Is it the end or the beginning? It feels like both. The trimester is about to end and the journey of another chapter is also about to begin. How do I define effective teaching and the role of teachers by now? The definition I had before was based on rational thinking and not empirical obviously. I did fail to point the importance of reflective practice-that can enhance one’s learning about teaching that promotes personal and professional development(Cruickshank et al., 2009); and that it is not a singular process (Van Manen, 1977), the components of the knowledge base(which includes the application of the results of recent research on effective teaching(Lee S. Shulman) for teachers to master, the need for collaboration among teachers (Hewitt & Wittier, 1997) and other members of the learning environment and the tolerance or willingness to adjust to situations to meet various needs of the primary beneficiaries of learning who are the students(learners). The emphasis on personal commitment for professional growth also wasn’t included in my previous definition.
As for the role of teachers, the difference in my definition lies on the fact that teachers has to be someone who does not spoon feed learners but rather one who employ good strategies to encourage students to become self-motivated to learn (Boekaerts, Pintrinch, & Zeidner, 2000).
What has changed to my teacher(teaching) perspectives inventory? Have I improved after going through principles of teaching? I do think so. The latest graph below may not be perfect but there’s one thing that the lessons on principles of teaching has taught me. The Developmental Perspective, that basically define effective teaching as one that must be planned and conducted “from the learner’s point of view” (Pratt, Collins, & Jarvis-Selinger , 2001), has greatly improved.
Why has that gone up? Does the fact that I was raised in a traditional education system have something to do with it? Most probably yes. We are all aware that in the 80s, it was mostly the norm among schools especially in the country side when reference books were lacking or nowhere to be found.
Traditional teaching is concerned with the teacher being the controller of the learning environment. Power and responsibility are held by the teacher and they play the role of instructor (in the form of lectures) and decision maker (in regards to cirriculum content and specific outcomes). They regard students as having ‘knowledge holes’ that need to be filled with information. In short, the traditional teacher views that it is the teacher that causes learning to occur (Novak, 1998)
No perspective is either good or bad (Pratt, Collins, & Jarvis-Selinger , 2001) but shift from a “teacher-centered” one to a “student-centered” is what makes my TPI result great. It simply means that I have absorbed what I am supposed to apply in my future teaching.
Has this course provided me with greater understanding of the teaching profession? Yes, and without doubt. With moments when I talk to my friends using psychology and education terms to explain how their kids should be treated in learning makes me qualify for Schunk’s (2012, p.3) definition of learning as “an enduring change is an enduring change in behavior, or in the capacity to behave in a given fashion, which results from practice or other forms of experiences.” I have also developed the habit of posting journal entries not based on rational thinking but on empirical researches. The climb away from the traditional way of thinking on teaching has progressed towards something that fits enhanced learning environment at present.
Shulman, L.S. (1987). Knowledge and teaching: Foundations of the new reform. Harvard Educational Review, 57, 1-21.
Pratt, D., Collins, J.B., & Selinger, S. (2001). Development and use of the Teaching Perspectives Inventory (TPI). Unpublished paper presented at the 2001 AERA annual conference, Seattle, Washington, USA. Retrieved from https://facultycommons.macewan.ca/wp-content/uploads/TPI-online-resource.pdf.
Educational Psychology: A Tool for Effective Teaching: http://knowledgeportal.pakteachers.org/sites/knowledgeportal.pakteachers.org/files/resources/Educational%20Psychology-A%20Tool%20for%20Effective%20Teaching.pdf, pp. 6 – 12.
The Teacher as a Decision Maker: http://www.pearsonhighered.com/assets/hip/us/hip_us_pearsonhighered/samplechapter/0132698161.pdf
Traditional Teaching : http://ehlt.flinders.edu.au/education/DLiT/2002/environs/scott/tradteac.htm
Who among us are born with silver spoon in their mouths? Or do you belong to a well-off family who can afford the most expensive tuition fees of the most popular schools? If you are, then consider yourself super-blessed because I know you can just point your finger to the course or discipline that interests your eye and not your heart in any schools in the country or even anywhere in the world. Getting education is perhaps just like a commodity to you but for most people in the world the chance to learn is almost zero because their main concern is to earn the cost of the next meal on their tables. According to World Bank, 17% of people in the developing world live in poverty in 2011 at $1.25 dollars a day which is around 1,422.56 in Korean won or 55.46 in Philippine peso as of this date. 1,422.56 Korean won can buy a cone of your favorite ice cream and maybe two or three packs of noodles for 55.46 Philippine peso. In relation to this, how would we expect for people living under the poverty line to engage in lifelong learning?
During my time in school, teaching was the easiest and perceived as the undervalued course to take in college and hearing criticisms like “bakit teacher lang ang kukunin mo?” was normal and the usual answer would be “kasi may kakilala si mader sa Division Office or ninong ko ang Mayor kaya mabilis ako makapasok”. Lifelong learning programs weren’t visible in the town where I came from so learning after high school was continued in college. After graduating in education, taking and passing the licensure examination for teachers would be next and then off they teach.
Can anyone remember if teachers in the 1980s had to comply with continuing education requirement? Section 3 Article IV of the Code of Ethics for Professional Teachers states that, “Every teacher shall participate in the Continuing Professional Education(CPE) program of the Professional Regulation Commission, and shall pursue such other studies as will improve his efficiency, enhance the prestige of the profession, and strengthen his competence, virtues, and productivity in order to be nationally and internationally competitive.” It is also known as the Philippines Professionalization Act of 1994 or RA 7836 so it means that prior to 1994, CPE requirement wasn’t present, right?
When CPE requirement has been around for 20 years (1994-2015), has it been properly monitored? Do all teachers comply to this diligently? How about teachers from remote barangays? How do they comply with this requirement? In the Philippines, I believe that public teachers are re-assigned in various posts especially in rural areas with novice teachers start in the remotest part of the town. In this case, how could novice teachers learn from experienced ones? I think it goes back to teachers working in solitary when a novice teacher is assigned in the remotest school. We could be lucky if the novice teacher has developed self-motivation to learn further through. Personal characteristics of a teacher are paramount factors to engagement in lifelong learning and of them is willingness and motivation to learn. (Whyte, 1078), (Lauridsen and Whyte, 1980). The irony according to Dirk Van Damme(2014) the result conducted by International Adult Literacy Survey(IALS) is that adult education reinforced the gap between the people with education and people without education. More highly literate people participated as compared to those who have lower literacy. What does it mean?
Just in time, a friend I met coincidentally while in the grocery store and later had coffee with last week sent a message to my inbox today. (Name hidden for privacy reason.)
I can say that she’s a highly literate kind of person as a licensed teacher and has a masters degree. She then enrolled in a university for further studies and graduated last year. And I really admire her enthusiasm to continue learning despite her achievements. Could it be that the observation of the International Adult Literacy Survey(IALS) has truth in it? Be the judge and reflect on what a famous person has to say above – Albert Einstein(March 14, 1879 – March 14, 2015) Happy 136th Birthday, Sir. 🙂
(oni, S. (2012). Lifelong learning – Education and training. FIG Working Week 2012, Rome, Italy.
Van Damme, D.(2014).Does lifelong learning perpetuate inequalities in educational opportunities? http://oecdeducationtoday.blogspot.kr/2014/11/does-lifelong-learning-perpetuate.html
Note: This is my reflection in relation to creativity in teaching as a compliance to a course requirement and the images are part of my expression. 🙂
“What ever it is that interests you …..that energy manifests itself creatively in the fabric of the classroom.”
What could be wrong with me? Why did I fail to connect my interests to my way of teaching? Okay, I mean I can sew my own blouse, a baby’s cloth diaper, and maybe because I have Youtube to follow instructions and not because I am creative? or maybe I am just a loner?
I turned cross stitch patterns to life ; and that too has procedures. But it involves deep concentration , right? Would it be because it has no originality from me? Perhaps yes.
I salvaged a piece of wood and sculpted it into a red dog for my veranda. Doesn’t it make me creative? I didn’t follow any pattern except the one I drew on the side of it and I didn’t have proper training on sculpture. I just love the feeling of accomplishing something (intrinsic motivation? Amabile,1983) I am not familiar with, ignoring the noise and minor injuries while manhandling a chisel and a hammer awkwardly. Wouldn’t you call that perseverance? or maybe a cousin of persistence and assertiveness?
Another case, our decades old metal door knob was replaced last year. I was looking at the bits and pieces of the knob which my mother in law decided to throw and suddenly and idea came into mind. I assembled them and put something to make this :
Would you still deny me of being innovative for creating a design? I mean I am willing to be spontaneous (DfES, 2003; QCA, 2005a). I also love photography and producing great pictures involve some sense of creativity I guess.
I have also written something which was featured in a newspaper (just once though). And despite all of those, I still wonder why I fail to notice expressed satisfaction of my teaching strategies. Again, what could be wrong? Am I on the wrong track? What could be some factors that blocked the chance to integrate my hobbies to my teaching activities in the past? Could it be an issue of my failure to understand the relation between ordinary art to the art of teaching?
One issue raised by Lubart & Sternberg(1995) was that risk-taking tendency is associated with artwork creativity but not for essays and that evaluators fail to acknowledge the risk if it’s not related to their beliefs. So how would I be creative if I have to conform to the beliefs of the evaluator? Doesn’t it create a confusion? What I perceive could be too raw for I lack the actual experience of teaching in a regular school and that I need to be “in the practice” to be able to develop my creativity in teaching. Anyway, based on investment theory, the “the view of creativity as a decision suggests that creativity can be developed.” Maybe some collaboration with experts would awaken my power to connect my interests. It’s my greatest challenge. As of now what I can probably do is to research and find ways to adapt or re-create some of the ideas related to my interests from others. And if somehow I will still fail to connect my diverse interests into teaching, do you think I have to reflect on what kind of future I should be in? But still I am not ready to give up. 🙂 I just hope that I will be able to relate my creativity in teaching as to how Einstein described creativity…..someday.
Sternberg, R. J. (2006). The nature of creativity. Creativity Research Journal, 18(1), 87-98.
Cremin, T. (2009). Creative teachers and creative teaching (Chapter 3). In Wilson, A. (ed.). Creativity in Primary Education (2nd ed.). Southernhay East, Exeter: Learning Matters, pp. 36–46.
Learning from Creative Teachers:
The noise of somebody taking a bath awakened me from my sleep. It’s only 5:30 am but I can easily be disturbed by any noise. Then my mother called out, “Joy! wake up! It’s time to cook breakfast.” My oldest sister stirred a little and then slowly opened her sleepy eyes. A frown appeared in her face because she still wanted to sleep but she had to get up. We used to envy our friends whose concerns were just to study because in our home, we were assigned chores. This was a typical written schedule that can be found near the living room where even visitors could see.
My siblings and I really found it weird and the smirks we saw in our friends’ faces whenever they had a glimpse of that posting on the wall embarrassed us a few times. It’s courtesy of my dear mother who was a high school Biology teacher, thus the conservation of energy reminder. 🙂
Connection and Realization
After going through topics on teaching skills, I finally connected my mother’s weird posting to her application of the classroom management skills to our home. She would always remind us to put everything in its proper place to avoid frustration when a tool or something is needed. She was very strict with household rules in contrast to my my father who was an English literature and World History teacher. My father would employ humor whenever we’d be lazy doing the dishes. I can’t forget his lines : “You may call our town Mayor or our parish priest to wash the dishes for you.” It was his way of motivating us to perform what our mother insisted us to do.
According to the human hierarchy of needs by Maslow (1962), the lower and higher needs have to be satisfied in order for learners to be motivated successfully. Let me enumerate the order :
(One being the lowest need and five the highest.)
1. Physiological needs (sleep, thirst)
2. Safety needs (freedom from danger, anxiety, or psychological threat)
3. Love needs (acceptance from parents, teachers, peers)
4. Esteem needs (mastery experiences, confidence in one’s ability)
5. Needs for self-actualization (creative self-expression, satisfaction of curiosity)
“If love needs are reasonably satisfied, people may begin to seek to satisfy their esteem needs and perhaps ultimately their self-actualization needs.” (Brophy, J. Motivating Students to Learn.(p.6)
Love may come from teachers and peers but the most essential is from the parents. But what if love isn’t experienced by the learner at home? Will it destroy his/her tendency to be motivated to learn? Like for example, a learner has a potential to excel academically but at home her parents don’t value or appreciate her achievements in school. Will her motivation to learn diminish? Not necessarily I believe. Simply because motivation comes from different sources and the lack of appreciation from the parents may create an intrinsically motivated learner – one who learns something for its own sake, for the fun it gives, and for the feeling of accomplishment and not for any rewards. Not being used to rewards but a child being raised to be independent may also have a negative effect to some kids.
* * * *
If I am to score myself, the result will be in the following diagram.
To remedy my low status scores, I am posting this one. 🙂
Read materials…..brainstorm…..research more…..accomplish weekly assignments…….attend to adoption process….household chores…..husband asking for a movie date…..allergy attack…..headache and cough visitors ….everything seems to be pulling me down and sap my energy. I got up from my bed and walk in a lazy manner to pick up a hairbrush. As I looked at the mirror, I realized that I need a talk with myself in order to be back on track with my journey to teaching professionalism. Then as if the mirror knew that I needed someone to talk to, it gradually gave me back my reflection with a messy hair to talk to.
Are you tired? Maybe. Quitting? No, not really. So let’s talk about what’s bugging you the most. Ah for the past days, I was with Knowledge Base and it seems like it doesn’t like me for a friend. Oh okay. Let me ask you what should be the basis of friendship? Trust? Openness? Sharing? Hmmmm I think so. Do you think Knowledge Base can trust you? What do you mean? I mean can it trust you that you’d stay with it through thick and thin? Can you afford to open your heart and mind to what it is willing to impart to you? Or can you share what you have learned from it? Oh tough questions but I think I do. I want to go back to teaching. That’s the spirit. Why not practice by telling me what you know about Knowledge Base? I think Knowledge Base would appreciate how much you know about it and would be willing to give you a chance of friendship. Okay, I’ll try.
According to what I have heard and read, Knowledge Base is something that has to be with me before I go out and proceed to a classroom to teach. It’s very complex , not fixed nor final but essential to effective teaching and that it constantly requires new learning. It has three main categories which include content knowledge(what to teach), pedagogical knowledge(how to teach) and technology knowledge(what to use). Those can be sourced out from scholarship in content disciplines, educational materials and structures, formal educational scholarship and wisdom of practice. And the knowledge base is comprised of knowing, understanding, reasoning, representing, transforming, evaluating, reflecting managing, and forming new comprehension. It is also ……
Ooooppps Whew! That’s a lot! Do you think that Knowledge Base can be mastered overnight? No, I don’t think so.
That’s it. Embrace the process and don’t be too hard on yourself. Breathe. Focus on the goal. Remember that there is no shortcut and the trip towards it is a long road to take. There will be ups and downs, rain, strong winds or sunshine along the way and it takes determination to continue. Time will come when all this gibberish will become history because Knowledge Base and you are already in a beautiful friendship.
“Darling!, it’s time for breakfast.” Oh I forgot. Let me go back to reality first. 🙂
* * *
Ice Breaker 🙂
KB ng teacher.
KB ng teacher who?
Kailangang Baon ng Teacher
KB – Knowledge Base 🙂
* * *
On the other hand, I had the fascination of Nancy’s story on Shulman’s Foundation of the New Reform reading material. I really wish I can be as effective as she is. Her expertise in managing of ideas within classroom discourse is really great. Teaching literature for me is a difficult task but since mastering it is necessary, I have to start reading and knowing how to interpret literature pieces to be a versatile teacher.
What is in teacher professionalism that I personally feel like it’s unreachable for me at this point in time? Characteristics enumerated in the resources given and from what I have learned from other articles are kind of too high that I have this feeling of fear. Before taking this program, I believe I have already set a high standard to myself because I don’t want to be termed as someone who belongs to the “anyone can teach” description. But it seems like I need to re-adjust my standard or time frame.
If I have to put this in a drawing, I am in this:
At the back of my mind, there’s a doubt forming in after immersion to teacher professionalism topic. Am I on the right track? Did I underestimate teaching? Will I be able to align myself to the profession with my time frame before I can go back to teaching? I thought I will feel less inadequacy after learning the principles and theories related to teaching and yet all the more I feel obliged to do something after this. I attended a lot of teaching workshops and seminars as part of the requirements of the job I was in and I understand that I need to participate in the Continuing Professional Education even after this as it is stated on the Code of Professional Code of Ethics for Teachers (Article IV Section 3). If I am to teach English as a second language, do I need to get myself into an English teaching specialization class in order to be professional and qualified to teach? I mean assuming I already passed the LET. Although I am not required to be a teaching graduate and board passer to be able to work, I personally imposed the standard on myself to have education units.
Let me go back to the Philippine setting of teaching. A friend graduated from a nursing school, took an exam and passed it. She graduated cum laude and pursued Masters in Nursing. While still doing her Masters, she was hired to be a an instructor by her school. Another case, a cousin who’s a CPA and a lawyer was hired by his alma mater to teach accounting and law subjects. What’s bothering me is that why are they allowed to teach? Does their license signify knowledge of the teaching principles and learning theories? If teacher professionalism involves content/subject knowledge and pedagogical knowledge which according to Matthew Koehler (2001) is a ” deep knowledge about the processes and practices or methods of teaching and learning and how it encompasses (among other things) overall educational purposes, values and aims’, I think what they do is against teacher professionalism. I maybe wrong with my conclusion but it makes me confused actually. Even Code of Ethics for Professional Teachers (Article IV Section 2) states that “Every teacher shall uphold the highest possible standards of quality education, shall make the best preparations for the career of teaching, and shall be at his best at all times and in the practice of teaching.”
As for my case, I have to design another standard to be satisfied and not feel unworthy for the teaching profession. I am considering an English teaching specialization lesson after this to have peace of mind. I maybe overwhelmed by what this topic has presented to me but I have to face the challenge. I know that I have yet a lot to learn to be part of the “highly qualified and committed teaching force” (Linda Darling-Hammond, 1996, p.5) that the 21st century schools need. I just have to reconcile my shock with the reality because even both Clement (2002) and Seifert (1999) stressed that ‘becoming a professional teacher is a process that takes time to master.‘
Code of Ethics for Professional Teachers
Tichenor, M. S. & Tichenor, J. M. (2005). Understanding teachers’ perspectives on professionalism. The Professional Educator, 27(1&2), 89-95.
Koehler, M. (2011). Pedagogical Knowledge via http://mkoehler.educ.msu.edu/tpack/pedagogical-knowledge-pk/
Teaching was presented to me by some circumstances although I had this feeling of hesitation for lack of training. I started as a volunteer in a public school with a small number of learners and it became a great challenge. It felt like I was put into a situation with no prior experience and from the start there was this voice telling me I lack something. Day by day, it felt a struggle to know what’s missing and so I decided to enroll in this program. I have already gained a lot of ideas or information during my first trimester and this semester, I realized there’s a lot more to discover.
Having introduced to Teaching Perspectives and Learning Style, I have uncovered another element to be successful in doing the job. The results I had from taking the TPI and TSI has made me see myself as if I have been looking at a “super mirror” that could see through my inner being. Now I have this awareness of how I do things in the learning or teaching environment.
“Knowing your learning style is important because it deals with how you manage information, how you prefer to study, and how you go about solving problems.” Katharine Hansen, Empowering Academic, College, and Career Success via http://www.mycollegesuccessstory.com/academic-success-tools/learning-styles.html
Prior to this, I wasn’t aware that teaching perspectives and learning styles can be figured out through sets of questions and can be labeled and described. It’s interesting because the results came out as if I have spread out what kind of an educator I am before the survey. The descriptions match with how I do things in the classroom or learning environment.
In TPI, the predominant perspectives are Apprenticeship and Nurturing. It is being said that one of the difficulties under Apprenticeship is how to put one’s skill or into knowledge. An educator has to find the “zone of proximal development” (Vygotsky 1978) or the difference between “what the learners can do on their own and what they can do with guided assistance from the instructor.” If I wasn’t enrolled in this subject, I won’t have known this to be useful and that I have the responsibility to see that learners work on tasks that are related and appropriate to the community practice. As for Nurturing, I’ve learned that I need to find balance between my caring ways and the responsibility to give the learner the challenge to learn and set goals. I have to be aware that I might be wanting too much to be like by the learners that I prefer to be nurturing. I hope not to adhere to shallow reasons just like that.
As for my teaching style, I know I will be guided by the disadvantages mentioned for Personal Model style which could lead to some students to feel not adequate enough just in case they fail to achieve the expectation and adhere to standards set. And that overusing the Expert style, I might find myself dealing with intimidated learners especially those who have not gone through the experience.
Pratt, D. D. (Forthcoming). Good teaching: one size fits all? In An up-date on teaching theory, Jovita Ross-Gordon (Ed.), San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Publishers.
Grasha, A.F., Teaching with Style, http://homepages.ius.edu/kwigley/teaching_with_style.pdf
Going through the links provided this first week of classes, I was able to engage in some self-contemplation about how I do things in the past and on what to do to enhance my learning activity. The scores I got after doing the Self Regulation Questionnaires showed how poor I am in time management and that I have lots of work to do in order to be an effective time manager.
I decided to list the things that I used to do in the past with the corresponding changes that I am set to follow from now on to be closer to having a tag of an “effective time manager”.
Past Now & the Future
|“Can remember them all” mentality||Have a schedule of activities ahead to be able to have anoverview of the tasks to be performed|
|Procrastination||Follow the schedule religiously|
|Being a fan of “cramming”||Divide and prioritize tasks|
|Overrating myself for a poor performance||Better performance = reward|
|Easily distracted by the noise at home while studying||Go to the public library to study|
After committing myself for the better, I have started doing the first item on the list and slowly taking steps following the second. I was a non-believer of this ever since until my first trimester taking PTC course. I got heavier responsibilities now that I am married and so I have to quit trusting too much on my ability to remember things at once. 🙂