The Effortless Change in Students and Faculty Within Education Professor Daphnie V. Campbell Frederick Community College Adult Education AFACCT ‘12 Conference, Montgomery College, Rockville, Maryland Session 2.13 (Room SW-127) 11:40am – 12:50pm firstname.lastname@example.org 240-529-2847
Introduction• It sounds impossible but that’s what education reveals. Education is the seed that can change your life. Most people view change as a difficult, painful, and labor-intensive process. To their way of thinking, it takes a huge amount of effort to change their thoughts, actions, and circumstances. Due to this, change is something they resist. During this seminar, I want to share with you some truths about measuring up as educators and leaders that will totally transform the way we understand and approach educational change.
STUDENT ATTITUDE• The typical college campus is a friendly place; but it is also a competitive environment. The education you receive there, and the attitudes you develop, will guide you for the rest of your life. Your grades will be especially important in landing your first job, or when applying to graduate school. To be a successful student requires certain skills; but, these are skills that can be learned.
Student Attitude Cont’d• Prioritize your life: Doing well in school should be your top priority.• Study: There is no substitute.• Always attend class.• Do all of the homework and assigned reading.• Develop self-discipline.• Manage your time.
Self-Discipline Made Easy• Human beings are creatures of habit. Therefore, form a habit of doing what you reason you should do. Is it not foolish for your behavior to contradict your own reasoning? And what could be more harmonious than finding yourself wanting to do what you know you should? Train yourself so there is an immediate reaction-mechanism within you:• You reason that you should do something, and thus you do it. Other people who seem to have less difficulty with self-discipline probably have simply had more practice at it, thereby making it less difficult; because, practice is what it takes.
Time Management• No matter how you slice it, there are only 24 hours in a day. Good time-management requires: Not taking on more than you can handle.• Reasonably estimating the time required to perform each of the tasks at hand.• Actually doing what needs to be done.• Only you can do these things. A couple of thoughts, though, that may help spur you on: A minute now is as precious as a minute later. You cant put time back on the clock.• If youre not ahead of schedule, then youre behind schedule. Because, if you try to remain right on schedule, then any mishap or misjudgment will cause you to fall behind---perhaps right at the deadline, when no recovery is possible.
Introspection• Understand, and be honest with, yourself. All else follows from this.• Be both athlete and coach: Keep one eye on what you are doing, and one eye on yourself.• Take command of, and responsibility for, yourself.• Face your insecurities head-on. Some common signs of insecurity: Asking a question to which you already know the answer; being artificially social with instructors or other students, when the real reason is to temporarily kill the pain.• Form a positive self-image: Those students who are first entering college will probably have doubts about how well they will do. Try to do well immediately to instill an expectation of continuing to do well. Settle for nothing less. Nevertheless, try not be restricted by your past performance and experiences, good or bad. Learn from the past, but dont be bound by it. Seek out your weaknesses and attack them. Be realistic about your limitations; but, dont let this lead to becoming satisfied with them.
Student Attitude Suggestions• Unify and simplify your knowledge: A textbook presents the subject in a particular form, as does an instructor. By their very natures, however, textbooks and lectures tend to present subjects sequentially. Take the extra step of understanding the material in your terms, which may involve recognizing relationships that could not be conveniently expressed in the order presented in the text(s) and lectures.• Remember, almost every logically consistent topic is simple at its foundation. Try to recognize the simple underlying relationships in the subject at hand; these are often left unstated by instructors and textbooks.• Try to learn general principles and methods. Learning by examples (putting the new in terms of the familiar) can only take you so far.• Learn as many methods of problem-solving as you can. This is especially helpful for exams, when time is of the essence.• Ask yourself questions. Why didnt the instructor or text(s) do this or that? Explore your own ideas. Try to understand the course material in detail.
Cont’d• Successful students force themselves to understand. They do not merely go through the motions of attending class, reading the text(s), and doing the homework, expecting these actions to necessarily suffice. Rather, they are continually asking, "Do I really understand whats going on here?" They ask this question of themselves honestly, applying an internal barometer formed from experience to detect the slightest lack of understanding, be it ignorance or confusion. And, if the answer is "No", then the situation is viewed as unacceptable, and more effort is the response.
FACULTY INTERNAL CHANGES• As an educator, I have changed on the inside and immediately everything in my life began to change on the outside.• External changes began to manifest on the outside when I started to change the way I though on the inside.• If you want to see change outwardly, it has to begin on the inside. If you change the way you think – the way you are on the inside – then you’ll see a change on the outside-effortlessly!
Planting the Educational Seeds• People typically respond to tough circumstances and situations by blaming someone or something else.• However, education makes it clear as an educator that your experience, surroundings, everything about you-is basically a result of the way you think.• Ex: If I came over to your house one day to see your garden, I wouldn’t have had to be with you when you sowed the seeds to know what you planted. All I would have to do is observe.• Same is true for your classroom – whatever is growing (students knowledge), is what you planted or allowed to be planted within them. You sowed that educational seed!
Faculty Reality• This is a simple truth we are discovering, but its profound. In fact, most educators miss is because it’s so simple, thinking, No – it must be more complex than that.• You can turn any educational circumstance in your life around by changing the perspective of that situation.• Instead of just focusing on the fact that another faculty member has just pushed your hot buttons, you recognize it• So instead of reacting, your thinking first• I have met so many people that have been in situations and know how to survive them now, but are afraid to take risks so the changes externally can happen. You have to tell yourself I’m going to do what ever it takes to see these changes happen in my classroom, with my students, etc.
Faculty Attention Focus (Students need instruction and impartation)• A secure, stable environment with flexibility for individual growth during this transitional period in student life• Structured and clear guidelines within which students can find their "voices" and learn to express and exercise freedom responsibly• Academically challenging student-centered instruction, imparted by a team of caring, committed teachers, enriched and extended to prepare students for life• Attention to individual student needs, balanced with an emphasis on the value of challenge and fostering of self- reliance as students grow and mature• Broad experience of education to equip students to live in a global society, at the same time grounded firmly in traditional values of enquiry, hard work, integrity, respect and reverence
Transformation(Teaching experiences and mind renewal)• Instructional methods are only as good as their contribution to the achievement of learning objectives. Sometimes it helps to think of the teaching methods used as roads which lead to cities (objectives) and of training materials (visual aids, case study, scenarios, role play, etc.) as the materials with which the roads are constructed. Our students travel a variety of different “roads” in order to learn. They learn by doing, observing, hearing, reading, and combinations of the four.
Transformation (Teaching experiences and mind renewal cont’d)• Group discussions and the use of case studies are two active tools to use when engaging learners, and the addition of these to your teaching methods will allow you to more fully focus the attention of your students and help them invest themselves more in the course..• Students learn best when they are fully cognitively engaged, interested, involved, connected to what they are learning, doing what is best for them, or teaching others. We facilitate learning by providing these opportunities.• Providing positive reinforcement to your students as they become involved in active learning is a powerful tool. However, remembering to provide the positive reinforcers while experimenting with active learning can be challenging. Attempting to facilitate more activity from your students requires a change on your part, too.• How can you make your lectures more brain-friendly? Lead off the topic with a good story, perhaps. Give students an initial problem to solve, a scenario, or a case study. Be sure to recap at the end of class each session. Students will begin to expect that and will plan to have something to add in subsequent class periods. Students wont remember if their brains dont have to do any work.
Cont’d• Build Interest: Provide an interesting anecdote, cartoon, story, etc. to capture the students attention. Present a problem around which you will provide information. Ask an initial question about the topic, and be sure to address the answer in the information you present.• Maximize Understanding and Retention: Reduce the major points to key words and provide examples. Compare what you know about the topic with what the students already know. Using flip charts, PowerPoint, etc. will help the visual learner, and require that students hear and see the material.• Involve Students in the Lecture: Stop twice to have the students re- cap the material. Ask the students to give examples of the topic. Put short activities that emphasize the topic into the class time.• Reinforce the Lecture: Pose a problem or question, based on the material, for students to solve.
Faculty/Student Relationship• When student and instructor acknowledge that they’re both learning, the instructor’s offering becomes more dynamically connected to the student.• Open -Supportive –Comfortable- Respectful Safe- Enjoyable Envirnoment
Personalize Your Classroom• What type of educator are you:• Facilitator-enhances student learning by encouraging active participation in discussion and by helping students to see education as meaningful and relevant• Expert-who communicates expertise through lectures and discussions, and is able to stimulate students without overwhelming them• Formal Authority – who helps students by establishing boundaries such as acceptable conduct and dates of submission of materials• Socializing Agent – who has contacts within the larger academic community, and as such can be helpful to students in providing such things as letters of recommendation and links to research and publication sources• Ego ideal – charismatic and shows commitment and enthusiasm not only to the subject matter but also to the students themselves• Person – who demonstrates compassion and understanding of student needs
Good Teaching• Good teaching, I believe, is about modification and adjustment, in relation to the perceived needs of each individual student in the class at any time throughout the semester. Teaching should be a two-way process in which both students and teachers learn from one another; as long as teaching conditions facilitate two-way interaction.
Bringing Out the Best in Our Students• This does not imply giving each of them loads of attention, or even the same type of attention, as some might do better with more responsibility for individual work• Just as a parent does not treat each child identically, but reacts to needs and personality traits of each, so too should the instructor do this with each student.• It is all a question, therefore, of getting to know one’s students.
Closing• You don’t need a tree to just drop out of the sky to plant those educational seeds. Take your seeds, plant them, nurture them, water, feed them, and let them grow.• That education will produce and be fruitful right in the midst of you.
Smile• Before we leave……..lets remember to smile and let our smile be heard through our voices in teaching and to our students