Teaching Philosophy

How do people learn?

A cohort is made up of all different students who learn and retain information differently. The role of a teacher is quite complex, as they need to be skilful in accommodating to diverse learners. To put it briefly, people learn differently! There are different methods of learning; some students learn via a cognitive approach, where their new knowledge is built upon their prior knowledge. A part from learning through audio, visual, written and verbal, some students learn through prompting, cues, modelling the task or the breakdown of tasks. Student learning can be achieved through Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). The ZPD can be define as the gap between what the learner is able to achieve on his/her own, compared to what the learner can achieve with help (Margetts and Woolfolk, 2013).

 

How should I teach? What are the viable concepts and styles of my teaching? What pedagogies do I want to employ?

My ultimate goal in my teaching career is to successful accommodate to student diversity, as well as modify lesson plans based on class diversity. In order to achieve this goal, I need to have a thorough understanding of different pedagogies that I can use in the classroom and the different learners I will encounter. I will come across students of differing socioeconomic status, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, multicultural, gender differentiation, physical, emotional, social and mental health issues, and students with low levels of literacy (Barrington, 2018). Therefore, it is important that how I teach revolves around whom I am teaching and adheres to the Australian Teaching Standard of knowing students and how they learn. A few methods of teaching I have learnt throughout my educational unit so far, is that content taught should be clear and direct, I should employ visual, verbal, written and practical aids into the classroom, I should breakdown the work for students by setting small and manageable goals, I should set a routine to support students with ADHD, have some variety within the classroom whilst maintaining a routine for students who flourish in routine, and I should provide timely and appropriate feedback to support learning (Barrington, 2018).

 

How do I motivate the unmotivated learner?

Students can be unmotivated for a number of different reasons – some may struggle with intrinsic motivation where their self-efficacy plays a major role in how they cooperate in the classroom. Additionally, some students thrive off extrinsic motivation and will therefore struggle without it. In order to motivate the unmotivated learner, I will build a rapport with the student to learn the reason behind their lack of motivation. Doing this will help me understand the student’s preferred style of learning so that I can then modify my lessons to suit their learner needs. Additionally to this, I believe in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and that a student’s self-actualization is dependant on a number of factors including their physiological, safety, love/belonging, esteem, and self-actualisation needs (McLeod, 2018). By ensuring these needs are being met, I can increase the intrinsic motivation of my students.

 

What is my role as a teacher?

As I teacher, I believe that I need to provide a quality learning experience for the student’s right to an education. Focusing on Vygotsky’s ZPD, I believe it is my job to unlock the potential within students by providing assistance and building their knowledge to become independent learners (McLeod, 2018). As a teacher, I will focus student’s attention on specific areas of content and the task attached to the content, I will accommodate to learner diversity through visual, verbal, written and practical elements, I will teach at an appropriate pace, give timely and effective feedback to further develop student learning, and I will outline what students can do in assessments as opposed to what they cant (Barrington, 2018).

 

What is the role of my students? What type of students do I expect to teach?

As I teacher, I believe it is my duty to teach students how to pay attention to content, recall what is being taught and use what they have learnt in their practice. I believe the role of students is to check their understanding through their assessment as well as model their teacher’s work ethic (Barrington, 2018).

 

What will students learn in my class? How will I measure the success of my students?

Students are expected to learn the syllabus outcomes that outline what is required of them. In order to measure the success of my students, I will assess them. The purpose of assessment is to support student learning (Barrington, 2018). Throughout the term, I will formatively assess them through reflective blogs, concept maps to represent their understanding or summarising the lesson in a paragraph. I will measure the success of my students through summative assessments, also. This will include a mid-term exam, a final project or a paper due.

References

Barrington, T. (2018) Lecture 2 Learner Diversity (Strathfield). Australia: Australian Catholic University

Margetts, K., & Woolfolk, A. (2013). Educational Psychology (3rd ed.,). Australia: Pearson.

McLeod, S. (2018). Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Retrieved from https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html

 

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EDFX348: Scenario Four

Scenario Four: A Humanist Approach to Teaching

The Australian Teaching Standard 1.1 outlines the physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students. Focusing on the physical development of this standard, a student in my practicum was constantly distracted and falling asleep in class. This student would struggle to understand content or even attempt to complete their work. I discussed this student with the supervising teacher and discovered that this student was from a single-parent household with two children to support and therefore, the parent was working full time including nightshifts. This student has struggled through the process of getting the younger sibling dressed, fed and to school whilst the parent is just arriving home from work. Because of this, the student was not able to have breakfast for themself and struggled to sleep. These two factors influenced his/her inability to focus in class. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is broken down into five separate categories that all contribute to the self-actualization of a student. The point of this framework is to outline the care that people need to receive and how their health is affected where areas are lacking in care (Margetts & Woolfolk, 2013). In this student’s situation, his/her physiological needs were not met, that is, food and sleep. The Physiological needs, according to Maslow, are the first and fundamental needs on the chart; if these needs are not met, the other areas of safety, love/belonging, esteem and self-actualization are not met, either. Focusing on the standard of the student’s physical development, I would implement a breakfast program within the school that runs from 8:30-9:00 (before school starts) that allows students to receive free breakfast before their classes start. This would meet the needs of the Physiological chart of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The Breakfast For Everyone program reports that 67% of students are coming to school hungry and that this number is increasing. This percentage can be seen as a ratio of 1:5 students that are not receiving breakfast. This program partners with local communities and the Australian Red Cross to deliver breakfast foods in areas of lack. You can read more about this program here:

https://www.sanitarium.com.au/social-purpose/tackling-hunger/breakfast-clubs?gclid=Cj0KCQjwof3cBRD9ARIsAP8x70N3JpvlWFuSdiIu16JbSGnHEfY7iAH890RnBZNE6hTQ7WbXb9BCyiMaAvavEALw_wcB

I would tackle this issue through a Humanist approach by allowing students to start off their school day with a positive self-concept. I believe this breakfast program would allow students to be inwardly driven and have intrinsic motivation as they physiological needs have been met. This is a humanist approach as it is valuing human worth and dignity. By providing students with breakfast, we are aiding to their sense of competence that ultimately guides them into intrinsic motivation (Margetts & Woolfolk, 2013).

References

Huitt, B. (2018). Humanistic Approaches to Teaching. Retrieved from http://www.garysturt.free-online.co.uk/human.htm

Margetts, K., & Woolfolk, A. (2013). Educational Psychology (3rd ed., p. 354). Australia: Pearson.

Teacher Standards. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.aitsl.edu.au/teach/standards?gclid=Cj0KCQjwof3cBRD9ARIsAP8x70OT43LHn6Dvk9AgcueeDUWq489SUSaSKTL73G5r4xac2ib-KhRZnDgaAkReEALw_wcB

EDFX348: Scenario Three

Scenario Three: Discrimination of students with a Disability

During my practicum last year, the Supervising Teacher told me that there was a student with mild autism in the class I was expected to be teaching. I was told that the student is difficult to manage in the class and if I need to send them out of the classroom to continue teaching, then I can. I was told this student becomes quite clingy, disruptive and unfocused. I was also told that this student had been sent out of class and to wait outside until the lesson was over so that the teacher could continue teaching without disruption. The Australian Teaching Standard 1.6 comments on the strategies to support full participation of students with disability. That is, teachers are to understand legislative requirements and teaching strategies that support participation and learning of students with a disability. In support of this, the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 outlines the law surrounding people with a disability being treated lesser then a person without a disability. This act enables students with a disability to receive their right to learn, just the same as every other student. You can read more information about this act, here:

https://docs.education.gov.au/system/files/doc/other/dse-fact-sheet-1-dda_0.pdf

Throughout my observational weeks, I was able to build rapport with the students by introducing myself, providing assistance where needed and observing the way they work, listen, learn, retain information and interact with their teacher and fellow students. I noticed that this student was covered with the blanket that he/she is a lost cause, a distraction and not in a position to learn, but in fact, the lesson structure did not accommodate to his/her learning style. I observed this student and noticed that he/she understands content when it is in visual form. I structured my lesson as best as I could around visual elements. For example, I created a list on the board of everything that would be covered that lesson. Having done this, the students were able to see a structure and a routine for the lesson. As best as I could, I stuck to what was on the board, in that order to help this student with autism flourish as best as they could due to the routine of the lesson. As expected, as this was a new routine, the student struggled with remaining focus, however, after the nine lessons I taught, this student was able to complete his/her work including a double period where he/she remain focused. The supervising teacher commented on my ability to gain the respect of the students in a few lessons when it took her the duration of one term. I do not say this to boast, but to employ the idea of Standard 1.6 that put strategies in place that supports the participation of students with a disability.

According to Erik Erikson, adolescent years are experiencing different stages of Psychosocial development. One of the stages faced is Identity vs Role Confusion. This stage is where the student develops his or her identity through occupation, gender roles, politics and religion. This stage is directly after stage 4 (industry vs inferiority) where the student learns new skills but risks inferiority or failure (Margetts & Woolfolk, 2013). This student appeared to be failing in these areas of development, as he/she was not nurtured in the classroom. I would be attentive to my students in the classroom, addressing their needs and concerns, and treating students with equity.

References

Margetts, K., & Woolfolk, A. (2013). Educational Psychology (3rd ed., p. 115). Australia: Pearson.

Teacher Standards. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.aitsl.edu.au/teach/standards?gclid=Cj0KCQjwof3cBRD9ARIsAP8x70OT43LHn6Dvk9AgcueeDUWq489SUSaSKTL73G5r4xac2ib-KhRZnDgaAkReEALw_wcB

EDFX348: Scenario Two

Scenario Two: Different Learning Styles mixed with Standardised Testing

A classroom is made up on individual learners. Every student differs from one another in the way they think, process knowledge, and ultimately, learn. The role of the teacher is quite complex in accommodating to all student learner needs. In a classroom, students may prefer to learn through practical or written application, audio and vidual multimedia, or a mixture. The Australian Teaching Standard 1 – Know students and how they learn – more specifically standard 1.2 – understand how students learn: demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research into how students learn the implications for teaching. During my practicum last year, I observed a class where the teacher’s method was writing on the board and having the students copy the work. Whilst this is beneficial to the specific percentage of the class who learns through written application, there is a vast majority of students who are not being catered for. In support of this, students are then tested in the same manner. NAPLAN and the HSC are written tests that not only test the skill of a student, but their retention and memory of what was learnt.

Below you will see a photo from Steven Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Covey, 1989).

younggirloldwoman

This photo can be used as an experiment to represent the different learners in the classroom. To put it briefly, this photo is an optical illusion that shows an older woman looking to be in her late 80s, and a younger woman appearing to be in her early 20s. Depending on what you see is influenced by your prior knowledge. What do you see? You may see the young lady wearing a black fluffy coat, looking over her shoulder. This lady has a necklace on, doesn’t she? If you look at the necklace as her mouth, the whole picture changes to an older woman with a large chin and nose, who is looking down. Hopefully, you were able to see both women through my description. This experiment shows that students will view content differently, and therefore teachers must be thorough in The Australian Teaching Standard 1.2 – understanding how students learn.

Having studied this standard, I would incorporate different pedagogies in my method of teaching. By creating diversity in student learning with visual aids on the board, written aids in worksheets and notes, audio aids in YouTube clips or documentaries, I aim to ensure all student-learning styles are being supported.

According to Piaget, the way on thinks progresses as we grow and evolve. Piaget outlines two basic tendencies in thinking: Organisation – arranging information into mental categories, and Adaptation – adjusting to your environment. In the adaptation phase, students assimilate new information into existing information (Margetts & Woolfolk, 2013). In regards to Covey’s photo of the old/you lady, it is clear that different students will learn in a different way. My response to this is to adhere to Standard 1: know students and how they learn through the means of accommodating my lessons to different learning styles.

References

Covey, S. (1989). The 7 habits of highly effective people. Free Press.

Margetts, K., & Woolfolk, A. (2013). Educational Psychology (3rd ed., p. 81). Australia: Pearson.

Teacher Standards. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.aitsl.edu.au/teach/standards?gclid=Cj0KCQjwof3cBRD9ARIsAP8x70OT43LHn6Dvk9AgcueeDUWq489SUSaSKTL73G5r4xac2ib-KhRZnDgaAkReEALw_wcB

 

EDFX348: Scenario One

Scenario One: Technology in the Classroom

Technology has increased in popularity for the vehicle in which we live our lives. Almost everything we do on a daily basis is navigated through the use of technology. Whilst the use of technology has many benefits, such as, researching information, websites like Mathspace that allow instant feedback on work, accommodating to different learning styles through visual, written and audio aids, technology adds value to the classroom through promoting individual and collaborative work. However, there are problems encountered with the use of technology in the classroom. Technology can decrease student knowledge as they become heavily reliant on the device to research for them, and technology is not completely reliable with battery life and the accuracy of information found online. Technology can be the highest form of distraction within a classroom. During my practical experience, the students were allowed to work on their laptops. I was observing from the back of the classroom and noticed one particular student who did no work throughout the entirety of the lesson, but instead was texting through a texting app he/she downloaded. The Australian Teaching Standard 1 – Know students and how they learn – more specifically, 1.1, outlines the physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students and how these affect learning. I believe that technology aids in learning, but only to a certain extent. Whilst technology is beneficial for accommodating to different learning styles, I would employ technology into my classroom through intermediate use of it – where the main use of technology is projected onto the main smart board in the classroom. That way, students are supported in their learning with the distraction of technology minimised. The Australian Teaching Standard 1.1 talks about students in their social development and how this affects learning. In today’s day and age, students socialise via technology. Therefore, if technology is also the vehicle for learning, students may become distracted and misuse the technology. I would have a clear understanding of how this may affect learning, and illuminate the distraction through monitored use of technology. In support of this, another method of monitoring the use of technology in the classroom is to walk around the room, providing assistance when needed, but also keeping an eye on the progression of their work. Skinner’s method of Operant Conditioning can be an effective tool in ensuring the correct use of technology is happening within the classroom. Operant conditioning is a method of learning that occurs when certain behaviour is rewarded or punished (McLeod, 2018). This is an effective method as students learn very quickly that their behaviours are either rewarded or punished. I would employ this into my classroom by allowing students to use their laptops more frequently in class if they have proven themselves trustworthy to complete their work. Here, the punishment would be a lacking of technology for the student whereas the reward would be the student being trusted with technology. This also adheres to The Teaching Standard 2.6: Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

References

McLeod, S. (2018). B.F. Skinner | Operant Conditioning | Simply Psychology. Retrieved from https://www.simplypsychology.org/operant-conditioning.html

Teacher Standards. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.aitsl.edu.au/teach/standards?gclid=Cj0KCQjwof3cBRD9ARIsAP8x70OT43LHn6Dvk9AgcueeDUWq489SUSaSKTL73G5r4xac2ib-KhRZnDgaAkReEALw_wcB

 

EDFX348: My Relevant Qualifications

My name is Annabelle Barns-Licha and I am currently in my third year at the Australian Catholic University, studying a Bachelor of Arts and Teaching (Humanities). I am majoring in Drama with an extended minor in Literature. Prior to this, I have completed a Diploma in Christian Leadership and Ministry where I received the ‘Inspire Award’ for my dedication to my studies and my progress throughout the two-year course. During this program, I specialised in practicums involving infants as young as walking, to adolescents in year 12. My main employment during this time was in retail where my target audience was marketing to parents. Throughout these experiences, I have gained skills in how to work with children and adolescents, and how to converse with parents about the progression and development of their children.

My previous qualifications include:

  • Diploma in Christian Leadership
  • Volunteer Youth Care Worker
  • Seven-year retail experience
  • Employment offers at High Schools during practicums

Summative Entry

ENGL328 has been a challenging unit to endure. My experience with this unit started out in week four of the content. Having transferred into this unit late meant that I had to dedicate a lot of my time into catching up on all the lectures and tutorials previously past. Initially, I was overwhelmed with all the content I had to self-teach; however, this was surprisingly easy due to the enjoyment of the content.

Exploring the poetry of Judith Wright resulted in her becoming my favourite poet. My mind was opened up to a new perspective upon reading her insights into Aboriginal history. Her heart to breach the gap between her culture and theirs’ was a movement that shaped her career. Her life’s career is depicted in her poem, The Wattle Tree, where she personifies the growth of the tree to the transforming of our own lives. Judith Wright was my favourite module to study, along with Sally Morgan.

Additionally to this, there were many topics studied, all enjoyable with their own individual challenges. Exploring the autobiography and empathic language of Sally Morgan, questioning and debating the ending of character’s within novels, and face-to-face seminars with the author himself has left me in awe at how mind’s differ yet show multitude of talent. Analysing the poetry of Francis Webb allowed me to connect with the simplicity yet meaningful personifications that I then got to practice in my own entry about my personal experience. And finally, John Glover’s artwork, Patrick White and Judith Wright’s poetry has left me with lingering thoughts about their influence within these pieces. All the modules included fascinating people that have added value to my learning experience. Within these topics and blog posts, I have categorized them into sections; peer reviews, best creative, best critical and of course, the summative entry.

My best critical blog was my analysis of John Glover’s painting Launceston and the River Tamar. This was my fourth visit to the Art Gallery during my experience in Literature studies, and the second time I have viewed and been affected by Glover’s painting. Viewing this painting twice was interesting as both times had a different focus target on the various elements of the painting. This visit was focused on views of Australia through cultural artwork. There were three aspects of this painting that caught my attention in the way they radiate Australian nature, history and culture. These three items were the bird, woman and the trees.

The bird in the painting is sitting on a branch and is small in comparison to the rest of the painting. This bird, although so small, is magnifying the awe and beauty of the natural land that it is gazing upon. The specific size of the bird again heightens the magnificent creations of the land. The fallen branch is also left to fall and remain in its new place. This communicates the beauty in nature when it is untouched by man, ultimately tying in with Aboriginal land and culture. The woman in this painting is painted to show verisimilitude between her character and the bird’s. That is, both engaging in contemplation, gazing, awe, discovery and meditation through the land. And finally, the trees. The trees are painted throughout the painting with its leaves blowing in all different directions. This shows the submission that the trees have to the wind and ultimately the harmony that the nature shares.

john g

 

https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/australian-art/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwprbPBRCHARIsAF_7gDbBnUTPArkeqPGqHn6yu8asSLEMSECAwrwUhTsRAp9zPHemITPvBFYaAid_EALw_wcB

This painting was my favourite critical piece as the opportunity to analyse such talent revealed the detail Glover went through to incorporate Australian aspects into his work.

My best creative blog was my attempt at entering into the mindset of being on death’s row with only moments to live. Like mentioned in this blog post, my direction of this post was heavily influenced by the multitude of study on Aboriginal culture. Furthermore, their lives were their own, yet claimed by others and taken so emotionlessly. I think this was my most creative blog as I had to transform all the knowledge of this and turn it into my own creative piece. My motivation for this piece was surrounded around the fact that someone was born with a whole future ahead of them, and how it can be taken away so quickly and outside of their control. Additionally to this, the questions that would revolve around this person’s mind about everything that they miss out on are what I tried to channel into. This was a difficult topic to grasp and I do not believe I did the question justice. However, I believe my difficulty in creating this moment for the readers speaks volumes itself about how horrible the situation is itself. It leaves people speechless, lost for words and ultimately shattered. This, I believe, was a creative activity to attempt at entering into this mindset.

Overall, this unit has been enjoyable. The various texts and author’s studied has truly opened up my mind and revealed to me the wonders and stories that are created all through the power of the mind. I have enjoyed this unit and have made it to the halfway point of my degree! I am looking forward to my final Literature unit next semester where I will once again have the opportunity to explore the mind’s of various authors.