My impression of this module is how constructive it has been to meet other professionals, from different learning organisations and all operating in the field of education. The opportunity to share experience, discuss and debate theories of teaching and learning amongst individuals from diverse backgrounds was enlightening.This also introduced elements of reflecting and evaluating on personal and practical teaching experiences in a supportive environment.
Mitchell & Weber (1999) discuss the benefits of teachers studying their own practice and is seen by them as an undoubted catalyst for professional growth.Indeed I have come to appreciate how beneficial the teaching observations have been for my professional development. “It can be wonderfully motivating in its ability to bring home a painful or beautiful truth, and help us appreciate and even bring about our most meaningful moments as teachers. Studying ourselves does not always involve major change; sometimes it is just about revaluing what was already there and using it in new ways that are informed by both the personal and the social.” (Mitchell & Weber 1999, p232).Through seeking to enhance my teaching practice I became aware of a process I needed to develop to enable me to critically analysis my own practice.Burns & Bulman (2000) discuss the notion that critically analysing can be a practical and positive act, a way to establish strengths and weaknesses.
A weakness I have identified was using reflection yet not in an analytical manner. As part of this process, I have developed my skills as a reflective teacher. I had previously used reflection as a tool to examine my personal and professional life, I now realize I can move onto a more powerful and productive stage of becoming a critical reflector.Schon (1987) describes the process of in and on action. The need to think both in, and on action allowing reflection and changing outcomes.I have tended to dwell on the reflection stage, without moving on to the process of changing the outcome. I have always agreed with being reflexive in practice and now see the importance of evaluating the experience with the intent to improvement or development.
I have further developedThe teachers approach and methods will determine how effective the learning is for the students. Teaching styles and approach??™s can offer a perspective that can be modelled although it is not necessarily the case of adopting any given method and using it solely. To be flexible in styles offers teachers adaptability to create suitable environments and objective orientated learning, therefore meeting the needs of the students.I feel I have developed the process of deep learning thus addressing the learning needs of my students and issues concerning organisational focus for service delivery. I now value and find it fundamental that students are fully engaged in learning and understand the complexity of issues, demonstrating their competence in reflective practice and areas of professionalism.
I agree with waltkin (1993) who gives insightful advice around promoting active and deep learning within the classroom:???If questions and comments are encouraged to flow naturally as the lesson develops, the results are greater participation by group members. The thing to bear in mind at all times is that, in general, students learn most when they are actively contributing to the lesson. (P 182Jarvis P (1988) discusses the method of ???Socratic Teaching??™ where questioning is incorporated into the learning process. The teacher uses questions in a logical sequence to encourage students to demonstrate their knowledge and clarify learning for themselves. It places emphasis on techniques to elicit the best response from learners.I have found that often students have the knowledge yet the process of defining it and ability to articulate this can be hard for learners to achieve.
The realization that effective teaching further involves looking at levels of learning and establishing the quality of learning, through reflection and evaluation of my teaching I considered how I could allow my students to rationalize, use reflection, draw on experience and elicit ate their expression.I feel I have achieved this through enhancing skills in effective questioning as offered by Jacques (1991) gives three types of questions???Testing??™- to produce specific information by using words such as When, What, Where and Which.???Clarifying??™- where you can use phrased questions to clarify what the learner answers or their understanding of learning prior to question.???Elaborating??™ ??“ can be used to support students to express themselves and are less inquiring than the other types.Drawing to the close of this course of study I feel I have gained new and specific skills, knowledge and understanding within the remits of being a professional teacher.
I can claim to be better informed, more confident and more professional as a result of the training, and better equipped to carry out my role as a teacher.? There is I believe a growing recognition from many quarters about the better standing of the profession and seeing it as having a key role to play in creating, disseminating and applying professional knowledge (Hargreaves 1998).References/ BibliographyCottrell S (2003) The Study Skills Handbook ,2nd Edition, Palgrave Macmillan Ltd.Hargreaves, D. (1998) Creative Professionalism: The role of teachers in the knowledge society. London: DEMOS.Jacques D (1994) Learning in Groups, 2nd Edition, kogan Page, London.Jarvis P (1988) Adult and Continuing Education, Theory and Practice, Routledge.
Mitchell, C. & Weber, S (1998). Reinventing Ourselves as Teachers: Beyond Nostalgia. London: RoutledgeFalmerPetty G (2001) Teaching Today, 2nd Edition,Race P (1998) The Lecturers Toolkit, 2nd Edition, Routledge-Falmer.Reid M.A, Barrington H, Kennedy J, (1992) Training Interventions- Managing Employee Development ,Third Edition, The Cromwell Press Ltd.Schon D A (1987) Education the Reflective practioner, California, Jossey BassTruman, C & Humphries, B (1994) Re-thinking Social Research, Aldershot, Avebury.Waltkin LT (1993) Teaching and Learning in Further and Adult Education, Stanley Thornes.? ?