I want to step away from traditional teaching methods and introduce new and exciting learning activities that stimulate a desire to learn in my students. Hopefully, this will create intrinsic motivators that will help students work through frustrating moments during the months they spend with me.
Probably the most valuable resources I will cherish from the many discussion threads throughout this course are the Ted Talks - particularly those be Sir Ken Robinson. HIs insights on the changes needed to current public education practices shake the foundation of the entire system. He creates a desire in me to continue my learning journey so that I am an active participant in changing the face of education.
The discussions on the power of introverts have changed my outlook on several of my students and my oldest daughter. I have already made changes to the participation requirements and methods of group discussions in my classroom. I feel that the quieter students are opening up and sharing their thoughts and ideas as I now give them more time to process information and smaller forums to share their voices.
Realizing that learning styles may actually be a myth has relieved the pressure that I have felt to offer lessons that always encompass every style - a near impossibility given the diversity of my students. I now feel free to offer activities that students can choose from in order to engage in self-directed learning, rather than feeling stifled by structure.
I am accepting that education may sometimes be messy; that there shouldn't always be right or wrong answers; that students should question textbooks and me; and that evaluations and feedback are essential in order to create flexible, engaging learning environments.
Learning the nuances of effective questioning techniques has made me acutely aware of the inane questions I often ask in class, as well as the lack of opportunity my students even have to answer those questions. I am spending more time thinking carefully before asking questions of the students and making sure those questions serve a purpose in opening discussions.
I have enjoyed the community of learning that was developed within PIDP 3250. I feel like we really embraced the purpose of the program and contributed greatly to the education of each other. Personally, I know that the future of my instruction has been changed forever due to this course. I am now on a path to help learners learn to help themselves.