If you click on "About Me" at the top of the page, you can find an introduction about myself at: http://adult-educator.weebly.com/about.html
Here's the link to some of my course journal content postings:
I am taking PIDP 3260 because I am working towards getting a Provincial Instructor Diploma and this course is a required course for the program. What I hope to learn from this course are some of the best practises in instruction and tools that I can incorporate into my future teaching.
Comments on Brookfield Chapter 1: Experiencing Teaching
After reading Chapter 1, I found some quotes that are of interest to me and I would like to give my comments to them:
a) "Teachers who say that no irresolvable dilemmas exist in their lives are, in my view, either exhibiting denial on a massive scale or getting through the school day on automatic pilot. Some teaching dilemmas are so intractable for the simple reason that they have no solution." (pg 6)
Dilemmas are like trade-off. There are different stakeholders and it is hard to please everyone. And for me, I think that all dilemmas can be solved. It is just a matter of whether the resolution was a good one or a bad one. So the key questions are: How do we ensure that we maximize the total value of all stakeholders? What roles do equity play in our decision making? What criteria and standards do we use to come up with our decisions?
b) "The truth is that each of us comes to certain understandings and insights regarding teaching that just seems so right, so analytically consistent, and so confirmed by our experiences that describing them as truthful seems entirely justified. The truth I am talking about here is not universal truth... It is a more personal truth, one smelted and shaped in the fire of our practice so that it fits the situations we deal with every day. In some ways it is close to Polyani's (1974) notion of implicit personal knowledge, the certainties that lurk in the dim corners of consciousness." (pg 9)
Using the word "Truth" is kind of misleading. I agree that it is more of implicit personal knowledge. From teaching over multiple years, the author has indeed gained some valuable insight and teaching experience. With these experiences, the author discovered some trends and patterns. From a scientific perspective, these patterns are observed most of the time, but not all the time. On the other hand, truth is more like universal truth and law. Truth occurs all the time with experiment.
Comments on Teaching Perspective Inventory
It was interesting taking the Teaching Perspective Inventory test.
Calculated survey results:
Transmission Total: (Tr) 33.
B = 11; I = 10; A = 12.
Apprenticeship Total: (Ap) 34.
B = 10; I = 12; A = 12.
Developmental Total: (Dv) 33.
B = 10; I = 12; A = 11.
Nurturing Total: (Nu) 33.
B = 11; I = 12; A = 10.
Social Reform Total: (SR) 32.
B = 10; I = 11; A = 11.
Beliefs total: (B) 52
Intentions total: (I) 57
Action total: (A) 56
Mean: (M) 33
Standard Deviation: (SD) 0.63
Dominant Threshold: (HIT) 33.63
Recessive Threshold: (LOT) 32.37
Overall Total: (T) 165
In my opinion, the most important attributes of a good teacher are being able to not only transfer the knowledge and its application to the students, but also value, thinking and ethical standard as well. Knowledge can be learned easily. It is basic memorizing. As long as students put in the effort and time, they can memorize it. Application requires understanding. It is more challenging to teach, but it is still teachable. What I find in today's education system is that we left out the value and ethical standard. This is something that we should consider playing a bigger role in the education system.
Comments on Brookfield Chapter 2: The Core Assumptions of Skillful Teaching.
Chapter 2 mentioned four core assumptions about skillful teaching:
a) Skillful teaching is whatever helps students learn
b) Skillful teachers adopt a critically reflective stance toward their practice
c) The most important knowledge that skillful teachers need to do good work is a constant awareness of how students are experiencing their learning and perceiving teachers' actions
d) College students of any age should be treated as adults
As educator, I believe it is important for me to do whatever I can to help students learn, subject to certain criteria and standards of course. I want to pass on my knowledge and skills to my students. I want to see them successful in the course, in their future work, and in their life. I want to see get good grade, but this does not mean I will lower my standard. I will do whatever I can to help my students learn (such as critically reflecting toward my practices, being creative with my teaching approach and being strategic in my course planning).
Comments on an Education-related Video Online
“Cognitive dissonance, the mental conflict that occurs when beliefs or assumptions are contradicted by new information. The unease or tension that the conflict arouses in a person is relieved by one of several defensive maneuvers: the person rejects, explains away, or avoids the new information, persuades himself that no conflict really exists, reconciles the differences, or resorts to any other defensive means of preserving stability or order in his conception of the world and of himself. The concept, first introduced in the 1950s, has become a major point of discussion and research.” (Encyclopedia Brittanica, 1p)
This TedTalk's speaker provides a number of great examples of cognitive dissonance. What caught my attention was at 9:17, the speaker says “It’s a great protector of our self-concept”. That really caught my attention as he is totally right, cognitive dissonance is a way for us to protect our ego and another way for us to resist having to take responsibility. It takes the blame off ourselves. It softens the blow and allows us to rationalize the outcome and dismiss being responsible for that outcome. In addition, he mentions that one does not experience cognitive dissonance if they employ confirmation bias. His example is Bush’s invasion of Iraq (approximately at the 10 minute mark). Cognitive dissonance occurs when we allow new information to creep into our thoughts.
Encyclopedia Britannica, Cognitive dissonance
Comments on Brookfield Chapter 8: Teaching in Diverse Classrooms
"Contemporary teachers now work in truly multicultural classrooms in which multiple intelligence (Armstrong, 2009) and culturally grounded ways of knowing (Merriam, 2007) coexist."
As technology advances, the world become more globalized. We as human beings living on Earth are no longer citizens of one nation, as we become global citizens. Similarly, the educational sectors has changed dramatically as well over these past couple of decades. The teaching environment and the student group we are serving has changed. Facing budget constraint from government grants and a cap on domestic revenue, the post-secondary institutions in BC needs to look for another method to fund its growth. This is where international students come into play as international tuition are three times that of domestic tuition. For example, in the UBC Sauder School of Business, 40% of their students are international students.
As we move into teaching a course containing a diverse group of students, we as educator have to adjust. We have to be creative in our teaching and our course structure. We have to leverage on this diversity to enhance student learning experience. For instance, when the course has a group project component, we can mix up the student groups so that each group has an even spread of student who exhibit wide variations in their academic readiness, racial and cultural identities, motivation for learning etc.
Describe where you are professionally.
Currently, I am working as the Quality Assurance Analyst for the School of Business Dean's Office at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. In my role, I am responsible for continually finding ways to improve the process, procedures, and system within my departments. This includes faculty workload, course offering, strategic enrollment, financial budgeting, and academic quality etc. Last semester, I had the opportunity to teach a first year business mathematics course as a contractor. I really enjoyed the experience as it really changed my perspective about teaching.
Describe where you would like to be in five years.
In five years, I would like to see myself continue to advance in both the administrative side and the teaching side. I would like to be teaching part time regularly and working at the Dean's Office to help it grow. I believe that by doing so, I can maximize my potential. I see teaching part time regularly and working at the Dean's Office will offer me the best of "both world" as I can not only share my knowledge with students, but at the same time, I can learn from the Dean and Associate Dean in terms of strategy and operation management etc.
What are some steps you can take to get there? (Some examples of questions you could answer: Are there conferences in your field you could attend? Professional organizations you could join or volunteer with? Short courses you could take? Could you start a study group? Do you need to practice interview skills or update your resume?)
I plan to first finish my PIDP program at VCC this year. Then I will be looking to attend more conferences in my field to update my knowledge about the industry. I would participate more in my school's committee so I can get a better sense of how the institution is evolving. If time permits, I would consider doing my PhD degree as well.
Comment on Brookfield Chapter 16 or 17 (Understanding Students’ Resistance to Learning, Responding to Students’ Resistance to Learning). (Chapter 12 only in the 2nd Edition).
The author mentioned some common reasons for people to resist learning:
1. Poor Self-Image as Learners
- As educators, we have to take into account our students' feeling as well as their learning. We have to be contructive in our comments and feedbacks, as we are trying to establish their self-confidence and interest in the subject matter.
2. Fear of the Unknown
- Uncertainty always causes anxiety. To some extent, some people even fear uncertainty. That is why their is risk management in many industry and business. As educators, we need to set clear expectation so as to minimize unknown for the students.
3. A Normal Rhythm of Learning
- When we face new things, there is always a learning curve. As educators, we should be more encouraging in our actions and behaviors.
4. A Dis-junction of Learning and Teaching Styles
- Each learner has different learning styles and preferences. We have to take this into account in our course planning and strategy.
5. Apparent Irrelevance of the Learning Activity
- People will resist activities for which they see no justification. As educators, we need to explain to students why we are learning the subject matters and how they can be applied in our life and work. By doing so, they will see the value in what they are learning.
6. Level of Required Learning is Inappropriate
- As educators, we need to consider the level of prior learning that our students have so that we can plan according and match our teaching with their learning level.
7. Fear of Looking Foolish in Public
- As educators, we should ensure that all our students feel welcome in our class. We definetly do not want to make them look foolish. At the same time, we have to sometimes push our students a little bit and challenge them.
8. Cultural Suicide
9. Lack of Clarity in Teachers' Instructions
10. Students' Dislike of Teachers
11. Going Too Far, Too Fast
- Our course planning requires some thinking. We need to ensure that we are going at an appropriate pace.
Comment on an aspect of professional ethics. (For example: Find and discuss an education-related story about unethical or unprofessional behaviour. Does your field have a Code of Ethics? Does your workplace have a Policies and Procedures manual?)
In Moral and Ethical Issues in Teacher Education. ERIC Digest. (http://www.ericdigests.org/2004-4/moral.htm), the student teacher Irma has many different priorities in life which is distracting her from being well prepared for her course. She is her class work, her job, her boyfriend.
In the current semester, Irma is studying full time in school, while teaching as well. As a professional, Irma should be more strategic with planning her life. Life-work balance is important. I understand she has her career goals and she wants to get her schooling done quickly. Also she is in a relationship as well. From what is observed, she cannot put all three things as her top priority.
Irma has to make a decision. She has to choose to put 1 or 2 of the above three items as a second priority. If she insists on not giving up, then in the end she might not do well in all three.
My workplace has an Employee and Family Assistance Program to help with all employee to achieve their health and wellness goals. Life-work balance is important and we have to be smart in our planning.
Comment on Brookfield Chapter 6 (Lecturing Creatively).
In this chapter, the author talks about the importance of lecture and the characteristics of a helpful lecture. Lecture is important as it:
For me personally, I find the notion of breaking lectures into well-paced 10-15 minutes especially useful. As I was once a student myself, I do see the value of having periodic break within the lecture to allow students to re-focus on the topics. With that said, the things we as educator need to think about is what we plan to use the break period for and how we can maximize the meaningfulness of the break period.
Comment on program evaluation or accreditation (For example: Find a story about a program in Canada that has lost its accreditation. What were the issues? What are the important elements of a program evaluation? Do you work in a program that is accredited externally? What are the requirements for accreditation?) OR Comment on another education-related video or article.
I work at the School of Business Dean's Office at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Currently, my school is going for reaffirmation with the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). I am fortunate I have the opportunity to participate in this accreditation project.
The ACBSP accreditation has six standards:
2) Strategic Planning
3) Student and Stakeholder Focus
4) Measurement and Analysis of Student Learning and Performance
5) Faculty and Staff Focus
6) Educational and Business Process Management
Comment on a Brookfield chapter or other reading of your choice.
I would like to comment on Brookfield Chapter 7, Using Discussion Methods. The purpose of class discussion is to enhance learning, and not assess performance. Sometimes, students participate because of their grade. As educator, we have to set clear guideline for the grading of participation marks so that student participation will lead to learning and not performance. Therefore, every stage of the discussion needs to be well thought, from getting the discussion started, to getting the students to participate, and to concluding the discussion. Once a discussion topic is thought out and presented, it is time to engage the students. Some common method includes breaking the class into smaller groups and clarifying the roles of the students.
Comment on the importance of lifelong learning as a professional.
As professional educators, we are held accountable to the students, to our institutions, and to the government. We must strive for continuous improvement. This includes setting goals, working towards them, measuring them, and evaluating them to see where we can improve on. Continuous improvement is important because if one is not improving, he/she is falling behind. The world will advance with or without us. Learning is an ongoing process. It is more like a journey than a destination (Fenwick & Parsons, 2009). It is a lifelong process, a process that starts long before the start of school, and one that should be an integral part of ones entire life. When I plan for my teaching practices in the future, I will focus on developing continuous self-assessment in learners and inspire them of lifelong learning.
Reflect on the PIDP courses you have taken to date. (Ex: What is the most important thing you have learned? How has your thinking changed? What actions will you take based on what you have learned?)
The most important thing I have learned in this PIDP course is how to approach and handle ethical dilemma. So was nice to read through the 7 dilemma scenarios and think about how I would respond to each of them. I also like the pair discussion aspect of this dilemma scenario project. It was great opportunity for me to share up ideas with my partner and gain insight from her as well.
My thinking about professional practice in education indeed has changed. After reading through the 7 different dilemma scenarios and thinking about them, I realize that I as an educator need to uphold the highest standard in education. In addition, I need to plan ahead, prepare myself, and think in advance how I would act in each of these 7 scenario. In my future actions, I will do just that, teaching my students with professionalism.
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