SAMPLES OF STUDENT NOTES – IS METHODS 2007-2008
APPROACHES TO TEACHING AND LEARNING: TRANSMISSION, TRANSACTION, TRANSFORMATION
My Classroom Experiences with the Various Approaches to Teaching and Learning: With my grade 10 applied mathematics class, I was trying to teach them how to solve word problems that involved real life situations with trigonometric ratios. I ended up approaching this task using all three approaches during the three days I used to teach this topic. Originally, I had only planned to spend one day teaching this expectation, using mostly a lesson that would have students learn in a transmission style. I provided the facts and showed the students a few examples and I sent them on their way to solve a list of questions. Well, I saw during their work time that they did not get it. I went home that night and gave it a lot of thought, as word problems are often more difficult for students. The next day I searched for easier word problems online and I divided the word problems into the two categories and made a new worksheet, with 3 questions of each type per sheet and I left room for the student to write down their answers. I also researched methods for teaching word problems and made the students a handout which acted as a guide of what steps they should be doing. During this second class, I did an interactive lesson with the students. I had one student read the problem. Then I asked the class to identify which pieces of information were important in the problem. Students then had the opportunity to volunteer to draw the situation on the board and other helped me solve the problems. We did this for the whole class for the worksheets I made. Students really got involved and seemed to understand the material through this transaction method of learning. The following day, I decided to further increase their confidence in this topic as word problems are often feared by students and I wanted to make sure my students were confident with this material. During this class I divided my class into groups of 3 and gave each group 2 questions. The students were responsible for making sure their fellow group members understood the material and also to present their questions to the class during the second half of the class. The learning that took place was transformational. Students got a lot more out of this activity than I had expected. One student who has extreme math fear actually presented the calculations part of one of the problems his group presented. Others noted how it felt if others were talking during their presentation which would lead to personal growth. They owned this skill after this class. - Melanie Hrenko
APPROACHES TO TEACHING AND LEARNING: TRANSMISSION, TRANSACTION, TRANSFORMATION December 3, 2007 Which do you practice? The vast majority of my teaching, especially in my Grade 12 World Issues class, was transmission. I modelled the class structure that my AT had in place in order to teach students how to take university lecture style notes. As such, most of my teaching in this class was through transmission. At times, I tried to vary my instruction whenever possible and at times was able to move to transaction learning through really good Q & A sessions with students. By allowing students to think, reflect and then apply their knowledge, they were able to focus on applying their knowledge to concrete examples (eg. women only hold 21% of all top management positions – why is this? What solutions can remedy the situation?) In my Grade 10 Civics class, I used a much more varied approach to reach my students. Through classroom discussion of current issues and a debate about school uniforms in public elementary and secondary schools I was able to use transformational learning. Students have to develop their own opinion on certain issues (eg. uniforms) and use facts to support their opinion. Pros & Cons Each of the above mentioned teaching and learning strategies have their specific pros and cons. All of the strategies have their merit and it is up to the individual teacher to decide how best to use them. Transmission is a good approach for teachers looking to impart alot of information on to students. Traditionally, for my subject area of history, this approach worked extremely well to transmit factual information such as dates. However, the downside of this strategy is that it relies much too heavily on the traditional „banking method‟ of teaching whereby students are viewed as mere recipcals of information. The one-way flow from teacher (or textbook) to student is also problematic. Transaction is an important strategy to consider when wanting to elicit more interaction and group work within class. It provides more opportunity to create a „dialogue‟ between the teacher and students in class. This strategy would be ideal when discussing or debating current topics or controversial issues. In this case, the teacher can take on the role of „devil‟s advocate‟ and allow the students to draw their own conclusions. The only conceivable problem I see with this approach revolves around the classroom management skills of the teacher. For a high behaviour class this strategy might not be the best approach to use on a continuous basis. However, this should not preclude a teacher for using more interactive teaching strategies in their classroom. Lastly, transformational learning is an important teaching strategy to consider for bodily kinaesthetic learners. This strategy usually involves an active element such as drama or role playing. Students are able to engage and interact with the subject matter. This strategy would be important to consider when teaching a Religion class because it focuses on more than just strictly the intellectual growth of the student. Instead, the spiritual and moral development of the student can be targeted. One of the shortcomings for transformational learning is that it does not apply to all types of learners (logical-
mathematical, naturalistic) and as such has the potential to „turn off‟ some students to the learning you are trying to get across. Implications for students? The different types of teaching and learning strategies you use in the classroom have direct implications on your students. Just like taking into consideration different Multiple Intelligences of your students, it is important to consider how you are going to „teach‟ the class. As previously discussed, each of the above strategies has their strengths and areas for improvement. Depending on the lesson you are giving and the dynamics of your particular classroom, one strategy might work better than another. Ultimately, in order to try and reach all of your students, a combination of transmission, transaction and transformation should be used. - Jim Meagher
TRANSACTION, TRANSFORMATION (December 3)
My use of the three T‟s in practicum: Throughout my lessons I tried to use a combination of transmission and transaction. When introducing a new concept or review old concepts I would use a very transactional method since there was room for activities such as class discussion to stumble through new and old material. After the concept has been introduced and the students have some idea of what it is I would use transmission to fill in all of the details that they are not likely to develop through discussion such as key terms or important steps. However, since I was teaching mathematics it was difficult to come up with transformational activities. The units I was teaching did not leave much room for transformational activities, but thinking back on it, there are some activities I could have tried with the students. One such activity would having students act out a proof of the Pythagorean Theorem through use of tableau (the students would be holding props to simulate the squares of side lengths) and have them assemble the props into a right triangle and show that the squares of the smaller sides sum to the square of the hypotenuse. - Brandon Brown
Approaches to Teaching and Learning: Transmission, Transaction, and Transformation – Dec. 3
Which do I practice? I truly wish that I could profess to practicing all three approaches to teaching, encompassing a holistic approach to teaching and learning. However, it would be untruthful for me to say so. I am actively attempting to incorporate all three facets of teaching and learning into my lessons and my classroom, yet I have not entirely mastered their individual and contextual uses yet. Predominantly I tend to use a transactional, and to a lesser extent, a transmissional approach. Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to fully implement my transformational approach thus far. I will try to create a blend of these three approaches within my next practicum block.
Pros and cons? Transmission: Pros- this approach is well suited to some learners (passive learners, logical), is suited to the sciences and mathematics, is ideal for essentialist and behaviouralist teachers, it is also very easy to assess the level of knowledge that was gained through this teaching. Cons- little to no creativity is encouraged, very linear and not well suited to some learners and intelligences, not a very exciting or interactive way of learning. Transaction: Pros- can be highly interactive and engaging, is ideal for some learners and intelligences (interpersonal), fosters greater creativity and inductive/deductive reasoning skills, focuses more on critical thinking skills than transmission. Cons- may not be suited to some learners such as those with LD’s or those who are more passive. Transformation: Pros- it focuses on more than just intellectual development, it can create very strong bonds between the student and the subject matter, it caters well to all intelligences. Cons- it does not focus as greatly on intellectual development as the other approaches do (this could be seen as a serious detriment.) Implications for students? If I were to embrace a truly holistic approach to teaching then it would benefit my students greatly. By nature of the varied approaches, I would be open to all different learning styles, I would be flexible, and yet rigid enough to know when a specific approach is appropriate to a certain topic or situation. Focusing too greatly on any one of the three approaches is unhealthy for uniform student growth. Just as we must foster growth between all intelligences, we should utilize all of the teaching approaches possible, to help our students. - Rob Hendy
APPROACHES TO TEACHING AND LEARNING: TRANSMISSION, TRANSACTION, TRANSFORMATION December 3, 2007 Three Approaches to Teaching & Learning: 4
The first form of learning is transmission, involving a one-way flow of information from the teacher or the textbook to the student. The focus is on accumulating factual information and basic skills. “UNIVERSITY MODEL” A second form of learning is transaction, characterized by greater interaction between student and teacher. This form focuses on solving problems and developing cognitive skills. Students examine a broad range of problems and issues. “DR. GOSSE TYPE LESSONS” A third form of learning is transformational. Here, the focus is not just on intellectual development, but also on physical, emotional, aesthetic, moral, and spiritual growth. Significant connections develop between the student and the subject matter. This type of learning often nurtures the student's inner life through such approaches as storytelling and the arts. “MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES”. Often Using The Arts i.e. Drama, Musical elements In depth understanding and relation to the world During my November practicum experience, I feel that I often taught in the transactional form of learning. There were moments when I was introducing a new concept were my teaching methods would lean towards the transmission form of learning. However, I would always try to ask questions and get student comments based on the new concepts; thereby making the learning style more transactional. I strived to have the students cooperatively learn through discussion with each other, but I would always bring that discussion back to the front of the class with the teacher. There were specific times when I presented the students with transformational learning. To teach the grade 7s the Particle Theory, I had them act out the parts of the particle theory together. In doing this, they were being bodily / kinesthetic and using cooperative learning. Within this setting, I was teaching the theory by asking the students what they were experiencing, how it made them feel, etc. I believe this was very transformational. As well, to teach the students knowledge about food chains, I had them first develop a food chain, in groups, using the internet. Then I had them act out the food chain to the class, explaining what would happen if one part of the food chain was not available anymore. It was really interesting to see what they come up with. Through transactional learning, the students learn to problem solve and learn in different ways. They can explore and learn with a teacher who facilitates their learning. However, students who find it difficult to learn in this manner would be disadvantaged compared to students who thrive in this type of learning environment. Different multiple intelligences can be brought in this way; however, if I were to employ more transformational learning into my lessons, I would be teaching to those intelligences more than I currently am. Therefore, in an intermediate school setting, I believe the transformational form of teaching would be best suited. - Natasha St-Onge
ENTRY #6 – COOPERATIVE DISCIPLINE
Filling out a Behavioural Contract: 1) Record Date 2) Indicate what the problem is and include a section that states willingness to adhere to regulations. 3) Each child fills the form out as well as the teacher. 4) Have student, administrator, teachers, and parent(s) (if possible) sign the contract. It is largely a judgment call whether parents should be required to sign the contract once students have filled it out and signed. If the parent signs the contract and then behaviour continues, setting up a conference is the next step. 5) File the report for anecdotal record, and to have tracked repeated occurrences or increasing severity of behaviour TASK - Think of an example from placement of when a student misbehaved and a behavioural contract would have maybe resolved the issue. Behavioural Contract Date: November 14, 2007 Period: Grade 10 Biology, 9-10h15
Student’s statement of problem: Today in Ms, Meier‟s Biology class I was gossiping to my friends about one of my schoolmates. I was just telling them how a group of us saw her out this past weekend and how we don‟t agree with the way she dresses or acts. We even think she is anorexic because she keeps passing out at school and on trips for sports. Everyone in the school knows this is true. I also told my friends about some of the rumours that are spreading around about her over the internet through websites such as Facebook and MySpace. Teacher’s statement of problem: Today while the students in Biology class were working on group assignments I overheard a student talking about and spreading rumours about another girl in the school. I called her out into the hall and explained to her that it is inappropriate of her to be treating another schoolmate in that way. I asked her how she might feel if the situation were reversed and how she may have felt in the past if she was ever a victim of bullying. She explained to me that she didn‟t really realize that she was engaging in bullying because she was not directly confronting the victim herself. She was very apologetic and promised that she would discontinue spreading rumours.
Student’s resolution: I did not realize that my actions were a form of bullying and next time I hear gossip and rumours being spread around about other people I will be sure to inform them (the gossipers) of the consequences that their actions may have and stop the rumours from spreading even further. I will also make sure to never use the internet as a way to even read about gossip let alone promote it. Student’s signature: __________________________________
Teacher’s signature: Whitney Meier
Parent’s signature: ________________________________
By Kristen Rossetti Winter 2008
The following is an example of a behavioural contract, inspired by the ideals of cooperative discipline. Date: February 1st, 2008 Student’s statement of problem: I‟ve been feeling really down this week. Normally I am pretty happy, even though it‟s been hard at home since Mom left. My grandma moved in, and things were going really well until last week, when we found out that she‟s pretty sick. She hadn‟t been feeling well for a while and the doctor‟s told her it‟s because of her diabetes. She can‟t do all the things she used to around the house and I‟ve been stuck taking care of her and my little brother, Toby, while Dad is working. I feel like I hardly get enough sleep as it is, and all of my teachers are constantly on my case about my homework. I feel bad because my Dad tries so hard to give us a good life, but I don‟t get it! I‟ve always been a good student, why can‟t they just give me a break? I get that I shouldn‟t have yelled, but I just can‟t handle all this pressure! Teacher’s statement of problem: This week I have noticed a marked changed in the behavior of Sarah, normally a very polite, enthusiastic and participatory student. She has seemed withdrawn and quiet, and has not been
completing her homework assignments. When I asked her today about her missed homework, she responded by yelling “Just get off my back, ok??!” This outburst both surprised and worried me. I asked Sarah to stay after class so we could discuss her response and why she has not been completing her homework, and to work out a solution that was acceptable to both of us. Student’s resolution: I talked things over with Miss. Rossetti and she seemed pretty ok when I told her what was going on at home. She agreed that it would be ok if I handed in some assignments a bit later, as long as I told her first and we decided together on an appropriate due date. She also invited me to come to the homework club she runs at lunch, where kids can get some extra help or just have a quiet place to work. She is really helping me out so I agreed that I would try and participate more in class and that I would try to talk to her about my problems rather than just getting upset and yelling at her. She also offered to talk to my Dad with me about everything that‟s been going on at home, which makes me feel a lot better about things. Student’s signature: Miss. K. Rossetti Teacher’s signature: Sarah Williams Parent’s signature: Brian Williams
COMMUNICATING WITH PARENTS
Notes from chapter 12 of Creating the Dynamic Classroom Developing a strong partnership with parents is an integral part of a student‟s education. The more involved parents are in your classroom and school community, the more familiar they will be with your program and in turn more supportive. Many parents are now involved in their children‟s education; however, there are some schools where it is difficult to get parents involved. As an educator you must continues trying to read out to them. The more informed a parent is, the more they can assist their children at home.
Ways to keep all parents informed and involved: Send home: - classroom and school newsletters, see figure on right -notes -communication outlines Invite parents to curriculum nights and information sessions Parent-teacher interviews or conferences Daily agendas or homework planners Regular homework assignments Invitations to school and classroom events (eg. Assemblies, open house evenings) Volunteer Programs and Opportunities Web site with information about your program
Community Building WHY?
Parent and guardian involvement and communicati on
Full contact information Concise Quirky biograph y
Extracurricular activities Notifications
Family Dynamics A teacher should collect background information about their students and their parents. Check with your school to see if there is a set form and if not this can be done with a questionnaire asking the necessary questions. This is a good time to find out the family structure, the languages spoken at home, medical history and any other relevant information. If there are families whose first language is not English, a teacher should ensure to have important letters translated. Parent Participation and Volunteers Teachers should make opportunities available for parents to take part in school or classroom events. Inform parents about these opportunities through one of the many ways listed above. Parents can: supervise field trips help with the editing and publishing of students‟ writing answer interview questions about their occupations, experiences, and interests organize fundraising events participate in the work of the School Council or teacher association assist in the classroom and library Make sure to keep in contact with volunteers and provide them with a timeline for their involvement and with a list of expectations. Plan ahead so volunteers in the classroom always have something to do. Volunteers need to feel useful and valued. Encourage them to ask questions whenever they are unsure about an expectation. Volunteers need to be made aware that things they do and learn about the students and teachers while in the school are strictly confidential; a letter signed by the principal may be a good way to accomplish this. Also, provide volunteers with a copy of the school or district code of behaviour and state consequences for inappropriate behaviour. Providing a volunteer with useful and concise information about developmental characteristics of children, multiple intelligences, and theories about how children learn will give the volunteer a better understanding of the students they will be working with. Also information about what a volunteer will see in terms of groupings and learning centres may prove useful. Training could also be provided for volunteers for more specific situations, such as paired reading. Most importantly make sure that parental involvement and volunteers are appreciated. This could be done through an appreciation event such as a school barbeque. - Melanie Hrenko
COMMUNICATING WITH PARENTS September 10-14, 2007 Newsletters Why? Keep parents/students up to date of what is going on in the school (i.e. Sports, clubs) Introduce yourself – reduce parent/student anxiety. Can also introduce new teachers Rapport Building: i.e. contact info. Start building the student/teacher relationship early Accountability: Will let students know what is going on (i.e. Due dates), and to make sure the students know what is expected of them. I.e. look, it‟s all here, I gave it to you. Organization: Getting information on the first day ensures constant organization, ensures they have the proper supplies, etc.
Important Traits Events: Let you know what‟s going on Policies/Rules: Such as dress codes, board rules, consequences, class room restrictions Full Contact Information*: School address, phone #, fax #, your school email, etc Age appropriate to the grade level it is directed at Solicit volunteers*: Do it right at the beginning. State what you are going to be involved in and ask if anyone could volunteer their time to the cause Include a Quirky Bio*: Welcoming the students, say who you are – make it FUN! I.e. Spent the summer in the Rockies, can‟t wait for the next Harry Potter book ~ make sure it is age appropriate Design/Visual Appeal (i.e. Publisher)
- Natasha St. Onge
Communicating with Parents September 10 – 14, 2007
- Jim Meagher
METACOGNITION (January 28)
Strategies for math/computer science: All of the following techniques are suitable for grades 10 and 11. Since mathematics and computer science are so interrelated the techniques can be used in either class. Representational Imagery: Visualize the ways in which systems of equations can interstect (single point, never, everywhere can be visualized as two lines intersecting, being the same line, being parallel). Students can also graph them and see from there. Show a picture of a small shelving unit with tiny compartments to illustrate 2-D arrays. Elaborative Interrogation: Pseudocode: state an example of an efficient and non-efficient program – ask why a particular solution to a programming problem is efficient when it is not, in order to get the students to think of a better solution. For example: show a recursive/iterative program and have students explain why recursion is better when really it is not. Discuss proper posture by analyzing a picture of a student (or someone) sitting at a computer. State this is not the best way to be seated. Ask why this is not the best way to be sitting. Students will analyze the picture and answer the question. Acronyms: SOHCAHTOA: Sin = Opposite/hypotenuse, Cos = adjacent/hypotenuse, Tan = opposite/adjacent CAST – cos, all, sin, tan BEDMAS/PEMDAS/BODMAS – Brackets, exponents, division/multiplication, addition/subtraction, please excuse my dear aunt sally Keyword Method: Composition of functions. Fog and gof are shortened by students into „fog off‟, which they are likely to remember. Network: think of a sailor working a net and hauling up a bunch of computers. Or picture computers connected together like a net with each connection point of the net being a computer. Summarizing: Summarize an article review relating to computer science (summarizing the paragraphs) Writing documentation for a created program (input values, expected values, function list) Concept Mapping: Brainstorming the impacts and consequences of new technology on society. I.E. pros and cons of new hardware/software developments.
Brainstorming review of topics before a test. Comparing and contrasting different programming strategies. - Brandon Brown
January 28, 2008 KEY POINTS FROM “Learning Strategies in the Classroom: by T. Seifert (January 28, 2008) Four Key Points Students must attend to the information to be learned Students must create an understanding of the material by creating or identifying relationships amongst the to-be-learned ideas Need to relate new ideas to prior knowledge Students need to understand that learning requires mental effort Representational Imagery: Mental imagery. It can be used for remembering facts and with extended prose. Developmentally older students benefit from this, but young students have been shown to benefit from their own imagery. For younger children, this will not only aid memory but motor activity as well. Imagery is thought to enhance memory for two reasons. One is the dual coding theory (2 memory systems): Verbal systems and non-verbal system. For example, images of verbal information, including illustrations with text, or elaborating upon illustrations with explanations (both systems are activated). Also, in making a mental image of some information, the students must identify important ideas and relate those ideas. Scientific Example: In Senior biology, students can read about the functioning of the heart, including what type of blood enters which side (left or right), which chambers are the largest, etc. They can then mentally visualize and draw a heart pumping, having a large left ventricle and having red blood (oxygenated) flowing into the left side of the heart and blue blood (non-oxygenated) flowing into the right side of the heart. Elaborative Interrogation: Enhances memory of facts. First, you read a fact to be remembered, and then ask, “Why would that be true?” Steps: (1) Read the fact to be remembered; (2) Turn the fact into a why question; (3) Answer the why question. This has been noted to work with students as young as grade 4. The strategy seems to increase in power as students get older. Scientific Example: Leaves on a plant are green because they contain chlorophyll. Chlorophyll absorbs all wavelengths of light; however, it reflects the green wavelength of light giving the leaf a green appearance. Upon discussing this with students, a teacher can ask, “why are leaves green?” The students can then answer the question using the new information they have learned. Acronyms: A series of letters that spell a word, with each letter in the acronym representing another word. A variation of the letter acronym is the acronymic sentence.
Acronyms work because they take a lot of information and cut it down into a small, manageable amount. They also help impose an organization on information that enhances retrieval of information. Scientific Example: In Science to remember the numerical nomenclature rules in organic chemistry, we use: Mary Eats Peanut Butter Primarily Having Hers On Numerous Dessert (meth-, eth-, prop-, butyl-, penta-, hexa-, hepta-, octa-, nona-, decaKeyword Method: A well researched mnemonic that has been clearly demonstrated to enhance memory for definitions and associating an object with its attributes. This strategy involves identifying a new word and then generating an image of the new word and old word interacting. Why does this work? First, there is an imagery component involved (generating an image which will in turn enhances memory). Then, the learner transforms material by creating a similar sounding word. This links the new information with something familiar. Scientific Example: To remember photosynthesis: this is the process by which a plant harvests the energy from the sun converting it into usable energy; the students can dra w a picture of a plant taking a picture (photo) of the sun. This way, the word “photo” is included in the drawing, as well as the plant taking the “photo” of the sun. Summarizing: Enhances memory for main ideas. For example, students read a section of prose and then write a sentence that describes what that prose was about. This has shown to improve memory of prose by about 33%. This is effective because the student must attend to important concepts within the text and then generate meaningful information from unimportant, and state how important concepts are related to each other. Also, this strategy causes students to express the main ideas in their own words (deep processing / mentally manipulate information). Scientific Example: For a grade 12 class, to familiarize them with scientific journal articles, the students can read a paragraph from the journal and summarize the main ideas of the paragraph into a sentence. They can continue this throughout the entire journal until they have a paragraph summarizing the entire journal article. Scientific journals are very abstract; therefore, this method will greatly enhance student learning of the article in a manageable manner. Concept Mapping: Webbing, mind maps, etc. Develops conceptual understanding of complex prose. Again, one is identifying important concepts and relates those concepts to one another. This method makes the information mentally active. Scientific Example: In a grade 8 science class, upon the beginning of the unit named FLUIDS, the students (along with probing from the teacher) can develop a concept map integrating and indicating all the information they currently know about fluids. This would be a pre-assessment activity to determine what the students already know about Fluids. - Natasha St. Onge
October 1 – 5, 2007 Today, there are many more multiple intelligences, including existentialist intelligence and naturalist intelligence. My strongest MI is interpersonal – this is because I am in tune to other people‟s feelings, and I enjoy group work. Social interaction is the main idea in this MI. Therefore, in the classroom, I like to employ many cooperative activities as a teaching strategy. The students get to move around and interact with one another in my classroom. This also lets the students discover on their own terms with fellow peers, instead of having me at the front of the classroom dictating information to them. My weakest MI would be intrapersonal; metacognition is not a strong point of mine. I like to collaborate with other people instead of looking into myself for the answers. I believe in resources to get information, and a very strong resource is other people. In future teaching, I would be an advocate of group work, interaction and social activity in order to learn concepts. However, metacognition and letting children do things in their own framework will not be a strong system of working things in my classroom. Many students would be able to work in this framework, but others, those who are in touch with their inner selves – would not like this frame of teaching. Ways to overcome: Ask people for help – do not forget this point. Even bouncing ideas off of other people will be beneficial Also, look for other resources! - Natasha St. Onge
MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES October 1 – 5, 2007 Least/Strongest MI & Implications for My Teaching & Student Learning My least strongest multiple intelligence is logical-mathematical. As a student in high school, I always struggled in math class. For whatever reason, different concepts in math were hard for me to grasp and understand. While teaching on my upcoming Grade 8 placement, I know I will have to pay particular attention to planning and implementing math lessons. My strongest multiple intelligence is verbal-linguistic. I enjoy writing and have always excelled in writing essays, creative writing, short stories, etc... This information will certainly have huge implications for my teaching and the way my students learn. First and foremost, however, I need to realize that not all students with excel in the same areas that I do. Although I might be strong in verbal-linguistic and naturalistic intelligence, some of my students might struggle with these intelligences but excel in math and logical skills. It is up to me as a classroom teacher to provide ample opportunity for all students to excel in my classroom – regardless of their multiple intelligence. Providing students with lots of choice on tests and assignments is another
important element to consider. Differentiated instruction, including a wide variety of assessment strategies, will form the basis of evaluation in my class. In terms of student learning, by learning about multiple intelligences I will now tailor my lesson plans, unit plans and assignments to the individual strengths of different students. Instead of the traditional „pen and paper‟ assessment strategies like tests, I will try to incorporate more „active‟ learning such as drama, role playing and skits to compliment different multiple intelligences. - Jim Meagher
PYGMALION THEORY/SELF-FULFILLING PROPHESIES / TEACHER EXPECTATIONS
two requirements – first hand exposure to the student and knowledge about the student’s reputation Rosenthal and Jacobson’s Pygmalion in the Classroom; perception of the teacher/parents can influence results
Consult my PowerPoint on Teacher Expectations: http://www.nipissingu.ca/faculty/douglasg/EDUC4464/Resources/powerpoints/TeacherE xpectation.ppt 1) closed minded 2) isolated 3) spoiled 4) troublemaker as well 5) genius 6) popular
Inspiration to be a Teacher: I tutored first year calculus students and worked in a math drop in centre while working on my mathematics degree. I really love doing mathematics and teaching others these skills was a highlight of my university career. I found that I connected with several of the students and I really made a difference in some cases. There was one girl in particular really influenced me to be a teacher. In the first semester of Calculus she barely passed. I 18
decided that when I started tutoring that she was capable of much more and through hard work on both our parts, she received a 70% on the second portion of the course. Although this was largely her achievement, I was very proud of her and this experience impacted me. Movie Summary of Dangerous Minds: A teacher played by Michelle Pfeiffer is place in a very difficult class to teach. The students are described to her in such a way that they are unteachable and she is given the impression that there is nothing she can do with this class. Her character is an ex-marine which gives her an edge as it gives her confidence and strength. The class resists her at the beginning, but she slowly gets to know the students personalities and uses this to connect with them. She does not lower the bar for this class and she expects hard work from them. In the end she achieves her goal and the class excels. This movie inspires me to be strong and to never give up on my students. I need to go into any classroom with the attitude that they can succeed, despite any descriptions I am given by other teachers and administration and my own first impression. These biases would affect how I teach and I do not want to reflect this in the classroom. It shows that even though a student may seem unreachable, if I spend some time getting to know him/her, I will develop a better understanding of the student and will be able to improve my approach so I can reach him/her.
- Melanie Hrenko
Pygmalion Theory – Dec. 12-14
The Pygmalion theory is, by my estimation, one of the most influential theories posited about the relationship of teachers and learners. Luckily, I have already begun to use this method quite extensively throughout my practice teaching. Never do I enter a classroom and “believe” that there are no trouble makers, slackers, or children without severe LD‟s. I understand that there could be, but I do not judge the class or the individuals on that understanding. To me, every student can achieve a personal best while in my class, and it is my job as an educator to help that happen. I can remember in a grade 10 biology class when the very opposite of what I just described happened to myself. After class one day, my friend and I were just packing-up our belongings and getting ready to go home. Before leaving the room our teacher stopped us and said “ok you boys, this reading tonight will be a little difficult for you two. I know that you two aren‟t high achievers, but try to do the readings tonight and then we will see if you will be able to keep up and pass the class.” I am far from an English major, but at the time I could still easily read grade 9
text. It was that moment that made me feel stupid and worthless, and it is something that I will try never to do to my students. Also, looking at Mr. Holland‟s Opus, we can see something similar there as well. At the beginning of the movie he believed that the students were stupid and couldn‟t relate to music at all. After realizing his own mistake of not making the material relatable to the students, he overcame that challenge as well. - Rob Hendy
PYGMALIAN THEORY December 12-14, 2007 It is within my thoughts that the Pygmalion theory is not only true but valid in everyday practice. This can have both a positive or negative effect in the classroom. For example, if a student is seen as unmotivated, the teacher may give less attention to this student if they ask a question in class. However, if a student who is seen as motivated asks the same question, they are often regarded more highly and the teacher will spend more time with them answering the question. Therefore, not only is the “unmotivated” student discouraged, they are more inclined to agree with the perceived notion the teacher is directing towards them. As per the course in Special Education / Educational Psychology, this contributes to the problem of “labeling.” Once you label a student with an exceptionality, they will be viewed through a different set of glasses. Even if they do not have an exceptionality, yet everyone suspects that they should, the student unconsciously may begin to act like a person with the exceptionality, thereby deepening this phenomenon more. On the positive side, if you believe a student has more potential then they present, the student may begin to act in such a way that mimics the teacher‟s perceived notion of them. The implications of this approach will influence my teaching in many ways. Because I am aware of the effect this theory has on students, and because I strongly believe that this theory is, in fact, truth, I will make a conscious effort to not treat students in a negative way because of some hidden perceived notion. Therefore, students who are LD, behavioural or unmotivated, for example, will not be treated in any different way than those who do not possess these traits. I will try to treat each student as if they can achieve anything they want, be all they can be. I will treat each of them as a star, as best I can. On my last placement, I‟ve already seen the effects of this attitude in the classroom. One student, M, is much unmotivated, and he often disrupts the class, does not do his homework and is often kicked out of class. Many teachers also do not like him. During my November practicum, I made it a point to get to know M, learn his likes and dislikes, talk to him about things going on with him. I also made it a point to tell him that he could do the work with a little help. Whenever he asked for assistance I was always there to help him. This ended up paying off well for M. On my last day, I gave the students a drawing assignment. They were to draw themselves as a superhero, possessing all the qualities they believe a superhero should have. Originally, M drew a squiggle, stating that he cannot draw (because everyone always told him he could not).
However, when I handed back a bunch of assignments, he had done quite well. So, he came back, asked me to re-do his superhero assignment, and came back with a very good depiction of himself as a superhero. Needless to say, I was very impressed. In modern cinema, a perfect example of the Pygmalion theory at work would be the movie, “Sister Act 2” with Whoopi Goldberg. In this movie, she becomes a teacher at an inner city school, where the students are highly unmotivated and do not care about school. However, she quickly turns them into great singers (even though they all said they could not sing) and they went on to win the state championship competition. There is one student in particular who was adamant that she could not sing, and by the end of the movie, she was applying for a scholarship at a performing arts school. I can remember wanting my father to come into my school to direct a choir such as this, because due to this movie, I truly began to believe that I could sing as well. Thus, the Pygmalion theory is seen everywhere in life, not just in movies and in the classroom, but everywhere. - Natasha St. Onge
ENTRY #9 – PYGMALION THEORY/SELF-FULFILLING PROPHESIES – Dec. 12-14, 2007 “The Pygmalion theory, the idea that people tend to live up to others‟ expectations, is useful in understanding a wide range of human interactions. When interacting with people, it is rational to examine a subject (the person being interacted with) and build a set of expectations for that person. The better one knows the subject, the more specific and accurate expectations will tend to be. With a set of expectations in mind, you behave toward the subject in certain ways. The subject reads these signals and tries to live up to expectations.” How will the implications of this approach influence my teaching: The implications that the Pygmalion theory has on my approach to teaching is summed up by awareness and responsibility. I am a firm believer in this theory and I try to take time to think about everything I say to students so that I do not put down any of their ideas or thoughts. As educators we are encouraged to teach our students to be critical thinkers yet sometimes we end up “putting out their candle” by diminishing the importance of their thoughts and ideas. I know that when I was in high school I was told by an English teacher that I did not know how to write an essay and still to this day I believe that I can‟t and I get extreme anxiety every time I know I have to write something in essay format. As you can see this has had a lasting impression on me since it has continued to be an issue throughout my university career. Perhaps the most appropriate way to deal with my poor essay writing style was to take me aside and explain it better rather than just expect that I would learn on my own for the next time. Because of this experience I will definitely be aware of how I critique students on their work and instead of putting down their skills I will work with them to improve their skills further.
The film I chose to write about in my paragraph below is titled “Mona Lisa Smile.” Mona Lisa Smile tells the story of a feminist teacher who studied at UCLA graduate school and left as a first-year teacher from "Oakland State" University (thought to be a fictionalized University of California, Berkeley), leaves her boyfriend behind in Los Angeles, California in 1953, to teach at Wellesley College, a conservative women's private liberal arts college in Massachusetts, United States. Watson tries to open her students' minds to their freedom to do whatever they want with their lives. She encourages her students to believe in themselves, to study to become career professionals, and to improve their economic futures. She uses her art teachings as a vehicle to put across her opinion to the young women; that her students needn't conform to stereotypes of women made by society, or the roles made for them by society, as women born to become housewives and mothers. She felt that women could do more things in life than solely adopt the roles of wives and mothers. In one scene of the movie, she shows her students four newspaper ads, and asks them to question what the future will think of the idea that women are born into the roles of wives and mothers. Watson's ideas and ways of teaching are contrary to methods deemed acceptable by the school's directors; conservative women who believe firmly that Watson should not use her class to express her points of views or befriend students, and should stick only to teaching art. Watson is warned that she could be fired if she continues to interact with students as she has been doing. Undaunted, Watson becomes stronger in her speeches about feminism and the future of women. She is a firm believer that the outlook of women in society needed to be changed if women were to achieve better futures, and that she needed to instill a spirit of change among her students. Watson chooses to leave after the one year but, as she is leaving the campus for the last time, her students run after her car, to show their affection and to thank her for her lessons. My response to the movie: This movie is inspirational to me because Julia Roberts only wants her students to see what they are capable of instead of what „they were born to be/do.” Julia Roberts never gives up and believes in every one of her students no matter what they believe of themselves. I really think that I have this viewpoint as a teacher because I hold my students to the highest of standards and try and make them believe in themselves everyday by telling them that I believe in them. When I was on my last placement I had students telling me that they were never going to be able to get into college or university and it made me so sad to think that they thought of themselves in this way. I ensured them that with hard work and determination that they could conquer anything. - Whitney Meier
STUDENT PORTFOLIOS January 7 – 11, 2008 General Notes Stacey‟s Portfolio Portfolios are used extensively in interviews! Organization Overview of Candidate – PERSONALIZE if it fits you Certificate of Registration Reference Letter Cover letter Resume (2 pages – 3rd page has references) Reference letters from people who saw her teach (3 – Doug Gosse, AT, FA) Include Undergrad Marks & Teacher‟s College Marks Personal philosophy of education Student Cards Classroom Management Plan Practice Teaching Sessions – Samples of Lesson Plans (APFs + GPFs) Student Work – Photos Practice Teaching Reports Integrated Unit (CD class) – Rubrics Example of Test Teaching with Technology PowerPoint (one or two slides on one page) Leadership & Community (eg. Cheerleading) – one sport or one non-sport activity Newsletter Webpage (first page) Teams/Coaching Certificates of Appreciation & Achievement Ongoing Professional Learning (Individualize) Ethical Standards Police Service Records TB Results Be really organized if you use this in the classroom Handouts Samples of work The Video Journal of Education Notes Significant of portfolios – benefits to learners, teachers and parents Put the learner more in control of the learner – self-evaluation! How I understand myself as a learner Good method to see growth taken place
Collection of work – selective process Collection vs. selection = reflection of the learner See the progress See the process of doing work
How Might I use Portfolios? I might use portfolios in my classroom to showcase student work and as a valuable self assessment tool for my students to use. It is a good tool to use in order to allow students to reflect on all the work they have done in a term and select what they think is their „best‟ work over that period of time. It does not have to be the assignment they received the highest grade on, but could be an assignment they thought they put a lot of effort into or one they feel particularly proud of. I will encourage students to showcase an overall growth throughout the portfolio. I want to be able to see a progression from one assignment to the next. Hopefully, by employing portfolios as an assessment tool in my classroom, I will be able to encourage students to reflect on what they have accomplished in class and visualize the growth that has taken place in their learning up until that point. - Jim Meagher
VISUAL ORGANIZERS/VISUAL TOOLS/ CONCEPT MAPS/THINKING MAPS Course: MEL 4E
Expectation: students will gather, interpret, and compare information about owning or renting accommodation and about the associated costs. Double Bubble Map
Course: MPM 1D
Expectation: students will demonstrate an understanding of the exponent rules of multiplication and division, and apply them to simplify expressions; Bubble Map
Course: MEL 4E
Expectation: categorize personal expenses as or discretionary
VISUAL ORGANIZERS October 29 – November 2, 2007 DOUBLE BUBBLE MAP When comparing and contrasting, we use Double Bubble Maps. This is similar in concept to a Venn diagram. Two items being compared are written in the two center circles. Outside bubbles show items that share qualities with only one object - these are contrasting qualities. Center bubbles (that connect to both circles) show similarities
between the two items being compared.
FLOW MAPS Flow Maps sequence and order a process. They identify the relationships between stages and substages of an event (or order or numbers, operations, steps, etc.) They can be used to explain the order of events. In the outside rectangle, write the name for the event or sequence. Rectangles to follow list the steps or events that follow from beginning to end. Smaller rectangles may be written below to list substages or each major stage.
MULTIFLOW MAP Cause and effect is represented in a Multi-
Flow Map. It is a process of sequencing that looks at what caused an event and the results/effects of the event. It helps students analyze a situation by looking at the cause and effect - the 'why' and 'consequences' - good or bad. In the center rectangle, list the event that occurred. In the rectangle to the left, list the causes of the event. Write the effects/consequences of the event in the rectangles to the right of the center rectangle. If you are studying a system, you will find that there are effects in the system which, in turn, influences initial causes. This circular cause and effect relationship is called a feedback loop.
CIRCLE MAP Circle Maps are tools used to help define a thing or idea. It is used to brainstorm ideas and for showing prior knowledge about a topic. In the center of the circle, use words, numbers, pictures, or any other sign or symbol to represent the object, person, or idea you are trying to understand or define. In the outside circle, write or draw any information that puts this thing in context.
- Natasha St. Onge