Tag Archives: Professional Development and Teaching

A Reflective Questionnaire for Practitioners of Education

So you have decided to … May I suggest that you write a paragraph (or more) to address each of the questions that are … Reflect upon your statements; revise them when deemed appropriate!  May you be inspired to take action … to inspire your peers … to enhance the context of your professional practice.

Consider:

How much time per week do you spend on planning to initiate learning experiences?

Would you describe your classroom supplies as being adequate/inadequate? Why?

What are some of the most pressing concerns you have regarding the problems that are occurring in your school/district?

What suggestions might you convey to improve instructional mechanisms in your school/district?

How often do you discuss problems that are occurring in your classroom/school (with peers)?

Have you participated in planning or initiating any (action-oriented) research/studies during the past 5 years?

What is the nature of your philosophical views about teaching and learning?

What instructional methods are most frequently employed in your classroom/school?

Identify (at least) two professional goals that you want to realize!

Remember, the more you write about something; the more proficient you will become.  As you reflect upon your perception/reality; perhaps the sparks required to stimulate professional development and innovative processes will be perpetuated!

Best Wishes; My works (i.e. Professional Development Resources) are published via smashwords.com.  I encourage you to sample/purchase: “Becoming A Reflective Practitioner” & “The Dichotomy of Instructional Design” @ http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/kennethfetterman

Visit/Follow my Blog @ https://kennethfetterman.wordpress.com

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Filed under #Student-centered Learning, Blooms Taxonomy, Classroom Management, Curriculum and Instruction, Education, Inspirational, Instructional Design, professional Development, School Reform Initiatives & Professional Development Strategies, Teaching

Public Education (at the crossroads): Authoritative Mandates – OR – Democratic Principles

Recent reactions to “Common Core” principles indicate that many parents, teachers, and visionary scholars are not in support of these mandates.  I have no desire to waste my time criticizing such initiatives because … are posted.  If you desire to look into the matter further (which I do not); you shall discover that concerns have been raised in regards to “the business” of common core initiatives, the content and implementation criteria of “core” principles, and the dissemination of “standardized” assessment rubrics.

I believe that the primary objections directed at these initiatives stem from a legitimate belief that the constructs are too prescriptive (and that financial and/or political motives may be in play).  So, regardless of the intentions of those involved with the production and distribution of such materials – I must support proponents on the side of Democracy.  Democratic principles are based on the concept of “E PLURIBUS UNUM” (i.e. “out of many we are one”).  Since, many oppose the fundamental precepts of these initiatives and few are …? I shall assume the majority of voices are “instinctively” opposed to any agenda that is a threat to “our” democratic traditions.

I worry (as many others have) that homogenization (i.e. standardized mandates) will stifle creative thinking and innovation!  My experiences as an independent scholar have given me reason to “doubt” that change will occur if we all get on-board.  The changes I propose in education (and teacher training) will foster innovation from within; my conceptual framework includes a set of “common” recommendations for curriculum.  However, I believe that communities of practitioners must be given the “freedom” to decide what is relevant in their classrooms and schools.

For example: If we took the concept “students ought to learn about aquatic environments” as one of our core principles and allowed local agencies to determine “how” that core principle would be addressed; we would perpetuate Democratic principles in our schools.  Accordingly, in the state of DELAWARE we might address the concept via curriculum(s) that are centered around the CHES. BAY.  However, practitioners in IOWA may want to address this “core” principle via curriculums that incorporate aqua-culture or pollution from agriculture.  Freedom (not mandates) is the only way to continue the process of transformation that began more than a century ago.  DO NOT abdicate your responsibilities as citizens (and practitioners of education) to determine “what is best” for our Nation (and our public schools)!

We must build a strong network of practitioner communities and ensure that teachers are provided with adequate training before we can expect democracy to become … in our schools.  Want to learn more about Becoming a Reflective Practitioner and/or The Dichotomy of Instructional Design (i.e. student-centered and/or teacher-centered learning)?  Sample/Purchase my books which are available at: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/kennethfetterman

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Filed under Curriculum and Instruction, Education, Inspirational, professional Development, School Reform Initiatives & Professional Development Strategies, The Common Core

Classroom Management: Practical Applications of Behavioral Psychology

Teacher-centered instructional paradigms are steeped with traditions emanating from behavioral psychology.  A stimulus-response (S-R) paradigm is most frequently associated with the concept of behaviorism.  This paradigm has been referred to as the tenet of contiguity.  The notion of contiguity (i.e. classical conditioning) is especially relevant as teachers strive to effectively manage activities in their classrooms and schools.  Take a minute to consider one or more instances where the tenet of contiguity (S-R paradigm) may be relevant in your practice.  Suggestion: It may be helpful to think about rule governed behaviors (e.g. fire drills, etc.).  When you establish rules–have students participate in a discussion about the significance of each rule/behavior.  Specifically, where/when does a rule apply?  Identify as many applications of each rule as possible.  Now let’s consider the influential legacy of reinforcement contingencies (i.e. the relationship between a response and various schedules of reinforcement).  B. F. Skinner conceptualized that by controlling the consequences of behavior as it evolves; it can be “shaped and maintained via a process of selection among variations…. [that is analogous] to the process at work in biological evolution” (Richelle, 1993, pp. 26-27).  He realized that successful traits are strengthened and undesirable behaviors can be minimized via positive and negative reinforcement; a concept referred to as “operant conditioning”.  Flora & Pavlik (1990) state that: “positive and negative refer only to the presentation or removal of stimuli in the environment, not some inherent quality of the stimuli”. (p. 122)  When the presentation or removal of a stimulus increases the probability or rate of a specific behavior, it has reinforcing consequences.

Want to learn more about “Becoming a Reflective Practitioner”? http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/kennethfetterman

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Filed under Classroom Management, Education, School Reform Initiatives & Professional Development Strategies