined that the use of quizzes seemed to produce the fruit she was after and that they yielded some impressive benefits . Ms . Weimer indicates in this article that “students reported they spent more time reading and more time studying between tests, and that they were more motivated to come to class prepared when the course included quizzes. These quizzes also increased student participation, lowered failure rates, improved exam scores, resulted in better overall course grades, and did not lower course evaluations “. These results show that quizzes can be valuable to students who are motivated by them . These results are good news sure but also found to be somewhat skewed by the fact there were some variables that may have affected these results . The array of detailed questions that potentially affected whether quizzes improved learning were :
Are they pop quizzes or scheduled on the syllabus?
What types of questions are used (multiple choice, short answer, etc.)?
What’s the relationship between quiz questions and questions on the exam (same questions, similar questions, or completely different)?
How many quizzes are given throughout the semester?
When are the quizzes given—before content coverage or after? How soon after?
Do students take the quizzes in class or online?
Are the quizzes graded or ungraded? If graded, how much do they count?
Is the lowest score dropped?
What kind of feedback are students provided
In addition to these design variables , content variables derived from what’s being taught, the level at which it’s taught, the type of course, and the instructional method ,exist to help the student direct his/her own learning and comprehension . I believe that these variables can add meaning together with the previous studies , which would allow for some evidence to show quizzes do benefit the student and their learning out-comes . The research shown in this article helps us to understand this in three ways .
1) First, the research shows quizzes are an evidence-based instructional strategy only in a general sense.
2) The research recommends ,to be sure that your quizzes produce the desired results . An Instructor can conduct his/her own empirical analysis. One of the benefits of all these different studies is that they provide a range of different ways quiz performance can be analyzed. This certainly would help the Instructor in his/her own over assessment of the class .
3) The research helps us to decide how to implement quizzes in the Instructional scheme of student learning , or even if it illustrates the importance of instructional design .The evidence over-all shows us that quizzes can be an intricate part of learning .
After reading Brookfield’s chapter on ” Exercising Teacher Power Responsibly” in the classroom I came away with some things in the book (The Skillful Teacher) that were certainly worth reflecting upon . In the book , Brookfield emphasizes the power within the classroom environment in which students judge how teachers are using their teaching skills to exercise their power in justifiable and helpful ways . In my understanding there has to be a balance in the mindset of the Instructor that will prevent the risk of discouragement or complacency within the learning dynamic of the classroom . The balance lies within the Instructor being able to inspire , guide and encourage , just as much as to punish ,diminish or massage an ego . Wisdom , discernment and a strong sense of community is needed by the Instructor to communicate and establish himself to his classroom as an authority figure who is well grounded in his ability to skillfully administer this power responsibly .
Brookfield demonstrates his ability to show how student-centred learning intersects with how teachers exercise power in the classroom . He believes ultimately, the power that is displayed during the learning process in the classroom promotes an inherently valuable and/or social benefit . It is my opinion when this is modelled and implemented correctly , the students will reciprocate this behaviour . Brookfield emphasizes this in his book which states ” learners exercise power when they suggest examples that clarify concepts and illustrate principles that help discussions gather momentum . Support is gained in powerful ways that build confidence , provide encouragement and explains illustrations of complex ideas “. It is very apparent from Brookfield’s study that as classroom lessons progress , the balance of power moves around the room ,reconfiguring itself into new or familiar ways by students who are learning to exercise and find their own personal power to do so . This ubiquitous student , teacher , institutional , cultural and subject narrative of power flows within the educational process that takes on new meaning to create a constant intersection of waves in unpredictability and surprise. Brookfield explains that this is why there is no such thing as a power-free classroom . Students view a justifiable exercise of power and authority and measure it as they watch instructors to see how they deal with issues such as classroom events , policy ,assignments ,classes missed and tardiness . Brookfield then writes to see how we as teachers and Instructors can create an environment that will foster a way through feedback that will make sure we are exercising our power in a justifiable manner . This is one very good example of how the instructor can manage his classroom . Students understand the need for Instructors to be transparent in the delegation of power , when they understand that Instructors are acting in ethical ways to assess the criteria they are using in their students work , pursuits and comprehension . Instrument feedback questionnaires can be a very useful tool in gathering information where an Instructor may be having little progress in this area of instruction. From my experience , an instructors response to student concerns can weigh heavy if left to do so . Brookfield suggests the emphasis on strong communication and the importance for teachers/Instructors to answer any student concerns and to let them know their concerns are a priority that will be addressed . He also suggests not to mull over their complaints or objections privately and then change things without letting the students know that this has been done . This will create a teaching personality within the learning environment that is not consistently authentic . Brookfield believes that this fairness in the classroom will translate into an effective , authentic Instructor who can relate to his students . A big part of being seen to exercise power justifiably is the ability for the Instructor to apply rules on a consistent basis across the board . Fairness is also modeled in the way Instructors run classroom activities such as group work , so that they equalize participation and level the playing field in the classroom . In this manner it is important to include those who may show themselves unable or not wanting to participate in their learning. In his book ” The Skillful Teacher ” , Brookfield suggests again the usefulness of a feedback questionnaire as a useful tool that would help the Instructor in this process. It is understood that there will be times when the Instructor and students may come to a crossroads when power and instruction collide . I believe and agree with Brookfield that it is important for students to identify and question the assumptions that scholars use in their lesson plans that conflicts with the students conviction and their need to learn something they have no interest in . However , it is also equally important for a student to have the conviction to understand the need to aim for higher education and have the ability to critically reflect on these assumptions so that whatever discipline is introduced , it is accepted as legitimate and the students can then open themselves up to consider new perspectives on the subject matter introduced . Brookfield suggests here , ” Being authentic involves staying true to one’s agenda , being open and honest about it , and sometimes placing one’s power behind it ” . He also suggests that there is a mandate within the power of the teacher that cannot avoid imposing their preferences and agendas on learners , but also that in certain instances they must do so . I believe it is important to have all the available facts on hand for students to direct their own learning and although this may seem like a contradiction as to whether the teacher is directing the learning or the students are , the choices made belong to the student in what they choose to learn in their own concluding reflections . According to Brookfield , ” Students will choose learning projects that support and confirm prevailing ideology and steer clear of anything they sense is deviant or left field . When we accept that learners need exposure to all available information and perspectives , they can make informed choices about what to learn , then the teachers duty is to spend a considerable amount of time insisting that students consider ideas and activities they would otherwise have avoided . This is the only way teachers can ensure students will be availed of the full range of knowledge , facts , and interpretations that exist on any issue” . I like how power in the classroom is explained in this book by Brookfield and I understand the need to implement and practice these practical ways of responsibility .
Stephen D. Brookfield; The Skillful Teacher, Jossey-Bass, 2015.
The core assumptions of a skillful teacher help me to piece together in my mind , how to relate to my own experience with students during the time I am supposed to be relating to them as well . Sounds a bit confusing but Brookfield helps to put this into simpler terms . The core assumptions he suggests help to aid the Instructor to understand that :
- Skillful instruction is whatever helps the student learn
- Skillful Instructors adopt a critically reflective stance towards their practice
- Understanding the most important knowledge that skillful Instructors need to do good work is to gauge and have a constant awareness of how students are experiencing their learning and perceiving their Instructors actions .
- All college students of any age should be treated as adults
If I follow in the footsteps of this understanding , then I can assume that this may develop into a working frame of strategies to teach students with a healthy regard to meet their needs in learning . These assumptions may not be the case for all students because as Brookfield notes , the problem is that an activity that helps one student may be confusing or inhibiting to another . These assumptions now according to Brookfield take in a roll that is serious and complex if we want to make sure our students are successful to whatever helps them to learn . The way to break through and overcome the learning barriers in the diversities of ethnic , class , and cultural (and I will add learning style ) identities is to make sure Instructors find ways to best implement mix and matched different approaches in ways that correspond to the classroom differences discovered by the Instructor .
I see the need to have a stance and to think critically in terms of my approach to this type Instruction . I don’t want to just to teach the way I was taught while in trade school . I want to share through my own personality , and check my instruction through the lens of my students , colleagues , trade literature and forums and my own knowledge as a tradesman . This will help in my ability to make informed decisions in the way I instruct students . It is my hope that this ability can be shared in the classroom and that in doing so , this will show students that I am critical of my own actions that hopefully will translate into a confidence and an earned trust within the student body to ask them to engage in the same process. This practice will also help against any apathy that may want to creep into my own teaching methods because when critical thinking is continually practiced , apathy and staleness erode away which gives way to motivation . Teaching in the key of reflection is the tune I want to hear that will keep me awake and alert to my students needs .
Being constantly aware of how students are experiencing their learning and perceiving their Instructors actions is the very foundation that is needed to teach knowledge of a given course . I have quoted this before but I really like how Brookfield relates to this topic of awareness ,” We may exhibit an admirable command of content and possess a dazzling variety of pedagogical skills , but without knowing what’s going on in our students heads , that knowledge may be presented and that skill exercised in a vacuum of misunderstanding”. ( Brookfield , 2015) I really like that quote ; it shows me the importance of why it is important to understand how students learn , reflect and retain their own discoveries of learning in the process . I believe this helps students feel empowered to move forward in their studies and feel safe in the process of doing so , knowing their Instructor has their best life long learning interests at hand . I say life long , because teaching should have a life long impact on our students and this is my own personal opinion . I once joked to a young tradesmen that I was the best foreman he had ever worked for . It really was a joke but I did hold this young mans learning interests as a concern on the jobsite we were working on . When it came time to leave , this young man told me the very same sentiment I joked to him about previously . I felt very grateful for this .
College students need to be treated with respect and dignity as adults who are able to see their own way in life . In my opinion , the development of our young adults into life long habits of work and learning can bare a tremendous amount of social responsibility in the climate of the home , work and play . I believe this is why Instructors can have a part to play in this when we model the initial engagement in any kind of learning task or activity ( work or group ) that is required of our students . This shows that we take their learning seriously and their participation is vital and important in the process . As students engage in the required activities , they understand the logic of leaving child like attitudes behind and give way to allow themselves to grow in the process of being transformed into mature young adult students . According to Brookfield , this incremental transformation takes place and is influenced by the sequencing of curricula and classroom activities . I am encouraged to move forward to put some of these core beliefs of a Skillful teacher into practice . I don’t believe however , that when these practices are successful , they should be assumed any longer , but take on a roll of successful strategies that will prove the test of time .
References : Stephen D. Brookfield; The Skillful Teacher, Jossey-Bass, 2015
I wanted to write about what I believe are the attributes of a good teacher . After reading the first chapter titled Experiencing teaching in the book ” The Skillful teacher” by Stephen Brookfield , I am not sure the word ” good ” would be the correct decription or proper pro-noun for a career of teaching and Instruction . In this book , the issue is raised on how teachers can even survive the day to day soup bowl of irresolvable dilemmas in teaching yet, still feel convinced they can make a difference to their students ? After reading this chapter , I am convinced that the word “good” just does not cut it in the realm of teaching . Teaching and dealing across multi faceted cultures , learning styles and personalities would have me pulling my hair out as well if I did not feel I had something to offer into the soup bowl of day to day activities of teaching . I think the better word would be ” effective ” teacher . This word reaches into the heart of why I need to be an effective Instructor and allows me the heart to persevere and bring meaning into the lives of students I would like to teach , learn and grow with . All is not lost either ,my hope is to look into the aspects of how students learn so that out of my personality as Brookfield puts it , ” there is a ability to recognize the fact , in the context in which I work , I am often the expert “. (Brookfield 2015) I am excited to carry in this adventure on how to learn to teach , knowing confidently I can .
Brookfield tells us that the best attributes a teacher can have are credibility and authenticity in chapter four (4) of his book. I asked myself what these terms meant when it comes to my own personality and I find that if my credentials are good , then my integrity to teach has to be that much better . Its not about being perfect but being honest with yourself to prepare for days that may not be what is expected in the daily life of instruction . Brookfield does suggest however that a good inventory system is in order to make sure teachers can anticipate the gaps and shortfalls of student expectations . He says ,”The key to a good teacher is to regularly collect data from students concerning how they are learning , week in and week out , and then using this information to guide your teaching decisions “. I am looking forward to completing this task in the feedback assignment of the 3260 module .
Stephen D. Brookfield; The Skillful Teacher, Jossey-Bass, 2015.
Hello my name is Ed Simon . I am working towards an Instructors Diploma with the deep desire to teach young adults the skills needed in welding and fabrication . I am looking forward to learning this process here at Vancouver Community College , and looking forward to as much feedback to assist me in this endeavor in the 3260 Professional Practices Program . I like to read everyone’s blog entries and some of the blogs I will post here that I am following .