How do the course themes and topics come together to inform you about becoming an effective 21st ...

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How do the course themes and topics come together to inform you about becoming an effective 21st century teacher? by Mind Map: How do the course themes and topics come together to inform you about becoming an effective 21st century teacher?

1. Developing your professional identity

1.1. Apprenticeship of Observation: the knowledge we attain about teaching during the years we watch our own teachers from kindergarten to graduation (Lortie, 1975).

1.1.1. "The beginning teacher must try to assume a new - but familiar - role in a familiar setting" (Florio - Ruane, 1989) As students, we are continuously watching and learning from our teachers. Although we do learn a lot from just watching them in the classroom, there's a lot that we do not take into account about teaching. Such as all the prep work involved in lessons. So in a way the classroom setting is familiar to us, but only from one perspective. A beginner teacher must flip their point of view.

1.2. Reflective teaching requires open - mindedness, responsibility, and whole heartedness.

1.2.1. "Reflective action is active, persistent, and careful consideration of any belief or practice." - John Dewey

1.2.2. Reflective action involves meeting and responding to problems rather than oblivious to the issues in your classroom. For example, homophobia is major issue in schools. Walton (2004) states that schools enshrine straightness and marginalize LGBT individuals. However, when he attended a symposium on preventing bullying, homophobia was barely addressed. I believe this was caused because homophobic bullying is so entangled within the social norm, that some people are oblivious to it. Also, because it roots back for generations, it is a complicated issue to deal with. To be a reflective teacher, is to understand the complexity of this issue and actively work to solve it rather than ignoring it because it is difficult. "Immediate utility cannot become the sole justification for your actions" (Grant and Zeichner, 2001).

1.2.3. You should always ask yourself 2 questions: Why things are the way they are and how they can be made better In a way, once you stop asking yourself questions, you settle into a place that does not involve change. But change is important because if there are no questions, then there cannot be any answers. Nothing will be solved without change.

1.2.4. Must be dedicated to teaching ALL students, regardless of disabilities, personalities, and short comings.

1.3. Educational philosophies and psychologies impact the ways in which you teach according to ones own belief system.

1.3.1. The 5 philosophies consist of perennialism, essentialism, progressivism, existentialism, and social reconstructivism. Mark Yurick (September 2014) stated that it is important for an individual to know ones identity before they begin their teaching career. Yes, it is important to attain an identity for oneself, however, it is difficult to know exactly which teaching style or philosophy is best suited for them before testing them out. One individual may think they believe entirely of perennialism and then when they enter their classroom they may end up using an existentialist approach . An individual may even take the Electric Approach, where they embrace portions of several different philosophies. During class discussion it was also stated that depending on the school you are teaching in, they may force you to use a certain approach to teaching. Sometimes this may be problematic because it interferes with your beliefs, however, you are forced to comply with it regardless of your educational philosophy.

1.3.2. The 4 psychologies consist of humanism, behaviourism, information processing, and constructivism.

1.4. Part of being a "professional" teacher is not only having the characteristics to be a reflective teacher, but also having the theoretical knowledge behind education.

1.4.1. "good teaching must have a strong theoretical base. Moreover, teachers must have a strong grounding in educational theory if they are to be reflective practitioners" (Taylor, 1995). In class we watched the video "What Teachers Make" by Taylor Mali, In this video Mali used the quote,"Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach.". This quote implies that people who are able to do something well can do that for a living, while teachers are unable to carry out any particular skills and that is why we settle on teaching. However, some occupations only require theoretical knowledge. You learn the skills to complete the job, apply the knowledge, and there is not much else to do. But teaching not only requires theoretical knowledge but also abstract and reflective characteristics that many other occupations lack. It is the ability to carry out the theoretical knowledge while applying it to 30 different students with distinctive needs which makes this an honourable profession. A profession that makes a difference in the lives on students.

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

2.1. Education is going in a linear direction towards standardization.

2.1.1. "The current system was designed and conceived and structured for a different age. Education is modelled on the interests of industrialization and in the image of it" (Robinson, 2010).

2.1.2. Robinson (2010) believes that schools are organized on factory lines and that education is about conformity. Standardized testing would be an example of conformity in the education system. Testing every student on the same material without taking into account the students abilities and then telling them whether they are smart or not based on their grade on the test. Teachers and tests should take into account that each student has their own set of strengths and weakness.

2.2. Public Education

2.2.1. Taxes pay for education

2.2.2. Standardized and uniform approaches Standardization may lead to marginalizing students. Robinson (2010, October 14) explains that divergent thinking deteriorates as a child gets older due to standardized testing and conformity. McGregor and Mills (2012) states that, "The lack of space for students to insert their own experiences alienates them from the shared culture of the classroom."

2.2.3. Equalization of education regardless of geography

2.3. Charter schools, alternative schools, and private schools provide students with a non-traditional approach to education.

2.3.1. Eisslers (2011, June 28) asserts that alternative schools support innovation rather than standardization and divergent thinking as opposed to convergent thinking. Alternative schools are not for everyone. However, they do provide students who do not benefit from the standard, uniform methods with a more flexible and engaging learning environment where the teacher is able to connect and alter their teaching environments to better accommodate the learning styles of each child.

3. Exploring current issues in education

3.1. Socio-economic status refers to the income of a family. Income is determined by the level of education of your parents and their occupation.

3.1.1. Low socio-economic status is associated with poor grades and increases the chances of dropping out of school which causes an achievement gap (Robinson, 2013, p. 195). Children coming from a low socio-economic family are considered "at-risk" for dropping out because they may have other responsibilities that need to come before education, such as what to eat for dinner that night. As an effective teacher, recognizing students who come from this background is essential. Having the right teacher to accommodate and guide them along may be the difference between them striving to succeed in the long run or dropping out of school altogether. The students that manage to succeed posses resiliency. Resiliency is the ability to succeed despite the fact that they are "at-risk". Teachers should be the support that the students need to posses this quality.

3.2. Gender stereotyping

3.2.1. Women tend to go for the "caring professions", while males dominate professions involving mathematics and engineering. There are no immense differences in standardized testing scores between males and females, therefore, this is most likely caused by gender stereotyping (Robson, 2013, p. 218-219 ).

3.3. Homophobic bullying is one of the most common types of discrimination that often times is disregarded as "normal" slang amongst children.

3.3.1. The Gay-Straight Alliance and The Triangle Program provides a safe, positive environment for LGBT youth.

3.4. Special needs students often faces challenges when it comes to integrating their learning needs with those of other students in an inclusive classroom. There are positive and negative factors to consider.

3.4.1. Positives: - Special needs students are more likely to engage with learning when placed with their peers - There will be more of a chance that they will be able to gain skills necessary to participate in adult life - It fosters awareness of disabilities among their classmates I believe that it is important for special needs students to feel like they belong with their classmates. Having exclusive classrooms does benefit the child's learning needs, however, the feelings of segregation could possibly stick with them for the rest of their lives. Since there are benefits to both sides, I feel that children with special needs should be active students within their classroom and be around their peers in an inclusive classroom, while having a teachers aid helping them through their learning and/or behavioural needs. I believe that exclusive classrooms of any kind, whether cultural or learning based, fosters a sense of closed mindedness. Exclusive classrooms do not create awareness that there are other beliefs and perspective in the world. Closing a child off from this information would only be detrimental when they leave their exclusive environments because there would be a low chances of acceptance towards other individuals who do not share the same beliefs.

3.4.2. Negatives: - Inclusive classrooms create segregation - Causes classmates to fear such students because they are not well informed that there are people in the world that ***

3.5. Racism is discrimination based on either race (a physical criteria) or ethnicity (a cultural criteria) (Ghosh, 2008).

3.5.1. "Racism is based on the belief that the inherent differences among people determine cultural or individual achievement" (Ghosh, 2008). Many people think that racism is no longer a major issue in today's society. If you think back in history, society has come a long way from racism. However, it is still a major issue in society and does contribute to increasing drop out rates from school. I believe that integrating students from different cultural backgrounds at a young age will reduce the amount of racism when entering adult life. In Richard Wagamese's story "Returning to Harmony", he talks about how residential schools not only affected the people who attended them, but also their families and people around them. Wagamese states, "The pain they endured became my pain, and I became a victim". Residential schools had a negative impact for generations even after the last one closed down. They caused Aboriginal people to feel like they lost their identity. Although apologies have been made by the Catholic church, the pain is still there.

3.6. Hidden curriculum is a curriculum that is taught without being formally ascribed.

3.6.1. As a teacher, you have to be constantly aware of the information you are feeding to your students, and how you feed the information. Every word that a teacher says, has the possibility of sticking to a child and having an impact on their lives. It is so easy for a teacher to reinforce their own beliefs onto a group of students, that is why reflective teaching is important. Even if a teacher has their own beliefs, it is not their job to convert students to believe and think the same way. Students need to make these decisions for themselves in an unbiased and equal environment.

3.7. Technology allows us the ability to search just about anything on the internet, which is great to attain knowledge. However, since information is so easy to attain, technology enhances the ability to cheat.

3.7.1. In becoming an effective 21st century teacher, I believe that it is important to incorporate technology within lesson plans because it is such a big part of everyone's lives. Technology keeps advancing, and I feel teachers need to advance with it in order to keep students interested. One important part of teaching that I learned within this course, is that teachers need to adapt to their students. Students should not need to adapt to their teachers.

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

4.1. Converting from retributive justice to restorative justice

4.1.1. Restorative justice focuses not on putting the blame on the wrongdoers and punishing them for their actions, but it focuses on everyone involved finding a mutually acceptable way forward (Hopkins, 2002, p. 145). I believe that retributive justice is still a viable option amongst some students, however, if that student is continually acting out or misbehaving, then perhaps there is a deeper problem that teachers should get to the root of. Just placing the blame on someone is the easier and quicker alternative but it does not explain why the child is behaving the way they are. Punishing a student does not always solve the problem. Sometimes it causes the child to feel like they are constantly in the wrong and can never do anything right which in turn, leads to them spiralling down a negative pathway. That is why restorative justice approach is more effective. Understanding why the child acted out the way they did and finding ways to help the child move forward is more effective than to punish them until they behave the "proper" way.

4.1.2. McGovern (2009) states, "The natural consequence of not confronting at-risk students results in an ever-increasing drop-out rate, further reliance on state support, increasing crime, and more prisons" (p. 6).

4.2. Building relationships with students

4.2.1. "Teachers provide a bridge between young people and education systems. Classroom are the educational interface at which connection or disconnection occurs for students," (McGregor and Mills, 2012). An effective teacher should build relationships with their students. They should take the time to understand where their students are coming from and why they behave the way they do. I strongly believe that students are more likely to engage in discussions about their thoughts if they trust the authoritative figure.

4.3. Make your students aware of issues surrounding them. Encourage personal, respectable opinions on issues rather than opinions based on our collective socialization.

4.3.1. "If we don't believe in things like racism, then we don't participate in them" I believe that it is partly the teachers responsibility to spark ideas within students. A teacher should incorporate issues in society into lesson plans to cause awareness and spark creativity in solving the issues. Students will one day become members of society, and it is important that they are well informed members that can make a positive difference in society. You want students to believe in things, because when you deeply believe in something, that is when you engage and contribute to it.

4.4. Inforcing Constructive Engagement

4.4.1. You don't know what you don't know: Strive for intellectual humility

4.4.2. Opinions are not the same as informed knowledge Teachers are powerful, especially elementary teachers, because they are responsible to educate young impressionable minds. If a child is taught at a young age to believe in something, it will be difficult to change their thought process. This is why it is important that students are taught to think in a modest and non-judgemental way towards their peers and towards society.

4.4.3. Let go of personal anecdotal evidence