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/

 

Ethics in the workplace

The question is “does your field have a Code of Ethics?  Does your workplace have a Policies and Procedures manual?”.  Yes, it absolutely does and if it is not adhered to then there is significant controversy for several reasons.  Police are expected to exceed the standards of everyone else, even though are just like everyone else.  And I am not saying I disagree, we should be held to a higher standard but what I get frustrated with is immediate judgements that go on social media because one person has posted a short video of something that does not show the scenario in its entirety.  Again, I am not condoning all actions by all officers.  But it would sure be nice to have the benefit of the doubt more times than not.  And I would like to clarify that I am not speaking about anything that has happened to me or that I have done but I can tell you that even though I may be 3 provinces away from the member that may have done something, I still get punished by social media.  Yes there are officers that break the law and I am definitely not siding with them, but it’s like a form of racism almost because one officer did something that negatively impacted someone, then suddenly all officers are the same.  People who hold these prejudices are also the same people who hold all muslims as terrorists.  I am not sure what more to say on this topic other than we do have higher standards.  Everyone, regardless of who you are, are responsible / accountable for your own actions.

Resistance

This chapter was particularly interesting for me due to what I want to take down the road.  One of the areas I am hoping to branch into is educating / creating an awareness around within the oil fields culture.  I would like to talk with employees and supervisors about domestic violence / health relationships/ alcohol & drugs and mental health.  Presenting these kinds of topics to an area where the issues are the most significant and then to get them to “buy-in” is going to be extremely difficult.  I have taken some pointers from Brookfield with respect to the trap of conversional obsession as well as understanding the different issues behind the resistance.  It’s definitely going to be one of my biggest challenges and I need to make sure I pace this and appropriately measure my successes !  Maybe connecting with 5 people versus the group of 30 might be more realistic.  It’s difficult to understand but I do know I will need to have strategies in place for various settings.  Plus Brookfield is giving me some direction to look at for follow up.  Thank you Chapter 16 !

What’s Ahead

Taking a new path is definitely a frightening one.  This is not a path I am taking right away and one that is not being taken lightly, however after the same job for over 19 years now – its a significant step.  I feel like I have outgrown my role and I see a bigger picture.  I want to start my own consulting business and taking the PIDP has been my first step towards it.  I have a significant amount of experience and training in this area. There are always conferences to keep enhancing the knowledge and skills.  Next for me is developing a workshop, a website, do some branding and then get to work.  It’s been very slow and challenging as I am still working full time.  In addition, the job can also be mentally exhausting which makes it hard to do homework or research for marketing.

I expect to remain in my role for a few more years, 25 for retirement – but I am also open to other options with my business.  If I were to take other courses it would be to further my knowledge on Mental Health and Substance use.  I would like to be able to speak to that in more technical terms.  There are some books I can read but again, I only have so much time in the week.  However, I take it one step at a time otherwise it would feel very overwhelming / discouraging.

Brookfield: Teaching About Racism

This was a very interesting chapter for me as there were several key pieces that stood out for on how I work towards effecting change in a belief system that is also connected to a form of racism.  Part of my goals for the future is to promote the change of beliefs with respect to violence against women.  I have been working with victims of domestic violence for close to 8 years now and I see some of the patterns with partners in abusive relationships.  I realize of course that their are male victims however, 90% of the victims I have worked with are women.  For the purposes of my blog, I may only refer to victims as women.

One of the directions I would like to go in the future is working with oil companies and implementing a healthy relationships workshop with a substance use / mental health component to it.  Which is about challenging the attitudes and beliefs of majority male workers.  What I took away from Brookfields chapter 9 were:

  • “Instead of trying to conceal these or damp them down, an alternative educational approach is to make these racist inclinations public and to engage learners in a consideration of how to recognize and challenge these”.
  • “That even formed what critical race theory calls a counter-story that disrupted the White supremacist script forming in my head”

These are just two of the quotes that resonated with me an my approach towards working with these participants.  I grew up with a father who was verbally abusive towards my mother and after reading Chapter 9, I will be incorporating this piece of my past into my workshops.

Leaders in the world are so important – without having a leader to follow to set an example – people can be lost.  Of course I am speaking about Trump.  I have never followed American politics as I have the last year.   And now, people are acting like they have permission to behalf this way.  In the first couple of months of 2017, the reason given for 10% all of the divorces in the States was because of Trump.  And I don’t think it just stopped at the International borders either.  I have seen the effects it’s had in Canada as well.  I am so disappointed and disgusted.  I actually had to stop watching the news or going on social media because I was getting so agitated by Trump.

Still – seriously – when is enough enough?  What is rock bottom for the U.S. that they will finally kick him out ?

I digress, back to Brookfield.  Kudos to him for the work he has down in order to effect change.  Thank you.

 

Reflective Writing # 2

I would like to share my reflective writing for PIDP 3260

Objective

For this reflective writing, I selected the quote from Chapter 5 in Brookfield (2015), “The moments of failure that inevitably accompany innovation increase the sense of impostorship by emphasizing how little we can predict and control the consequences of our actions”.  There were a couple of interesting pieces in Chapter 5 that are worth exploring further as they are inter-connected and resonate with my personal belief involving an individual’s vulnerability.

Reflective 

Brookfield’s (2015) begins Chapter 5 introducing the topic of emotions students often face during their course and the parallel emotions teachers also face with these students.  Emotions can be positively or negatively experience over the period of the course which brings us to the topic of impostureship.  Brookfield (2015) identifies the cultural shift in mentality with respect to the millennials and how research has shown that their attitudes regarding their education is that of a consumer.  They are paying for their education and they should do what they please during course time, such as sending text messages.  I wonder if their attitudes will be different when they get older – is this actually a millennials trait or a lack of maturity trait.  When I was in school, we could not text but we would pass notes to each other.  I remember there was major social decisions being made on pieces of paper that were being passed around behind the teacher’s back.  Is this anything different other than the method of communication?  Today it’s definitely more obvious with student’s caring less if the teacher sees them “send a text” versus “passing the note”.

Is this a maturity issue or a millennial issue?  In my position, I have two phones, work and personal, which is often the case for other service providers during meetings or participants at conferences.  There is a common level of understanding that even though people are participating in the training or the workshop, their workload is engaging, if you will.  People are expected to be available to respond to the boss’s text message, email or phone call even though you are in a workshop.  College students definitely do not have to make critical work decisions during their classes, and I want to debate whether they should be responding to social media during the class?

Interpretive 

     Clearly if teachers are going to utilize social media as a learning tool for student engagement then it would be extremely challenging to set boundaries for class use vs personal use.  How would a teacher have consequences for the ‘offenders’.  In an article by Steve Nicholls, he states “If social media was banned then as technology grows, schools are forbidden to grow with it, and that would be somewhat of a contradiction to what school is supposed to be about in the first place”.   Further the growth factor, social media is a useful tool for student engagement which I have experience firsthand with the courses in PID Program.  I think we can all agree that banning social media from schools is not feasible, not enforceable and not forward thinking, however that takes us back to the discussion of millennials and their mentality of doing what they want during class.  It is almost is almost as though we are losing the “classroom emotions” which is the bases for Brookfield’s (2015) 5th chapter, “Understanding and Responding to Classroom Emotions”.

In a situation such as this, it seems the most logical approach to the topic of social media, millennials and classroom emotions to make it so that the students want to engage.  Set the “stage” so that the students want to put their phones down to be a participant and engage.  In my experiences, how do you get someone to do something they do not want to do?  Get them personally and emotionally invested.  Create an environment where they are not going to have a choice but to emotional commit which typically leads to a level of respect where they will want to put the phones down.  Laying down ground rules in the beginning about the proper use of social media in the beginning and what your expectations are.  Chances are if they connect / relate to you then they will not intentionally be disrespectful to you.  How do you get students to connect, well in my opinion, being vulnerable is key.  People treat other people significantly better when they know your story, good and bad.  Dr Brene Brown has done TED Talks where she speaks to the Power of Vulnerability and Listening to Shame.  The following are some of her points:  Tell the story of who you are whole heartedly; Shame is the gremlin inside you that says you are not good enough, you are not smart enough, (..etc); As a result of authenticity, they (research participants) were willing to let go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they really were which you absolutely have to do for connection; In order for there to be connection, we have to allow ourselves to really be seen; Vulnerability is the birthplace for innovation, creativity and change; Life is about daring great.  These quotes from her TED Talks are not as impactful when it’s taken out of the context.

Decisional 

I believe that in order to build the connections and the respect in all aspects of life being vulnerable and understanding the influencing of shame can change lives.  Having conversations about domestic violence will require vulnerability.  I know that I will need to implement strategies specific to rapport building and creating safe, respectful environments in order to effect change.  However, I also recognize I need to deal with my own vulnerabilities as well.  It would not be right for me to ask my students to “Dare Greatly” if I have not done so myself.  Being a leader means being an example.

 

References 

Brookfield, S. (2015). The skillful teacher: on technique, trust, and responsiveness in the       classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Brown, B. (n.d.). Listening to Shame. Retrieved June 19, 2017, from https://         http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_listening_to_shame

Brown, B. (n.d.). Power of vulnerability. Retrieved June 19, 2017, from https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability

Nicholls, S. (2012, July 26). My View: Don’t ban social media from schools. Retrieved June 19, 2017, from http://schoolsofthought.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/26/my-view-don’t-ban-social-media-from-schools/