Session 3 – 9/23

Today we discussed our initial understandings of Wink’s “critical pedagogy.” While we are all educators, I’m sure most of us haven’t taken stock of what defines us as such. You can name your favorite strategies, student groupings, behavioral methods, etc., but do those define WHO and WHY you are the educator you are today?

Review the video and article below, and using the content from Wink and the links, begin to define your personal pedagogy — the influences, background, experiences, and reasons that shaped your current “teacher self.”

Article Link:

Five principles of pedagogy

Video:

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24 thoughts on “Session 3 – 9/23

  1. After viewing and reading, I feel that many of the reasons that shaped my current “teacher self” were past experiences. When implementing my classroom management and thinking about how I will react to a situation or even plan a lesson I alway revert back to myself as a student. When I was in 4th grade I realized I wanted to be a teacher because of the teacher that I had. After having her and the amazing qualities and characteristics that she as a teacher had, I knew that I too wanted to be a teacher and have the same effect on students that she had on me. So when I am in my classroom currently, I think about how I felt in the fourth grade as a student often. I will pause and think how I can make something more engaging for a student because not all students learn the same. As explained in the video it is not about creating new games for the students but more engaging so that the students can be involved in the learning. I feel that this is something that hits home for me as I am a very hands on learner. With this in mind, just because I am a hands on learner does not mean every student is, which is why it is important to implement different types of learning styles for the different types of learners in your classroom.

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    1. Hi Kelly. I too think back on the teachers that really impacted my decision to become a teacher. I have had many amazing teachers, and a few questionable ones. But the amazing teachers always had something in common; their passion. When a teacher show’s how passionate they are for the content, for teaching, etc., students definitely pick up on this and to me, its a mutual feeling of respect for that passion. This is because, the teacher proves they are not wasting the students time and to reciprocate the respect, students in turn will participate and try their best to prove that they do not want to waste the teacher’s time. I also think the fact that you take a minute to reflect on your lessons to try to make them more engaging is a great reflection skills to have and utilize and is one I am working on myself.

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    2. Hey Kelly,

      I also believe that the teachers we have had in our past are most likely the reasons many of us want to be teachers today. I have had some amazing teachers that have showed me many things that I want to incorporate into my classroom one day but I’ve also seen things that I most definitely do not want to bring into my classroom one day. The biggest thing is to be passionate about what you are teaching. Students know when you are not interested in the topic you are teaching and they will not be engaged regardless of what you try to do. I agree with your last point where you said it is important to implement different types of learning styles because your right, not every student will learn best in the same way.

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    3. Hi Kelly,
      I agree with your root for reflection and planning. I feel teachers are often tempted with ability to dictate lessons to the students and often attempt to force a teaching style that may not work. However, by referring to the experiences we faced as a student, we welcome the mind set of learning. Similar to what Wink said, we are expected to “unlearn” our assumptions in order to better ourselves. We apply our learning in our classrooms to help students learn. I also feel that this skill is vital when differentiating materials and lessons based on student need. I also like your statement that what may work for us as teachers may not work for the students. I feel this is a hard truth to accept. As a teacher we become excited to create lessons as we would like to learn, but me must realize that the students needs for learning of the primary concern.

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    4. Kelly,

      I 100% agree with your first statement. When I decided to become a teacher my goal was to influence my future students the way my teachers influenced me throughout my education. Luckily, when I was a placed for student teaching, my cooperative teacher was my 6th-8th math teacher. I immediately was brought back to when she had taught me because her lessons were EXACTLY the same! This angered me because there have been so many technological advances including a SMARTboard in her room that she was not utilizing. From that moment on I vowed that I would always be current and educate myself to better educate my students. The video posted should be shown to all veteran teachers who do not want to reflect on their lessons and change them to be more engaging and connect to the real world around their students. It is imperative that teachers are flexible and improve upon their lessons from year to year.

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    5. Kelly, I like how you say that you think of how you felt when you were a student yourself. I think it is very important to put ourselves back into the student’s shoes because it helps us decide what kind of lesson might be more engaging or relevant for our classroom. I also think that when you have that respect for your students and their needs, that they will in turn have a lot of respect for you which will make your lessons that much more successful.

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  2. From reading the first chapter in the Wink book, reading the article above and watching the video I have a better realization to what my personal pedagogy is. I think the main things that really influenced my beliefs is through my own experiences being in front of the room and teaching. I always wanted to inspire my students to do what they dream to do, since I had always dreamt of becoming a teacher. I always struggled in school and it wasn’t until having a teacher who truly believed in me that made me believe in myself that I can do whatever I set my mind to. In my classroom, I always strived to motivate my students to keep trying and keep exploring other ways to solve the mathematical problems that may work best for them. The one thing I loved about math, is there is usually different ways to solve each problem so I love getting my students thinking about those other ways. I always feel such a sense of accomplishment when I see the light bulb go off when a student who is struggling figures something out. I think making lessons that use all the different modes of learning such as visual, tactile, and auditory are extremely important because not every student learns in the same way. With more practice and experience, I hope to become the teacher I have always dreamt of becoming and know I can be.

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    1. Hey Kelly,
      I can totally relate to what you are saying. This is exactly why I wanted to become a teacher as well. I feel that it is because of the experiences we had as children that drove us to have the dreams of becoming teachers as you explained. No one said “hey you should be a teacher” and we did. Or maybe they did but that alone wouldn’t be enough alone to encourage us as individuals to strive for success. This is why it is important for us as teachers to make sure we make impactful experiences for students because as we well know, students remember the good teachers, the ones that make a difference in their lives.

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    2. Hi Kelly,
      I feel your comment on your teaching pedagogy is crucial. In many books and classes, potential teachers are told that the primary goal is to teach content by developing skills. This will encourage understanding and critical thinking. However, what you have identified is one of many untaught lessons for teachers. Teachers aren’t given a template which will build a rapport with the students. However, effective teachers not only earn the respect of the students, but also should be able to encourage and support the students in their goals. Teachers who can connect with their students will have greater success. I feel this would help with your stated goal above. Getting the students to not only build skills, but also look at problems in different methods, will help the students in the future. If each teacher was able to do this, then students would be equipped with the skills to succeed in life, even if the content does not last.

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    3. Kelly,

      I find it funny that you mention the “light bulb moments” your students get when they figure out a math problem or different ways to go about solving it. I too love those moments when they occur and feel a sense of accomplishment because those students are the ones we are differentiating for. I too feel as if my pedagogy changes slightly as I experience different scenarios in the education field. Everyday is different and new situations arise which have shaped me into the educator I am today. I only hope that I am as inspiring to my students as mine where to me when I was their age.

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  3. In order to be an effective teacher, one must develop their own pedagogy in order to determine their teacher self. Wink defines it as the interaction between teaching learning. This is imperative to comprehend as one cannot occur without the other. As a teacher I don’t see my role as the sole source of information. In today’s classroom, students have technology that can connect them to content in seconds. The teacher’s role is to guide learning in order to have the students engage in inquiry. This is where I feel Wink’s ideas are utilized. A teacher develops the skills required to convey information and to scaffold skills that the students need to have success in school. However, they must be willing to unlearn the traditional teaching methods in favor of those that allow the students to explore for themselves and as such utilize technology obtain this understanding. The video references Bloom’s Taxonomy which is a vital tool for establishing learning in the classroom. The students can gradually build up their skills in order to understand how content can be used and applied to their every day lives. The teachers role is to use this and initiate the process of a transformative classroom. As the students become more aware of learning and skills, the amount of required teaching will eventually diminish. This establishes the relationship as Wink introduced, between learning and teaching.

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    1. Hi Peter. I agree that as a teacher, I also do not see myself as the sole source of information. Too much direct instruction with me in the front of the room talking for 40 minutes does not teach any type of skills to my students, and instead, half of them check out completely. Having a transformative classroom in which I enable my students to explore multiple sources of information as evidence for claims that they themselves came up with will teach them important researching and decision making skills. Such skills would never be developed in a classroom where transmission is the only type of teaching model utilized.

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  4. Hey Peter,
    I like how you explain that teachers may have to unlearn the traditional teaching method in favor of those that allow the students to explore for themselves. I find this to be so important because we often find ourselves in a pattern of doing things in a routine, teaching lessons exactly the same way we’ve taught them previously. But the problem is, each class is different, all students are different meaning that they learn differently. Because of this we as teachers need to accommodate for the needs of the students. When it comes to education in general, self discovery is a very exciting way for students to learn. Instead of lecturing students, you can lead students to teach themselves by questioning and directing. Depending on the type of learners in your class, specific teaching styles can be very beneficial to different students.

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  5. The Wink chapter, the reading, and the video made me consider my own personal pedagogy and who my “teacher self” is. The Wink chapter and the video impacted me the most. Critical pedagogy seeks to better the world around us and personally, this is my goal as an educator. I believe to do this, we need to equip our students with the skills they need to be the change we all want to see in the world. By creating transformative lessons where our students are creating and making connections on their own with some guidance from us, they are practicing/developing skills that can be applicable to the real world. The video brought up the fact that kids or anyone in today’s technologically advanced world have information readily available with one click of a mouse. Although this is good, it is dangerous and the critical higher order thinking skills we teach them will help them to weed out the unreliable sources and use valid and reliable sources to make their own good decisions. I know I want to be the teacher that teachers my students beyond the classroom. To me, even if my students do not fully remember facts verbatim, I want them to comprehend important concepts. For example, when I teach lessons about the Crusades during the 11th to 13th centuries, I try to instill in my students the necessity of tolerance and what can happen when there is not enough of it. So, even if my students do not remember who Pope Urban II or Saladin was and their importance to the Crusades, if they understand the importance of tolerating other people’s beliefs and religions to avoid confrontation/wars, then I still believe their jobs and my job is done.

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    1. Hey Angelina,

      I really enjoying your response. I liked how you said that your goal as an education is to better the world around us. I like how you want to teach your students more than just the curriculum but to give them the skills to be the change in the world that they want. I like how you don’t typically care if the students know the facts verbatim but instead tat they know the important details. As long as your students are engaged and actively learning new information your job is most definitely done as a teacher because thats the biggest thing to do in the classroom.

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    2. Angelina, I agree that it is more important for students to understand the important concepts rather than the exact facts. I feel that having the ability to synthesize information and apply it somewhere else later on would be a much more useful tool than remembering a date in history. I think that it is more important that we challenge our students to think outside the box rather and learn to problem solve than just remembering something we told them.

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  6. After reading the Wink chapter and article, and watching the video I feel that I have a better idea of what my personal pedagogy is. I liked how the video stated that we need to provide students with more than just content, facts, and dates; instead we must teach them how to synthesize the information given to them and problem solve. I want to make sure that when I am teaching a lesson that it is something that relates to the lives of my students, and the world in which they live. I want to make sure that my lessons are transformative so that students become responsible for their own learning, rather than me just lecturing them at the front of the class. I also liked how the video talked about making lessons that are engaging rather than entertaining. I want to make sure that my lessons aren’t just ‘fun’for the time being, but that they are meaningful and allow the students to be challenged and active in their own learning for more than just a short period of time. The video also mentioned taking risks in your teaching and I think it is important to do this from time to time otherwise you will not discover new methods or ideas that could have the potential to be very beneficial for your students. Risk taking is important because if we do not take risks we will end up teaching the same material to our students year after year which eventually will not benefit them in any way.

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    1. Michelle,
      Teaching students to be able to apply the information they are learning in school to everyday situations is something that, I think, sometimes gets lost. It is important to show students how the lessons we are teaching them in class DO apply to real life by demonstrating or referring to connections in our lessons. Such a great point. I think that this ties into making connections with our students, as well. If we get to know our students, from their history to their interests, we can use what we know about them to make our lessons relatable and meaningful. I really enjoy how you address making students responsible for their own learning.

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    2. Michelle,
      I like that you touched upon the idea of being engaging rather than just entertaining. This message stuck out to me as well. I feel like when I started student teaching, I was pulling out all of the bells and whistles to make it student-centered and after reflecting on that experience, I realized what I had planned was really more entertaining at the time. Often it takes a failure or two to get things exactly how we want them. After that lesson, I went back and realized how I could’ve planned better in order to engage them and truly make a more meaningful lesson while still continuing to have the content more student centered and exciting.

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  7. After our group discussion of the Wink chapter, watching the video about 21st century learners, and reading the attached article, I feel as though my personal pedagogy has been shaped by the experiences around me and the fact that teachers have to adapt to the times. When I was a student computers were only part of the curriculum during “computer class”. Now, students have chrome books and Ipads that are being implemented into their everyday lessons which is so fascinating. Not only are they learning about the world around them but they have the capability to now research pictures, literature, and videos to aide in their understanding rather simply having to memorize a time in history that occurred decades before they were born. The picture that was in Wink’s book was such a brilliant depiction of teaching strategies that I hope all teachers fluctuate through. It is important that teachers reflect on what they are teaching and think to themselves “How can I make this better?”.

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    1. Janelle,
      What a great point you touch on here! Teaching today is very different than teaching was only a decade ago, where technology is concerned. Having the world at their fingertips, students have the ability to direct their own learning. I think it is important to remember that, in this world filled with infinite information coming at us at all times, we, as educators, can steer students in the right direction. Those videos and pictures and snippets of semi-truthful rhetoric meant to aide understanding should be scrutinized for accuracy. Students have so much to gain from chrome book access in the classroom! There are fantastic tools that make learning more interesting to our students. As teachers, we want to ensure that we educate our students about reputable sources of information while we promote investigation.

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    2. Janelle,
      I remember being so excited when it was time for computer class during my elementary years. The transformation that has come about from then to now with the use of computers is definitely fascinating. Being a visual learner myself, I feel that it is incredibly beneficially to our teaching and their learning that they are providing schools with these technologies. Not only does it make learning more engaging for our students, but it is helping teacher adapt to the changes in the field. Technology is a huge part of this generations lives, so bringing it into the classroom is significant.

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  8. I think my personal teaching philosophy has much to do with relationships because my feelings about education have stemmed from the relationships I have had throughout my life. As a young student I had the privilege of being taught by one of the most influential educators I have ever known. He was a leave replacement for my fourth grade teacher, and he was the most engaging and caring teacher I have had, to date. It is after his personal teaching philosophy and style that I model my own. I feel that it is imperative that teachers know their students, inside and out. Students are more apt to learn in an environment in which they feel comfortable and accepted. I think, and hope, that if I can connect with my students they WILL learn. If I can figure out what gets them excited, they will learn. If they feel appreciated and understood, they will learn. If I can relate the material we are covering to them, personally, they will learn. Making personal connections with students, for me, is the most rewarding part of teaching.

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  9. My personal teaching philosophy has definitely developed over time. It started out stemming from being a student in a classroom. I’ve had rapport with most teachers and positive interactions and experiences which led me into the field. However, on the other side of things I have had teachers who have modeled what I would not want to be and what I would not want my classroom to look like. I always wanted to be the teacher to make learning fun, sharing my passion with others and encouraging students to be the best versions of themselves. I have had various teachers who have done this for me, and I dreamed of having that same impact on others. I have also had teachers sit at their desk, assign busy work and lack the engagement that I required to stay motivated and interested. This is a classroom I wanted to make sure I never had. When I entered the field, things began to shift for me. I learned a lot through my experiences. I learned that pulling out the bells and whistles was not always necessary to keep the students engaged. I also learned that trial and error has made me a better teacher. As time progresses, I have the opportunity to reflect on what works and what doesn’t and how frequently things need to be changed for the various needs of my learners. Knowing my students, working with my students and making them feel good about learning and about themselves is what makes me the teacher I want to be.

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