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Searching For Meaning Grace Eason AETS NE Regional University of Maine at Farmington.

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Presentation on theme: "Searching For Meaning Grace Eason AETS NE Regional University of Maine at Farmington."— Presentation transcript:

1 Searching For Meaning Grace Eason AETS NE Regional University of Maine at Farmington

2 Maine Mathematics and Science Teaching Excellence Collaborative (MMSTEC)Partners University of Maine System Farmington Univ. of Southern Maine Univ. of Maine

3 A Sense of Community

4 Science and Math Cross Tier Teaching Teams Regional Group University Faculty Regional Teachers Pre-service Teachers Year 1 & 2 Research On How Students Learn Science and Math Year 3 & 4 Research Based Pedagogy in Science and Math Year 5: Assessment and Action Research in Classrooms

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8 Sustaining Community Year 6 The question we most commonly ask is the ‘what’ question—what subjects shall we teach? When the conversation goes a bit deeper, we ask the ‘how’ question—what methods and techniques are required to teach well? Occasionally, when it goes deeper still, we ask the ‘why’ question—for what purpose and to what ends do we teach? Palmer, 1998

9 The “Who” Question But, seldom, if ever, do we ask the ‘who’ question—‘who’ is the self that teaches? How does the quality of my selfhood form—or deform—the way I relate to my students, my subject, my colleagues, my world? How can educational institutions sustain and deepen the selfhood from which good teaching comes? Palmer, 1998

10 What if? We create the space to ask real questions: What does teaching truly mean to this person? What processes does this person go through when designing a course? How do they envision student success in their courses? What challenges do they face when they teach? We observe each other?

11 TRUST How do we begin?

12 Teaching as Technique The Heart of A Teacher by Parker Palmer “Good teaching cannot be reduced to technique; good teaching comes from the identity and integrity of a teacher.”

13 Finding Meaning “If we want to grow in our practice, we have two primary places to go: to the inner ground from which good teaching comes and to the community of fellow teachers from whom we can learn more about ourselves and our craft.” “Our tendency to reduce teaching to questions of technique is one reason we lack collegial conversation of much duration or depth.” Palmer, 1998

14 Feedback I just wanted to let you know that I felt last nights focus on "the Heart of a Teacher" was really timely. With standards being driven down our throats via "factual, testable, junk!" looking at what being a really good teacher is was a nice reflection. I would love to read his book and discuss with the group and reflect on my own about the info. I am at a point where I'm wondering how much longer do I want to teach in this environment that the NCLB is creating. I'm not sure.....regardlessThanks for bringing this to us and I look forward to delving deeper into it!

15 Feedback First of all I thought last night’s meeting was very stimulating… This is just one (okay make that two) thought(s) I had as a question(s) to throw out and see if people have ideas about (first one triggered by the James Baldwin story)… How do we encourage students to be independent learners and to have the courage to try new ideas and maybe fail (and understand that that is a good thing) while trying to keep assessment “fair”? Has anyone tried anything that has either worked (or failed)? How important is to keep assessments “fair”? My sense is that most college students feel that this is an unwritten law that all teachers must follow.

16 Vocational Vitality “Potent teaching, that is teaching that energizes and inspires students, eludes easy characterization.” “A teacher’s capacity to teach well is irretrieveably linked to a set of ineffable, hard to codify qualities describing the degree to which a teacher is present and vital in enacting their role as teacher.” Intrator & Kunzman (2004)

17 References Palmer, P. (1998). The courage to teach. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass Inc. Intrator, S.M. & Kunzman, R Fully There, Tuned In, and Leaning Into the Wind: Professional Development that Attends to the Teacher.


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