Team Teaching

Dr. Brookfield’s explicit reminder that team-teaching is not a division of tasks, but a sharing (or duplication, if you will) of all tasks, has inspired me to find some top tips out there for good team teaching.  Here are some gems I have come across:

  • Equal stakes (or interest)
  • Work hard, be creative, be good leaders (clear roles)
  • Acknowledge each others’ strengths and weaknesses
  • Meet often to discuss the course (create a clear process for this)
  • Share a goal, and come back to that mission often
  • Learn from each other (healthy conflict; SME’s)
  • Decide on a model (traditional, linked courses, or connected courses

This little bullet-point list is just the smallest tip of the iceberg, so to speak, of the wealth of information available on the topic.  It was a fascinating exploration, and I would love to share my resources of them here:

Aguilar, E. (2012). Effective Teams: The Key to Transforming Schools? Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/teacher-teams-transform-schools-elena-aguilar

Hopkins, G. (2017). What Makes Effective Teaching Teams Tick?  Retrieved from http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/admin408_a.shtml

Tutolo, N. (February 28, 2017). Four Steps to Create a More Cohesive Teacher Team.  Retrieved from https://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2017/02/28/four-steps-to-create-a-more-cohesive.html

Vanderbilt University. (n.d.). Team/Collaborative Teaching.  Retrieved from https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/teamcollaborative-teaching/

I do hope you’ll take a look to see some of the fantastic advantages of this technique!

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Reminder to Self: Classroom Assessment

In looking through previous PIDP course notes and assignments, I came across this presentation, and thought I’d post it here as a reminder to myself to continuously strive to get feedback from my students.  I hope to always focus on feedback (such as Dr. Brookfield’s CIQ’s introduced to us in this course) to improve my teaching as well as my students’ learning.

Here is the presentation on Application Cards, an Informal Assessment Strategy: https://youtu.be/q3x2hSOUjy4

 

Skillful Teacher: Chapter 6

For this chapter’s post, I wanted to try something a bit different – I hope you’ll bear with me.

Instead of a discussion of one idea in the chapter (since I just couldn’t decide!), I’ve chosen to do a module summary.  And instead of writing a module summary, I’ve decided to draw one as a mindmap that I’d like to share with you here, using the online tool previously provided in one of my previous posts, spiderscribe.net.

m6 summary

I loved that Dr. Brookfield differentiated between the tool and the use of the tool: lectures aren’t the problem; lecturers are!  They still have a place in teaching, as long as we use them on purpose.  And we can do them well by a focus on variety in lecturing, organization, and modeling what we expect of our students in our lectures.  As such, some advice we should consider include the following “tips”:

  • Stand at the back of the class sometimes
  • Allow moments of silence to break parts up and allow students to think/process
  • Pose questions with buzz-groups to answer them
  • Break the heavy talking up into chunks of 12 to 15 minutes
  • Provide notes with a bare-bones outline of lecture topics for student to fill in
  • Use clearly defined verbal signals so that students know your intent at each part of the lecture
  • Ask so many questions!  Start with them, use them at pauses, ask them of yourself, ask them about your and your students’ assumptions, and allow students to ask them
  • Create a space in the class that represents a theory or frame or perspective; move to each space to teach and reteach a concept from that perspective only
  • Ask a colleague to come to class to explain or ask from their perspective

I’m excited to start using some of these in the little bits of lecture that I inevitably do.  Because let’s be honest with each other here: sometimes, we just need an hour to convey information.  So let’s make the most of it, shall we?

Reference:

Brookfield, S. D. (2015). The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the Classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Accreditation

What a timely question!

Our weekly blog post assignment this week is about accreditation, and our program is currently renewing our accreditation, literally as we speak.  We have until October to finalize it all, and boy, is it a process!  It will be my first time working so closely with the person in our program responsible for the documentation, and it’s a steep learning curve.

Let me back up just a little.  Working in a diagnostic imaging educational facility, we are accredited by die Diagnostic Accreditation Program (DAP) of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, under their imaging umbrella.  According to the handbook, it is a 4-step process to be accredited:

  1. Information forms (unique forms for each facility type)
  2. Evidence submission for off-site review
  3. On-site assessment (including interviews of all parties concerned)
  4. Initial report (with recommendations to be implemented within 1 year)

The purpose of this accreditation is explained in the following mission statement:

“Accreditation assists diagnostic services evaluate and improve the quality of services they provide to their patients and clients, and also provides recognition that the service is meeting provincial standards of quality.” (College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, 2018)

I was shocked to find this article of a medical radiography program (so the same type of program in which I work) right here in Canada that has lost its accreditation just in the last few months!  It sounds as though students in the College of the North Atlantic were left to operate radiation-emitting equipment unsupervised, and were neither taught or assessed very well at all… Doesn’t sound like a stretch to me as to why that does not meet safety and quality standards.

I must admit, this makes me feel even more dedicated to work hard to prove to DAP how seriously we take both our dedication to safety and quality and also to the best possible learning environment for our students as we possibly can!

References:

College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia. (2018). Accreditation.  Retrieved from https://www.cpsbc.ca/programs/dap/accreditation

White, J. (September 28, 2017) CBC News: Another CNA program under review for not meeting all accreditation standards.  Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/cna-medical-radiography-accreditation-1.4309958

 

Ethical Frames

This week, I found out about a new ethical frame that I hadn’t previously used.  In a course I used to teach, we included utilitarianism and deontology.  To demonstrate the theories and my new understanding, I’d like to compare it to a story.  Let’s imagine we are walking down the street in a downtrodden and very poor, needy area.  We have $40 in with us collectively.

In this PIDP course, utilitarianism is explained as looking for a solution that does the most good for the most people.  So in our story, let’s say we run into a person sitting beside the road, asking us for money to feed her baby.  In this case, we would stop to consider how our $40 could be put to the best use.  If there’s a shelter down the road that offers to feed 10 people for $40, we would not give our money to this person sitting beside the road.  We would sacrifice the few for the many.

Deontology was presented in our PIDP course as following our sense of duty, or doing what’s right.  To expand further, I’d like to suggest this helpful and multi-faceted article.  To apply this to my story, this theory would require that we give our money to this mother as it is the right thing to do.  Withholding money from someone who needs it would be wrong.

And the new frame of ethical considerations I’ve learned is the care-based theory.  In our story, this theory would also require that we care for the woman and baby.  However, the rationale differs.  In this case, we could potentially do something that would be wrong in order to help this woman and her baby.  I’d hazard that Robin Hood ascribed to this theory – steal from the rich to give to the poor, as long as we provide care for the person concerned.

I’m thrilled to have expanded on my ethical toolbox!

 

Reference:

Alexander, L. & Moore, M. (2016). “Deontological Ethics”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2016 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.).  Retrieved from https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2016/entries/ethics-deontological/

Skillful Teacher: chapter 17

For this week’s chapters, my attention was most caught by Brookfield’s (2015) prompt about our teaching: “Ask Yourself If the Resistance Is Justified” (p.229).

Now, it’s not like I haven’t ever considered that students’ lack of perceived motivation is multi-faceted, and I most certainly play a role in the responsibility thereof, but the simplicity in this question is refreshing.  Is the material necessary (aside from being intellectually stimulating, or something I consider interesting, or a deeper understanding of the required content).  Do they need to spend their time and energy on this?  And why?

Brookfield (2015) offers a few other questions and topics we need to ask ourselves, and I’d argue we need to build this consistently and purposefully into our routines at least once every few weeks.  These are:
– Are my changes fixing the right problem, or one I’ve imagined?
– Remember the power of team teaching; this is not a division of teaching, but both teachers doing the same work/tasks together
– I truly cannot over-explain something to my students.  Nor can I expect them to remember every single word I utter in passing.  As my personal extension to this, I’d like to use this as a reminder not to start my explanations to my students with “As I’ve said before…” or some such guilt-laden statement.

I’d like to add this article from Faculty Focus for a few more suggestions on how to deal with student resistance.  The main point is to be transparent with students, especially when it comes to your rationale.  It also introduced me to a new term: instructor immediacy.  Please go take a look for a fantastic new definition and insight into how we teach.

References:

Brookfield, S. D. (2015). The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the Classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Seidel, S. D. & Tanner, K. D. (2015, January 26). Strategies for Preventing Student Resistance.  Retrieved from https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/effective-classroom-management/strategies-preventing-student-resistance/