EDS 111 – Principles of Education

Reflections Through Learning

 

 

While going through the material regarding diversity I was thinking of myself while I’m tutoring my Chinese students, and the time when I first started tutoring them. It was a shock for me to experience teaching a language to students who unlike me or unlike many Filipinos can construct simple sentences in English. Ages of my students ranges from 5 years old to 34 years old. The first month was the most difficult one because I have let go of my impatience and accept that they don’t respond to me not because they have low intelligence but because they do not understand the language they have to use to communicate to me. Just like what it said in the material I have to accept every student’s similarities and differences not just for other students but also for me. The role to be culturally responsive is heavier on the teachers part, when I continued to think the way I thought like, they should be understanding me since they wanted to learn English, require better effort on learning how to respond in English and to expect them to formulate their thoughts initially in English I have failed as a culturally responsive teacher. I have failed to demonstrate respect, consideration, tolerance in those moments, I did not meet my student where they were, though I was aware of their struggles and how they wanted to learn I did not give them patience and sincerity that I would want my teacher to give me if I am the student. I have often thought that as a person I value equity, I practice fairness not until this module did I realize that there is double standard in my thinking and preferences.colorful faces

I think I have expected it from myself to be tolerant of differences since I live in the Philippines, here we are exposed to Chinese, Koreans, Taiwanese who stays temporarily to study, western films are very much supported but little did I know that what I thought natural of me is something that I have to consciously work hard to display. This is not going to be a quick fix, I have to continuously expose myself to materials that would correct my attitude and practices to be a tutor that displays real concern and respect.

I told you before, I occasionally teach in our Sunday School and facilitate discipleship classes with the same group because of that I bought several card games and board games to entice them to attend and when our sessions are nearing their exams or just right after exams then instead of traditional discussion we’ll have games. That is already my attempt on incorporating fun in my teaching, as a person I’m really not artistic whatever I lack in the “naturally creative” department I try to offset with games that I could buy.

 

So this went on for years, several students have graduated from my class and when we would have time to get together they would still look for the games they have used when they were my students. All along I was thinking that I did well since they learned and had good memories with me. It would have been better had I known how to incorporate creativity early own.

I have a girl friend that also goes to the same church I go, she handles the college class as I handle the high school class. Recently we would have discipleship classes on the same afternoon, every time this happen I would hear sounds of cheers and laughter coming from her room, every topic to discuss she’ll have group activities for icebreaker and games for application. I would often think that I could never teach like that, it will be a challenge to get their attention to focus back to the topic if they will always laugh and pause for a games. Also how could I have creative ideas on how my students could apply what I thought from the Bible, shouldn’t we just have to wait for a situation wherein they could apply the Bible principles to their lives?creative thinking My initial reaction was, I guess for her it’s just so easy, she’s musically incline person so her brain is much creatively wired than mine.

But then again this module corrected by thinking, creativity is not just about art, it’s not about people who are creatively wired.  It’s about expressing one’s own ideas in many different ways, it’s being innovative on how a teacher could present information in ways that students will understand considering the differences on personality and capabilities of students, it’s allowing students to find multiple solutions to a problem. One more thing, I should have not limited myself into thinking that games are there to engage them to think practical applications it could be as simple as, freedom for kids to demonstrate what they have learned. Lastly, my discipleship class need to be always be serious to assure me that they are learning.

 

Since this semester is about to end, I’m thinking of having the kids come over to my place for another discipleship class. I don’t have much ideas yet but I’ll start with a movie, color pens and colored papers. I don’t have yet the complete picture in mind but I’ve got to start somewhere right?

 

Resources:

American Psychological Association (2016). Creativity in the classroom. Retrieved from:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQqFFaJJ8gc

Dr. Sherri (2014). Strategies for Teaching Culturally Diverse Students. Retrieved from:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPutaPc9gB8

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EDS 111 – Principles of Teaching

There’s More In Teaching Than Meets The Eye

meets the eye

I was a critical student, whoever was in front of the class facilitating the discussion will be scrutinized by my eyes. Every teacher that I had met for the first week of each school year was sized up by how she/he spoke, how she/he made eye contact with us and how she/he conducted herself/himself when in the classroom. Funny though, because I didn’t know much about the subject yet and definitely I knew nothing about checking a teacher’s mastery of the subject. Nevertheless I did this my whole college life.

I equated my teacher’s mastery of the topic with how he taught us in the class, for me if the teacher has mastery of the subject/discipline then he should be able to teach us what he knows well, I should be able to understand the subject clearly and deeply.

You can’t teach what you don’t know. That was the notion I stood on before this module. It was very rigid, inconsiderate and unfair. Not to mention, it sounded very ignorant. Ignorant of the truth and reality that yes a person can be so knowledgeable about a discipline but is not skilled to impart that knowledge especially to a group of people with different learning abilities. I remember one professor in one of my law subjects, she would discuss a couple of articles in our class per session, and she would cite other articles that may sound almost the same but once studied thoroughly one would know that the articles are not the same. Every question we had thrown at her was answered completely but, what we were looking for was a practical application for better understanding.  We were told that she has not lost any case from the time she started her law practiced however, imparting that knowledge to us was a different story.

Well at some point we could also say that it’s true, a teacher could not teach what she does not know. For example, one of my professors in college had an emergency at home and she had to go home to attend to it, she asked a good friend of hers to man our class because we can’t be loitering around in the university. Since this other teacher was teaching a different subject she was not able to continue the discussion from where we left off the last time.

Knowing how to teach ones mastery of knowledge is not enough, integration of technology is a necessity. The benefits of including technology in education stretch from teachers’ convenience in simplifying a complex study, real time monitor of students understanding, to students’ freedom and creativity in conveying their understanding of what was studied and their access to different information available from all over the world to substantiate their understanding. But including technology in the picture of teaching could also be another concern that teachers have to deal with. As we all know technology cannot be boxed or contained, so a non-techie person like me will not just learn the appropriate tools (e.g. specific apps or software) that I should use but, to also be confident in navigating the tools with all it’ complexities to feel comfortable using them to help my students reach their full potential.

I have very little interaction with technology compared to those people around me, I only use a laptop for my work and maintained needed apps in my mobile and laptop, those are only related to my work and this study which are very few compared to the numbers of apps commonly used now. I just have a couple of maintained social media as well and seldom open and checks posts of other people. As a soon to be full pledge teacher, this attitude has to be changed, I have to embrace the need to use technology not just for teaching purposes but to also use it to get the attention of the students or else it’ll be so hard for me to reach out to them and have a good vibrant engagement. This is one of those few things in this module that sticks to me so much. I have to let go of my thinking that technology is just an add-on, a class can live without it. Now I know that it’s a misguided notion, with technology come various activities for teaching, real time feedback, quicker access to information, collaboration of ideas with fellow classmates is unlimited, the list could just go on and on. So for me who stayed away from technology will have to embrace the joys it brings to learning.

Having technology alone is not enough to impart knowledge without a teacher with good content knowledge. A teacher with a good teaching skill would know what technology to use for a specific study/discipline.  We cannot over emphasize the importance of the 3 knowledge and how strongly they are interconnected in providing education to a diverse group of learners.

Reference:
1. Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) (Arizona State University. (2017). Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) [Video file]
2. : What is Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge? (Koehler, M. J., & Mishra, P. (2006). What is technological pedagogical content knowledge? Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1), 60-70.)
3. Singapore’s 21st-Century Teaching Strategies (Education Everywhere Series) [Youtube]