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