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Teaching Perspectives Inventory

Today I started PIDP 3260 Professional Practice at the Broadway campus. My instructor is Joanne Reid who was my instructor for the first course I took in the program, PIDP 3100 Foundations of Adult Education which I took on line. It was nice that she remembered me and the fact that this is my last course before the Capstone it has a nice circular rhythm to it. As part of our homework we had to take the Teaching Perspectives Inventory.  Here are my results and my reflections.

Reflections on my Teaching Perspectives Inventory Results

I learned that taking the Teaching Perspectives Inventory Results should be done by carefully constructing and reflecting on the specific group of learners that you create before taking the questionnaire otherwise you will get a fairly flat profile with a fairly low score out of 45. This I discovered after taking the test the first time without reading the instructions. Upon taking it and focusing on my class of 10-19 students taking my steel fabrication or shipbuilding course I got the following results:

TPI

As much as I believe in the need for social change and reform, and love the work of Friere and Ivan Illyich it is not what I would be doing in my class.

I am glad to see that Nurturing is above the mean as I through my experience mentoring apprentices in the workplace that apprentices learn best when you point out their mistakes in a respectful manner and come up with solutions rather than rancour. Yelling at someone and mocking them for their mistakes might make you feel bigger and feed your ego but it doesn’t contribute to good learning.

Transmission is also above the mean as “Teachers primary responsibilities is to represent the content accurately and efficiently.” To be a good journeyperson means mastering the skill sets and obtaining the knowledge that comes with being a master of the trade. I want to push my students to strive to be the best they can be and constantly strive to improve their skills and knowledge. I have seen how depressing it is when you view your trade as merely a job and a paycheque.

Not surprisingly Apprenticeship scored highest. I believe that in order to be good instructor one has to have been a good tradesperson. If not your students will soon question your authenticity because of your lack of congruence. The people I had the least respect at work are those that have that “do as I say not as I do” attitude. A trades instructor must be the model of what a good tradesperson should be after all the apprentices would worked with a variety of journeypeople have seen a variety of approaches to the trade, not all of them appropriate.

What the TPI does is give you an insight into the lens that you view your teaching. One thing I was happy to see in my results was that my intentions and actions matched if not exceeded my beliefs. Hopefully this means that I will truly develop a teaching practice that I can be proud of because it matches and is true to my core beliefs.

Reports and Statistics

A collection of reports and statistics relating to adult education, apprenticeship training and other related subjects.

 Louise Desjardins (2008).  A Glance at the Participation of Adult Workers in Formal, Job-related Training Activities or Education in 2008.  Statistics Canada

Council of Ministers of Education Canada (2012).  Adult
Learning and Education: Canada progress report for
the UNESCO Global Report on Adult Learning and Education
(GRALE) and the end of the United Nations Literacy
Decade.

Statistics Canada (2012).  Problem-solving Skills and Labour Market Outcomes – Results from the Latest Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey .

McMullen, Kathryn Statscan (2008).  Recent trends in adult education and training in Canada.

Skof, Karl (2010).  Trends in the Trades: Registered Apprenticeship Registrations, Completions and Certification, 1991 to 2007.

Zarifis, George K.  (2008).  VET trainers in public and private training institutions.

Journal Assignment #3

Second jobs, however go to those who have strong basic skills, know how to learn, are comfortable with risk, have persistence, and can adapt,  This is especially true in a period where jobs are changing rapidly”

(Bowen, J.A. 2012) Page 268

Most students go onto pursue a higher education in order to improve their career prospects.  The National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education in the United Kingdom (Dearing, R. 1997) found that 29% of students surveyed went to university to help get a better job while 19% needed a particular qualification in order to pursue their chosen career.  As educators I think we have to ask ourselves, are the programs we are teaching creating students who have the requisite skills that will allow them to flourish in our rapidly changing world, or are we merely turning out students who have put in their time and done the required work and achieved enough credits in order to achieve a credential in order to enter their chosen career path?

This is especially true today, as technological advances not only having an incredible impact on what and how we teach, but on our economy and society as well. Globalization and automation have impacted jobs in the manufacturing sector so that in the U.S. they have declined from 30% of all jobs in the economy to less than 10% since the 1950’s. (1) By expanding our post secondary education system, we were able to train people in the needed skills for the jobs that the new “knowledge” economy demanded. This ameliorated the social and economic disruption to some extent.

However as machines are becoming more and more capable of analyzing metadata , drawing patterns and learning from it, and algorithms are becoming even more sophisticated many of the careers that students are studying for today, may be gone tomorrow.  A recent study commissioned by the Oxford Martin School found that 47% of current U.S. jobs could be automated within the next 20 years.  Even as students study half of what they learn in their first year of study will be outdated by their third year. (2) As Dr. Bowen illustrates in “Teaching Naked” colleges and universities will have to undergo a radical change if they wish to keep on attracting students, especially if they are no longer seen as a way to a rewarding career in the economy of the future.

As someone who has had to move and adapt and relearn over the course of my working life in order to stay employed, I appreciate the immense challenges that my students will be facing in the future.  I worry that I might be teaching them skills and giving them information that will become irrelevant over the course of their careers.  An example of this happened in my own vocational training where we spent most of our time practicing gas and stick welding in class and no time using wire welding machines, only to see them widely used in industry less than five years later.

I am also fearful of the world described in Frey and Osborne’s report where jobs will be divided between a small group of highly skilled, well compensated workers on one end of the spectrum and poorly paid, unskilled jobs on the other and virtually nothing in the middle.  This is vastly different from the world I grew up in and as history has shown us, such societies are highly unstable. (3) In the past, schools have been able to educate workers so they could adapt and thrive in a changing economy, but as machines become smarter and are able to take on increasingly skilled work requiring more cognitive skills this might not be possible in the future.

As educators striving to meet the challenges of the future, we have to be very clear about we are offering our students, “…the degree is a unit of packaging, not the product.  The real product is learning” (Bowen, J.A. 2012) Page 259.  We must promote student centred learning that concentrates on having them master basic skills, teach them how to learn, encourage them to become life long learners, encourage them to persist and take risks, and stress the importance of adaptation and the dangers of complacency.  I can see a real revolution happening in our education system as we move away from a system that is centred on a solitary pursuit of content to a system that emphasizes collaboration and innovative thinking amongst our students.

We can’t predict what will happen in the next 20 years, only that all social systems, including education, will be very different from what they are today.   Just as the technology available in the schools today is so very different than 20 years ago.  The internet has replaced the school library.  But when one looks at the challenges facing students in today’s economy compared to those faced 20 years ago, one sees the immense importance of good educators and adaptive systems that actually promote learning and the creation of knowledge.  The one thing that hasn’t changed over the last 2,000 years is the ability of good educators to inspire their students to boldly go forward into the future and thrive.

1) http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21594264-previous-technological-innovation-has-always-delivered-more-long-run-employment-not-less

2) http://www.britannica.com/blogs/2008/12/forecast-6-professional-knowledge-increasingly-obsolete/

3) http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/1/davos-inequalityeconomicsinstability.html

Bowen, J. A. (2012). Teaching naked: How moving technology out of your college classroom will improve student learning. John Wiley & Sons.

Dearing, R. (1997). Higher education in the learning society.

Frey, C. B., & Osborne, M. A. (2013). The future of employment: how susceptible are jobs to computerisation?. Retrieved September, 7, 2013.

Janmaat, J. G., & Green, A. (2013). Skills inequality, adult learning and social cohesion in the United Kingdom. British Journal of Educational Studies, 61(1), 7-24.

Journal Entry # 2

The workforce of the future will always be connected to the Web, and learning how to triage information is a crucial professional skill”

“If the Web is our new library, it is both exponentially larger and less reliable than the old library”

Bowen (2012 p.145)

Today the internet gives us access to a vast amount of content that no physical library could ever hope to match, but unlike a campus library whose content is chosen and curated by librarians, the content on the internet is full of misinformation and opinion.  Teachers tend to think that just because students today have grown up using the internet that they are proficient in using the internet when doing their research.  The ERIAL (Ethnographic Research in Illinois Academic Libraries) project found that students tended to overuse Google and had problems conducting proper research queries.  It also found that students were averse to seeking help from their campus librarians and instead would consult with the instructor who gave them the assignment in the first place.  Learning to use the internet to research is a necessary skill, critical in todays world.

You can take any position, on any topic and using the internet to research your position or topic you will find data and information to back up and support your views.  The difference is the credibility of your sources.  Anyone can write anything, you will find websites that support all kinds of views and information that we know is scientifically invalid.  This also reminds me that the importance of teaching is not to provide content to students, that they can find on their own, the important thing is to teach students to not only find information online but to evaluate it too.

As someone who didn’t grow up using the internet I question my own internet research skills.  Not having obtained a university degree I have never really used the internet to research formal papers and it is not something that I use in my career.  I find that when I surf the web that I tend to concentrate on websites that support my basic assumptions and beliefs and I would imagine that most students do the same.  Taking the PIDP program has introduced me to reading and using scholarly articles and papers and using the internet to research academic topics that I have never done before.  By looking at my own deficiencies in using the internet to research topics I can see what is necessary for students to learn if they want to use the internet as a research source.

As I move through the PIDP program I plan to educate myself to not only learn to use the internet to improve my research abilities but to learn to critically evaluate the sources of information that I acquire there.  As I have been researching this journal entry I have found many sources of information that I plan use to instruct myself on this topic.  When I am teaching students I plan to asses their internet research skills early on and not assume that just because they are familiar with the internet and navigate through it adeptly that they can frame research queries properly and critically evaluate the information that they find there.  This will allow me to address any deficiencies I find.  As more and more Web 2.0 tools become available I will learn about them and use the tools I find most appropriate.  I also plan to familiarize myself with my campus library and the librarians that work there to see how I can integrate this resource more effectively with my teaching and act on any advice that they might have for me.

Alexander, B. (2006). Web 2.0: A new wave of innovation for teaching and learning?. Educause review, 41(2), 32.

Asher, A., Duke, L., & Green, D. (2010). The ERIAL Project: Ethnographic research in Illinois academic libraries. Academic Commons13.

Evaluating Information Found on the Internet Evaluating Information Found on the Internet

 Hampton-Reeves, S. Day, H. Hart, A. Lumsden, P. Mshiter, c. Westaway, j. (2009). Students’ Use of Research Content in Teaching and Learning: A report for the Joint Information Systems  Council (JISC) 2009. Centre for Research-Informed Teaching, Universtiy of Centeral lancashire.

 Learning for the 21st Century, A Report and Mile Guide for 21st Centry Skills.

Maness, J. M. (2006). Library 2.0 theory: Web 2.0 and its implications for libraries. Webology3(2), 2006.

Voogt, J., & Roblin, N. P. (2010). 21st century skills. Discussienota. Enschede: Universiteit Twente iov Kennisnet.