Giving each student an equal opportunity to learn by embracing differences through the use of tec...

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Giving each student an equal opportunity to learn by embracing differences through the use of technological pedagogy while keeping in mind the governing bodies by Mind Map: Giving each student an equal opportunity to learn by embracing differences through the use of technological pedagogy while keeping in mind the governing bodies

1. Developing a professional identity

1.1. Educational Philosophy (Martin & Loomis)

1.1.1. "Teacher-centered" teaching Perennialism: accumulated knowledge from generations is passed down to todays students in a disciplined manner performed by the teacher. The curriculum is viewed as the truth and is required of all students. This method of teaching should not be used in school, it is far too teacher-centered. The teacher should not be an authoritarian figure but someone who guides the student's learning. Also new knowledge is needed for students to succeed in this lifetime therefore we cannot simply rely on old information. Essentialism: the teacher is the authority and teaches essential skills, understanding, and knowledge that all students should master. "3 Rs"

1.1.2. "Student-centered" teaching Progressivism: the purpose of education is to prepare students to become lifelong learners. The focus of education is based on the student and not as much on the curriculum Students should be free to learn on their own. Their interest should guide the learning and the teacher acts as a guide for the students. Student development should involve physical, moral, mental, and social growth. The curriculum is based on the needs of the students such as academic, social, and physical needs (Dewey) Social Reconstructionism: schools educate students to become citizens that will bring change in society. The classroom is an agent of change rather than a transmitter of knowledge. The student and the teacher work together to identify and solve social problems. This type of philosophy is great for students to become good, ethical citizens in society but this cannot be your only point of focus in teaching. This method has a singular purpose and is therefore missing the important pieces of knowledge found in curricula. Existentialism: here the students have to make their own conclusions and come up with their own ways of thinking. They decide what is true and what is not. The teacher is a facilitator that guides each student to come to their own understanding of the material. This philosophy is a little far fetched... it gives too much control to the student. Some students may take advantage of the system and end up not learning at all. This is not a method I would ever choose for my classroom.

1.2. Classroom Management Strategies (Oct. 14 Classroom Discussion)

1.2.1. Student-Directed Management Theory Involves students collectively monitoring their own behaviour and making decisions Although it empowers students and makes them responsible and accountable, it may be abused by certain students and may not be practical

1.2.2. Teacher-Directed Management Theory Teacher-run environment, though students can make some decisions. Rather than focussing on feelings, it focusses on behaviours and consequences Focusses on teacher's needs rather than students' and probably creates a harsh environment for students

1.2.3. Collaborative Management Theory Involves students and teacher working together! A combination of the other strategies in which feelings are dealt with in a way that doesn't disrupt other students. The needs of the group come first I think this strategy makes the most sense because it is "the best of both worlds". Students' needs are met while the rights of the group are protected

1.2.4. Often, the most effective management style will depend on the specific situation and will not stick strictly to one strategy. Retrieved from:

1.3. Theoretical Approaches to Learning: different understandings of the human mind help inform the ways we teach and interact with students (Martin & Loomis 2014)

1.3.1. Humanism Stresses students as individuals who control their own learning, and the concept of Maslow's hierarchy. Retrieved from: Requires the teacher to be familiar with skills and perceptions of all students and to facilitate their individual learning.

1.3.2. Behaviorism Involves ideas of positive reinforcement and conditioning Although methods like giving out stickers and candy can be useful for developing good habits, students will expect reinforcement every time. Are they learning these habits for the right reasons?

1.3.3. Information Processing Uses different methods for storing information in the brain based on how the brain functions Requires students to pay close attention, learn using short-term memory, and remember using long-term memory strategies. The teacher's job is to present info in a way that can be remembered and use methods and encoding strategies to ensure retention

1.3.4. Constructivism States that learning is a continuous process, not an end state. Learners reconcile old knowledge with new to create meaning Teacher must present information in a variety of ways to ensure constructive learning occurs for all students.

1.4. Reflective Teaching

1.4.1. "..behaviour that involves active, persistent, and careful consideration of any belief or practice in light of the grounds that support it and the further consequences to which it leads.” (Dewey) Three attitudes that are required for reflective action in the classroom (Grant & Zeichner) Openmindedness: the desire to listen to differing opinions, to respect alternate possibilities, and recognizing the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are most important to us. Responsibility: careful considerations to which an action leads Wholeheartedness: Accepting of all students and fighting for a quality education for them Although being completely reflective before and after each decision is not possible in the classroom, keeping these three qualities in mind can help one efficiently make good decisions

1.5. Past Experiences

1.5.1. Everyone's attitude towards education is different because of the many factors that can influence it (Pugach 2009) Autobiography One's background, especially one's educational experiences, really shape attitudes and beliefs about school, education, and roles of teacher vs. student. Media TV and movies often portray idealistic or non-realistic teaching scenarios and sensationalize teaching in general. Culture One's culture and/or beliefs may influence choices and goals, and therefore the way one teaches. As with all careers, many factors influence the attitude and beliefs you bring to the job. It's important to filter these influences to be truly professional, as sometimes they leave us with unrealistic expectations or stereotypical ideas of how we or our students should behave Retrieved from: It's important to filter these influences to be truly professional, as sometimes they leave us with unrealistic expectations or stereotypical ideas of how we or our students should behave. In reality, every classroom and every student is different and it''s a teacher's job to try to be prepared for that.

1.6. Credo

1.6.1. A credo is a philosophy statement that unites many of these elements of professional teaching identity Jessica's Credo: I believe that education is inherently connected to self-esteem, and that nurturing curiosity and learning helps to create a sense of self-worth. Pierre-Andre's Credo: I believe that everyone deserves an equal opportunity at education regardless of nationality, gender, and economic status and that my job as a teacher is to ensure that all of my students gain some self-respect, achieve academic success and most importantly reach their full potential.

2. Understanding the structures and bodies which govern education in Alberta

2.1. Professional Identity

2.1.1. Teachers need to ensure that elements like their beliefs, knowledge, and skills coincide with legal frameworks of the ATA. For example, Jim Keegstra's personal views of the Holocaust did not align with curriculum, yet he taught his own beliefs for many years. Retrieved from: After taking this course, if I were in a situation where my views did not match what I was teaching, I would either speak to the ATA about my issue and collaboratively find a solution or opt to not teach that specific course.

2.2. What is Public Education?

2.2.1. According to the ATA, it is free and accessible education provided by qualified professionals. Because it needs to be funded to ensure accessibility, all Albertans are responsible. Retrieved from: I was surprised to learn that this includes Catholic, Francophone, Separate, and Charter schools.

2.3. ATA

2.3.1. Code of Conduct: a list of professional standards that teachers need to follow. If the standards are violated they may be charged with unprofessional conduct under the bylaws of the organization In relation to pupils Teach in a manner that respects the rights and dignity of all students without prejudice Responsible for diagnosing educational needs, implementing instructional programs, and evaluating progress Under supervision, the teacher can delegate instructional activities to non-certified personnel Teacher treats all students with dignity and respect and is considerate of their circumstances Teacher can not spread confidential information about a pupil except when it interferes with the law or is in the best interest of the pupil The teacher cannot accept pay for tutoring a pupil in any subjects that the teacher is responsible for giving classroom instruction Teacher may not take advantage of a professional position to profit from the sale of goods or services to or for pupils in the teacher's charge In relation to school authorities The teacher protests the assignment of duties for which the teacher is not qualified Fulfills contractual obligations to the employer until released Gives the employer as much notice as possible before termination The teacher adheres to agreements negotiated on the teacher's behalf by the Association It is important for teachers to know the standards that need to be followed. These standards do a good job making sure everyone is on the same team, everyone is working to the best of their ability, showing honour and dignity in their work, and most importantly ensuring a safe and positive environment for learning. In relation to colleagues The teacher does not undermine the confidence of pupils in other teachers Criticism of other teachers is only done to proper officials after the teacher being criticized is informed A report of another teachers performance is done in good faith and a copy of that report is given to that teacher The teacher does not take any steps to ensure the dismissal of another teacher The teacher recognizes the duty to protest administrative policies and practices which the teacher cannot in conscience accept The teacher as an administrator allow staff members to express their opinions and to make suggestions regarding the administration of the school In relation to the profession The teacher shows honour and dignity in their work The teacher does not engage in activities that can affect the quality of the teacher's professional service If personal disputes with another teacher cannot be resolved by discussion then they must bring this attention to the Association The teacher makes representations on behalf of the Association only when authorized to do so The teacher accepts that service to the Association is a professional responsibility I think it's very important that we learned about these standards early on to ensure they fit with our teaching philosophy and can keep them in mind throughout both our education and teaching careers

2.3.2. What does the ATA do? (Yurick 2014) Promotes and maintains teaching standards to ensure quality of education Provides information and services to teachers Protects professional rights, salary rights Plays a role in governmental policy-making Having not known much about the ATA at all before this course, I now see that it will be an extremely useful tool for learning about the legal side of teaching, and will be a great resource when I become a professional

2.4. Inspiring Education

2.4.1. It is legislation in Alberta, in the Ministerial Order on Student Learning, to inspire all students to achieve success and fulfillment, and reach their full potential

3. Exploring current issues in education

3.1. Hidden Curriculum

3.1.1. Includes anything taught directly or indirectly in the classroom. Can have positive or negative implications. Image from: Positive: can teach basic skills like listening or giving respect to others Associated with Functionalist perspective, which views hidden curriculum as an important learning tool (Sari and Doganay 2009) Negative: may teach biases or stereotypes Associated with Neo-Marxist perspective, which sees it as a negative process that reaffirms societal inequalities and disregards societal complexity (Sari and Doganay 2009)

3.2. Use of Technology

3.2.1. Gives students variety in their learning and allows them to be continuously engaged and excited to be in the classroom

3.2.2. Unfortunately some school boards and most families do not have the funds to support this type of teaching

3.3. Bullying (Bullying PowerPoint)

3.3.1. Aggressive behaviour that results in an imbalance of power and is an action that is repeated multiple times (Blad, 2014) It can be verbal, physical, social, and/or cyberbullying About 6% of students aged 12-19 report bullying others on a weekly basis "..bullying is a life-and-death issue that we ignore at our children's peril" (Colorosso, 2002) Bullying can really affect a students life. It can cause depression and lead to suicide. Therefore there is zero tolerance for bullying.

3.4. Inspiring Education: a curriculum redesign aimed at better preparing students for success in future careers; focusses on implementation of technology and teaching kids how to learn. Retrieved from:

3.4.1. The 3 E's Engaged Thinker: this student thinks critically and makes discoveries to facilitate his own learning in areas he is interested in. In the classroom, interest-based projects could be emphasized, and peer teaching could be an important learning tool Ethical citizen: this student builds relationships based on humility, fairness, and open-mindedness. In the classroom, this could be getting students involved in things like volunteering or making clubs to facilitate change in the community, like Youth in Philanthropy (YiP) program, which allows students to help allocate grants to charities.Retrieved from: Entrepreneurial Spirit: this student creates opportunities and achieves goals through perseverance and determination. In the classroom, this could include offering students options to get extra credit or actual college credit through different programs, like the Culinary Arts Dual Credit Program available in the Aspenview school district. Retrieved from: )

3.4.2. What will this look like? Interdisciplinary Learning Secondary teachers can work collaboratively to intertwine subjects to give students a more well-rounded view of an important topic, ex. Reading a book about slavery while learning about its abolition in Social Studies. Real-life Application Students could use social media and other technology to interact with the classroom Teachers as Facilitators Teachers will guide students in learning by investigating together. It's okay for the teacher to say "I don't know, but let's find out!". A 'flipped classroom' may be useful. Creating Life-long Learners Teaching students the most effective way for themselves to learn sets them up for being inquisitive and driven in the future.

3.4.3. Backlash and Negative Views Although Albertans were involved in creating the new curriculum to an extent, many people don't like the ambiguous language used and question the real-life implementation. The 'discovery-based learning' concept is also an issue, as this technique has not been seen as successful in the past There are real questions with how this will look in the classroom. My main concern is how students will be evaluated under these new curricula. However, the government has not released much information on the practical side of this issue. "Discovery learning is a key tool in many a teacher’s tool kit. The problem comes when it’s the focus of an entire education system." (Staples, 2014)

4. Considering ways in which you can serve as an agent of change in schools and education

4.1. Addressing Oppression & Prejudice (Oppression Powerpoint)

4.1.1. Prejudices: learned pre-judgement of others based on their particular social group They are always unjustified because they are not earned by the individual but imposed by society Prejudices are learned through socialization and can lead to discrimination and oppression

4.1.2. Oppression: using one's power to take away the power of others

4.1.3. Discrimination: marginalizing others based on a prejudice

4.1.4. Encouraging students to get to know others and not rely on prejudices to inform their knowledge of other social groups helps create a unified classroom

4.2. Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services

4.2.1. Stop homophobic and transphobic bullying Engage in personal reflection Use inclusive language Normalize sexual and gender minority realities We need to address the systemic and cultural issues of homophobia before homophobic bullying can end completely (Walton 2004) Display affirming symbols and images I've had teachers display these signs in their classrooms, but didn't think of the ways they were affecting our perceptions of sexual minorities. This is a good way to promote inclusion without having conversations that might offend people and is definitely an example of hidden curriculum at work. Retrieved from: Establish a safe classroom environment Adress homo/transphobic language and bullying LGBTQ inclusive curriculum In the classroom, this could be incorporating media that represents sexual minorities Support a Gay-Straight Alliance Creating a Gay-Straight Alliance in the school if there is not already one in place could help change the atmosphere of your school.

4.3. Bullying Prevention

4.3.1. Communication is key Listen to the student being bullied Let the student know that the teacher is there for support and will do anything in their power to ensure the pupils safety. Reassure the student that being bullied is not their fault Talk to the parents of both groups: the students being bullied and the students that are bullying Provide supervision during recess, lunch hour, and after school to ensure student safety and let them know that they can ask for help at any time

4.3.2. Teachers are powerful people in the school therefore students look up to them, so it is important not to take bullying lightly. If a student tells you they are being bullied then help the child. I've seen teachers brush students off that have approached them about these types of situations. The student then felt helpless and hopeless because they couldn't get help from the people the student trusted most. Always take these situations seriously.

4.3.3. Inclusion in the classroom Have students from diverse backgrounds and with different interests work and play together in the classroom. They will less likely form cliques and therefore there's less chance of exclusion. (Blad, 2014) Teach the students about the effects and atrocities of bullying Informing kids about what it means to be a bystander and the different ways they can intervene could help reduce bullying

4.3.4. Be a positive role model Lead by example Do not bully Stand up to bullying, do not be a bystander

4.4. Accepting Diverstiy (Here Comes Everybody ATA resource, 2010)

4.4.1. Forming a sense of community Kids who feel they belong will be more likely to contribute and have a more positive attitude towards school Start of the year "get to know you" games can be a good way to introduce the idea of community Mixing up groups is another strategy

4.4.2. Acknowledge differences Ignoring differences is not the way to accept diversity. Differences can help enhance learning experiences. Students should be encouraged to share their beliefs and know they are in a safe environment to do so. Students shouldn't be put on the spot or forced to explain their cultures.

4.4.3. Equality vs. Equity Equality: everyone is equal Equity: everyone’s needs are met I think this is an important distinction to keep in mind in the classroom and to teach students. I also think the inclusivity movement is more equality-based, which may be detrimental to students.

4.5. "Teachers are responsible for creating inclusive environments in which students feel safe, welcome and cared for. " Here Comes Everyone, p.9

4.5.1. I think this is one of the most important aspects of teaching because a safe and respectful environment allows students to share their views and be themselves while cooperating and learning with peers.