Effective Teaching amidst Culture Diversity

One of the issues that school administration encounters are about cultural diversity. School somehow unconsciously neglect the freedom of each student to learn regardless of the environment  and culture they came from. I believe teachers must respect and understand the nature and style each student.  They are the first one to accommodate and resolve such differences.  There is a need for pedagogical approaches that helps in educating students’ with diverse culture.  These students may have varying culture, language, abilities and many other characteristics.  Teachers need to educate them all irregardless of their differences(Gollnick & Chinn, 2002) but the approach should be respectful and not unconsciously hurting anyone.

There is a teaching practice called “Specific Activities for culturally Responsive” (Banks & Banks, 2004; Gay, 2000; Ladson-Billings, 1994; Nieto, 1999) instruction which may occur during shaping the knowledge of student. This can happen by acknowledging student differences as well as their commonalities as student at the start of the class. Teacher must somehow have a background information of each of his students. From here, teacher can define his approach and response which respects ethnic or racial uniqueness. Like what I remembered during my school days, at the start of our class, one of my classmates hates to seat in front and we don’t know the reason.  We keep pushing him to seat in front and our teacher stops us.  As I observed him, he has a very low morale and I found out that he is from the native group of the land. Probably our teacher knew that before the start of the class and do not want to put any spirit of discrimination or whatsoever, that’s why our teacher just let him choose his seat for a start.

Adapting to everyone’s culture or cultural diversity in teaching are very significant, this helps motivates the learner in his engagement to life-long learning. As educator, we should understand the concept of groups within the society. This helps us learn and understand each students’ responses not only at the start but within the course of his learning. Understanding them individually and addressing each of their specific needs in learning makes a teacher an effective one!

jeredlarida EDS 111 module 6

Time to Learn and Be Reflective

                          Time to Learn and Be Reflective

Educational system nowadays are keeping pace to what is expected from them by the 21st century skills.  It lies on whole educational system in developing students’ that are career ready.  So, teacher plays a vital role in achieving this as he is the major agent in that expectation. Given that, there is no doubt that teachers today are more striving for improvement on their teaching profession.  It is eminent for them to model continuous learning.  And I believe it was inculcated in their mind when they started this profession. They cannot keep on teaching if they cannot feed themselves of new things or practices.

As John F. Kennedy said “the greater our knowledge increases the more our ignorance unfolds.” It is about continuing professional development of an individual. For teachers with major role in learner’s development, continuous learning and improvement on his base knowledge is crucial.  There are four fundamental aspects in teacher professional development. One of these is integrated theory and practical experience, as teacher he is still the subject matter expert of what he is teaching. He keeps himself updated with recent developments on his subject area, both in theory and practical ways that learner can fully understand the subject. The other aspect is on strong mentoring and ongoing support, this is especially true and needed by new teachers (those with 5 years teaching experience or less). We all learned from seniors who have gone through a lot on teaching. It builds our confidence to in our teaching profession. The last aspect is about self-assessment and reflection.  We will keep on improving ourselves if we are open to assess ourselves, being a reflective teacher.

Teachers of the 21st. Century

Way back my school days, who is talking most of the time if not everytime inside the classroom? It is the teacher, right? The source of information is with the teacher and on the lesson he prepared. It is somehow, one way communication, where our teachers are feeding us with lots of information and providing tests or activities to measure if we learned.

That is teacher-centered approach. It was effective during my school days and somehow prepared me in my career nowadays. But now that we are in 21st century, in the Knowledge era where technology are advancing so fast, this teacher-centered approach is no longer effective, I think. As I saw with how children was raised before and turned out today comparing to how children are performing today and what could be them in the near future.

With the current environment we have today, teaching pedagogy needs to be creative and contemporary but not contradicting one’s culture and heritage. So teacher’s work are becoming more difficult because from providing facts and contents, they need to be mentor that will enable students to develop that 21st century skills, that is college and career ready.

One approach is to promote Social-emotional learning which develop the social emotional competencies of a student — that is the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors that individuals need to make a successful choices. These competencies are very relevant in practicing professions nowadays and in the near future.

Hence, teachers in the 21st century requires creativity, to be reflective and open to changes on teaching perspectives and approaches. Because it is still in teachers’ hands that future professionals were developed and became competent in their chosen career.

Are you better than any computer in all aspects of processing information?

People are not computers as they say. I think because of technology advancements nowadays computers perform better than us in terms of efficient performance. For example, you can easily copy and retrieve information stored in computer’s memory. For us human, either we can easily recall information or have difficulty retrieving information because it depends on the topic or kind of information and the volume of information that we would like to retrieve.

Is computer powerful than human? Why it could be when in fact, human mind created and programmed a computer? My answer for this is NO. Because computer was programmed to process information in a limited fashion. It has his load capacity and recall faster than human mind. Human has also limited working memory capacity. Our human mind was somehow also programmed but it cannot be as limited as a computer. Depending on what stored to us from the time we were born until we are living, we are learning either formally or informally, and those are stored in our human mind. So we think and decide better.

Through this thought, we can parallel ourselves to a computer as it process, store and retrieve information. In teaching practice, teacher’s can improve students learning by considering in his instructional design that a student has a limited working memory capacity (cognitive load theory) and we can prepare lessons that understand that it stimulates verbal and visual images (dual coding theory)  where it can help in faster recall of information.

Then, still we are better than computers think and process!

Theories of Learning

Most people say that teacher plays the vital role in students learning. This was also my belief before learning the topic on theories of learning. But the person or student itself, his behaviors and the environments surrounding him affect students’ learning.  A teacher could only adapt his teaching approach to what is needed by students to learn effectively.

It is also good to note on what Albert Bandura’s idea on self-efficacy which is a person’s belief in his or her ability to succeed in a particular situation. This is a positive attitude that must be in the students already or can be developed through the help of a teacher. This self-efficacy impacts learner to be an achiever.  This concept has strong impact on myself.  Because I believe now that this determines the outcome of my goals.  I will have a better future if I plan things ahead and if I never stop pursuing my goals and bringing always with me these theories of learning.  Also, strong sense of self-efficacy helps the students to take challenging task, learned from it, if not mastered it.

In addition, modeling, imitation, and observation were the three important things that Bandura mentioned in his Social Learning Theories which I wholehearted agree. We are influenced by someone we look up to, this could be our parents, leaders or teachers. Their modeling to us in how they live their life or act their professions are something we observe and imitate. This influence also our capacity to learn from them.

 

For me one of my role model in life is my parents. They teach us how to be a better person that is to walk with dignity and never under estimate the person whom you do not know personally.  When it comes on imitating, I tried to imitate my wife on her determination and hardworking to pursue all her goals in life. I was deeply motivated by her support.

Indeed, learner is influenced by himself, his behavior and his environment. If these were managed effectively and by the help of the teacher’s approach, learner can be an achiever!

Happy Learning to Us…

Jeredlarida EDS 103 2016-31144

Behaviorist Approach for Creative Teacher

A creative teacher will always find an alternative approach to provide learning an effective one.  In my observation, students regardless of age are naturally lazy when it come to studying.  I believe it always needs stimulus to trigger students’ learning.  I personally experience that during my schools days, and I saw that with my growing up kids. But I observed also, that my classmates became motivated in their studies during the middle of our school year.  This is the same with my kids, that at the start they are too lazy to go to school but as they go on, they are challenged and motivated to study harder and get high grades.

Now I understand that there is a behaviorist approach that a teacher used. This is to consider the behavior or responses of students when it comes to learning. What stimulus could trigger them to have a long lasting learning or understanding on the subject matter.  Because all behaviors are acquired through conditioning and it occurs through interaction with the environment. So a teacher must include in his teaching approach a stimulus that triggers active participation of students in learning.  He could also conditioned the classroom or the class on studying and learning. Formally, there is such thing as classical conditioning, law of effect, positive reinforcement, unconditioned stimulus and unconditioned response among others, that a teacher can apply to his approach.

I remember my Marketing professor in college who gave us a “Sell A Product” project. He said that he will give an A plus grade to the group who has the highest sales.  Because of that, our group leader who is running also for cum laude think of different strategies to gain that highest sales. I observed that our group leader is motivated because of he will receive an A plus if we are able to attain the highest sales. Also, with his approach, we as team members are also motivated. We all work hard and at the end, we received that A plus grade. This is an example of positive reinforcement that was part of behaviorist approach.

Therefore, as effective teacher, it is not only important that we have expertise on the subject that we are teaching, but we need to be creative also to consider the responses of our students or to adapt the behaviorist approach.

Pedagogy Approach of Teaching

ejournal module 3 knowledge base of teaching

Pedagogy Approach of Teaching

Every first day of the class most teachers prefer to introduce each student in the class. They ask personal questions like how was our summer vacation which sometimes I felt it was quite annoying.  In addition to that, we are required to introduce ourselves to a class whom we are very familiar with, since we are classmates from previous school year. Sometimes, it’s hard to understand our teacher’s approach or strategy inside classroom.

I remember when I was given a task to read one topic in our reference book and I need to explain it in front of our classmates.  I find it very embarrassing and I felt nervous in front of my classmates. But later I know that the purpose of my teacher is for me to conquer my fear in facing audiences and be able to express to them how I understand the topic. As students, we will not end up always sitting on our chair and just listening to our teachers, there will really be time that we need to stand and discuss our ideas.  We need to speak up and that was an interesting progress I saw in myself.

This is another experience I have with my previous professor in college. He loved surprised quiz and so he was surprised by our failed scores! It looks like funny but seriously it is alarming to us students.  Is this a good approach by a teacher in measuring if we understood our past lessons? Or this instill fear with our professor? It was not explained to us why we have surprised quizzes. But as students, it changed my study habits for that subject. I need to be in class always in order not to miss any surprised quiz. I kept to listen to his lecture and take down notes and study those notes before coming to class. I guess it improved my understanding and overall performance on his subject rather than instilling fear of him.

Then, I found out now through this knowledge base teaching topics that all of those are the strategic approach of a teacher. There could be different approaches but all for the best for the students’ learning.  The intention is to be effective in their teaching.  Now, I appreciate more their pedagogy approach in teaching.

jeredlarida EDS 111 2016-31144