Two separate classmates asked me education questions two nights ago, Wednesday, 17 and based on what I have learned in our class, I could answer them. Until then, I did not realize what an impact this class had on my educational training. At the end of the summer, I will graduate with a Master’s in Business Education, and be a student teacher in the fall. In my business education courses, I have learned about professional organizations, endorsements, textbook adoption, and a few smaller topics. One class did focus a lot on the syllabus, unit plan, lesson plan, setting measurable objectives, and following the core standards.
When I started thinking on what my “take away” is from this course, I realized that it is about 90% of the course. The other 10%, I actually knew. Since you probably do not want me to write a book, I am going to pick out the topics that grabbed my attention the most. Prior to beginning this course, I knew changes had occurred in how knowledge was delivered to students in the classroom. What I did not realize was how much was involved in the development of curriculum and the extent to which it has changed in such a short time.
It has always been my perception that teachers knew the subjects they taught and that their knowledge was transferred to the students. I had not given much thought to the many other factors that a teacher is responsible for. I now understand that there are many elements involved in planning and implementing a curriculum for each class taught. I am amazed at the magnitude of information that needs to be considered; such as, desk arrangements, wall space use, planned activities, time considerations, classroom management, rules, procedures, record keeping, available resources, technology, plus many more.
Many of these items can probably be easily mastered after performed a time or two, but as a future teacher, I have to ask, “What have I gotten myself into? ” When I was in school, all I remember was that my teachers had a green lesson plan book and that was it. In a couple of my business classes I have written my philosophy on education and then one on teaching. What I did not know, was there are “determinants of an educational philosophy. ” I had never heard of perennialism, idealism, realism, experimentalism, or existentialism.
On one end of the spectrum there is perennialism and on the other end there is existentialism. Experimentalism with a little of existentialism mixed in, loosely reminds me of some of the year-round school schedules talked about in chapter 8; where the students decide the type of instruction and when they will attend school. I based my philosophy on my personal values and what I believed teaching to be, which includes a little of some of the “known” philosophies. Last semester, one of my professors passed out this colorful triangle and called it Bloom’s Taxonomy.
Possibly he expected everyone to know what is was, so he did not discuss it. After reading chapter three and hearing the presentation, I am amazed that time was not spent going over the levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy in my business education methods class. I have been setting goals and objectives for most of my life. I did not expect the way I executed them when I taught would be any different. The state standards outline my objectives, and I determine how the material will be delivered, which was the approach I intended to take.
Of course I knew that knowledge would be passed from me to the students and then they would be tested over the material; however, that only represents the beginning and end of the Bloom’s Taxonomy process; there is a big gap in the middle. When I stop and think about the process of the educational objectives of the cognitive domain, it makes perfect sense to follow the “steps” up the ladder. As a teacher, if I miss a step, let’s say for the sake of time or convenience, I have reduced my effectiveness as a teacher; therefore, I have lowered my standards.
In another class, much time was spent on the discussion state standards. Since I will be a business teacher, I will be qualified to teach many classes; therefore, I will have to become familiar with multiple sets of standards. I looked back through chapter four and learned how the standards first came to be, and considered how they have evolved to create a foundation for the standards we use today. It is intimidating to see how comprehensive the standards are.
The first presentation on the article during the last night of class introduced three areas of curriculum that are not discussed at length in the book: subject-centered curriculum, learner-centered curriculum, broad-fields curriculum, and core-curriculum. It was interesting how they are separated in the terms used, but how integrated they should be. It is clear that students, at least in Tennessee, are taught from the common core. It seems that the teaching is a by-product of what everyone else wants, beginning at the national level all the way down to an individual school.
I know in the chapter that I presented, Chapter 8, the author brought up the conventional way teaching has, for the most part, been done; teaching for the convenience of the teacher which did not facilitate the learning of the student. It is evident that change is occurring rapidly. There is only a brief mention of teaching to various learning styles. Oddly, I recently discovered I am a visual learner. For the life of me, I could never figure out why I had to have complete silence when reading.
This revelation occurred in another education class and was reinforced when I read the paragraph on learning styles in our text book. The actual implementation of teaching must revolve around a flexible classroom. Not all students learn at the same pace and as a teacher I have to realize that and teach on multiple levels. Differentiated learning is at the heart of teaching. Everything I have mentioned thus far, barely scratches the surface of the changes in my perception of teaching, the collection of new knowledge, and revelations I have had pertaining to class preparation.
I know I can handle students in a classroom, but I am scared of everything else that defines a teacher. I just hope I have learned enough to effectively prepare kids to enter the real world. My courses are part of a career pathway, you might say, I am the last line of defense. It is overwhelming to think of my future and the enormous responsibilities I am entrusted with. In the questions you posed for consideration, one related to the Praxis test. To student teach, I have to take the PLT 7-12 test.
I have reviewed the study outline, which are about six pages. Of course there will be material on the test about curriculum, but what scares me is everything on the outline that I have never heard of. I seems like it will be impossible to prepare for, any help you have to offer would be greatly appreciated. I took my first content knowledge Praxis test last Saturday for marketing. I had to smile when the first question on the test asked about Bloom’s Taxonomy. It is the little things that connect everything in life.
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