Tag Archives: continuing education

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.

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BC and Adult Education

BC faces a looming crisis.  In their submission the Select Standing Committee on Finance in 2013 BC Colleges stated that 78% of the job openings will require some form of post-secondary education while currently only 60% of the population has that level of education.  This they describe as a skills gap.

Recognizing this the BC government has proposed new funding to address the skills gap that the province faces.  Yet faced with budget shortfalls local school boards are cutting programs that are viewed as being outside their core mandate of providing basic kindergarden to Grade 12 education.  Recently the Vancouver School Board closed the adult education centre in the city’s west end and in Salmon Arm the local school board axed their continuing education program.

This seems like a contradiction to me and it suggests that maybe now is the time to reorganize our education system.  Governments have to start looking at education funding as an investment rather than a cost.  BC Colleges claim that they return $3.80 for every $1 of taxpayer financial they get.  One major problem that we face is that government is having to use their meagre resources to substitute for the lack of investment in training by the business community.

imgres Maybe it is time for the provincial government to either take the responsibility for adult and continuing education away from local school boards or adequately fund these programs on top of the grants that school boards already receive.   Perhaps this could be done in coordination with the BC Jobs Plan and the government of Canada’s Economic Action Plan to make sure that the training matches the needed skills.  In Canada the senior levels of government have more funding resources than the locally funded school boards.  It is their responsibility to make sure that valuable continuing education courses are available and that BC citizens can continue to be life long learners.