To enable trainees to recognize the variety of roles and contexts in the lifelong learning sector and the Impact that these have Objectives: By the end of this activity, trainees should be able to: List at least five different teaching contexts in the lifelong learning sector Discuss the effect of these contexts, different specialist subject areas, different organizational structures etc on the way they work In comparison with others Part 1: Wordsmith Wordsmith on the different teaching contexts in the lifelong learning sector.
Discussion on which of these contexts are represented in the group or have been experienced In the past either as teachers or learners. How do they differ? What Impact do these differences have? Make use of any trainees in the group who teach in contexts other than FEE colleges. Part 2: Small group discussion Note: groups could be delved by subject area or randomly, but most effective If different teaching contexts are represented in each group where possible.
Discuss the way that their subject is delivered in their organization – how does this compare to how it is delivered in different contexts and how does it compare to other objects within deferent organizations. What is the main purpose of their organization and what impact does this have on the provision of their specialist subject? Are the student groups likely to be similar or different – in terms of ages, gender balance, motivation etc – in different contexts? What levels of their specialist subject are offered in their organization? What impact does the type of organization have on this decision?
How is the organization structured – in terms of the size of the organization, departmental organization, line management, course co-ordination, teams of staff or individual teaching – and how goes this affect their teaching of their subject? What “roles” are involved in teaching their subject – egg teacher, lecturer, tutor, personal tutor, instructor, learning support etc – and does this affect the way their teaching is perceived in their organization? Plenary feedback with tutor to provide input and lead discussion on contexts not covered within the group.
The context of teaching includes anything in the surrounding environment: physical, social, institutional and personal, that influences teaching and learning. The physical environment includes the classroom where teaching/learning occurs. For instance, he arrangement of the desks encourages some kinds of interactions and discourages others. Other factors such as lighting (enough to read by but not so much as to glare or be uncomfortable), heat (too warm makes people tired, too cold makes them uncomfortable and focusing on their physical feelings), time of day, and even the day of the week can make a difference.
The social environment including the relationship between teacher and students and the cultural norms play a significant role in what can and does occur in the classroom. How friendly/ approachable an instructor seems to be determines how outgoing students will be ND the kind of communication that will characterize classroom interaction. The cultural norms: what is expected of a teacher and a student also have to be considered. This includes norms and attitudes regarding gender, age, class and ethnic roles.
For instance, research shows (check with Elaine Blackmore on this) that it is more difficult for students to address a female professor as “Dry. Whoever” than to address a male professor similarly. The institutional norms play a similar role as cultural norms but perhaps more strongly affect what behaviors the teacher and students see as acceptable. Is the teaching method “du Sour” being promulgated as the only acceptable teaching practice? Is teaching “outside the lines” an acceptable custom? Are teachers encouraged to take risks?
Are students encouraged to take an active role in their own education? The culture of the institution determines what is valued/ rewarded/recognized in the context. Is teaching rewarded or does research have higher esteem and, thus, more currency. How is teaching evaluated? All of these are affected by the larger culture, but specifically designated by the institution’s culture and the norms of the department within which the course is offered. Last, but certainly not least, is the personal context which each instructor (and every student, for that matter) brings to the classroom.
Personal context includes stresses context contains teachers’ attitudes about learning, teaching, students, their own abilities, and their subject matter. For instance, teachers who believe their students can learn the content and communicate that belief to students can create a self- fulfilling prophecy in much the same way as teachers who do not believe in their students’ abilities can create failure, regardless of actual student abilities. More importantly, is teachers’ ability to teach from who they are.
Teachers, to succeed, must believe in themselves, their students and the importance and awesomeness of their subject. Today’s classroom is dynamic and complex. More students are coming to school neglected, abused, hungry, and ill-prepared to learn and work productively. To combat increasing student alienation, and meet the scope and intensity of the academic, social and emotional needs of today’s students, those entering the teaching profession will need to find ways to create authentic learning communities y adjusting the power dynamics to turn power over into power with learners.
These changing demands call for teaching styles that better align with emerging metaphors of teacher as social mediator, learning facilitator, and reflective practitioner. Being able to function in these roles begins with teacher self-awareness, self-inquiry, and self-reflection, not with the students. Becoming an effective teacher involves considerably more than accumulating skills and strategies. Without tying teaching and management decisions to personal beliefs about teaching, learning, and development, a teacher will have only the bricks.
The real stuff of teaching is the mortar that holds the bricks in place and provides a foundation. Being successful in today’s classroom environment goes beyond taking on fragmented techniques for managing instruction, keeping students on-task, and handling student behavior. It requires that the teacher remain did and able to move in many directions, rather than stuck only being able to move in one direction as situations occur. Effective teaching is much more than a compilation of skills and strategies. It is a deliberate philosophical and ethical code of conduct.
When teachers become reflective restrictions, they move beyond a knowledge base of discrete skills to a stage where they integrate and modify skills to a specific context and eventually, to a point where the skills are internalized enabling them to invent new strategies. They develop the necessary sense of self-menace to create personal solutions to problems. If teachers latch onto techniques without examination of what kinds of teaching practices would be congruent with their beliefs, aligned with their discountenancing structures, and harmonious with their personal styles, they will have Just a bag of tricks.
Without yin teaching decisions to beliefs about the teaching/learning process and assumptions about, and expectations for students, teachers will have only isolated techniques. Unless teachers engage in critical re-section and on-going discovery they stay trapped in unexamined Judgments, interpretations, assumptions, and expectations. On Becoming the Critically Reflective Teacher Developing as a critically reflective teacher encompasses both the capacity for critical inquiry and self-reflection. Critical inquiry involves the conscious consideration of the moral and ethical implications and consequences of classroom practices on students.
Few teachers get through a day without facing ethical dilemmas. Even routine evaluative Judgments of students’ work is partly an ethical decision, in that lack of considerations. Self-reflection goes beyond critical inquiry by adding to conscious consideration the dimension of deep examination of personal values and beliefs, embodied in the assumptions teachers make and the expectations they have for students. For discussion purposes, the term critical reflection will be used to merge the two concepts of critical inquiry and self-reflection, and [email protected] the distinguishing attribute of re-active practitioners.
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