Becoming an Effective 21st Century Educator

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

1. Legend: Linked concepts=signified by arrows Personal Reflection= encompasses in yellow. Main themes=encompassed in white. Supporting Points= no colour

2. Having an awareness and understanding of the structures and institutions that govern education in Alberta.

2.1. Ministery of Education has a variety of responsibilities such as:

2.1.1. Develops curriculum and sets standards (retrieved from

2.1.2. Evaluates curriculum & assesses outcomes (retrieved from

2.1.3. Teacher Development & Certification (retrieved from

2.1.4. Supports special needs students (retrieved from

2.1.5. Funds & Supports School Boards (Retrieved from

2.1.6. Supports Aboriginal & Francophone Education (Retrieved from

2.1.7. Oversees basic educational policy and framework (retrieved from

2.2. Personal Reflection: I believe that it is important for educators to have an awareness of the institutions and structures that govern education so that they can be aware of the policies and ensure that they are meeting standards that have been put in place in order to create the best educational experience possible for their students.

3. Consider ways in which they can become an agent of change...What can educators do to make the world a better place?

3.1. How can you be an agent of change and make the world a better place as an educator?

3.1.1. Special Guest Speaker Michele Jackson, an educator who currently teaches at Eastglen High School, an inner city school where a high percentage of students came from low income backgrounds. She made positive changes in the lives of students by helping students to get scholarships, encouraging social justice projects and continually asking fellow educators for help and guidance (Michele Jackson, personal communication, November 20th, 2014).

3.1.2. Special Guest Speaker Joe Cloutier was able to be an agent of change by facilitating the growth and learning of students in the inner city school he taught in, who belonged to a culture of poverty. He used the the arts (visual, music editing, songwriting) as a method to facilitate their individual interests and learning styles; many of his students were able to go against the odds and graduate (Joe Cloutier, personal communication, November 20th, 2014).

3.1.3. Special Guest Speaker Shauna Paul was able to be an agent of change by creating a positive school environment for each and every one of her students; in her role as a principal she strives to make sure each student is given an excellent education where they enjoy themselves and feel they have the "safety-net" support from their teachers (Shauna Paul, personal communication, November 20th, 2014).

3.1.4. Personal Reflection: What these educators have done in their practice that I personally find admirable is their firm belief that every student has the potential to succeed. These educators were able to be agents of change in their practice because they were aware of the fact that every student is different and comes from a unique background with unique circumstances, and thus learns and accumulates success in different, unique ways. These educators customized their teaching in order to best fit the needs of their students and thus were able to make a difference. I think this is so important and I will strive to make a difference in students lives by recognizing their individual potential and recognizing that success of all kinds is possible for each student.

4. Explores and has an awareness of the Current Issues in Education

4.1. Bullying can be defined as constant, perpetual harassment (Michael Fair, personal communication, November 6th, 2014).

4.1.1. Homophobia: Perpetual harassment of Sexual Minorities. LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender, Questioning individuals) What can educators do? -Use inclusive language (M. Fair, personal communication, November 6th, 2014) Address homo/transphobic comments (M. Fair, personal communication November 6th, 2014) -Normalize sexual and gender minority realities (M. Fair, personal communication, November 6th, 2014). Support a Gay/Straight Alliance (M. Fair, personal communication, November 6th, 2014). Establsih safe symbols (M. Fair, personal communication, November 6th, 2014). In the classroom, a teacher must create a classroom environment that promotes acceptance (M. Fair, personal communication, November 6th, 2014). Engage in Personal Reflection (M. Fair, personal communication, November 6th, 2014). ATA (Alberta's Teachers Association) protects the rights of LGBT students and teachers alike. (Retrieved from Personal Reflection: I personally believe that LGBT issues are very important and teachers have a responsibility to make sure their students feel as though they are in a safe, inclusive environment where they are not marginalized or made to feel different because of the fact they belong to a minority group. An effective 21st educator has the responsibility to address homophobic comments and educate all of their students on why we must celebrate each other's differences and treat everyone as equals.

4.1.2. Marginalization of Race, particularly pertaining to Aboriginal Students What can educators do? A commitment to difference or to the "relational other": Teachers must recognize that there is so much to learn from students. They must get to know their students in order to teach them in a culturally sensitive way (Piquemal, 2004). A respect for persons: The goal is not to objectify, but to experience, understand and take action through relational and phenomenological inquiry (Piquemal, 2004). A commitment to reciprocracy: An ongoing dialogue with the children about their rights in the classroom establishes trust and reciprocally (Piquemal, 2004). A sense of care: Teachers need to reflect on ways to promote students' individual growth while developing and maintaining a a caring classroom community (Piquemal, 2004). Personal Reflection: Aboriginal Students belong to a distinct culture and I believe that it is important due to this past, educators owe those of racial minorities a better future, by celebrating their differences while still treating them just as they would any other student.

5. Develops Professional Identity

5.1. Deciding which philosophies of education they could potentially align to. The philosophies are:

5.1.1. Personal Reflection: I personally believe that you can be an effective 21st century educator while adhering to any of the philosophies of education and I recognize that during the course of my own journey towards being an effective 21st century educator I may, one day, adhere to an alternative philosophy of education. Currently, my beliefs about education mostly come from my personal beliefs that the student should be in charge of their own education based on their individual needs and own personal interests. I also want my future students to take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to their lives outside and be involved in their community. From my own experience of being a student in the Alberta school system, I found this branch of thought most beneficial and valuable to my own learning experience.Therefore, the philosophies that are best aligned to my own person beliefs are progressivism and social reconstructivism. Progressivism focuses on the students, emphasizing their own personal growth rather than the content. Progressivists also believe that schooling should prepare students to be lifelong learners (Martin D.J. & Loomis K.S., 2014, pg. 50), which I believe is extremely beneficial throughout the course of an individual's life. I also adhere to the social reconstructivism philosophy because I believe that the purpose of education should be to create mindful citizens. Because the 20th century was filled with horrific incidents such as The Holocaust and other instances of racism and human inequality, and I believe that teaching students values of social justice and to be anti-discriminatory is the key to creating a better world where such malpractices become thing of the past.

5.1.2. Perrenialism: Perrenialists believe that the focus of education should be the universal truths conveyed through the classic and profound thoughts and works that have lasted through generations (Martin D.J. & Loomis K.S, 2014, pg. 46). The students's role is to discuss, examine and re-examine the information the teacher has presented (Martin D.J. & Loomis K.S, 2014 pg. 47).

5.1.3. Essentialism: The essentialist believes that there are certain fundamental knowledge, skills and understandings that students should master in order to prepare them for the workforce (Martin D.J. & Loomis K.S., 2014, pg. 48).

5.1.4. Progressivism: The progressivist believes that students should be the focus of the education, not the content (50). The goal should be to prepare students to be lifelong learners. (Martin D.J. & Loomis K.S., 2014, pg. 50).

5.1.5. Existentialism: Learning should be guided by the students; they should choose what they want to learn and how they want to learn it (52). The teacher is one of many resources of knowledge and acts as a facilitator of learning (Martin D.J. & Loomis K.S., 2014, pg. 52).

5.1.6. Social Reconstructivism: Social reconstructivists believe that social change needs to happen via the classroom (Martin D.J. & Loomis K.S., 2014, pg. 53). Schools are seen as agents of reformation in society rather than transmitters of knowledge (Martin D.J., &Loomis K.S. 2014, pg53).

5.2. Becoming a professional teacher requires reexamination and transformation of what we already know about schooling (Pugach, 2009, pg. 19).

5.2.1. We may have preconceived notions of what it means to be a teacher from our own experiences of being a student in the classroom (Pugach, 2009, pg. 21). As students in a classroom we do not think about the countless hours that go into lesson plans that a teacher makes (Pugach, 2009, pg. 21). Society in general and our own selves in the past may not be thinking of the years it has taken for the teacher to perfect their set of teaching routines (Pugach, 2009, pg. 21). Personal Reflection: In my journey toward becoming an effective 21st century educator I want to work toward ridding the notions of what society and what I perhaps believed in the past were the jobs of the teachers. I recognize that it is a difficult job that requires you to constantly be improving upon yourself and your methods for the benefit of your students.

5.2.2. Educators should strive to become Reflective Teachers. Reflective behaviour requires active, persistent and careful consideration of any belief or practice in light of the grounds that support it and the further consequences it leads (Grant & Zeichner, 2001, pg 105). Reflective Teachers have qualities such as: Responsibility: Involves careful consideration of the consequences to which an action leads (Grant & Zeichner, 2001, pg.105). Open-mindedness: Active desire to listen to more sides than one, to give full attention to alternative possibilities, and recognize the possibility of errors in our thinking. (Grant & Zeichner, 2001, pg. 105). WholeHeartedness: Teachers must take active control to encompass the qualities of responsibility and and open-mindedness in their practice and should not be caught up in a set routine (Grant & Zeichner, 2001, pg. 105). Wholehearted reflective teachers should be dedicated to teaching all students (Grant & Zeichner, 2001, pg. 105). Personal Reflection: I believe that educators are inherently students themselves and are always on a pathway of self growth in order to educate their students to the best of their ability. Being a reflective teacher is so important because it allows you to go back and reflect on your own methods and learn over the course of time how to provide students with the best possible educational experience. I have to accept in my own practice that I always have so much more to discover in order to teach to the best of my ability.