Action Research Outline: Does Cultural Responsive Pedagogy Lead to Student Achievement Research Paper
This study intends to either prove or disapprove the research topic. In order to effectively conduct the study, several parameters have to be developed. This research study will be carried out in a multiethnic school urban setting. The study will involve grades 3 and 5 students.
It will be carried out in a public school that accommodates all categories of learners. The study will involve application of the Cultural Responsive Pedagogy method on a science lesson. The science teachers of these two classes will help in developing and applying the method during the lesson.
These teachers will be expected to teach science lessons in their respective classes. The teachers will proceed and analyze the use of the method and its effectiveness in the lesson (Gay, 2010). This will be achieved by applying both the traditional teaching methods as well as the student centered Cultural Responsive Pedagogy. Comparison of the two methods will offer an insight into the effectiveness of Culturally Responsive Pedagogy as a teaching approach in a culturally diverse school (Gay, 2010).
- What are the critical cultural consequences of using culturally responsive pedagogy in the learning process?
- How does cultural responsive pedagogy enhance the learning process and the classroom atmosphere?
- Can cultural responsive pedagogy integrate the communities of learners into one unit that is more effective in the learning process?
Questionnaires will be used to assess the students’ responses in the method used for teaching. The questionnaires will analyze the students’ attitudes to the science subject before and after applying the method (UC Regents, 2013).
An assessment will be used to compare the levels of understanding from the two points of teaching namely the traditional method and the Cultural Responsive Pedagogy approach (UC Regents, 2013).
The teachers will also gather data while teaching the lessons for comparison purposes. The data will contain information such as the levels of attentiveness of the students and how well the students interpret the lesson content (UC Regents, 2013).
The students who will be directly involved in the study will be interviewed to offer first hand information on the similarities and differences of the two approaches (UC Regents, 2013).
The subject teacher will be used in offering an evaluation of the two methods by comparing the data collected before and after applying Cultural Responsive Pedagogy approach. The analysis of the data by the teachers will offer an inclination of the direction which is most suitable (Haviland & Kiino, 2009).
Analysis of the responses from the interviewed students will offer more information on the applied approach. Their responses will be grouped based on the ethnic orientation of the sample population (Haviland & Kiino, 2009).
The results will be reported through an article that will be written at the end of the study. The report will include all the variables employed in the study, assumptions, statistical analysis method used and the recommendations of the study (Haviland & Kiino, 2009). These results will be addressed to the relevant schools and government institutions that coordinate the school learning programs. The report will also offer advice on how the study can be refined for effective application.
The teacher will be required to develop a system that will accommodate the results of the study (Anderson, 2012). This will require changes to be implemented in the curriculum to allow the application of Cultural Responsive Pedagogy technique in learning where it has been proven to be effective (UC Regents, 2013). Further analysis of the Cultural Responsive Pedagogy approach towards learning will be initiated.
Anderson, J. (2012). Chall Lecture: Culturally Responsive Pedagogy. Web.
Gay, G. (2010). Culturally Responsive Teaching: Theory, Research, and Practice: Multicultural Education Series. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.
Haviland, D. & Kiino, R. D. (2009). Closing the Gap: The Impact of Professional Development on Faculty Attitudes Toward Culturally Responsive Pedagogy. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 8(2), 197-212.
UC Regents (2013). Action Research Leadership Project Culturally Relevant – Responsive Project. Web.
Disney’s Pedagogy Essay
Walt Disney created a work of art that he hoped would help him jump-start a fledgling career. When he started he may have known that success was within his reach but he never could have imagined that Walt Disney can become a global brand, known all over the planet even among people that cannot speak the English language.
The success of the Disney brand has its shares of critics and fans alike. Critics are uncomfortable when it comes to Disney’s influence as a dispenser of knowledge and shaper of culture and politics. Although, the influence of Walt Disney is beyond argument its pedagogy is limited because Disney is more of a source of knowledge rather than a teacher shaping the minds of the future generation.
A basic understanding of pedagogy is the process of teaching and learning. Teachers need to understand this concept very well in order to increase the efficiency of their teaching method and to achieve learning. Those who are not aware of the importance of pedagogy continue to spend time discussing and performing activities that are believed to be related to teaching but the impact of such actions could not be considered a successful process in terms of the goals set beforehand.
It is interesting to point out that a significant number of scholars have used the terms Disney and pedagogy together in one sentence. Their contribution can be seen in the way they ignited the consciousness of the general public regarding the true intents and purposes of Walt Disney as a mass-market oriented and profit-generating organization. However, their criticism must be balanced by the appreciation heaped by millions of people who demonstrated their love for the brand by purchasing anything related to Disney – from films to apparel.
If Mr. Walt Disney is alive today and somebody approach him to say that he has created one of the greatest teaching tools for mankind, he may reject the idea outright. His primary goal was to entertain, and make money while doing so, but it is unlikely that he created his company with the vision of teaching children all over the world the value of honesty, perseverance, courage, forgiveness etc.
But the argument can be made persistent by reminding him about the achievements and significance of the company in the 21st century as seen in the following:
The Walt Disney Company not only makes movies and runs the world’s various Disneylands, it owns the Disney Channel and a TV station, it records music and publishes books, it buys books to make into movies that are shown on its cable channel and it licenses and produces songs and stories to publishers (Bell & Haas, p.6).
Walt Disney may argue that all of the above are just indirect consequences of creating highly-entertaining products. But a counter-argument can be easily produced by pointing out that in 1988 the company acquired Childcraft which is a company that manufactures educational toys (Bell & Haas, p.7).
At the same time Disney is a major sponsor of the Teacher of the Year Awards as well as offers free admission to Florida school children during lean months so that they can soak in the sights and sounds of their theme park located at Orlando, Florida (Bell & Haas, p.7). This significant capability to influence school children has prompted many observers to remark that Walt Disney can be considered as a special type of public school system (Bell & Haas, p.7).
Disney’s Teaching Style
The core content of Disney products from films to theme parks are elements that can be found in classic folk and fairy tales. The originals may have come from Europe and other parts of the world but today there is no other version more well-known and better received than those created by the company. This assertion is especially true in the United States.
Other organizations can emulate what Disney had accomplished but the success of the company can be traced to the clever use of sanitization, adaptation and Americanization that when combined together would yield a process known by critics as disneyfication (Wasko, p.113). Disneyfication as a byproduct of Hollywood made it easier for the company to build a multi-billion dollar enterprise.
If it is true that Walt Disney as an organization is directly influencing the mind of little children through the release of their products then the company succeeded because of the creation of films and animated features that are interesting, have great entertainment value but highly predictable.
The films and cartoons usually contain humor and music. As mentioned earlier the stories are heavily edited with a great dose of “Disneyfication” where the characters are “anthropomorphized, neotenized animal characters; formulaic heroes and sidekicks with stereotypical representations of gender and ethnicity” (Wasko, p.114). For instance, Mickey Mouse is not a real depiction of a mouse because it is a character that is lovable and kind as opposed to a vermin that can bite and carry diseases.
A major criticism of Disney is that there is no depth to it and it is nothing more than a mechanism that was constructed to make money. Thus, the common complaint of critics is that the output is nothing but a “high tech visual space where adventure and pleasure meet in a fantasy world of possibilities and a commercial sphere of consumerism and commodification” (Grioux, p.101). The value of this type of criticism can be appreciated from the point of view of artists and original thinkers.
Aside from the negative view stemming from the argument that the company is a greedy mass marketer of low-quality entertainment the other complaint comes from those who prefer classical works as opposed to what is fashionable and popular. This includes historians, literary experts, and defenders of high-culture.
For instance, they are quick to point out Pinocchio did not originate from the studios of Disney but from the pen of Carlo Collodi and in the original version the author created a social deviant, a Pinocchio living in the a world that is “ruthless, joyless, filled with hypocrites, liars, and cheats” (Bell & Haas, p.68). One way to interpret their disapproval is the clamor for films that are based on originals and not scripts that are highly sanitized.
Critics seem to be unhappy with the fact that Disney’s creativity knows no bounds. History, culture and art are boundaries that are sacred to them. Their argument makes a lot of sense to a college professor or philosopher but may sound confusing to a parent.
If one would adhere to the ideas of the critics then Disney should be forced to create highly artistic films that are not guaranteed commercial successes but can contribute greatly to the education of the people.
However, parents would not allow their 3-year old child to watch a movie about English settlers blowing the heads of American Indians with the title: Pocahontas. It is just a matter of common sense that Disney has to modify the story so that children can enjoy it.
Those who criticize the outputs of Disney do so with the claim that the company can be compared to a “public school system” that is easily accessible and highly influential with the only difference that children and families had to pay for the learning experience. With this perspective in mind they argue that Disney should discontinue its use of “disneyfication” when it comes to modifying folk tales and fairy tales.
But it can be argued that they are wrong in two levels. First of all Disney does not consciously educate the masses. Secondly, not everything stamped with the Disney logo can create a negative effect on the lives of people. With regards to the argument that Disney is not actively educating the masses, consider the following definition:
Pedagogy is the professional knowledge of the teacher, and the enacted practice of teaching, set within the context of theories of human development and learning, cultural reproduction and transformation, political and social progress and intellectual engagement …. centered on nature of learning; sources of knowledge; and role of the teacher (Anderson, p.2).
This definition of pedagogy clearly states that pedagogy has three major components: a) teacher, b) source of knowledge; and c) learning process. It can be argued that Disney as a company is not the teacher and cannot dictate the learning process. Thus, Disney is nothing more than a significant source of knowledge. Although Disney sponsors an award for teachers, the company has no direct control over the teachers.
The second major weakness of the critics’ argument is the refusal to give credit to whom credit is due. The opponents of Disney fail to comment on the positive impact of the company to the lives of people.
There has been so much weight given on the power and influence of Disney over the general public that there has been little discussion regarding the fact that customers and consumers also play a key role in shaping the products that came out of Disney studios. In other words, Disney has to consider the inputs of customers making it unlikely that Disney has complete and total control of the artistic process.
Disney is one of the most influential companies in the world today because it has products that can affect the worldview of children regarding morality, a sense of fair play and the values needed to help build a strong community. But the company is not actively pursuing the role of a teacher. A careful analysis of the core elements of pedagogy would reveal that the company is merely a source of knowledge and not the one who facilitates the learning process.
It is the parents and teachers in school that facilitate learning and they simply use products from Disney as a source of knowledge. Even if they keep on watching Mulan, Snow White, and Pinocchio, the stories would not make sense unless a teacher comes in and talks about the importance of honor, humility, and honesty. Disney simply provides the materials and nothing more.
Anderson, Philip. Pedagogy Primer. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2009.
Bell, Elizabeth & Lynda Haas. From Mouse to Mermaid: The Politics of Film, Gender, and Culture. IN: Indiana University Press, 1995.
Giroux, Henry. Breaking in to the Movies: Film and the Culture of Politics. MA: Blackwell Publishers, 2002.
Wasko, Janet. Understanding Disney: The Manufacture of Fantasy. MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2001.
Pedagogy And Andragogy Essay
This paper is a summary of an extended discussion comparing pedagogy and andragogy with respect to the role played by experience and the relationship between learners and teachers. From the discussion, we found out that the appropriateness of identified andragogy in classroom activities mainly relied on the knowledge, skills and ideas possessed by the learners (Keiichi, Yuki, & Hiroshi, 2007, p.75).
In this case, we discussed the entry behavior of the learner as a factor to be considered when determining the method of teaching and learning. Finally, we realized that pedagogy model was suitable and applicable when teaching young children. On the other hand, andragogy model was preferred in teaching adults. In my opinion, there are other factors that need to be considered when determining the model to use during teaching. Such factors include the role of the teacher as well as readiness of the learner to be taught.
In the discussion group, we identified numerous features which were used to compare the pedagogy and andragogy models of teaching. In this context, we tried to identify how each model can influence the role and relationship between a learner and a teacher. To begin with, for the pedagogy model, the learner is referred to as a student.
Contrastingly, learners in the andragogy model are referred to as participants. In my opinion, learners participate by answering and asking questions in classroom. Additionally, in pedagogy, a teacher attends to learners individually since their level of knowledge and skills are limited (Keiichi, Yuki & Hiroshi, 2007, p.75).
On the other hand, androgogy model does not facilitate close relationship between the two since the process is learner-centered. Therefore, learners are expected to find out information on their own without close supervision from teachers.
Another comparison is on the learning style. For the pedagogy model, learners highly depend on the teacher and as a result, close relationship is fostered (Kaufman, 2011, p.63). Through the discussion, I observed that such learners lack self-directedness since they have not yet matured enough to know what suites them.
Moreover, they lack problem-solving skills since the knowledge and skill possessed is very little. On the other hand, andralogy model is learner dependent (Keiichi, Yuki, & Hiroshi, 2007, p.75). In this case, the adults have lot of experience gained form learning resources. Besides this, the learners have competent skills in solving their own problem.
It is vivid that in pedagogy model, the teacher or trainer acts as the primary resource. The latter provides learners with ideas and relevant examples. This implies that the absence of the teacher can inhibit learning process. For this reason, the teacher and learners’ relationship is very tight to ensure that learners get the best ideas, knowledge and skills. For andragogy model, the learner is perceived to be the primary resource.
In my opinion, adult learners have the self-drive to research and thus are updated with information. Moreover, learners’ relationship with the teacher is loose since they can solve most of the problems by themselves (Keiichi, Yuki, & Hiroshi, 2007, p.75). Additionally, timing factor influence the relationship and the roles played by both teachers and learners.
For instance, timing of events and place in andagogy is learner-centered while for pedagogy, the teacher plays bigger role in controlling time and venues. It is definite that the role of the learner in participation is larger in andagogy model than the case in pedagogy where the learner is perceived as inexperienced (Kaufman, 2011, pp.63-64). The fact that active training is used in andragogy, the role of the learner increases as opposed to pedagogy which is passive.
In conclusion, the role of the learner is greater in andragogy than in pedagogy. This is due to the fact that a learner is perceived to have more experience, knowledge and skills. Their participatory role in learning increases as their readiness to learn advances. In addition, their ability to solve immediate problems limits the teacher involvement and therefore affects the relationship. In other words, teacher-learner relationship is more strict in pedagogy that in andragogy model.
Kaufman, D. (2011). Teaching the older adult: online study guide. Burnaby, BC: Simon Fraser University.
Keiichi, Y., Yuki, I. & Hiroshi, Y. (2007). Pedagogy and Andragogy in Higher Education-A Comparison between Germany, the UK and Japan. European Journal of Education, 42(1): 75.
Does Cultural Responsive Pedagogy Lead To Student Achievement? Research Paper
It is obvious that public schools have students from various backgrounds. This has influenced the manner in which they understand information. The presence of students from different races, tribes, communities, and social status has also made the teaching process to be challenging (Gay, 2010).
A modern day teacher requires skills that will ensure that students with different languages, cultures, and abilities are included in the process of learning. The relationship between a teacher and a student in most cases is dialectical, culturally embedded, mediated by perceptions, and situational (Gay, 2002). For a learning process to be effective, appreciation of cultural diversity is an important aspect to be considered. The use of cultural responsive pedagogy proves to be an effective way of handling these diversities (Gay, 2002).
Cultural diversity is a serious problem in the learning process. The level of intermingling among students affects the learning process. In some cases, students feel discriminated due to the various ways in which information is communicated.
The need for proper communication techniques by teachers is necessary in ensuring that learning process takes place effectively (Gay, 2010). A system that handles diverse cultures offers a suitable way that ensures proper contact between the learner and the educator in a classroom environment.
The most common problem arises from the behavior of the learner in the class. For instance, students from different cultural backgrounds have unique behavioral patterns (Gay, 2010). This may equally lead to conflict between the code of ethics used in school and the student’s cultural background.
A typical example can be drawn from case whereby a student is required to maintain silence in class and yet his or her culture promotes socialization. This affects the learning process of the student because the latter confuse between calmness and retribution.
Students have diverse learning styles. Learners who are forced to use specific learning styles that they are not acquainted with might develop some level of dissatisfaction. Teaching a frustrated student has proved to be quite cumbersome (Gay, 2002). For example, the level of understanding lesson content is very low for a learner who is dissatisfied.
Students are also fond of forming groups based on common and shared interests. Hence, students with different interests might be abandoned by other peers. The most common interests that group students together include common language and race. In most cases, these types of isolation might lead to depression of the learner. The teaching and learning processes also become complex in such case scenarios.
Academic performance is varied among students. An open comparison between academically weak students and those who are bright may also lead to a sense of being dejected (Gay, 2002). The bright students may develop superiority complex and consequently affect the attentiveness of others in class.
Moreover, learners should be offered a learning atmosphere that makes them feel equal to each other. Some cases of attention-seeking students might arise especially if such learners feel that their teachers are discriminatory. A student who feels a form of discrimination based on gender, race, and social status might resolve to violence or complete withdrawal from the learning process (Guild, 2001).
These are some instances that can be attributed to cultural diversity. For such cases to be avoided, the teacher should develop a mechanism of cultural acceptance. This research paper analyzes the possibility of eliminating these problems using cultural responsive pedagogy in the teaching process (Gay, 2002). If some of these problems are eliminated using this method, then student achievement will be significantly improved.
This research study investigates the above challenge by offering proposals that can be put in place in order to improve ways of handling cultural diversities. It is similar to how an action research would be carried out ((McVicker, n.d).The analysis of the available information on the effectiveness of the above method of teaching is extremely important.
It will enable the acceptance of the method as a way of handling cultural diversities in the classroom, or offer advice on the implementation of other techniques (Gay, 2010). The second option will be adopted if the study notices that there is positive change in disparity of the overall performance of the students in a culturally diverse classroom.
This paper will also address factors affecting cultural differences in class. The analysis of different ethnicities and the learning atmosphere will offer detailed information on these dynamics (Guild, 2001). There are quite a number of action research studies on the cultural and classroom environment will definitely increase understanding on the composite nature of the modern learning environment (McVicker, n.d).
This study plans to offer the positive and negative aspects of cultural diversity in the process of learning. This will help in developing ways of dealing with the negative aspects of cultural diversity in class (Gay, 2010). Moreover, exploration of the available methods that can be used to handle the problem of culture in a classroom environment will also be given key attention. Information on the available techniques of handling students from varied cultural backgrounds is essential towards the skill development of a teacher.
This study has identified the following three study questions to be essential in addressing the research questions.
- What are the critical cultural consequences of using culturally responsive pedagogy in the learning process?
- How does cultural responsive pedagogy enhance the learning process and the classroom atmosphere?
- Can cultural responsive pedagogy integrate the communities of learners into one unit that is more effective in the learning process?
Effective methods will be used with the aim of examining and providing the most appropriate answers to the questions posed above.
Gay, G. (2002). Preparing For Culturally Responsive Teaching. Journal of Teacher Education, 53(2), 106-116.
Gay, G. (2010). Culturally Responsive Teaching: Theory, Research, and Practice: Multicultural Education Series. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.
Guild, P. B. (2001). Diversity, Learning Style and Culture. Web.
McVicker, C. (n.d). Inquiring Illinois Teachers Want to Know: Action Research Questions from the Field! Illinois reading council journal 37(1), 22-26.
Pedagogy: Factors Affecting Teaching Profession Learning Process Essay
To enhance positive learning outcomes among the teachers, there is the need to analyze the teacher professional learning needs. I work in a girls’ university in Saudi Arabia. The institution values high quality teaching outcomes that include the ability of the teachers to engage in professional development.
The university places value in Quality Teaching (QT) and has entrenched the pedagogy in almost all departments and teaching programs. Teacher professional learning through QT has however encountered challenges owing to the different characteristics of learning needs exhibited by different generations of teachers.
In particular, the learning needs of ‘Baby Boomers’ and ‘Generation Y’ generations contrast sharply and may lead to different learning outcomes. Nonetheless, the institution’s ability to implement QT pedagogy has been instrumental in demystifying the roles and power relations between teachers and students for improved outcomes.
There are opportunities within the institution of integrating other pedagogical frameworks that will lead to improved results although there are no formal arrangements agitating for the changes. Besides, the institution has the opportunity of ensuring that different learning needs exhibited by various teachers are opportunities for appreciating diversity within the education context.
Lack of uniform learning outcomes among the teachers is a major challenge that may undermine the achievements made so far. This paper seeks to identify, analyze and synthesize factors that could enhance or inhibit QT professional learning.
Factors Influencing Teacher Professional Learning in QT
Like precedent pedagogies, QT works in framework that allows distinction of productive and unproductive pedagogies. QT is a pedagogical model that allows the teachers to fulfill their roles of imparting knowledge on students with efficiency. There are factors that affect QT model of professional learning.
At the outset, Brock (1999) explicates that there are political dimensions that can inhibit or enhance professional learning. QT makes differentiations in that the teachers comprehend the distinction between quality of the teacher and the quality of teaching. This differentiation allows the teaching professionals to make changes in their teaching practices as opposed to making changing at personal levels.
Indeed, Quality Teaching model of pedagogy distinguishes teaching and teachers explicitly. This factor allows the institution to provide high learning environment and deepen the comprehension of all students as a way of boosting improved outcomes. As such, differentiation is an important factor that allows the teachers using QT pedagogy to understand the learning and teaching environment with much focus on teaching practices.
Techniques and practices affect the learning outcomes and contribute immensely to positive impacts. Considering that coding scales are in the pedagogy, the learning professionals are able to make suggestions and the ideas that might increase the effectiveness of the learning context. It is important to notice that the learning pedagogy does not dictate the specific character and personality of a teacher or the learning context but rather, the teachers receive guidance of the practice applicable to all learning contexts and teachers.
For instance, a teacher who may be in favor of quiet and serene environment can utilize the QT learning tools equally as the teachers who prefer noisy and participative context. In Saudi Arabia, utilization of QT has converged the teaching practices and techniques that teachers use. This has allowed for predictable and positive outcomes.
Hence, uniform teaching practice and technique is a factor that has continued to enhance teacher professional learning. While other pedagogies deviate from utilization of uniform and universal teaching practices and techniques, QT enhances the universal learning outcomes as a factor that improves professional learning.
Further, it is important to realize that school or institution is an important factor that may enhance or impede professional learning. While there is relatively conservative culture in Saudi Arabia, other contexts may present QT in a liberal and flexible way. The institutional culture is important as it explains the historical interactions of departments, schools and faculties (Brock, 1999).
Besides, a culture of an institution dictates its responsiveness to implementing professional learning and the power relations among teachers and the students. In addition, the institution enhances professional learning among teachers by allocating the necessary human and financial resources to enhance the achievement of positive learning outcomes and ultimately, better results by the students (Ladwig &King, 2003).
On the one hand, Gore (1993) highlights that institutions may fail to allocate the required resources resulting to poor professional learning that reflects in student’s poor performance. On the other hand, other institutions may be willing to provide sufficient resource to oversee the learning process among teaching professionals leading to improved outcomes.
In some institutions, teachers receive awards for teaching well and performing their roles and tasks diligently. To the contrary, in Saudi Arabia, the QT pedagogical model begins with a standpoint that appreciates that all teachers are capable of using their skills to provide superior performance typical of uniform teaching practices and learning outcomes. As such, institutional cultures in which QT model is applicable are huge factors that allow or limit positive teaching profession learning (Fullan, 2000).
Another factor affecting the teaching professional learning process is career stage which the teachers belong. In a study conducted by Incecay and Bakioglu in the United States, findings shown that first career teachings believe that the training offered was not efficient. This implies that first career teachers engaged in teaching professional learning process would not record positive outcomes. The rationale is that first career teachers feel that they lack enough experience when compared to other experienced teachers.
As such, Incecay & Bakioglu (2010) infer that career stage creates disparities among the teachers’ perceptions regarding the learning process. This implies that in a more diverse community of teachers belonging to different career stages, learning outcomes of the process may not be desirable.
To the contrary, the learning outcomes of a uniform community of teachers would have positive outcomes of the entire process of learning (Gore & Gitlin, 2004). Increase in diversity therefore brings about fragmented outcomes and inhibits the process while a uniform community in terms of career stage enhances a successful teaching profession learning process.
Further, Gore & Gitlin (2004) pinpoint that quality of the learning experience is an important factor that has led to failure and success of professional learning process among the teachers. In Saudi Arabia, QT pedagogical model faces challenges in implementation owing to the quality of learning experience.
Teachers point out that the learning process is impaired by lack of quality delivery of sessions whereby the learning process does not integrate their cognitive and sensual needs. Ladson-Billings (1995) articulates that it is important to enhance high quality learning process as an organization since it stands out as the most significance aspect of professional learning process.
The educators ought to recognize that poor quality process has a negative effect on the learning process of the teaching community and fails to enhance improved students’ performance in the long term (Brock, 1999).
To that end, poor quality experience inhibits the professional learning process while high quality experience enhances positive outcomes and ultimately, better learning contexts for students and improved learning outcomes. Besides, positive impacts of the learning experience come about due to dedicated schools and institutions that are willing to present the learning process comprehensively.
Ladwig &King (2003) assert that leadership and support from colleagues are factors that could inhibit or enhance successful learning process. Throughout the process, schools should be willing to nurture leadership amongst teachers for them to work in teams. Willinsky (2001) explicates that appropriate leadership skills to motivate the teachers to work in teams during the process ought to be the focal point of the institutions.
Teachers in contexts where leadership is successful will receive support, encouragement and participate in the learning process. Participative and democratic leadership styles allow the teachers to work together with their colleagues to comprehend the process (Ladson-Billings, 1995).
This does not only elicit colleague support that is necessary for successful learning process but also impart leadership skills on the teaching professionals. It is also important to note that work colleague support nurtures a group and unleashes group synergy. QT allows teachers to share their teaching practices and experiences to enhance better performance and outcomes. It increases the interactive and participative patterns of the teachers within the framework of teaching profession learning.
Teachers’ perception of the learning process may inhibit or enhance the success of the process. In Saudi Arabia, prior to the introduction of Quality Teaching model of learning, the perception of teachers was diverse and fragmented. In actuality, none of the teaching members had similar expectations and perceptions about the QT professional learning process (Hiebert et al., 2002).
Negative perception on the process leads to negative results and outcomes while the reverse is true. It is imperative for teachers to enhance their ability to comprehend that the learning process does not focus on the individual teachers but rather on the prevalent teaching practices.
Hiebert et al. (2002) assert that this facilitates the cultivation of a shared goal and objectives of the learning process leading to a shared perception about the learning process. With a shared perception, the teachers can have similar expectations on the outcomes they anticipate in future.
As aforementioned, work colleagues are crucial in enhancing a successful and positive learning process. The ways which that teachers discuss the QT process has many impacts on the process. It provides a general overview of the discourse that surrounds adoption of QT in the institutions (Gore, 2000).
Teaching professionals may feel the process that the process is unnecessary, short term, important and refreshing, represents change, useful and so on. These perspectives and views shape the perception and beliefs regarding the learning process and may inhibit or impair the process of QT implementation (Newmann, 1996).
It is important to create positive image and opinions about the process to enhance the willingness and desire for the teaching fraternity to engage in the process of professional development. This way, the desired changes in presenting, managing and delivering teaching practices in the context of a classroom will improve.
Other factors that could affect the learning process include school cultures, type of communication, work experience and responsibility of an individual to learn (Incecay & Bakioglu, 2010). The culture of a school dictates the attitudes, beliefs and values of the students and teachers.
When all aspects of the organization are in harmony with the QT learning process, there is an increased possibility of a successful process and implementation. This implies that all the stakeholders comprehend the importance of improving the learning context and improve the learning outcomes and experiences of the QT learning process (Willinsky, 2001).
Besides, the type of communication that exists within a school is a factor that could impair or enhance the teaching profession learning. Gore (2000) says that communication needs to be effective and aim at cultivating an environment of participation where all people can raise their opinions freely.
Limited communication impairs the success of the learning process while open communication enhances it. Further, the responsibility of an individual to learn plays a major role in the learning outcomes. This is in lieu of the fact that some individuals may lack enough motivation to learn.
Essentially, various factors affect teaching profession learning process. In Saudi Arabia, the university has attempted to implement the QT as a pedagogical model to assist teachers to improve the outcomes of students.
Differentiation, techniques and practices, career stage, perception, institutional culture, individual responsibility to learn and leadership styles within the organization are some of the factors that may impair or enhance successful teaching profession learning process. Institutions should be able to allocate the process all necessary human and financial resources to boost its success. Besides, it might want to look at aspects of the school culture that might impede the positive impacts on the learning outcomes.
Brock, P. (1999). Quality teaching and professional teaching standards — A New South Wales context. Sydney: Australian College of Education.
Fullan, M. (2000). The return of large-scale reform. Journal of Education Change, 1(4), 1-23.
Gore, J.M. (1993). The Struggle for Pedagogies: Critical and Feminist Discourses as regimes of Truth. New York and London: Routledge.
Gore, M. & Gitlin, A. (2004). (Re)visioning the academic-teacher divide: Power and knowledge in the educational community. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 10(1), 35-58.
Gore, M. (2000). Beyond Our Differences : A Reassembling of What Matters in Teacher Education. Journal of Teaching Education, 52(124), 1-13.
Hiebert, J., Gallimore, R. & Stigler, W. (2002). A Knowledge Base for the Teaching Profession: What Would It Look like and How Can We Get One? Educational Researcher, 31(5), 3-15.
Incecay,V. & Bakioglu , A. (2010). Investigating Factors Affecting Teachers’ Professional Learning. The International Journal of Education Researchers, 2(20), 14-21.
Ladson-Billings, G. (1995). But that’s just good teaching! The case for culturally relevant pedagogy. Theory into Practice, 34(3), 159-165.
Ladwig, J. &King, M. (2003). Quality teaching in NSW Public Schools: Annotated Bibliography. Wales, NZ: NSW Department of Education and Training.
Newmann, F. (1996). Authentic achievement: Restructuring schools for intellectual quality. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Willinsky, J. (2001). The strategic educational research program and the public value of research. Educational Researcher, 30(1), 5-14.
Exploring Issues in Curriculum and Pedagogy Essay (Critical Writing)
Education is a very important aspect of a country’s development. Therefore, various countries have adopted different education systems that suit their education needs. These education systems are all governed by curriculums which determine the manner in which learning activities are conducted.
Apart from the curriculum, there are other issues that influence the learning process. For example, we have pedagogy that defines the manner in which teachers implement the curriculum, and teachers who act as the implementers of the curriculum.
Curriculum is very vital in any education system because it is what explains what is to be learnt and how it should be learnt by students. This paper seeks to explore the relationship between curriculum, pedagogy and teaching as profession.
Many scholars have adopted various definitions for the term curriculum. Curriculum can be defined as, “the sum total of resources-intellectual and scientific, cognitive, and linguistic, textbook, and adjunct resources and materials”.
“Official and unofficial- that are brought together for teaching and learning by teachers and students in classrooms and other learning environments”. Curriculum also refers to the information taught and learned in various institutions.
The curriculum that is practiced in various institutions is often changed after sometime in order to make it relevant to the modern trends. One of the challenges that many educationists have grappled with for a very long time is how to redesign a curriculum that can best meet the learning requirements of students.
In this regard, it is imperative for us to understand the basic components of the curriculum. Joseph Schwabs is one of the curriculum theorists and he came up with three basic components of curriculum that can be described as follows. A series of questions can help us develop a better understanding of curriculum.
“Questions of curriculum may be classified into three broad kinds, or orders, concerning the nature, the elements, and the practice of curriculum”. The first question in this case seeks to define the nature of curriculum and what it stands for.
The nature of curriculum refers to the experiences students get through the guidance of an institution. It also refers to learning activities that the students are exposed to in order to help them get knowledge and skills.
The second question deals with the organization and the elements of the curriculum. Elements of curriculum are the things that constitute it. They should be the main focus of curriculum designers. The seven elements of curriculum include the following.
The first element is about the qualifications of an educator or instructor. That is his personality and academic background. The second element explains what qualifies an individual to be regarded as a student and the process by which a student learns new skills.
The third element is about subject matter. In this case, the curriculum should highlight the nature of the content to be taught. This means that curriculum should highlight the useful knowledge to be taught and the type of knowledge that is supposed to be imparted to the learners at a given level of learning. And why it should be taught.
The fourth element is about timing and place. This is one area that has not been given much attention, yet it is also very important in the achievement of the learning goals and objectives. A properly designed curriculum should define the circumstances surrounding the curriculum activities.
For example, a school community and the society can have an influence on the curriculum activities. The fifth one addresses the aims of education. Curriculum is supposed to explain when a certain concept should be introduced to the learner.
This is one of the philosophical questions in education that should be addressed by the curriculum. The sixth element talks about students and teachers actions. “Since the students’ actions are forcibly determined by the actions of the teacher, teacher actions must first be designed in light of the student action to follow”.
The last element defines who an educated person is and what can show that a learner has achieved the intended objectives or not. The above mentioned elements are encompassed in the curriculum. The third question deals with the practice of curriculum.
“It is concerned with the deciding and planning of curriculum, the implementing and experiencing of it, the assessment and improvement of it”. The understanding of the basic components of curriculum can help in reviewing its effectiveness to the learners as well as to the teachers.
The syllabus is another important tool that goes along with the implementation of the curriculum. The difference between a curriculum and a syllabus has often been confused by many educationists and it is therefore imperative to explore its meaning.
“A syllabus is a defensible map of core skills, knowledge, competences, and capacities to be covered, with affiliated statements of standards”. “In current terms, Westbury defines the syllabus as a guide to the curriculum while Schwartz describes the syllabus as a written curriculum that acts as an action-oriented guide or tool for teachers”.
A syllabus gives the instructors the rationale and outline of what is to be covered in various subjects. However, the syllabus cannot be comprehensive enough to prescribe the right pedagogic method and approach to be used in a given institution.
This role is always left with the schools and teachers to determine. A good syllabus should aim at enhancing a teacher’s level of professionalism. A school subject is a field of knowledge meant for teaching and learning. School subjects have various links to disciplines and knowledge.
Teachers should be given a chance to participate in the development of curriculum. This is because they can help in developing a good curriculum that they can easily implement. This would enhance their teaching activities in the classroom environment.
Empowerment in this case means enhancing the learning outcomes that may stem from it, hence, helping in the development of learners’ potential. An effective teaching environment can only be developed through effective empowerment. The approach that a teacher applies affects the quality of learning.
A teacher’s role is important in learning activities. However, it is also important to recognize the learners as part of the school community. This assists in the creation of a good academic environment.
A teacher who is empowered by the curriculum will not perceive the learning guidelines and the syllabus as a restriction, but as an opportunity to improve learning activities. This requires skills and knowledge and empowerment is cardinal in this process.
An empowered teacher should facilitate the learning process by making the learners recognize their importance in helping their colleagues learn. Learners should be given a chance to be independent in their studies.
Teachers often face myriad challenges in their work and most of these challenges stem from the curriculum. These challenges are experienced at various stages through which the curriculum is implemented. Many learning institution aspire to achieve academic excellence and this has posed a great challenge to teachers.
“Therefore, teachers should be both developers and implementers of curriculum”. Teachers, participation in curriculum development would enable them to easily implement it. The concept of teachers’ empowerment has received varied interpretations.
For example, when we talk of empowerment, terms like power and authority may also emerge. Gore defined it as giving authority and enabling. Empowerment of teachers may also give them the chance to participate in decision making activities.
If teachers are excluded from such processes, they will feel alienated and frustrated. Empowered teachers feel that they can help in bringing positive changes in the learning environments. Isolation of teachers denies them the chance to improve their skills.
“Teachers’ professional identity implies both a cognitive psychological and a sociological perspective: people develop their identity in interaction with other people, but express their professional identity in their perceptions of who they are and who they want to become as a result of this interaction”.
The identity of teachers has been changing in recent years and many factors account for these changes. Curriculum is one of the factors that have largely contributed toward the changes in teachers’ identity. These changes have come as a result of new expectations and demands that the community places on educationists.
For a long time, scholarly works on curriculum changes have mainly been produced by implementation theorists. The theorists contend that change in curriculum is a gradual process and not an event. They also argue that the implementation process is greatly influenced by teachers’ practicality ethics.
In this regard, teachers only implement the new ideas that they believe are important to the learners. For an effective implementation of the curriculum to occur, teachers must therefore be trained on new skills that will enable them to have the expertise to adopt the new changes advocated.
In the process on adopting a new curriculum, teachers may be required to adopt new practices and discard the old ones. For example, the shift from teacher centered to learner centered model of learning means that teachers have to change their identities.
Even though teachers may concentrate on preparing teaching aids, teaching is however, not a rational planned event. A curriculum theorist from Canada called Ted Aoki gave a description of the relationship between teachers and curriculum. In this case, he described this relationship as “curriculum as lived”.
“The lived curriculum refers to the responsibility that teachers have for taking account of the planned curriculum, but also for how it is received in the context of the history, the community and the character of the children in their actual classrooms”.
The development process of a new curriculum is always not complicated compared to its implementation. The reason why implementation of new curriculum is often hard is simply because the new models of curriculum try to make reforms through education.
When a new curriculum is being developed, it is normally aimed at realizing new goals for education. Local contexts are varied and cannot be put into consideration in the process of developing a curriculum.
Nonetheless, curriculum has to be interpreted locally before it can be implemented. Therefore, any successful implementation of a new curriculum greatly depends on the ability and willingness of the teachers.
Joseph Schwab used the term “curriculum common places” when he was explaining the common aspects of curricula.
“Comparing the commonplaces of the new curriculum with the one that it replaces shows the far-reaching implications that the change has for curriculum content, teacher identity, learning, as well as for the role of the school itself within the community”.
Generally, curriculum implementation process may focus on the tutor, and they are often presented in terms of in service education, new text books, and new text books. This means that the identity of teachers is involved in curriculum implementation.
Implementation of curriculum does not mean feeling a vacuum that exists between teachers and students. The new curriculum is actually introduced in an in an already established learning environment.
It has been proved that young teachers who have little knowledge can easily adopt new identities and implement new curriculum faster and effectively than old teachers who were more exposed to the previous one.
“However, it must be appreciated that change sets into turbulence understandings of teaching and what it means to be a teacher, not just for teachers’ identities, but also for the system itself”.
Pedagogy can be defined as the art of teaching. Curriculum changes are also related to pedagogy. In the process of implementing a new curriculum, there has to be adequate changes in pedagogy.
For example, a new curriculum that incorporates technological studies may require the instructors to use a new pedagogy that conforms to the new curriculum. Failure to adjust pedagogy may affect the introduction of a new curriculum.
“There is a much quoted notion that there is no curriculum development without teacher development”. Good pedagogical strategies give teachers the chance to experiment on learning environment parameters. They should have a unit of change that can be easily be managed.
Most of the new curriculums have strict guidelines which cannot be adapted easily. They may also have information that explains the dangers of digressing from the guidelines. However, the development of teachers’ professionalism can easily be enhanced by smaller units of change.
From this discussion, we can conclude that the process of curriculum development should be done properly, and teachers who are its primary implementers should not be left out in the process of developing it. Teachers’ empowerment is also very important because it determines their level of performance in school.
The implementation process of a newly developed curriculum often proves to be difficult because it is always over looked. Changes in curriculum normally affect pedagogy and teachers’ identity. A good relationship between curriculum and teachers leads to proper learning activities.
“It is therefore important for education stake holders to have a good understanding of the relationship that exists between curriculum, teachers’ identity and pedagogy”. This will enable them to design good education programs that can meet the needs of the learners and the society at large.
Ayers, William and David Stovall. Teacher’s Experience of Curriculum. New York: Wiley, 1991.
Carl, Arend. Teacher Empowerment Through Curriculum Development: Theory into Practice. Cape Town: Juta Academic, 2009.
Dillon, Timothy. “The questions of curriculum.” Journal of Curriculum Studies 44.3 (2009): 343 – 359.
Flinders, David. The Curriculum Studies Reader. London: Routledge, 2009.
Henderson, James. Transformative Curriculum Leadership. Columbus: Pearson, 2007.
Lovat, Timothy and David Smith. Curriculum: Action on Reflection Revisited. New York: Social Sciences Press., 2003.
Luke, Allan. Development of a set of a P-12 Syllabus Framework. Brisbane: Queensland University of Technology Press, 2008.
Mash, Colin. Key Concepts for Understanding Curriculum. New York: Routledge, 2004.
Schwab, Joseph. Science, Curriculum, and Liberal Education: Selected Essays. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 1982.
Wiles, John and Joseph Bondi. Curriculum Development: A Guide to Practice. Columbus: Pearson, 2007.
Issues in Early Childhood Policy and Pedagogy. Reading Journal Submission Essay
Reading Journal Submission
Definition of a key concept taken from the weekly readings for this period, which was not clear/ familiar to me earlier
The concept ‘micro-context’ was taken from the weekly readings for this period, and it was not clear to me earlier. However, a research indicated that the term was generated from the word ‘context,’ which is about the issues, circumstances, factors and the events that form the surrounding within which a thing is believed to exist.
Identified issue/debate that you may not yet understand or what to think more about from these readings
All the readings have been instrumental in facilitating a critical understanding of early childhood education pedagogy and policy. One of the issues included the question of how children are represented within the policy and practices of early childhood education. In particular, I have learned that early childhood education is very critical, as it lays the foundation of the life of a child. What children are taught when young has a lot of implication on their lives.
There was also concern about the role of teachers, parents, families, communities and the government, in realising effective early childhood pedagogy and policy (Centre for Community Child Health, 2009). This was informed by the perception that the organisational cultures exerted influence on the assumptions of the participants. In other words, when all the groups and stakeholders take part in child education, then there is a possibility of improving the quality of early childhood education.
Link an idea from (a) or (b) to your workplace or to child/children that you know or to an early childhood setting with which you are familiar; consider the application of the idea in this context
Policy and pedagogical objectives ought to be integrated, for the purpose of reinforcing an effective early childhood education program. Through a collective forum, all the participants can conceptualise and develop a practical policy, which incorporates all the beliefs and concerns of all children. There is also the opportunity to envisage the needs of all children, regardless of the form of early childhood education that the parent may prefer, either by sending their children to a childcare or staying with them at home (Hayden, 2000).
The fundamental point is that all parties should support a professional development program, which would enable teachers to realise the actual value that is based on pedagogy and the experience involved. It is therefore important to have a conducive environment within the early childhood settings. The participation of all the stakeholders in supporting the pedagogy and policy is critical for effective construction of early childhood education (Centre for Community Child Health, 2009).
It is argued that early childhood education centres are community institutions, which facilitate the development of the society. It is important for an integrated approach in the development of early childhood education to be adopted by the community. Once such approaches are adopted, the early childhood professionals may change and start taking their children to childcare, as opposed to keeping them at home.
This may happen due to an increase in the benefits realised in early childhood education (Hayden, 2000). The stakeholders should also focus on the issues that concern early childhood education. In so doing, they will be able to determine the right age for children to start undertaking the early childhood learning, and whether the children should be exposed to the early learning environment before starting the early learning program among other contentious issues.
Explanation of the development of your understanding/knowledge through this exchange
The exchange has been very instrumental, in developing my understanding on the theory and practical aspects of the early childhood education program. I have learnt the benefits and the disadvantages associated with early childhood learning. This has facilitated my evaluation on the reason some parents send their children to childcare, while other parents prefer their children staying at home. I have learnt that it is a challenge for most of the parents to strike a balance while determining this issue.
It is important to note that a good foundation in the life of any individual is rooted in early childhood. This is the reason why success, emotional wellbeing and health of any child are critical. Early childhood development centres are important organisations for the development of the society. Therefore, all the stakeholders should work together for the purpose of ensuring equitable representation of children in the society (Penn, 2007).
It was also established that there were poor results from the larger sections of the country, more so, the regions where majority of indigenous children originate. The children from these regions are vulnerable, and this raised concerns as to what should be done to support them, particularly where different languages were spoken. This was aimed at supporting them within the school environment. There were also children with chronic, intellectual or medical needs, as well as those requiring special assessment (Penn, 2007).
Overview-concisely summarise the implications of the central ideas during this period, for your unfolding understanding of the early childhood political and pedagogical landscape
The concept of early childhood education is one that requires policies for effective realisation, as we all know policy development is devoid of politics due to the social, economic and cultural issues that are involved (Goldfield & Oberklaide, 2005). The constant evaluation of the policy in early childhood is instrumental in both the theoretical and practical development of an effective society.
The fact that there is no clear refined policy on the regulation of early childhood has posed a lot of challenges in the analysis of the early childhood policy. Scholars in this field have proposed various approaches that are critical in the development of effective policies in early childhood.
A broader understanding of the social landscape of the early childhood development is critical (Goldfield & Oberklaide, 2005). A forum should be created, for the diverse participation in early childhood. This is based on the opportunities associated with it. Effective policies will respond to issues and challenges associated with the early childhood at state, national and international levels. This facilitates the reconceptualisation of the early childhood pedagogy.
It is clear that politics bring in people’s representation, and represents the reflections of decision making abilities of the stakeholders through various representations. It is clear that the role of politics in policy development can either be implicit or explicit, and this makes it very subjective to early childhood. On the other hand, policies present regulation and order, and this create consistency, equality and security. The policies help in the realisation of the objectives of early childhood (Goldfield & Oberklaide, 2005).
Centre for Community Child Health. (2009). A Snapshot of Early Childhood Development in Australia: AEDI National Report 2009. Melbourne: National Report Publication.
Goldfield, S., & Oberklaide, F. (2005). Maintaining an Agenda for Children: The Role of Data in Linking Policy, Politics and Outcome. Medical Journal of Australia, 183 (4), 209-211.
Hayden, J. (2000). Policy Development and Challenges on the Australian Landscape: A Historical Perspective. New York: Peter Lang Publication.
Penn, H. (2007). Childcare Market Management: How The UK Government has reshaped its Role in an Developing Early Childhood Education. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 8 (3), 92-207.
Learning Styles and Pedagogy Reflective Essay
As an individual within the teaching profession, I realise how it is often important to examine myself to determine the effectiveness of my performance. It is an aspect of critical reflection that questions my actual performance, thereby helping me in finding answers to some of the most pressing questions.
The critical reflection helps in developing the profession because it acts as a building block, enabling the strengthening of weaker areas and enhancing performance even further in best performed areas (Leung & Kember, 2003, p. 61). Learning and teaching processes or activities, although conducted differently, are similar in many important aspects (Roxå, Mårtensson & Alveteg, 2011, p. 99).
I consider the manner in which I learn fundamentally to have a direct bearing on the way I eventually teach my students. It is impossible to be a teacher without having undergone learning because the two are mutual. This paper draws from the principles of career reflection to reflect on my career as a teacher.
The paper explores the learning and teaching processes as a whole. The paper then delves deeper into the numerous factors that are involved before critically reflecting on some of the principle concepts that are involved in both processes.
Learning Process and the Factors Involved
Learning is a demanding process that evidently depends on the responsibility of the individual to a large extent (Bhusry & Ranjan, 2012, p. 313). Unless an individual feels that he strongly owns and is directly responsible for the entire process, learning may never be achieved regardless of how much effort is involved. I practically discovered this during my days as a trainee in graduate school.
Although I had very little thought initially about my exact style of learning, I eventually determined my precedence when I gradually appreciated the fact that the entire process depended on my own responsibility and resolve.
As a trainee in graduate school, I discovered that three critical approaches of learning were effective in my studies. They involved group discussions and learning, practical presentations and activity, as well as continually tackling assignments (Moores, Change & Smith, 2004, p. 77).
The results of this experience were manifest in me because my main strategy of learning had initially relied heavily on reading class work and other related texts. There was a clear change in my performance and overall grasp immediately I switched strategies. This assessment has increased my ability to make a substantive and intellectual conclusion regarding my way of learning.
I specifically understand what my strengths are and, consequently, realise some of the weaknesses that I face. I have a clear knowledge on some of the ways that can help in increasing opportunities for my career growth, including methods and techniques for addressing weaknesses.
Nevertheless, as Tomlinson et al. (2003) rightly assert, individuals differ in their learning ways and styles that directly affect their performance. While my strategies of learning paid off substantially, I realised that quite a number of my colleagues had their own suitable methods of learning that did not necessarily resemble one another’s.
Some trainees complained that learning in groups affected their concentration so much that there was little learning achieved in the end. They preferred doing studies on their own within very quiet and secluded environments.
The process of learning only becomes successful when it transforms an individual in terms of his understanding and knowledge. The basic principle of learning for any student is to begin with accepting and considering the need for change (Bellas, 2004, p. 19). This happens from an individual’s point of view where a learner must accept the knowledge acquired to transform him.
I have my main conception of learning as a process that leads to the acquisition of facts and procedures needed to achieve an objective.
As a learner, I often test the extent to which I have undergone transformation by attempting sample questions and applying the algorithms, skills, and formulae that I have studied before. I use the resultant score to these self-administered tests and sample assessment questions to determine the extent of the transformation undergone.
Teaching Process and the factors Involved
Gurney (2007, p. 89) describes teaching as an educational process that should focus on creating nourishing experiences to enable the learning process to be natural and inevitable. Teaching should concisely refer to practical actions of expediting learning for the students, instead of focusing on any other related aspect.
Quality teaching entails ten basic characteristics that include focusing on the achievement of students, performing pedagogical practices that result in caring, and all-inclusive and unified learning communities. It must create effective links with the school’s cultural context, be responsive to the learning processes of the students, as well as offer sufficient learning opportunities (Gurney, 2007, p. 90).
Other quality aspects of teaching include compound tasks and contexts, which help in supporting learning cycles, effectively aligning curriculum goals, and a practice that insists on issuing students with feedback about their task engagement.
As Gurney (2007, p. 90) further records, teachers and students must often engage in coming up with goal-oriented assessment and formulate a system that promotes learning orientations, metacognitive strategies, student self-regulation, as well as a thoughtful student discourse.
My teaching methodologies have greatly been influenced by my learning styles. I have a greater feeling that encouraging students to study in groups can enhance their academic performance a great deal.
However, I also appreciate the fact that students are not all the same. Just like some of my colleagues in college did not approve of group discussion as the best way of studying, I realise that some of my students may also be finding it an ineffective method of studying, depending on their own understanding and belief.
Regarding Gurney’s quality methods of teaching (2007, p. 90), I have picked on engaging with my students constructively in order to carry out a comprehensive goal-oriented assessment.
I use such sessions to allow the students to determine the kind of difficulties they face in their studies, as well as evaluate their areas of strength. It eventually gives me the leverage to establish the best teaching techniques that suit each of the students, thus avoiding the mistake of using a uniform strategy for the entire class.
Teacher knowledge, enthusiasm, as well as responsibility for learning are yet other critical aspects that determine teaching as a process (Eisner, 2002). Because teaching entails passing of knowledge, it will depend with the quality of knowledge that I have as a teacher for a student to learn fully as anticipated.
I often go through my prepared notes in advance before I go to class to teach the students. This gives me confidence because it assures me of whatever I am teaching, unlike entering a class without having previously prepared on the subject to be taught.
My Personal Learning Style
I am an extroverted individual with a strong sensing perception. I rely on intuition and feelings to make decisions. My attitude toward the outside world is mainly formed out of my own judgement as opposed to the perceptions that I have. Based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, I am an extroverted, sensing, thinking, and judgement person (ENFJ) (Sample, 2004, p. 67).
My extroversion explains why I prefer group work as the best methodology for my studies. During my teacher training session as an undergraduate, my studying was done mostly during the day to allow for long discussion sessions with my colleagues.
After realising the fact that I performed well in study groups, we organised ourselves together in a study group of five people comprising of individuals with the same personality types. Learning mainly took place between 8 am and 4 pm, where we took turns in doing short presentations to enforce the transformation process of knowledge.
Most of the personal studies in my room in the evenings only lasted for a maximum of two hours as they only entailed tackling of assignments and sample questions. The tackling of self-administered assignments and questions offered me the opportunity to evaluate myself concerning knowledge transformation.
My general perception, which is ‘intuition’ as described by Myers-Briggs, had a strong bearing on my learning (Cools & Van, 2007, p. 359). This continues to affect my learning process even at present concerning the general life phenomenon. I am fast at learning and gaining general knowledge. I do not necessarily rely on value facts and data to enhance my learning.
While attending the study group in college, I would focus all my presentation of ideas and facts that I studied to support myself.
Equally, I would challenge other members whenever they made their presentations to support their positions with determined ideas and facts and show the extent to which they had understood a concept.
Another critical aspect of my ‘intuitive’ perception that has been critical in my learning is a routine application of the facts and skills learned. I insisted on using the exact terms and methodologies used in class by my instructor to enhance my grasping of the knowledge.
Honey and Mumford Test
As a teacher who has developed great interest in teaching and learning, I have done a Honey and Mumford test to understand my learning style. I have determined that I am an activist from the results. I have personally learned by doing things.
I involve myself directly in executing the concepts and ideas as they are established. This gives me first-hand experience to explore on what the knowledge or learning process involves. I am open-minded in my approach to learning. I accept new challenges in learning.
My preferred learning activities include brainstorming, where I prefer coming up with new ideas and thinking. I like involving myself in problem solving activities and encounters and participating actively in group discussion. I also prefer taking up roles that strengthen my learning by putting studied theories into action.
Competitions and puzzles also influence my learning because they offer a basis upon which I can compare with others and evaluate myself.
Howard Gardner’s Test
I have used Gardner’s multiple intelligence tests to further ascertain my personality and how it influences my learning style. The results underscore a low spatial-visual kind of intelligence, with a score of 5. It implies I am poor when it comes to making interpretations of visual images and pictorial imagination.
Thus, pictures, shapes, and images are not the best learning tools and materials that I can rely on. I have also scored poorly in physical and aural intelligence areas, meaning that the use of music, rhythm, sounds, touch, feel, and physical experience are not the best learning styles for me.
My verbal, social, solitary, and logical intelligences, however, are higher. I scored 16, 15, 14, and 11, in these categories respectively. It implies that I have a higher mastery of language and words used in communication, while my ability to socialise and relate with others is also high. On these two accounts, my most preferred learning style is by use of language and words, as well as through human contact, teamwork, and cooperation.
The high score in solitary or self-awareness implies that I am aware of my personal objectives and able to understand myself clearly. It also influences my relationship with others and the way I relate to the world. Self-reflection and self-discovery are, therefore, two of my most critical aspects of learning.
Additionally, a higher score in mathematical or logical intelligence implies that I am good in mathematical calculations, scientific reasoning, and general analysis of problems. Numbers and logic are my best learning styles because I am comfortable with them and I can easily make interpretations.
Piaget and Vygotsky Influence
Piaget and Vygotsky have contributed towards the subject of learning and education by establishing the cognitive development theory. According to the theory, the learning processes and capabilities of mental growth in children influence the way they learn (Pass, 2004, p. 18).
Understanding cognitive development, therefore, is crucial for teachers because it provides them with the advantage of treating each child in a unique way. In turn, it provides all the children with the opportunity to acquire knowledge in the best possible way without being hindered by their own integral limitations and barriers.
The cognitive-development theory holds that the learning process is affected by the attitudes and beliefs of the learner, as well as the context under which teaching is taking place.
How this knowledge influences my teaching style
I have learned that the quality of my teaching, which is directly reflected by the individual performance of my students, depends on the efforts I expend with a view of improving performance. Teaching is a process that entails many other factors including my personality and emotions, with the actual interaction with the students in a classroom environment only representing the final stage of the process.
Thus, I must build a personality type that will, in turn, sustain learning for my students. I often work on my moods and emotion, particularly when I am feeling low, because I realise this has a negative effect on my teaching.
The physical environment, equally, must be made in a way that supports teaching. The presence of features that distract concentration during learning need to be removed and a favourable environment created for the benefit of the teacher. In the school where I teach, I ensure the walls in the classrooms have reading material that students can look at and continuously get the reminder that it is a learning environment.
I have also integrated student feedback mechanism into my teaching style. This is something I previously never considered to be important. I discovered that some students are not bold enough to disclose to me as their teacher some of the issues that are affecting their learning (Alton-Lee, 2003).
However, with the use of an elaborate feedback mechanism, such students are confident enough to share some of the issues that they encounter during their learning. They mostly prefer written feedback, instead of direct physical talk that I preferred. I have consequently combined the two systems together such that I employ them depending on the preference of the students.
Feedback information gives me a lot of insight into the whole teaching practise. It is almost impossible to succeed in this work without depending on it.
It is a two-way system of both communication and evaluation, where I am able to appraise my teaching performance by analysing the feedback I get from the students. On the other hand, I also inform the students of my actual expectation of their performance and point out the exact areas that I expect them to add more effort.
Critical Reflection on the Key Concepts
The assessment strategy plays a critical role in the learning process as it helps in the enhancement of skills development. By using assessment, students are continually reminded about the need for them to grasp facts and concepts and be able to apply them correctly whenever the need arises. However, there is also danger in over relying on this strategy.
It may easily force students to resort to cramming as a way of learning, thereby defeating the whole logic and intent of the process. As a teacher, I am only impressed when the students I teach learn and understand whatever is taught without appearing to do it for the sake of excelling in their examinations.
Although, examinations provide the means for evaluating students and the extent of their learning, they may sometimes provide an erroneous picture about the whole scenario.
Critical thinking in learning, on the other hand, is only possible where the learners are transformed through education. Learning, therefore, represents the extent to which the individual is transformed in the way of his thinking and reasoning.
It is possible for a student to attend school, but still fail to achieve transformation. Such a student may score highly on examinations and assignments, but still fail to undergo any form of transformation. It is, therefore, important for other evaluation mechanisms, such as practical execution of tasks and concepts taught, to be used in evaluating students in combination with assignments and examinations.
Teaching and learning make part of a complementary process that can never succeed without going hand in hand. My teaching style mainly reflects the way of learning that I preferred most while still attending graduate school. I am an extrovert who mainly feels comfortable dealing and working with others.
My most preferred style of learning entails using discussion groups to make presentations and exchange ideas with others. I have, however, realised as a teacher that not all students prefer this method as the best for learning.
In essence, I use a mixed approach for my student depending on what they consider most appealing for themselves. The feedback mechanism is a critical mechanism for me as a teacher because it provides me with the ability to evaluate the responses of my students, as well as get their appraisal of my teaching.
List of References
Alton-Lee, A 2003, Quality teaching for diverse students in schooling: Best evidence synthesis, Ministry of Education, Wellington
Bellas, MD 2004, How transformational learning experiences develop leadership capacity, Royal Roads University (Canada), Victoria, BC
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Eisner, EW 2002, ‘The kind of schools we need’, Phi Delta Kappan, vol. 83, pp.576-583.
Gurney, P 2007, ‘Five factors for effective teaching’, New Zealand Journal of Teachers’ Work, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 89-98
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Mobile Learning in Pedagogy Analytical Essay
Mobile learning (m-learning) is a current development that supports pedagogy. It enables students to learn in environments that do not necessarily have formal structures. The current student is more experiential hence seeks to relate with the physical environment.
Mobile learning enables students to learn in any environment they maybe in- a bus, park, or any other place apart from a class. This paper discusses the impact of m-learning in pedagogy.
Despite the positive impact of m-learning in pedagogy, it is associated with some negativity. Due to lack of a formal environment, students will not get an opportunity to enjoy formal interaction between them and their teachers (Cobcroft, Towers, Smith & Bruns, 2006).
They do not get the chance to ask questions where they do not understand and especially in the case of English. The use of mobile learning leads to “lack of teacher confidence, training, and technical difficulties with devices used” (Facer, Faux, & McFarlane, 2005).
Grade 5 IT students may be more drilled to m-learning compared with formal learning hence may develop a disregard for the latter. The notion that they have more control over their learning process increases their reliance on the digital tools and not on their teachers or fellow peers.
The m-learning process does not allow for assessments and exchange of feedback. M-learning is deemed a threat to the structured style of learning. Keough (2005) also points out that m-learning is a technology that is based on concept and not every student may have the opportunity to use it.
As a result, there may be division in class as those students with the m-learning devices deem themselves as being a notch higher than the rest of the students and the teachers. This would be the ideal case for IT students because they are able to manipulate these devices.
In addition, technologies such as these may be hard to use and especially for the English students.
M-learning is still a new technology and just like any other technology, is bound to change and grow. Therefore, it is not a standard mode of learning that is widely recognized: lacks a curriculum that can be followed by subsequent generations.
M-learning therefore should be incorporated with other models of learning that are considered acceptable (Muyinda, 2007). The m-learning is not reflective since one just takes-up information contained in these devices yet it may not be credible (Laurillard, 2007).
Relevance of Conversational Framework
The conversational framework is an ideal guide for formal education in that it guides tutors on how to develop and implement effective teaching styles. It is a web-like framework marked by distinct interactive patterns that govern the pedagogical process.
It ensures that learning maintains a teacher directed pedagogical approach but in an interactive manner that gives students the opportunity to explore the physical environment.
In an English class for example, the conversational framework guides towards an interaction between the teacher and the students and this is beneficial compared with a traditional teacher-centred framework (Laurillard, 2007).
English is a social subject that requires exchange of ideas through brainstorming, discussions, and asking questions. There is also interaction among the students based on what each one of them has learned in the various informal settings.
These kinds of interactions results in iterative dialogue that enables the students to understand the subject better (Laurillard, 2002).
An interactive approach is also imperative for IT students since updates in this field are continual and may require transfer of certain applications like software and certain files.
The conversational framework is applicable in this case as well since theory during discursive learning is the basis for further discussion in experiential processes. During discursive learning the students can ask about what they learnt and the teacher may respond with reference to the theory.
Once this has been articulately understood by the students, they are in a better position to apply their self-gained knowledge as augmented by the teacher’s understanding and knowledge to understand information obtained from the mobile devices.
The conversational framework gives room for reflection as both the teachers and students try to integrate their views to get a better and broader understanding of the subject in question (Laurillard, 2007).
Students are able to delve deep into their surrounding environments and learn as much as they can with the help of their teacher and peers.
My Own Opinion
The emergence of m-learning has greatly enhanced the pedagogical process because learning is not restricted to the formal class set up. The m-learning has some hitches which can be counteracted by the conversational framework.
The conversational framework is an ideal model that applies to various types of learning. It helps to modify the learning style so that it takes a more interactive and practical approach.
In the age of m-learning in which students are likely to develop a greater control over their learning to the extent of disregarding the importance of a teacher, the conversational framework helps to control this.
This is because the conversational framework incorporates the m-learning process with the formal process to create a teacher-student structure. Students therefore are able to learn more through sharing their learning experiences among themselves and with their teacher.
Cobcroft, R., Towers, S., Smith, J., & Bruns, A. (2006). Mobile learning in review: Opportunities and challenges for learners, teachers, and institutions. In Proceedings Online Learning and Teaching (OLT) Conference 2006. Brisbane: Queensland University of Technology.
Facer, K., Faux, F., & McFarlane, A. (2005). Challenges and opportunities: Making mobile learning a reality in schools. Proceedings of mLearn 2005. Retrieved from http://www.mlearn.org.za/
Keough, M. (2005). 7 reasons why mlearning doesn’t work. Retrieved from http://www.mlearn.org.za/
Laurillard, D. (2002). Rethinking University teaching: a conversational framework for the effective use of learning technologies (2nd ed.). London: RoutledgeFalmer.
Laurillard, D. Pedagogical forms for mobile learning: framing research questions. (2007). In N. Pachler (ed.), Mobile learning: towards a research agenda. London: WLECentre, IoE.
Muyinda, P. (2007). MLearning: pedagogical, technical and organisational hypes and realities. Emerald Insight, 24(2), 97-104.
Pedagogy Expertise in Education Opinion Essay
Teaching is the ability to influence and motivate students to act and think in a positive manner. The influence should be substantial and sustainable in order to make the desired impact on the life of students. Students should also be able to learn deeply from the attributes of their teachers.
A teacher should always show a keen interest in their students and ensure that all students are comfortable with their learning environment. It is the role of a teacher to demonstrate that they have expertise on the subject matter and should deliver knowledge to students in an enthusiastic manner. A good teacher should go beyond textbook materials when explaining certain concepts to students.
It is the responsibility of a teacher to research on the subject matter in order to convey factual information to students. A teacher should critically analyze the quality of a particular discipline and constantly look for any developments in the discipline to ensure that he or she is always admirable intellectually.
An organized and efficient teacher should be a pedagogical expert who is able to set learning goals and objectives and work towards ensuring that the set goals and objectives are realized. A teacher should ensure that all the obstacles that may interfere with learning are out of the way. A teacher with pedagogical expertise grades and evaluates the performance of their students in a timely and fair manner.
It is the responsibility of a teacher to encourage creativity among their students by accepting diverse opinions from students. Respect and integrity are essential qualities in a teacher’s career. It is the role of a teacher to help students discover their talents and abilities through motivational talks.
Creative and critical thinking is very important for learners and this can only be enhanced by a teacher through engaging students in the learning process. A good teacher should provide feedback to his or her students on a regular basis to enable them to discover their strengths and weaknesses.
It is the role of a teacher to ensure that students relate and connect well with each other by creating activities and sessions where students can socialize. A good teacher should be an excellent communicator both orally and in writing. A teacher should be well organized and at the same time be able to help students to communicate effectively.
A teacher should be approachable and always available to students. A teacher should also mentor students towards achieving their goals in life by giving valuable advice and guidance to them. A teacher should connect with students easily and be able to understand the special needs of each student.
Teaching students with special needs is a great challenge and it is therefore important for special education teachers to come with viable objectives that can guide them in teaching this group of students. The first and major objective of special education teachers is to meet the individual needs of each student. A special education class contains children with different types of disabilities and each one of them requires special and individual attention.
The other objective of special education teachers is to develop a good relationship with students and make them feel comfortable to ask for any kind of assistance without fear. Special education teachers should establish a good working relationship with parents for them to be in a better position to help the special students accordingly.
The third objective of special education teachers is to track the progress of all special education students regularly and report back to parents. The other objective of special education teachers is to maintain appropriate paperwork for assessment and accountability.
Engaging students in learning makes them think creatively and critically. Teachers can use different methods of teaching to engage students in the learning process. Question and answer sessions are very important in engaging students in the learning process. Team learning and group-based assignments are also very important in engaging students in the learning process.
Teachers can also have sessions where students make presentations in a class by acting as teachers. Teachers can also involve students in research as a way of engaging them in the learning process. Teachers can improve the education of students by engaging them in the learning process. Fair evaluation is another way through which teachers can improve the education of students. Giving each student some special attention can help them improve because there are quick and slow learners in all classes.
The education of students can also be improved by involving parents in the academic affairs of their students. Teachers can also improve the education of students by focusing more on the practical side of learning rather than the theoretical side. Teachers should go beyond the text materials in class and look at issues from a wider perspective. The quality of education given to students is used to determine the effectiveness of teachers. Students with all-around abilities represent the effectiveness of a teacher.
It is important to note that the academic results of students should not be used as the only criteria for measuring the effectiveness of a teacher. Other areas such as discipline, integrity, respect, self-belief, and creativity should be used to assess the effectiveness of a teacher.
Apart from the monetary rewards, teaching has other rewards that make the profession attractive. The experience of joy felt by a teacher after making a difference in the life of a student is very fulfilling. Teachers help students to develop in terms of character and creativity and at the same time enable them to discover a lot of things about themselves.
Teachers shape the future of students by imparting knowledge and skills in them. It is very fulfilling for teachers when they discover that one of their students has become successful in life. Many teachers see teaching as a calling and not a job. Teaching is more than a regular job because teachers have to play the roles of a friend, parent, and mentor to students.
Many teachers do not view themselves as employees but as servants, friends, and parents to students. Regular interaction with students, members of the community and fellow teachers help teachers to develop interpersonal relationships.
Teaching is not monotonous because teachers work with different groups of students and have the option of using different teaching methods. The questions asked in a class by students make teachers to do a lot of research and in the process discover new knowledge. Teaching is fun because teachers have many opportunities to laugh in the course of their interaction with students
Teachers enjoy a high level of autonomy because they are always in charge of all classroom affairs. Teachers play a special role in making a difference in the life of a child. Teachers shape the life of a student by imparting in them the required knowledge and skills that can enable them to live a successful life.