Becoming an Effective 21st Century Teacher

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Becoming an Effective 21st Century Teacher by Mind Map: Becoming an Effective 21st Century Teacher

1. "Schools are failing at their primary job, which is to educate." (Reynolds 2012)

2. Developing Your Professional Identity

2.1. Most people do not believe in a single form of educational philosophy. Lots of teachers take elements from a few philosophies and incorporate those into their classrooms. Educators are continually learning and along with adapting to a different group of students each year, they may manipulate the exact mixtures of philosophies to benefit the students.

2.1.1. As a pre-service teachers, it is important to develop your own professional identity. Personally, the combination of essentialism, progressivism and elements of perennialism will provide the fundamentals needed for success, curriculum based on a changing society, and different teaching styles and options to accommodate various learning styles.

2.2. Your Philosophy of edu

2.2.1. Every person, teacher or not, has an opinion on education and most of them vary to certain extents. As a teacher you must be able to discern your own educational philosophy from others. There are a variety of different educational philosophies that have been developed over the years. "The philosophy of perennialism advances the idea that the focus of education should be the universal truths conveyed through the classic and profound thoughts and works that have lasted through the centuries and have reoccurred every generation." (Martin and Loomis, 2006, pp. 46) Perennialists believe that by educating students with the knowledge that society has deemed important through it's recurrence will give students the information and skills they need for their lives. They believe that allowing society to determine, indirectly, the curriculum that students study then they will be filled with the universal and timeless truths of our world. An example of perennialism is found in the Paideia schools where they use lectures, socratic questioning and coaching to master content and develop reasoning skills. (Martin and Loomis, 2006, pp. 46) Mortimer Adler also "advocated the adoption of the classics as a main part of the cirriculum (Martin and Loomis, 2006, pp. 47)". "The essentialist believes there are certain basic or essential knowledge, skills, or understandings students should master." (Martin and Loomis, 2006, pp. 48) Essentialism uses a focus on a "back to basics" approach to education (Martin and Loomis, 2006, pp. 48). Mathematics, science, language arts, and technology skills are focused on and the companies hiring students decide what skills the students need to retain for their future. The teachers will give the students the information they need to know and the students will learn it. Essentialism is a philosophy embraced by the American education system. After the Soviets were first able to make it to space first, the Americans looked at the reasons behind it and adjusted their education to fill in the gaps in knowledge. E.D. Hirsch Jr. founded the Core Knowledge Foundation which focuses on developing a curriculum that follows the essentialist point of view. He is "a prominent figure in the theories underlying essentialist education" (Martin and Loomis, 2006, pp. 48-49). "The philosophy of progressivism espouses the idea that the focus of education should be the students rather than the content and that whatever is taught should be meaningful." (Martin and Loomis, 2006, pp. 50) Progressivism focuses on building an education system that has the goal of preparing it's students for society while keeping in mind that society is ever changing. Allowing the students to learn what they are interested in creates an environment where the students are learning from each other and from their own research. John Dewey "rejected authoritarian teaching methods and advocated the importance of... learning by doing "(Martin and Loomis, 2006, pp. 50). He embraces the progressivist education theory and worked on developing it for modern day use. "Social reconstructionists believe that world crises require the use of education," and that "schools are seen as agents of the reformation of society rather than as transmitters of knowledge." (Martin and Loomis, 2006) Social reconstruction is an educational philosophy that believes that the aim of schooling should be to make students prepared and ready to make positive changes in the imperfect society in which they live. This form of education is very "influencial and powerful" so social reconstructionists think it is very important for users of this belief to focus on a multicultural and democratic impact (Martin and Loomis, 2006) A powerful example of social reconstruction is a group of Northwestern University journalism students did a project regarding the convictions of many death row inmates and ultimately proving the innocence of multiple inmates. (Martin and Loomis, 2006) "In the extentialist classroom students determine what they need to study guided, of course, by the teacher. The idea if for students to come to their own understandings" (Martin and Loomis, 2006, pp. 52) Students are given a choice of the topics decided on by the teacher and are given a choice of what to put their focus on. Exisentialism is built on the idea that each person is different, therefore each student should receive an education that is different. Jean Paul Sarte believed in philosophy of existentialism and thought that your life's important is found through "the personal goals each person sets" (Martin and Loomis, 2006, pp. 52). His works became extremely important in today's use of existentialism in educational systems around the world.

2.3. putting what you already know about teaching into perspective

2.3.1. Every teacher's beliefs are built on a series of factors within their life. They learn and develop as people and as teachers. These factors affect what they want to teach, how they teach it, and the relationship they have with their students (Pugach, 2006). Your own experience as a student in school "The apprenticeship of observation" is a term coined by Dan Lortie to describe what people learn about teaching and the profession just by completing their schooling and observing their teachers (Pugach, 2006). Through watching you are able to determine the classroom responsibilities of a teacher and whether a teacher is an effective teacher and why. This can influence a future teacher's vision of the job of a teacher and the work required. However this can often be inaccurate because you do not see the "behind the scenes" work. Nonetheless, a teacher's beliefs are shaped by the impact of your individual experience as a student observing your teachers work. Your family and personal connections Having a family member in the educational profession allows you to see into the "behind the scenes" work of teaching. You also are raised by someone who has a strong opinion about educational systems. This can influence you beliefs and your own views on how a school runs. What a teacher is willing to put into the career has a large impact on their motivation. Some view it as a "giving back to the community"(Pugach, 2006). Your experiences influence you motivation as a teacher and therefore your goals in the classroom. Your own work in schools As a teacher you gain a lot of experience from being in schools through tutoring, volunteering, student teaching and extra curricular activities. These "acquired classroom habits" can help to transition into a full time teaching position (Pugach, 2006) The image of teaching in the media Teachers and the teaching profession are shown in many different lights throughout movies and books. The successful teachers are oftentimes portrayed as working tirelessly and sacrificing for their own students benefit whether the student takes the help or not Knowledge from your own beliefs about teaching Your own views as a teacher become a factor in determining the type of teacher you want to be

2.4. Reflective Teaching

2.4.1. As a teacher you are faced with endless choices about how to teach, what to teach, and what you believe. Being able to constantly reflect and grow as a teacher and a person will help to ensure your choices will benefit your students Being open minded by making sure you are "giving full attention to alternate possibilities" allows you as a reflective teacher to choose the best possible outcome of different situations(Grant and Zeichner, 1984) Being responsible involves you "carefully [consider] the consequences to which an action leads" which is done through an awareness of choices you make and evaluating them afterwards (Grant and Zeichner, 1984). As a teacher using wholeheartedness means that to become a reflective teacher you must embrace all that is required of it (open-mindedness, and responsibility)(Grant and Zeichner, 1984).

3. Exploring Current Issues in Education

3.1. Treatment of students and integration vs. segregation

3.1.1. Bullying in regards to homophobia and unequal practices toward gender minority students is an ongoing issue in education. Many programs are being put into practice today to offset these issues in schools and to create a better environment for all individuals. "Defined as a conscious, willful, deliberate and repeated hostile activity marked by an imbalance of power, intent to harm, and/or threat of aggression. Severe bullying can lead to a feeling of terror on the part of the person being bullied" (Education Act 2012) Bullying is not a good occurrence in schools because it can make certain student from feeling unwelcome and scared, especially in the school environment. When students do not feel comfortable, it makes it more difficult for them to be able to learn and also can teach them indirectly what normal behaviors are and that bullying is okay. What can teachers do? Ensure their teaching practices adhere to all different individuals in the class (using gender inclusive terms, symbols, different examples) Reflect on themselves and their actions Create a classroom environment that promotes activism, acceptance, pride, positive reinforcement, Get involved and ensure that students have a safe space by promoting an group that integrates these segregated students and addresses and looks to solve issues. Many initiatives have been assembled to address these concerns and integrate these students into society Youth LGBTQ groups in schools EPSB Sexual and Gender Minority Policy (2012/13)

3.2. One issue in education addresses the techniques in which teachers use to educate students

3.2.1. Social justice becomes an issue when it is negatively affecting children through the ways that it is introduced to them. This can have a poor impact on children in ways that the child does not even understand Using those who have the most influence on children to get messages across Since teachers and parents have the most influence on children, it is very easy to bring about ideas and biases. Kids learn the most from these figures, so when perspectives of those who influence them are introduced to them, they often take the same position. This can be a way to literally brainwash students into automatically taking a side, rather than using critical thinking to develop their own idea Issues are being presented to children at too early of an age when they are not yet ready to absorb the information and interpret it in a justified way Jeanne Williams, a child psychologist, has reported several cases of children that develop anxiety that "is directly connected to what [the children] learned at school." (Reynolds 2012) Students in grade 4 learning about the negative effects of coltan mining watched a video showing dead gorillas. (Reynolds 2012) Because these students are not mature enough to understand the purpose and reasoning behind the video, it is portrayed differently than how it is supposed to for them. It is possible that the students are getting the wrong message and can potentially develop attitudes toward this matter that are subjective to how they would normally interpret it if they were older. Children are punished unfairly for actions that they do not understand A 6 year old male student was suspended for singing the popular song "I'm Sexy and I Know It" to a girl which according to his school violated the sexual harassment policy. At such a young age this student would not get the right message from his punishment , as he probably does not even know what the lyrics mean, let alone did he intentionally try to harass his peer (Reynolds 2014)

3.3. Segregation of students by race

3.3.1. Racism within education is an ongoing issue. Where in the true curriculum racism is eliminated, it is in the "curriculum that is taught without formally being ascribed," or the hidden curriculum that truly affects students (Ghosh 2008) Teachers must teach the material in a critical manner. If the curriculum is taught in a way that students are not able to formulate their own opinions, what they learn will be the opinion of the educator or the bias in the material. This can promote racism in that the bias may be against one side. Although the bias may not be because of racism, the interpretation of the students could very well be understood as because of discrimination against a race Educators need to make sure students are in a safe and protected environment in which no violence occurs as a result of racism In the past, there has been many incredibly violent instances of racism. Today there are still instances like these, even though they "may no longer be as overt as they were in the past." (Ghosh 2008) The concept of racism should be introduced in education and discussed in the context that it truly occurred so students can really grasp the meaning of it "Education is the gateway for opening ourselves to a reality larger than our immediate environment." (Ghosh 2008)

4. Understanding the structures and institutions that govern education in Alberta

4.1. Education has not always been what it is today

4.1.1. Pedagogy in Alberta has been developed over many years and is highly reflective of the past in the province and even the country as a whole. The provincial government has control over it's own educational system BNA Act Section 93 made it possible for provincial legislation to make laws regarding educational affairs within that province, but under certain conditions. The education systems had to demonstrate secularism, neutrality, and be without discrimination to any religion (Peters Oct. 7, 2014) "The province is god"-Made the province responsible for student assessment, funding, teacher certification, and curriculum The education system is diverse in its nature in that it is not biased and represents many cultures and religions with neutrality (Peters Oct. 7, 2014) Section 23 of Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects minority religion and language rights (only affects some provinces)

4.2. Alberta Education is constructed and formatted to reflect students, teachers, parents, and others surrounding education. Like many other provinces and territories in Canada, education in Alberta is unique and organized in a way that is representative of all that are involved in education

4.2.1. Alberta Education has a structured system of education professionals that take care of educational regards Elected MLA becomes Minister of Education in the cabinet- currently Gordon Dirks- provides directional insight through a long-term education policy and plays a role in deciding the level of funding to education Deputy Minister and Assistant Deputy Minister work under Dirks School Act: connects the minister to parents, students, and school jurisdictions, deals with administrative and financial matters, allows authority to the minister, assigns roles to levels in the educational department (Alberta School Structure Lecture) School Boards- administration, transportation, payments, budgets, curriculum modification (Alberta School Structure Lecture) There are many different kinds of school boards such as for different areas (ie. Edmonton Public School Board) or for different religions (ie. Catholic vs Public) School councils- involve community members such as parents in education to tie in with the officials of education and to provide an advisory role (Alberta School Structure Lecture) Alberta Teacher's Association (ATA)- joins teachers together in promoting the education system in Alberta, ensuring safety and good practice within the system, and providing support to members (Alberta School Structure Lecture) All teachers in the public and catholic school system are required to be part of the ATA, but it is also possible for pre-service teachers to join. Being pre-service, it is good to know there is a good support system within education and the ATA is portrayed as a good way to get involved before getting into the actual field. c Post Secondary Education- provides pre-service teacher and after degree education

4.2.2. Many different types of schools to accurately provide for the many diverse peoples in Alberta (ie. charter, public, catholic, private, separate, francophone)(Peters Oct. 7, 2014) Can be a challenge because different people have different needs. To educate diverse people under a similar curriculum can be a struggle

5. Considering ways in which you can serve as an agent of change in schools/education

5.1. Relationship Based Discipline

5.1.1. "Students work harder when they believe their teacher cares about them" (Jackson & Sweetland, 2007) In order to act as an agent of change in your schools, you must get children to believe that you believe in them. By doing this, they will work harder and the impact you can have on them will be more valuable. "Demonstrating respect for students' individuality can reduce the achievement gap" (Jackson & Sweetland, 2007) To help improve your students situation in school, you can respond to and appreciate their own creative ideas and forms of answering questions. By doing so you can allow them academic standings of your students to have a smaller achievement gap.

5.1.2. "Students put forth more effort in democratic classrooms" (Jackson & Sweetland, 2007) Studies have shown that students who are in a classroom with relationship based discipline and more child-centered learning were more motivated to learn. (Jackson & Sweetland, 2007) To act as an agent of change you can get your message across in a way that your students will listen and learn if you do so in an engaging interactive way. As a pre-service teacher, facts like this help us to learn what helps the masses so that when approaching a class we can find what works quicker. Then we can have time to focus on the varying individual needs of the students who do not benefit from the same system.

5.1.3. "When students learn to prevent and resolve their own conflict, they learn thinking skills as well as life skills" (Jackson & Sweetland, 2007) By allowing the students to help work out the issues they have you can show them how to handle situations in their futures. They can learn to communicate with other people, take responsibility for their actions and learn from the situation through an interaction in the disciplinary process.

5.2. ..

5.2.1. "Students can learn from how we teach as well as from what we teach" (Osborne, 1991, pp. 56) Teachers are given quite a bit of freedom even in a curriculum based system. You can choose how long to spend on a topic and what examples to use to teach the topic. You choose what style of teaching to explore the topic with and you're classroom environment can influence the perception of the topic. Your choices here can impact how you get your students to think and what ideas they are being taught.

5.2.2. "Students do learn crucial lessons from how we teach that have lasting effects" (Osborne, 1991, pp. 56) By choosing the way you are going to teach, you are portraying lessons they will use for the rest of their lives. Showing them about citizenship, how the world is and how it could be with their actions you are shaping people who will act as agents of change. By creating agents of change, you are changing schools and education through a changing society.

5.2.3. "Decisions on how we teach reflect basic philosophical and political choices" (Osborne, 1991, pp. 56) Rather thatn determining which type of teaching is best for the situation, the focus should be on which style of teaching will carry across the message you want your students to understand because every decision show a political perspective. What each teacher sees as a good teaching method is determined by their philosophical views so the important lies on reflecting on your choices so you know what message you are portraying.

5.2.4. "A wider and more varied pedagogy will make classrooms more interesting, rewarding and effective" (Osborne, 1991, pp. 56) Using creative, interest, individuality, collaboration, and teamwork to learn and explore ideas can create an environment where students are comfortable and engaged in their learning.

5.3. The education system struggles to help prepare students for a world that is ever-changing. Change needs to happen for students to find life long success.

5.3.1. The education system was built on the premise that academic success is found in people with "deductive reasoning" and "classic knowledge" (The RSA, 2010). What about the smart people who do not fit into this category?

5.3.2. The school system is supposed to make you smarter yet the percentage of divergent thinkers decreases as students progress through school (The RSA, 2010). The focus is put on the anesthetic experience of shutting yourself off rather than being present in the moment.

5.3.3. If teachers are able to think differently about "human capacity", the "academic vs the non-academic", and the "abstract vs the theoretical" then they can produce students who do their best learning and are ready to change the world (The RSA, 2010).

5.3.4. You can be an agent of change by opening up the students' minds to new ideas and ways of thinking by allowing them to explore their own creativity in different ways. This way of thinking can allows students to be active citizens through imagining a world they want to live in and finding a solution to get the world there. Some of the best teachers we experienced in our schooling accepted our various opinions and also forced us to challenge them to find solutions to different situations. As a pre-service teacher, learning how to create a safe environment that is still mentally stimulating is a very important quality.