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Transformative Learning

 

http://www.lifecircles-inc.com/Learningtheories/humanist/mezirow.html

 

Mezirows Transformational learning model is very interesting to me and one key concept that I am wrestling with here is teacher roles vs student roles. I believe these roles are not set in stone and vary depending on lesson, instructor and student. One influence that I have taken from the article I posted is how I can be more observant of my influence in promoting transformational learning.  A key phrase I came across in another article about transformative learning also resonates with me, its “disorientating dilemmas.” The idea of creating small problems for students to learn through, may result in some transformations, as an outcome of working through the problem. These disorientating dilemmas can be especially useful during practical projects and I think the potentials for learning through these experiences is tremendous. Another insight I have gained is that I can also use unforeseen situations or hindrances in my program as an excellent opportunity to create learning opportunities.

Fixed vs Growth Mindsets

 

http://michaelgr.com/2007/04/15/fixed-mindset-vs-growth-mindset-which-one-are-you/

 

I came across this article which illustrates the differences in mindsets with some visual graphics. Most of the articles I have come across do not highlight many positive attributes on having a fixed mindset, this was disappointing for me as I like to see the benefits of opposing ideas. From what I have read online and with my current understandings of the two mindsets, the only place I know of that a fixed mindset may be beneficial is in regards to safety policies and rules. On a construction site having a fixed mindset in regards to safety may save more workers from injury as policies will be adhered to more stringently as people will be fixed on them.

I was drawn to the article I chose to post about because of how it has influenced my thoughts on priming my students to utilize a growth mindset in my classroom, the topics of focus are simple and easy to understand. The ideas listed such as – embrace challenges, persists in the face of setbacks and learn from criticism are all growth-mindset ideas that can be incorporated into the themes of my lessons. Creating curriculum and exercises is something I will be looking at differently as well, with greater emphasis put on creating activities that encourage growth mindset type thinking.

Motivation

 

http://www.teachhub.com/top-12-ways-motivate-students

Motivation is a critical part of being a good instructor and could make or break the students experience in the classroom. The article I found online listed twelve ways in which teachers could motivate students, some of the ideas presented in the article have stood out and I hope to incorporate them into my lessons.

Topic number 2. Expect Excellence.  I really like this idea and I feel a good way for me to incorporate it into my lessons is by talking about a tradesman vs general laborers. Inspiring them to be greater by showing them the vast differences in the two types of construction workers may motivate them to excel and participate more in the classroom. I must be careful not to set the bar too high and also show excellence with my practical demonstrations.

Topic number 7. Open-Format Fridays. This is another concept that I would like to incorporate within my lessons when possible. The learners will be motivated to have an enjoyable Friday and it may also give me insights as to which students have intrinsic motivations vs extrinsic, based upon their choices for Fridays classroom format.

Highlight of the discussion with my learning partner

After my meeting with Jennifer Hunter my PIDP learning partner, I discovered that there were some similarities in our respective fields, Jennifer works in the medical imaging field as a sonographer. A current trend we spoke about in her field was how about technology was improving enabling them to do the same jobs in more detail and with more ease. With new simulators and technology improvements, the same practices are being improved upon, there is more awareness being created and student scanning skills are developed faster.

Upon discussing trends in adult education we both agreed that competency based training was something that was trending however in our fields of work competency based training was criteria. Online training has become more prevalent as we have noticed, people today are more inclined to use this form of delivery since it is much more convenient. There are also a larger variety of smaller real life type courses with direct results which are really diversifying adult education, a good example of this trend would be the craft brewing crash courses offered online with kits for sale too. Advancements in technology have provided a wider range of learning options and tools with more hands on simulators giving the student a more realistic training experience.

I believe that blended learning combining theory and practice will become a greater responsibility of the teachers. More courses are implementing social media into the classes with online meetings, making it easier to do group activities. In my line of work there is greater emphasis on mentorship and as an instructor I will have to find more creative ways to implement mentorship training in preparing the student for leadership roles. One other thing Jennifer and I had discussed was the task of getting students to think critically making them better problem solvers, in my field of work this is a subject often forgotten as the emphasis is strictly on learning subject material.

Creating a Positive Learning Environment

http://www.footprintsrecruiting.com/teacher-community/blog/how-create-positive-learning-environment

 

Creating a positive learning environment has always been a motivator for me, looking further into this topic has given me more knowledge on some fundamentals which I hope to utilize in my classroom.

In the article one key statement stood out and made me question why more emphasis isn’t placed on positive learning environments. The statement was “students deserve a positive learning environment.”

After reading that statement I reflected on why this isn’t emphasized more in trades training, my only understanding at this point is that tradesmen do not like dealing with feelings and most trades instructors are ex tradesmen. The article goes on to discuss key points to look at and so I chose to relate my current understanding of those ideas.

Core Values is the first topic, which basically states that there must be a consistency in the values of the teacher. This is part of creating a positive learning environment students feel more comfortable knowing what the instructors deems good and bad, also it gives the student an idea of what ethical behaviors are expected of them.

Ambiance, this pertains to the physical space. If a classroom is filled with distractions and allows the students attention to wonder, the student will not learn. On the opposite side if a class is bare and cold with no decorations it may not be as inviting or create a positive learning atmosphere. There is a balance that must be achieved and must include some reflection on the core values within the setup of the space. A good example of that would be… teamwork is something that is encouraged therefore in that class the seating should be arranged to accommodate that.

Expectations are another important factor and can be simply defined as rules that should be met in the classroom. The article states that these must remain constant and will be more effective if positive reinforcement is used. Ground rules must be set up early to also and this is to avoid any negative interactions which may affect the learning environment.

Relativity is a very big one for me as I always felt distant with teacher I couldn’t relate to. The articles encourage teachers to try and learn new things from the students, my belief is that this will give the teacher an opportunity to engage the student in a different way showing a side of teachers that isn’t often seen.  Seeing an instructor or a teacher in a different light may make them more approachable allowing student to open up and feel more confident when dealing with the teacher.