How do we know if a person has successfully learned?

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People are unceasing in their quest for knowledge. But how sure are we that they have reached the spire of erudition and have acquired depth and not merely superficial learning. Some people would argue that learning is objective in nature and others are stringent in their definitions who would only rely to grades and final reports. Does it follow a cyclical or a linear process?

It is only necessary to understand that people learn differently. With all the myriads of technological innovations and educational reforms in teaching methodology – one has to say that the process of getting to it is more arduous than the end itself. This I believe, that to delineate someone in one approach is impossible. Someone’s learning style is different from the other. Thus, learning is not all-exclusive to one approach tailored for all, the opposite is likely to be true that it is all- inclusive. Preferences in learning either inductive and deductive ways should also have to be considered. This is in consonance to the notion that people are diverse. It is likely that a problem based style is preferred to a subject based style. With all this diversity, we find unity in learning.

Learning for learning sake is futile. People learn to impact yourself and others. For one to do so, change must occur within you and the others. Behaviorists would solely rely on overt outcomes but Im more inclined to a balanced view. This is not to totally disparage behavioral theory but to see it working with other point. A balanced view that change can happen overtly and covertly, related to what you are currently learning.

The argument is not only limited to styles and outcomes, but also in how learning is acquired. Whether something is learned through a natural acquiring process regardless of maturation and time or learned something through deliberate understanding of a concept and in a structured and taught environment doesn’t matter.Both routes can have a significant impact to the learner.

Learning never follows a linear approach. I believe that it always undergo a cycle. This is to say that your knowledge to a one concept has no finality. This could be repelled by another scientific result in the future. It always has to be amended if science and research dictates.

To answer the question – How do we know if a person has successfully learned? , entails considering the person’s preferences and styles in learning, the outcome ( covert or overt evidences ) he is exhibiting and how he acquired learning ( learned or unlearned ). When all these factors are considered, we can then evaluate if one person truly learned or not.

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Featured image retrieved from : https://pixabay.com/

Continuing Professional Development

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Having just a professional license card is not enough to prove your mettle in the real word classroom scenario. The ever constant change of situations in the teaching-learning environment only warrants a teacher to always be creative and unceasing in one’s quest for development. But, what makes a good continuing professional development?

The quest for CPD begins from a desire. Teachers must understand the value of humility for one’s need to always get better everyday. He has to learn that learning can also take place with someone aiding you to make you become the best you can be.In addition, the cost of learning is high. You have to pay the price for it. Continuous learning must also be in constant inquiry. The inquiry can be done through your personal reflections where you raise concerns about your personal assumptions. Are these practices good or are they seemingly good? Questions like this must never cease to yield answers that are source of your personal growth and professional knowledge enrichment. Lifelong learners should be the thrust of both the teachers and the educational institutions alike.

Continuing Professional Development should be collaborative. There must be a collegial strength among teachers. Second, it should be democratic. and transformative. Learning should never be like just listening and writing from one expert. It should be engaging and most of all, it produces wonderful outputs.Moreover, contemporary approaches should be applied and empower teachers to become effective teachers in the 21st century.

Continuing Professional development must also incorporate and understand the value of professional learning communities. Professional Learning Communities can be a great resource for continuous inquiry and improvement.As it also evolves the school and be transformed. Leaders of educational institutions must also support continuing professional development  and foster it. Having shared values and vision, we can best institute PLCs including its reforms. For PLCs to flourish, supportive conditions should be provided.

CPDs must not only be limited to our traditional practices, instead we can adapt a more collaborative, teacher-focused, timely, relevant, democratic, revitalizing, re-imagining and transformative professional practices.

The transformation of ourselves including our teaching methods and seeing the results of our students are most encouraging. These results empower teachers to become more effective in their endeavour an encourage educational leaders to advocate best practices of CPD in the community to produce greater impact in the society.

Reference:

Image retrieved from pixabay.com

In terms of your ability to learn, are there ways that you wish you were more like a computer? Or are you better than any computer in all aspects of processing information? Explain.

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Technology is always changing. Today’s best may be tomorrow’s outmoded. It is unquestionable how powerful computer is. It’s fast and efficient but computer is artificially made. It is limited and has boundaries. While human’s brain is boundless, unlimited and a fount of untapped resources. The question still lingers which one is better in information process: brain or computer?

When it comes in learning and processing information, I wish that I was more like a computer. It’s permanently stored, secured and information retrieval is fast. There are no other variables that could impede the memory. Such as emotions, preference of medium of information and instructional design templates. What comes in will come out automatically. 

Another factor is the memory. You can just upgrade to a higher memory data when you have to. Complex and difficult material is easier to process and understanding it is not an issue . Dates, difficult names, complicated process of certain phenomenons are just a piece of cake. There is no period to recuperate and a computer mind can just work without the fear of exhaustion.

I have yet to see a mind that can work that way. We can create and do better things in all aspects of the world.We can help solve problems and accurately describe things. We can enumerate data and no fear of error.

On the other hand, human brain has a lot of potentials. But as time goes by, brain capacity degenerates. With stress and bad lifestyle, the brain will eventually wear out from the demands of the world.It needs time to recover and time to rest. Brain neurons do not regenerate. Once it dies, it will lost forever. However, human brain not only stores information but they also store experience and emotions. Something many would love to re-live. The simple laughter and smiles brought out happiness and sometimes sadness.

The battle between which one is better – lies in the balance of the two. I would want the power of a computer brain mixed with the intense emotional attachment of those memories. This is so because we find meaning not about the technicalities of life but the relationship we develop and remember. With the amalgam of these two, the profundity of its effects is unlimited and the future is clear for those who possess a brain such as one.

Reference:

Image retrieved from pixabay.com

TASK 6: Activity 4 Part 2

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How would you describe your teaching perspectives prior to your reading of the module resources?

The teaching-learning process is a complex system that entails different, interrelated and interacting variables. These variables must complement each other to produce a synergistic effect in the teaching-learning framework.

My perception of teaching entails two major categories. First, is knowledge about teaching bases. Second, is his actual teaching performance. For teaching to be an effective, there must be an amalgam of these two categories to yield results that are objectively satisfying to the curriculum and syllabus.

On the flip side, learning calls for an eclectic approach. The approach must not solely rely to behavioral principles. It is best to use an eclectic eye when one wants to learn. He can use behavioral principles, cognitive principles, social learning principles and etc to learn. Thus, this means that there is no one hard fast rule in learning. There are many and different roads you can take as long as you get to the end.

Moreover, the teaching-learning process is never following a linear approach. It is always cyclical. That is any road-block of one of the variables necessitates revisiting of the plan and remodeling it to yield better outcomes.

How would you compare your prior conceptions about learning and teaching to the ideas discussed in the resources of this module?

My prior conceptions about learning resonates some ideas from the modules. However, now, I want to echo the contemporary advocacies in teaching-learning framework and that is to gear from teacher-centered approach to a more student-centered approach. From individual task to a more collaborative task. From being lone dispenser of knowledge to a more varied functions to cater the needs of the students.

Teaching is also never a knowledge level only. It takes into account the totality and the holistic well-being of the students. That includes his socio-emotional learning. With this being in mind, the strategies and techniques should consider that our students are first and foremost human beings.

What factors influenced your conceptions about teaching and learning? Have your perspectives’ changed after studying the module resources? How or how not? How willing or open are you in challenging your prior conceptions about teaching and learning, and applying contemporary teaching perspectives and approaches that would better serve the need of the students for more holistic and active learning?

These conceptions have long been in grained somewhere in my subconsciousness but have never been given with detailed attention just like now. These embedded ideas have profound effects but have only lingered in the memory. With its profundity, I have abled to synthesize the importance and responsibilities of these perspectives in my personal teaching-learning experience in my class and also in my self. The concepts have supplemented what is lacking within me and that is instruction can be manipulated to intensify learning experience.

Given the fact that I am engaging with the modules and affirming on it is already a substantial proof that my perceptions about teaching are undergoing a transformation. What is important is bridging the gap from content knowledge to process application of the material. This signifies that what is read and understood does not directly mean application. But with the guidelines set, it is just with much confidence that the application and implementation has a positive future.

Which among the contemporary teaching perspectives and approaches discussed in this module resonates with you? Why? e. Knowing your inclination for specific teaching perspectives, how can you ensure that you will not fall into the trap of a one-size-fits-all teaching and that you will observe the teaching principles as intellectual and varied work – “adopting appropriate teaching roles to support learning goals” (Eberly Center, 2015)?

Learning as an active engagement is an approach that I wholeheartedly espoused. Students have to be engaged before receiving what you are teaching. Even while teaching if the affective filter  is low the acquisition of knowledge is fast compare when students ate actually not engaged. Second, it should always be active. Passive learning do not go in-depth to long term memory. Sometimes the cognitive load will interfere and thus the acquisition is impeded. Which I believe most teachers do not want to happen. It is unlikely that after reading the module, I will be so entrenched with my old perspective of teaching and learning. Armed with knowledge I can now better make informed decisions that will not peril the educational system. In addition, students are unique. They are diverse and different. One-size fits all teaching is not only archaic but also irrelevant. For someone who deems learning is crucial, he must take everything into consideration including the diversity of his students. Differentiated instruction with respect to students diversity and holistic welfare only warrants active engagement activities and entails an equally balanced approach to their emotional, mental and social necessities.

Reference:

Featured Image retrieved from pixabay.com

Teaching Knowledge Bases

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Teaching is intricate. It is complex. A tortuous process demands an equally complicated preparation. Thus, holding a mere license card does not immediately qualify you to be an effective teacher.

To be a powerful and effective instructor inside the classroom , it calls for adequate and comprehensive teaching knowledge bases. The TPACK ( Technology, Pedagogy and Content ) is the bases for an effective teaching. The teacher has to have an in-depth knowledge about the content subject, the manner of delivery of that subject content          (pedagogy ) and the technology integration. These three components of TPACK is not to be isolated and thus does not stand alone. Hence, it is the collaboration of all components. It is an interplay and co-action of these components that make your teaching interesting and effective.

Teaching knowledge bases can be sourced from different origins namely Formal Educational Scholarship, Scholarship in Content Disciplines, Wisdom of Practice and Educational Materials and Structures.With the amalgam of your knowledge of teaching bases and your theoretically based actual performances yields an effective and experienced teacher.

Knowledge for knowledge sake is futile. For man is a leaky vessel. It will soon go out from your mind and be forgotten. Thus, it is best to connect our understanding of the teaching knowledge bases to our current practice as teachers. Although, the impediments are naturally inclined to technology incorporation, the results and effects inside the classroom outweighs the disadvantages. Students are not only well-informed but also are engaged. The affective filter is low, thus the acquisition of knowledge content coupled with pedagogical strategies and technological incorporation is high and fast.

In my personal reflection, I have learned that having a license and many certificates do not make a teacher. These assumption is being tightly held high as your golden ticket to any teaching jobs. After with so much readings and understanding, I can then conclude that teaching entails high responsibility to be equipped in a normal pace. Knowing several sources of knowledge can help equip someone. For the betterment of his profession and his classroom experience.

With the advent of technological changes, it is deemed only to have relevant knowledge accompanying these changes. Armed with that knowledge and effective methodologies can make the classroom interesting and powerful. At the end of the day, we are not only dispensers of knowledge but we are models of change. For all we know, the world has to adapt to changes including whats inside the classroom and what happened outside right after it.

References:

Image retrieved from Pixbay.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts to Ponder for a Distance Learner

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Distance learning has transcended the limitations of a traditional classroom. Majority of the people believes that distance learning is a leap from old-fashioned way of learning. While others have still to contend the idea of learning in front of a computer. The many proofs that it is feasible is overwhelming and we can observe that many universities across the globe have adapted similar pathway for contemporary learners. There is confidence that learning doesn’t always have to be conventional and difficult. This essay will try to discuss the struggles and provide recommendations for a distance leaner.

One of the major concerns for an incoming distance student is the learning curve of accessing the lessons online.That means, most of the time the student has to have enough knowledge with technology.An overwhelming percentage of students still has to try hard in manipulating computers. Second, lack of physical and visible classmates that you can emotionally relate  especially during one’s struggles in completing tasks and homework is nil. Finally, some areas in the Philippines have abominable internet connection. All of these mentioned above are some major predicaments of a distance learner.

Although these predicaments are true and sometimes bothersome for a freshman. We are not without solutions to arm ourselves. Let us glean some insights on the current theory we are studying – Social Learning Theory. First,  we can obtain tested and fresh experiences from those who came before us. The Social Learning Theories explains that human behavior undergoes a continuous reciprocal interaction between cognitive, behavioral and environmental influences. That is, if we desire to truly soak ourselves with our current study, we can adjust our environment, our scope. We can connect with other students and discuss about their personal experiences. Second, we not only spend time with these great students but also observe the consequences for their actions. This is called vicarious learning. As we observe them, we get ideas, reflect and adjust our own behavior. This is why the loop in social learning theory never ends. Third, we must choose someone who is worth emulating. Someone who models excellence with prestige. Online learners are not only limited to the Philippine geographical location. It encompasses all online learners around the world. Finally, the importance and relevance of appropriating self-efficacy in our system. The belief system is a complex body with diverse interrelated connections. Whatever happens inside will soon affect outside. If we believe we can, then we can! The opposite is likewise true. We fail because we thought we can’t. For most, studying is effortless. However for others, it is seemingly unsurmountable. The task is 50% solved if we begin with a positive mind. We do not only don our positive mask, but we also proactively contribute to the degree of self-efficacy.This means, we have to work hard and achieve our goals. Every time we taste success, we add value to our self-efficacy. Otherwise, we will lose it.

There is much more than just having a high-view of success. But we cannot eschew the fact that they become a part and parcel of who we want to become tomorrow. Our lives would dramatically transform to a new version of ourselves if we wisely apply the principles of Social Learning Theory in our context as a distant learner.

References:

Kendra Cherry. Self-Efficacy:Why Believing in Yourself Matters, Retrieved from https://www.verywell.com/what-is-self-efficacy-2795954

Kendra Cherry. What is Social Learning Theory? Retrieved from https://www.verywell.com/what-is-self-efficacy-2795954

Perspective about Teaching Professionalism

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Definitions of teacher professionalism have come into siege for many years. There has been an unceasing argument and debate whether teaching is considered a profession. Some notions of teacher professionalism might have carved educational perspective in teaching for many people and highly influenced them. My definition and perspective would only have to be a reflection of my current reading. That reflection includes – comparing and contrasting my past and present views of professionalism. Moreover, this reflection would also present my personal preference of a professional teacher in the contemporary age.

Pre-perspective about Professionalism

My definition of teacher professionalism is only limited and defined to knowledge and pedagogy. My pedagogical-knowledge content, though not comprehensive, has helped me a lot and for me, this defined a teacher. Although, many would argue that a diploma, a license and a teaching certificate would suffice. There are still misgivings in my part if these are enough. Another perspective is to be part of a certain teaching organization. An organization of professionals who helped each other to become more effective. This together with the reasons above have been purely my definition of teacher professionalism.

Current Perspective about Professionalism

It is true that the definitions of teacher professionalism has been in constant tussle between the traditional and contemporary views. Even Boyt, Lusch and Naylor (2001) explains professionalism as a multidimensional structure that encompasses both the attitude to it and the achievement of standards.This merely implies that professionalism is not something to be achieved alone but by very definition there is self-regulation of attitude and behavior towards it.

David (2000)  enumerated the criteria for professionalism focused in the literature. They are the importance of public service, involves theoretical and practical expertise, adherence to a certain code of conduct, professional organization and autonomy. In addition, Barber(1965 ) mentioned about characteristics of professional behavior. He discussed about generalized and systematic knowledge, community interest rather than self, self-regulation through code of ethics and system of rewards.

Understanding the criteria for professionalism and characteristics of professional behavior stretch my view about professionalism. There are a lot of things to consider than simply having a pedagogical-knowledge content. To be a professional is not because you only have a license but you have a greater responsibility to the community you are serving.In addition, being autonomous to your professional well-being, development and activities inside the classroom is another hallmark of an effective professional.

Old and New Professionalism

Sachs (2003 ) presented the focus of new professionalism and differentiate it with the old professionalism. This attempt is to showcase and elevate the level of teaching professionalism in the society. My understanding of the new professionalism is that it entails high standards for professional development, adherence to ethical standards, self-regulation, membership and etc.This elevates the status of teaching professionalism in the socio-political context.

Preference of a Professional teacher

If I were to define professionalism, it would entail all what I mentioned above with importance to autonomy. That teacher can regulate, adapt and innovate without so much outside regulation and pressure. A teacher is free to do as long as it’s in the ambit of moral, professional and social acceptance. My preference of a professional teacher is free from the outside pressure who can liberally uphold the fundamentals of learning- teaching experience.

Conclusion

The debate and the argument about creating a conceptual definition of teacher professionalism would be endless and in fact would not be my concern. To ascertain one definition for it would be the business of the experts and scholars. What is important that we embody the principles, live and defend them. For at the end of the day, it is the interest of the community that affects your life and the lives of the students that matters.

References

Defining “Teacher Professionalism” from Different Perspectives (Demirkasımoğlu, N. (2010). Defining “Teacher Professionalism” from different perspectives. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 9, 2047-2051.)

Photo retrieved from: pixbay.com

How would you prefer behaviors to be regulated and/or modified at home or in school?

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How would you prefer behaviors to be regulated and/or modified at home or in school?

Many people have devised up-to date methodologies and perky surprises to modify behaviour both inside the classroom and out. Some are desperate to employ any means of modification regardless of the ramifications it demands. Other purveyors of classroom management brand themselves with modern strategies that have semblance of behavioral approach. In what extent the behavioral principles applicable to reshape aversive conduct and alter it to become socially acceptable today?

Every behaviour whether deemed as socially and morally correct or not have congruent  and equal effects both at home and school. Due to a bigger chunk of our time is spent inside the school, this journal entry would try to elaborate more about what is happening inside the classroom in my own perspective..

Teachers have their own way to discipline students. Most teachers with traditional dimension of teaching tend to use condescending words and punishment to correct a bad behaviour. More often than not, teachers unknowingly become the source of fear. Their very presence alone instills apprehension to many young minds. The situation has now become a part and parcel of the unconditioned stimulus-unconditioned response cycle.Teachers have produced students who are intimidated and insecure. This argument is not to totally disparage the idea that traditional teaching is all but a failure. But it’s worth to take a second look with our assumptions through careful scrutiny.

With the advent of new and innovative teaching strategies, a modern and systematic approach is being encouraged by certain groups with emphasis in classroom management. Although, there is a range of options in the market. I am not in the position to select and recommend one. However, a careful study of these approaches would reveal that many of the principles have stimulus-response appeal and emphasis of reinforcements and scheduling. The strategy might mask different faces but the aim is the same. The goal is behavior modification and excellent classroom management.

My position is to regulate behavior without disheartening the learner. That’s why, my direction coincides with reinforcements rather than punishments. My theory is its best to discipline students in a positive way rather than in a negative way. There is an emphasis to this because we do not only deal with students with minds. We are dealing a holistic person, an amalgam of experience, emotions and knowledge. There is so much more than the lesson you are teaching. The emphasis is not their ability to pass the level but self and ego preservation. We modify behavior not at the expense of his wellness. We modify with an aim to equip him to live a life that is not socially acceptable but also with the bounds of morality.

Regulation of any forms of behavior must have an aim. The method we use is as important with the result. For we, among anyone else who have entrusted with knowledge are accountable for we produced. To be wise and be selective in choosing the best approach in line with behavioral principles is important. So, we do not create another problem but instead we help the unruly and the rascals to be the best as they can be.