Student Reflection on Learning Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Education Review

The author of this report has been asked to offer a review of the graduate program that is in the process of being completed by the author. The author is to reflect on the "nature and extent of their professional growth and development." This is to include development when it comes to philosophies about education. There was also some observations to be made about the practicum that was undertaken. There was skill-building and strengthening of teaching skills as well as work with children. As part of this analysis the author will consult at least five scholarly journals and use them as a reference point that new teachers might face in the current culture, society and overall teaching paradigm. In particular, there will be a focus on data-supported instruction with children. While some people may think it is easy, learning to become a teacher and then actually starting to do it is quite a challenge.

Analysis

The author of this report will discuss the practicum first. One thing that became clear is that students are fairly good at going through the motions but they are sometimes quite passive aggressive (or at least ambivalent) about following the rules they are supposed to be adhering to. This was noticed by the author of this report when it came changing into uniforms for gym class. The author of this report also learned that the lesson and educational plans needs to be wide-ranging but there is such a thing as pacing. There are times where not enough learning is taking place and students are being too idle but there are other times where not enough time is being spent on a given "station" and the student is not being given the time to absorb what is going on. In short, the lesson plan needs to be structured, needs to move at the right pace and students must be compelled to follow instructions the right way and without constant pestering lest their grade suffer. Of course, this may or may not require the involvement of parents because some children are very stubborn and/or unwilling to conform, for whatever reason. One last observation is that students seem to be a little more lackadaisical about a physical fitness class because it is more laid back. Even with that, compliance should be demanded and those that do not comply need to be met with the proper consequences and negative outcomes.

As for the professional growth and development that experienced as part of this program, the practicum and the classwork helped form a better picture of what truly goes on in today's school and the mindsets of some of the kids that are going to said schools. Indeed, most kids seem to be engaged and willing to do as they are told but there are others that simply do not wish to get along with the program. The rub with the latter statement is that the reasons for the lack of engagement can run the gamut from negative things like rebellion and passive aggressive behavior or it could be something as simple as boredom. One major thing that the author of this report learned in terms of professional development is that children act out and misbehave for different reasons and treating all misbehavior the same is less than wise. The results of any discipline will not be uniform if a uniform approach is used to handling any misbehavior.

When it comes to an overall philosophy of education that the author of this report has come to, it would be that getting to children and teaching them when they are young is the time to get them in line. When they start to reach their teenage years and adulthood, this is when the proverbial pathways start to get set and it becomes all the more difficult to alter perceptions, tendencies and so forth. As noted before in part, parental involvement and performance is a huge part of how a kid ends up but the way in which the child is taught (or not taught) when they are at school is vitally important as well and for obvious reasons. When it comes to limitations on lesson plans, the clear one that the teacher has observed and read in the literature (in many places) is that not all students learn the same, not all students take to tests the same way and so forth. Thus, the approach with some kids might need to be a little different. The author of this report is not talking about students that are developmentally disabled or anything. Rather, there are just kids that seem to have to be engaged with at a different level than others. The factors that lead to this can be numerous and home life (or lack thereof) seems to be a lot of it. However, and as noted before, there is only so much a school can do for a child. The parents or guardians have their own void(s) to fill.

When it comes to using data-supported instruction with kids, the author of this report would compare that to evidence-based practice in nursing, which is something the author of this report has heard about from some friends and acquaintances in the nursing field. This is the idea that practice and procedure be based on evidence and prior proof of efficacy. Of course, the way in which children should be taught is literally no different. Methods that are generally or at least usually ineffective should be eschewed and those that are proven to be winners should be pushed and used more extensively. Even so, using a template-based approach where the same approach is used at all times is not the way to go either. However, there will indeed be best practices and the "usual" way of doing things. However, the author of this report feels that there is always room to improve and evolve and there may be outlier situations where a slightly different approach is called for. The assignment makes reference to "documented supports." Indeed, there will be a typical "best" way to handle different events and happenstances as they arise.

As for the scholarly literature portion of this report, the author of this report consulted the treasure trove of knowledge that exists out there and found some extremely relevant and prescient articles. One article that the author of this report found was authored by Admiraal and a few other authors. They note that there is a fairly new trend that exists in the modern teaching sphere and that is the online, or "e-assessment," of student-teachers. The study notes that text-based portfolios are the common way to review and assess the possibilities and performance of a new teacher. However, the authors note that there is often a "striking" difference between what those written portfolios say and what is actually happening in the classroom, whether it be online or in person. They note that "technology can support this kind of multiple and flexible ways of assessment" when it comes to better and technology-driven methods. The author of this report actually expects and welcomes this fact as a person's "portfolio" and resume should actually represent their performance and prior outcomes rather than some pencil-whipped and created version of what really happened. New teachers in particular would probably come to expect this given the computer, tablet and other technology that exists nowadays (Admiraal et al., 2014). Speaking of new technology, the author of this report is surprised and encouraged to see that even less advanced and powerful countries like Chile are welcoming and using modern technology to help spread learning. Indeed, students in Chile are getting to use e-readers rather than just common textbooks. There are obviously concerns about copyrights and things like that, but the use of electronic technology is so much more efficient and advanced that it should be used whenever possible, at least in the eyes of the author of this report. The author feels that many others would agree (Charbonneau-Gowdy, 2015).

When it comes to new teachers, there is also the concept of boundaries and prior stereotypes being broken. Indeed, a good many of the mathematics teachers in the world have traditionally been men but that is starting to change. A modern example of this trend starting to break can be seen in a recent offering from Walshaw and Openshaw (2014) when they spoke about a case study in New Zealand that involved female math teachers. The study notes that women mathematics teachers were welcomes in the 1950's in New Zealand as a way to address an overall shortage in the number of teachers. However, that has since evolved into women being able to enter and excel in whichever fields they wish and would and should include fields that have traditionally been dominated by women. The author of this report holds that new teachers, both men and women, should be welcomed with open arms into the field so long as they put in the proper educational and other work to…

Sources Used in Document:

References

Admiraal, W., Janssen, T., Huizenga, J., Kranenburg, F., Taconis, R., & Corda, A.

(2014). E-Assessment of Student-Teachers' Competence as New

Teachers. Turkish Online Journal Of Educational Technology - TOJET, 13(4), 21-

29.

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