EDU 6918: Course Reflection

E – Exemplify service to the teaching profession.

E1 – Exemplify professionally-informed, growth-centered practice. Teacher candidates develop reflective, collaborative, professional growth-centered practices through regularly evaluating the effects of his/her teaching through feedback and reflection.

When reflecting on EDU 6918, Introduction to Teaching, I can summarize that this course provided a basic understanding of various situations to prepare for when introduced to the teaching profession. The Principles of HOPE were also introduced and this has provided the foundation for reflection and familiarization with these situations. As many of the topics presented this quarter have given me insight as to how to model the HOPE principles, one of many that can be brought forward is to help students deepen their understanding of new knowledge by embracing declarative and procedural knowledge. Educators should regularly evaluate that students are receiving new knowledge and are developing a further understanding of new material while also making adjustments to curricula when needed. It is also essential that teachers embrace new teaching methods to help students practice using the information presented to them.

One of the strategies Marzano (2007) presents on deepening new knowledge is classification. This provides opportunities for students to organize and visualize new material. When making comparisons of learning content, it is very useful to integrate graphic organizers into student activities. As represented in Figure 1, Marzano has outlined examples such as a diagram called the “double bubble” (p. 74). The double bubble allows students to classify information by grouping things into categories based on their similarities and differences.

Figure 1. Example of a double bubble graphic organizer comparing monarchy to dictatorship (Marzano, 2007, p. 74).

Figure 1. Example of a double bubble graphic organizer comparing monarchy to dictatorship (Marzano, 2007, p. 74).

Similar to a Venn diagram, information is organized to quickly understand these classifications. Furthermore, when presented with visual information, learners may be better able to retain new knowledge. Graphic organizers can be utilized at various levels of education. For example, in third grade science lessons, this diagram could be used to make comparisons between rocks and minerals, renewable and nonrenewable resources, and so on.

I personally love graphic organizers and plan to utilize them and other activities in my future classroom, but there are also many other strategies that can be utilized in order to have students thoroughly examine and practice what they learn. I plan to explore well outside my own comfort zone to embrace practice that is also appropriate for the growth of procedural knowledge. While graphic organizers help students increase declarative knowledge, it is also important for students to work together in groups, problem solve and reflect, work on homework assignments, take assessments, and revise assignments. I’m not particularly excited about a couple of these tasks but realize that a layered approach to pedagogical practices will give students a variety of methods to learn. For example, based on the evidence provided by Marzano (2007), “…doing homework causes improved academic achievement” as long as the time spent on homework is appropriately spanned based on current research (p. 67). The more I work in classrooms, the more diversified my own pedagogical practices become. Coming from a career in design, I have always embraced that academic aspect of this field. Now that new strategies are continuously presenting themselves, I am inspired to design diversified instructional techniques to further my students’ learning.

Reference:

Marzano, R. J. (2007). The art and science of teaching: A comprehensive framework for effective instruction. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

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