Posts tagged ‘reflection’

ED Founds Poster

STS Reflection 2

This week I have been reflecting on different pedagogical thinking in relation to forming my own pedagogy. Vygotsky’s Social Constructivist theories appeal greatly – the student can construct their own learning, based upon what they already know and believe, through social discourse. As a teacher , I do not want to simply ‘transmit’  knowledge but facilitate the ‘getting of wisdom’ by helping the student uncover it, identify it and analyse it. I believe that class interaction and discussion are integral to this process.

The notion of Authentic Pedagogy builds upon constructivism to include the student’s ability to retain information beyond mere memory recall but to be truly engaged with that new knowledge. Also, that the student can recognise that not all knowledge is of the same value – some knowledge carries more authority than others – for surely the ability to categorise sources as valuable or less valuable opens up the world of critical analysis to students.

Provocation 2 and 3 are very prevalent this week. Will I be allowed to be the teacher I want to be? To whom am I accountable? There is a great deal of focus on pedagogical knowledge in this unit. More than there is on English content. I can see the value of this – it is an inspirational approach to producing a new generation of teachers focused on a wholistic style of education that caters for all students. Furthermore, studying the Essential Learning Areas of several of our states’ curriculums demonstrates that this is current thinking that encompasses all learning styles, genders, cultural and ethnic origins. It feels like a wonderful new direction. But it concerns me that we are also moving into a political environment that measures the worth of teachers and schools in very basic quantitative measures, that leaves little room for measuring the social, community orientation or even artistic worth of a school. This week I am reflecting on all the stakeholders to whom I am accountable and realising that this is a large group – students, parents, school, community and government.

PPLE Module C : The Class Revolt


The overwhelming information for me was Steve’s advice “Above all else, just survive”.  It reminds me that the path of a pre-service teacher is likely to be filled with stumbles, great leaps of womankind and occasional bouts of falling on my face. To quote Shannon’s blog name – we are becoming “Teachers as Learners”  and this means recognising our start point as a place that WILL be improved upon. It also highlights that we must not make the incidental, personal. Remembering that the students are attached to their current teacher, allowing them the time to assimilate my presence in their education and accepting a temporary moniker as “the newbie” will help to smooth some of the transitional bumps that clearly lie ahead.  Steve’s suggested that the “fight/flight/ tackle the task” response is one that we can apply to all aspects of our lives.  (I have experienced several of these in the first weeks of the DipEd!) I will apply this to the students’ responses, as it may illustrate how different groups will respond to my teaching and allow me to view them from a different perspective.

Steve referred to different kinds of freedom in his lecture. It appeared that several of the students may have confused the types of freedom afforded them in an alternative schooling model. There are applications to all schooling models in the clarification. The freedom the students were given was NOT freedom from all control, responsibility or discipline. This is a notion I hope to convey early on to my students. On this note, my reading this week suggests an approach for pre-service teachers that is termed “Assertive Discipline”. It consists of giving students’ concise guidelines for behaviour and positively reinforcing their classroom choices. The parameters of classroom behaviour are narrower than a more experienced teacher might apply  but Desiderio suggests this is an appropriate approach for inexperienced teachers who have not yet built either rapport or reputation with their students. As far as classroom achievement and student  contentment were applied, there were not marked differences between the pre-service teacher using the “Assertive Discipline” approach and the mentor teacher who adopted a more relaxed teaching style. The students were well-directed in both cases, as to what their teachers expected. In turn, the teachers were consistent in their guidelines and the application of those principles. Hence, the students responded to clear, confident and consistent instruction, despite the different styles. Desiderio suggests that as the pre-service teacher gains more experience and presence, they can adopt other techniques for classroom management but that it is important, early on, to assume these deliberate measures to instill a more successful learning environment.

Sources

Desiderio, M.F. & Mullennix, C. (2005). Two Behavior Management Systems, One Classroom: Can Elementary Students Adapt? Educational Forum, 69, 4, pp. 383-391. Retrieved August 3, 2007 from EBSCO database. 

http://teachersaslearners.wordpress.com/

 

STS Reflection 1

 

[ This post relate to Kerry Heath’s STS  lecture.] 

Kerry related that her son was experiencing some temporary social isolation at school due to the new school year and changes to the class constituency. This was a result of her son moving from a composite class last year, in which he mainly mixed with elder students, to a single grade class this year. Kerry highlighted how difficult it was  for her son to learn effectively, or even to maintain his attendance in school until these social issues – part of the milieu of curriculum  – were recognised. As teachers, we must understand that the aspects that form the curriculum (teachers, students, subject matter and milieu) have a direct implication for learning. We do not teach in a vacuum, nor do students operate in a singular environment. Comprehension of the multitude of pressures that students face outside our classroom will transform what seems personal to us, but is actually  individual to our students, so we may evolve an individual approach to their learning.

Secondly, and briefly, is the notion that as a teacher, we facilitate learning rather than the traditional model of teacher-centric education. This married well with Meg’s ELPC  lecture, in which she reminded us that with digitization, the “teacher is not the only font of knowledge in a room”. If we can facilitate learning rather than transmitting knowledge at our students, then we have given students the ability to learn in an autonomous manner, that will last many years beyond the scope of our classroom and even our interaction with those students. Seems like a no brainer to me. That is how I want to teach!