My PIDP Journey

When I made the decision to go back to school, it was exciting, a little intimidating, and how am I going to manage the extra work load.  It has been just over a year for me to reach this 7th course and I am almost done.  I have been very proud of my work and accomplishments but I also reflect back to high school and university where I definitely could have worked harder in some areas.  It’s been an amazing experience as I have meet great people along the way; I have learned from my classmates (and, of course the facilitators) and learnt a lot about myself too.  It’s exciting to be drawing to a close soon then to focus on the next phase of my Plan B.   I am also grateful for “citation machine”.

It’s been challenging making this all fit and sacrifices have been made but it has been completely worth it as the knowledge and skills gained has enhanced my confidence and abilities significantly.  Just my Capstone Project left and then on to the next chapter in my life !

Let’s Teach for Mastery

 

Sal Khan shares his plan to turn turn struggling students into scholars by helping them master their own concepts.  He takes math for example as it is foundational and builds on the previous year.  Why have kids move on to learn new math when they haven’t been able to grasp the previous year.  We are setting them up for failure by advancing them before they should be advance to another level.  He has an awesome analogy too.

Makes a lot of sense !!

Life long learning – what does it matter?

What is the importance of life long learning?  For this bear, it means survival.  How does a bear learn that the nodes on this Aspen are super sweet early in the season?  This bear was probably 30 feet up, balancing on a branch that I just cringed as I waited for it to break but it didn’t.  All so the bear could chew off the branches so they would fall to the ground for him (or her) to eat.  It was amazing to watch him chew one branch off, then climb higher to the next branch.  He learned to climb trees, he learned to balance his entire body on what seemed to be a toothpick compared to his size.

Okay, maybe this was not a great comparison but I wanted to post my crazy bear picture!

Most often learning is associated to some form of an educational institution and with that particular bench marks that one is expected to meet in their life span.  However, as the world evolves, people have little choice but to grow and continually learn in order to survive.  Technology for example is changing so fast that it can only be a matter of months before you are left behind if you do not stay in touch.  Falling behind in the todays world could mean your career for some.  And unless you win the lottery or don’t financially need to work, it can be a scary concept for a large number of the population.

In an article from Skills You Need website they speak some of the many reasons why life long learning matters:

  • boosts our confidence & self-esteem
  • makes us more adaptable to change
  • helps us achieve a more satisfying personal life
  • challenges our beliefs and ideas
  • can be fun

There are many more reasons for life long learning that could be work or personally related.  I personally feel that in today’s world, there is no hiding from it lifelong learning – even if you tried to resist.

It’s for your survival in form or another.

Team Teaching

For week 7 I wanted to speak a bit further on my experiences with Team Teaching as discussed in Brookfield’s, Chapter 8, “Teaching in Diverse Classrooms”.  I know his concept is geared towards different cultures from various nationalities in a classroom; however I wanted to put a slightly different spin on it because I to wanted to express the importance of diversification.  In my community, we have the Integrated Case Assessment Team (“ICAT”) for higher risk domestic violence cases.  ICAT is a committee that is made up of various service providers all with different roles in a domestic violence situation and each agency has it’s own unique lens to view the situation from.  I realize this is not the same as teaching but there are similarities that I would like to draw your attention to that reinforces the importance of a stronger front if we as facilitators are from different backgrounds.

When the team first formed in 2010, we quickly realized that if we were to work together and communicate effectively we had to learn each other’s “lingo” or “jargon” from our respective agencies.  And this took awhile because my interpretation of what the word “safe” was different than how the context in how the Transition House would use the term versus how Probation would use the term.  This was also extended into working with the victims of domestic abuse.  What is their definition of an assault compared to that of the Criminal code.  Some victims were surprised by this and disclosed they had been assaulted more times than they thought.

Once we were able to understand and find common ground we were able to come together as a group or united front to offer enhanced services to victims.

Again, I realize this is not the best analogy however, I can’t speak enough about the strengths and benefits from working as a team to offer the best services possible.  I believe this must hold true for teachers and having a diversity within the classrooms. Once common language, common ground is reached the benefits / insights are significant.

What is accreditation?

I have heard the term and loosely placed a meaning to it but did not fully comprehend it’s meaning and the importance.  After some research online I had to find a definition and then I tried to see if there was a national council in Canada.  I did find a Website that offered this:

Use of the Term “Accredited”

Canada does not have a national or regional accreditation system for post-secondary institutions and therefore educational jurisdictions, except in some limited circumstances, do not normally employ the term “accredited” to denote provincially authorized or recognized institutions. In Canada, since post-secondary education falls under provincial, rather than national, jurisdiction, each province uses its own quality assurance processes to ensure the legitimacy of institutions.

I also discovered there are organizations that can help you become accredited such as the Canadian Accreditation Council which is based out of Edmonton.

Then I researched Canadian schools that lost accreditation – there were a couple of programs mention but what drew my attention was the wikipedia site that lists all the schools that have lost accreditation.  Of course there would be a wikipedia site for that (its international).

The most popular topic seemed to be the Medical Program at McGill.  This is an exert from the National Post site:

“The Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools advised McGill Principal Suzanne Fortier on Monday that the medical school was being placed on probation after it failed to comply with 24 of the 132 standards measured. Shortcomings were identified for another eight standards.

“The breadth and the depth of these findings have seriously compromised the quality of the medical education program,” the committee wrote to Fortier.”

Interesting information – I guess I will be checking the doctor’s office from now on to see if they Graduated from McGill.  It’s also surprising giving McGill’s reputation.

I have not paid attention to these articles in the past because unless it had something to do with my current role, then I didn’t have time for it.  However, of course, now that I am seeing this from a different role, it’s very interesting.

As I want to start up my own workshop / training session I am now going to have to look into what it means to be accredited and is it applicable to what my end goals are.  I originally thought that by taking the PIDP course it would help to give me accreditation for employers to hire me which is as I described my use of the term “loosely”.  I need to make sure I know what it is I am saying and understanding the meaning behind it.

Thank you for the topic !

 

References:

Accreditation  . (n.d.). Retrieved July 17, 2017, from http://www.canadianaccreditation.ca/accreditation-process/

(n.d.). Retrieved July 17, 2017, from http://www.bccat.ca/

Hamilton, G. (2015, June 18). McGill medical degree hasn’t lost value despite school’s probation: former student leader. Retrieved July 17, 2017, from http://nationalpost.com/news/canada/mcgill-medical-degree-hasnt-lost-value-despite-schools-probation-former-student-leader/wcm/5de5f93b-9eea-4380-aa26-493390e152ee

List of unaccredited institutions of higher education. (2017, July 16). Retrieved July 17, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unaccredited_institutions_of_higher_education

Lecturing Creativity

Teaching is a whole new world for me.  I have facilitated some basic training through work which I learned by watching others mostly and noting what I liked & didn’t liked.  Chapeter 6 in Brookfield’s, the Skillful Teacher was very useful me.  My takeaways from this Chapter have been:

  • 10-15 minute chunks with moment of silence
  • physically walking around the room to keep everyone engaged
  • using the classroom response systems when possible and / or social media
  • how to be more critically thinking:  lead by example; playing devils advocate or presenting alternative perspectives

I particularly like this quote from page 82″

“When Students see us identifying our assumptions and subjecting them to critical scrutiny it gets them used to the idea that doing this is a regular part of discussion seminars and written assignments”.

I actually enjoy playing the devils advocate in conversations even though I may not agree with the perspective I am offering.  I have been doing this with the forums – just another means of looking at things differently.  However to do this in a classroom setting will take some practise because playing devils advocate when a new situation is presented is easier for me then presenting a scenario I designed.  If I was already good at doing this then I probably wouldn’t be taking this course !

Resistance & Strategies

Dr Kimberly Tanner and Dr Shannon Seidel wrote an article called, “Strategies for preventing Student Resistance” .  In their article they reference a couple of interesting points to consider.  For example:

  1. Decrease Social Distance between yourself and your students
  2.  Be clear with Students as to why you are doing this

I thought that was interesting about physically being in a position that does not disengage students further.  Please read the article for more information.

Reference:

Tanner, K., Dr, & Seidel, S., Dr. (2015, January 26). Strategies for Preventing Student Resistance. Retrieved July 11, 2017, from https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/effective-classroom-management/strategies-preventing-student-resistance/