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A glimpse of my “journey” in teaching Instead of prolog: “ Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything she learned in school” Einstein.

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Presentation on theme: "A glimpse of my “journey” in teaching Instead of prolog: “ Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything she learned in school” Einstein."— Presentation transcript:

1 A glimpse of my “journey” in teaching Instead of prolog: “ Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything she learned in school” Einstein

2 ‘Iulia Hasdeu’ National College- Bucharest

3 Where I come from A computer science lab

4 Before a teachers’ meeting: ‘Iulia Hasdeu’ National College, Bucharest

5 Professional growing The society I come from Dominant secular Generally, people: Indoctrinated into “scientism” reluctant/embarrassed to articulate their beliefs These permeated everywhere [including education] In Canada: I found a secular society dominated by a scientism that validates money and power even more I learned to make distinction between “being supportive of science” and “making from scientism a belief system.” Scientism: “ the belief that the only things that are real or can be known are those that can be empirically observed and measured. “ The view: “what is real and knowable is what can be empirically verified or measured is a view that itself cannot be empirically measured or verified and thus by its own criterion is unreal or unknowable.” [Michael Lerner: writer, editor at Tikkun magazine-USA)Tikkun magazine-USA

6 Professional growing Generally People: Suffer for a meaningless life Lack of recognition by others for who they are These permeated everywhere [including education] There are people recognizing ”the need for a major shift in global consciousness; the importance of moving from fear and materialism toward love and compassion; and the critical role of youth to the future of humanity” [Fitzer Institute web-site] There are people working together for changing the world [and education system] This change can be done only if we change ourselves first There are people like Parker Palmer, Michael Lerner, Alfie Kohn and many others whose voices are recognized It will take much time for this change to happen!!

7 Professional growing SFU

8 Storyeum

9 Professional growing

10 Professional growing

11 Professional growing reluctance in expressing ourselves failure in meeting other peoples’ expectations other peoples’ judgment Is it fear the most dangerous feeling of ours? We need the courage to teach because we now teach “in the face of fear and fear gives ignorance its power” [Palmer]the courage to teach We can help others/our students to be free of fear and able to express their nature!! I think that we first should release this fear from inside us in order to help our students!

12 Professional growing Mount Pleasant Elementary 1. Very progressive system of teaching/learning 2. A memorable advice : “ Be yourself!”

13 Professional growing “We all are subject of power of deformation, from within as well as without, but the soul never loses its original form, and never stops calling us back to our birthright integrity.” Rainer Maria Rilke About “ Being yourself!” Palmer in “ Let your life Speak” : “What a long time it can take to become the person one has always been! How often we mask ourselves in faces that are not our own. How much dissolving and shaking of ego we must endure before we discover our deep identity – the true self within every human being that is the seed of authentic vocation.” We need to find our vocation and help the students to find theirs

14 Professional growing

15 Professional growing The country I am coming from: At the beginning of its way in this world of globalizati on and corporatio ns. IT literacy compulsory/ Very high customization of goods and services =>a need for a new type of worker The challenges ahead create an increasing burden on teachers. As a solution, Palmer suggests that “ the secular and sacred elements of life should be better integrated, that science and technological innovation should be utilized more to explore the capacities of human mind and spirit and the wisdom gained through inner exploration should be used for our individual and collective health.”

16 Professional growing The reform in teaching uses mostly terms like:” high quality education, competency, exams and competition”, etc Is it intellectual development the main mission of school? Another hope for a better future: The reform considers more and more attributes like: “caring, loving, etc.” L.A. Matheson students! It is equally important for schools to produce compassionate people and not only competent.

17 Teacher-pupils Students seen as a whole: Expressions used : ”all children have the right to learn to their fullest potential” Etc. Mostly --Students considered individually: -Expressions used: “Every child possesses unique abilities, talents and interests, which must be discovered and developed in the education process.” “Every child deserves the opportunity to grow into a confident adult, capable of earning a living and being a valuable contributor to family and community “,etc. I am conscious how difficult it is for this approach to be implemented!

18 Teacher-pupils Very little work with groups of students and more with the class as a whole Very little work with special- needs students Cooperative-work gives students opportunity to: share add their strengths be tolerant Decrease the competition and encourage self-expression For this new model of teaching, I think that both students and teachers should have very much mutual respect and interest/love in learning/teaching

19 Teacher-pupils Is Teacher expected “to know everything” in class, to not make any mistake, to show confidence in front of students no matter what? Teachers tend to be perceived by students more as humans and equal parts of their teams. The teacher should be him/herSelf

20 Teacher-pupils Is praising/rewarding students a way of encouragement ? “ children need unconditional support and love with no strings attached” [Alfie Kohn ] The face of love

21 Teacher-pupils I feel that: In an authentic process of learning,difference between people are dissolved It is important for teachers to understand diverse cultures and to recognize and reflect on their own worldviews in order to be able to understand the worldviews of their students. Reflection on cultural adapted instruction might help us to keep a balance related to this issue A burning question: What is a good balance in a culturally adapted instruction in order to improve achievement?

22 Teacher - curriculum School should be committed first to giving students the background knowledge/focus on what and how much students learn? Or better to help them developing their imagination/creativity? Where and when are “ lecture-oriented “ classes still appropriate? I do consider: that the focus should be on:" teaching students how to think/learn” New teaching strategies/learning techniques/methods for active learning (learning by doing) have their importance in this teaching/learning process I join those who say that we should encourage deep thinking!

23 Teacher - curriculum Don’t underestimate the importance of “ critical thinking”! Priorities in teaching: Critical thinking ---because people will need to deal more with complexity and uncertainty in the future The importance of holistic approach of learning and real-life connections I have noticed : In both countries I have had my experience, students are still –generally-learning the parts without seeing the whole or “what for” they are learning!!!

24 Teacher - curriculum The second burning question: The new strategies require more time and more devoted teachers. I think more teachers for well designed classes with max. 15 students and more assistants for special needs will be necessary. How could politicians and other decisional bodies be convinced about the importance of the progressive reform in teaching ?

25 Teacher - curriculum Alfie Kohn Alfie Kohn opposes Competition to Excellence Reflection on : What does it mean to be well educated What is the best schooling I have always felt that competition inhibits the creativity

26 Teacher - curriculum Have you ever thought that: the validity of the standardized tests could be questioned? There are people who oppose to: schools becoming a consumerist business schools being privatized People who: advocate against the industry created around standardized tests. make efforts in order to strengthen the decision power of the parents who can decide if their children should take or not such a test! I am asking myself how can students who refuse taking the tests could integrate in this society as it is

27 Professional growing I feel that: Children in Canada are open-minded and tolerant, ready to consider everybody as equal or as one and- as all children- with inner thirst for learning one possible cause for the crisis in education -could be: The tension between 2 generations ( teachers- individualist gen.- and students gen. for which people like Alfie Kohn prepare the path) My understanding is that: The students and progressive teachers are called to a sort of “passive resistance” ( in the way Gandhi defined it) to the corporate influence, and consumerism( can you see any connection with the hippie movement from 40 years ago?) Therefore, in my view, the change is imposed by our students and the teachers should keep pace with it. Can progressive teachers change this “status quo” inherited from their parents? I think that analysis for a change in Education should start with Political and Social areas and the change itself need to happen simultaneously in all major spheres of life.

28 Professional growing The most important growth : learning from and about people in this multicultural society! Instead of epilogue, I chose a video, good reflection of my feelings throughout this “journey” and also:a video a summary of my understandings of all the efforts for a better world/education a reflection of my growth in being aware of the problems world is facing a hope that I could contribute through teaching to this effort of change for positive. About the video: YES! :a non-profit organization which spoke to more than 600,000 people in schools and conference presentations about the need for social transformation and produced award-wining video and movies shown by MTV in more than 70 countries.


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