Rp final edition


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Rp final edition

  1. 1. TEACHER’S DEVELOPMENT1 Teacher’s development according to different authors Juan Rosales Torres Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción (UCSC) Author note This Reaction Paper was prepared for Didactics of English, taught by Roxanna Correa.
  2. 2. TEACHER’S DEVELOPMENT2 Penny Ur: The English teacher as professional Summary In this paper Ur states the differences between professionals, technicians, lays, amateurs and academics. First, according to the author, a professional does not only have skills and knowledge, but also experience on what he does. In addition, Ur (?) mentions that unlike a lay, professionals belong to communities in which they can complement information and discuss about relevant issues regarding their area of expertise. Secondly, Ur argues that the difference between professionals and amateurs is that professionals have training, preparation, commitment, competent, continuous learning. Moreover, the training of teachers is more theoretical and is related to their formation as educators, whereas their development has to do with experience and the acquisition of practical knowledge. In the third place, Ur indicates that a professional is constantly learning and expanding his knowledge, which allows him to be prepared for teaching. The author also declares that teachers are commitment to improve so that their labor takes place as effectively as possible. Furthermore, Ur argues that professionals are different from technicians because of innovation and autonomy. Professional language teachers are skillful, know the language, are capable of explaining it, but mostly, they can manage a classroom, interact with students, use resources appropriately.
  3. 3. TEACHER’S DEVELOPMENT3 Moreover, according to Ur, a professional is more active and practical than an academic because he promotes enhancement not simply investigating, but also through active intervention. To conclude, the author declares that professional teachers are: autonomous; committed to the teaching labor; aware that learners are the most important; part of a community that have the share the same interests; receiving new information and being molded. Evaluation To start, I have to say that this paper presented good arguments that were also well supported. It was positive for me to read this paper in a way because I could know what an author says about professionalism. However, the following paragraphs express my disagreement with certain points that Ur mentioned in his paper. First of all, I disagree on what the author said about professionals and technicians. He said that technicians do not have skills and that professionals have skills, knowledge and they are innovative. In my opinion, I agree on that professionals may have more knowledge than technicians, but for me, the only difference between these two is that the professional has to spend more time studying because that is a requirement of the degree. For me, a technician can also be innovative and acquire knowledge in an informal way because he can investigate by himself. Moreover, the author states that professional teachers know how to manage a classroom and have good relationships with the learners. I also disagree on this because there is no need to be a professional to get along with someone. For me it is just about social skills that can be applied not only inside a classroom, but everywhere. Having positive interactions with people is a gift that cannot be taught, but can be learnt through significant practice.
  4. 4. TEACHER’S DEVELOPMENT4 In conclusion, to be honest, this paper was kind of confusing to me compared with the other papers. Sometimes I could not really understand the differences between the definitions provided by the author. I believe this happened because my previous thought and knowledge before the reading were quite different from what appeared in the document. In fact, even though the definitions of this paper are expressed are aimed to inform the readers and maybe change their minds, I have to declare that my perspective and appreciation about a professional remains the same. However, I cannot deny that the document contributes to the teachers’ formation in the sense that explains that teachers are the real agents of change since they are the ones that do not only research, but also act on the environment. David Hayes/Cascade Training and Teachers’ professional development Summary: First, Hayes (2000) speaks about innovations in educational systems. He states that in order to implement an innovation in a school several factors have to be considered, such as the characteristics of teachers. The author also provides ways of managing innovation. He declares that, even though all the agents of this process are important, teachers are the principal agents of change in this process. Thus, their performance inside the classroom and their motivation must be analyzed to find out what to do. Furthermore, it is necessary to be aware of the micro and macro context of the teaching process. Finally, Hayes explains the cascade strategy, which is about experienced teachers helping more novice teachers to develop themselves. In addition, he declares its
  5. 5. TEACHER’S DEVELOPMENT5 advantages and all the criteria that should be taken into account when implementing it; it must promote reflection, reinterpretation, collaboration, and unity among all agents. Evaluation The following evaluation provides my appreciation about Hayes’ document. It is focused mainly on two points from the text in which I express my agreement on the one hand and disagreement on the other. At the end of this evaluation, the main conclusions will be stated. First of all, as for the managing innovation point, I have to say that I agree with the author about analyzing the social micro and macro contexts of the teaching-learning process. However, I must say that I was expecting Hayes mentioned how important the learners’ families are. If I had been him, I would have mentioned that teachers should know that families are the first educators because they teach values and appropriate behavior to their children. In my opinion, if learners do not pay attention at their own homes, they will not do it at school either. I am saying this because Hayes should have mentioned that communication between teachers and the learners’ parents is essential. Both need to be aware about what is going on with their children. For me, as teacher to be, part of my development will include to learn my students, their likes, characteristics, and particularly their personal situation because it will help to understand their attitude. In short words, I think that if teachers consider this, their motivation will increase, their improvement will continue, and innovations will be well implemented. As for the cascade method, I think it is definitely a viable way of implementing an innovation. I agree with the author because I am sure that everything can improve if there is the desire of achieving it. I am saying this because Hayes states that this method is based on significant experience full of reflection and open to positive changes. Also,
  6. 6. TEACHER’S DEVELOPMENT6 there must be cooperation between the agents that participate. As a result, these aspects can certainly promote motivation to teachers and their collaborators, and, subsequently, obtain improvement through innovation. In my opinion, the cascade method could be a good way of contributing to the teachers’ professional development. In conclusion, this paper presented good arguments that were also clearly stated, and it was not difficult for me to understand it. The cascade method seems to be worthy to try. Furthermore, even though I believe the author forgot to mention an important aspect of the social macro context, I have to say that I liked that Hayes had considered teachers as the most important when implementing an innovation. As in-service teacher, I believe is important to give them the credit they deserve because they are the principal agents in formal education. Douglas Brown: Continuing your Teacher Education Summary First of all, this chapter has the purpose of informing the reader and provides reflections from the author. Brown (2001) starts indicating that teachers are always learning in order to improve their teaching. Also, according to Brown, teachers have to be realistic, acquire knowledge, flexible, confident, and critical to perform appropriately. Furthermore, he explains that Peak Performers are autonomous and are aware of their weaknesses and strengths. This allows them to establish realistic short and long term goals. They prioritize what to do first to optimize their professional and personal time. They are innovators who always face new challenges, look for enhancement, and learn from their mistakes. They can avoid stress by managing certain factors and having powerful relationships with beloved ones.
  7. 7. TEACHER’S DEVELOPMENT7 Secondly, Brown suggests different types of observations in the classroom, in which he says that teachers have to do this in a simple but progressive way, always monitoring and assessing themselves carefully. Moreover, the author speaks about research, and he states that most of the teachers believe this is difficult and demanding. However, he says, they are always conducting researches. Furthermore, he provides pointers for teachers to investigate effectively; questions about the research have to be clear and specific; the elements of these questions must be established; teachers must know how they will answer these questions; results must be well interpreted in order to obtain conclusions that will contribute. In conclusion, Brown declares that teachers are agents for positive change that are motivated by their passion about teaching. They have to be respectful and tolerant with their students in critical moments, and also, they need to provide formative feedback and constructive critic in order to contribute to their own development. Evaluation To start, this paper was not difficult to understand for me. The arguments of the author were strong and his suggestions were very simple but helpful. First of all, I would like to refer to introduction of this chapter in which Brown (2001) declares that teachers need to be patient if they want to become true masters at teaching. Even though this seems obvious, it is important to have it in mind because there are novice teachers that are afraid of starting their labor. They want to do it as good as possible but they believe that pressure will not let them. As a result, this might
  8. 8. TEACHER’S DEVELOPMENT8 provoke that they adopt an ambitious perspective sometimes. Therefore, in my opinion, following Brown’s suggestion is quite recommendable because it expresses that the process of development and improvement of teachers should be effective and organized, taking into account that there are priorities to attend, and is necessary to be realistic and conscious about the objectives. Secondly, in the part of Peak Performers, Brown mentions rules that could help teachers in their development. Regarding this, I would like to give my opinion about the first one. One of the characteristics of peak performers is that they are not commanded in relation to their goals as teachers. This should be true, however, according to what I think; the situation in the schools is quite different because superiors or principals may demand more than what can be given. For instance, one of my friends has been a teacher for almost six year, and she has told me that this occurs very often, particularly in private schools. As a consequence, she cannot feel comfortable doing her job and her desire of improving vanishes slowly. In short words, I completely agree on what Brown states, but I also believe that teachers have to be willing to expect people that will not let them work as they want. Finally, regarding the four rules of Brown, I would like to comment about what I believe he forgot to mention. To be very honest, when I was reading this part, I was expecting the author mentioned self-commitment and social skills in addition to the rest of the rules. In my opinion, self-commitment comes from motivation, and it is essential for teachers to overcome obstacles. Moreover, if I had been the author, I would have said how important is to have positive relationships with your superiors, particularly related to the part when Brown talks about stress management as a result of excessive work. I would have expressed that teachers must not forget that their superiors are also human beings that might have had similar experiences in the past. If so, it will be much
  9. 9. TEACHER’S DEVELOPMENT9 easier for them to understand a situation of stress. Therefore, communication and sincerity between teachers and their employees should be a Peak Performer rule that I would have mentioned in the chapter. Elizabeth Taylor: Research in your classroom Summary To begin, this paper aims to inform and suggest. First of all, Taylor (2002) states that a teacher always considers different aspects of his classroom as object of analysis. Furthermore, this could be at a practical or theoretical level. Both aim to improve the teaching-learning process. In addition, Taylor declares that discussions between colleagues could be quite beneficial to make progress in the development of teachers. She also mentions that the teachers’ learning style might determine the following actions to be done. Secondly, the author argues that some teachers prefer or are obliged to meet with colleagues and discuss about how to improve their lessons, whereas other teachers improve their classes by investigating what other authors have said about teaching and classroom research. Regarding this last point, once teachers have started their investigations, someone may have already made progress in the same kind of research. In this case, Taylor suggests that these steps could be followed in order to corroborate or obtain new results. In the third place, the author mentions a teacher that conducted a research in her class in order to illustrate how a research is done. Taylor states a series of steps that the teacher followed during the investigation, in which the focus of research was determined, a way in which the data will be saved is created so that it can be collected,
  10. 10. TEACHER’S DEVELOPMENT10 analyzed, and then used to obtain results and conclusions or findings. To conclude, Taylor explained that teachers can show their findings to others through either informal talks with times for discussion, or articles and sent to journals. Evaluation Before starting, I want to express that this paper provides good ideas and arguments about teachers’ development. However, I have to say that it was not a great contribution for me because I was already familiar with the points the author mentioned. In this evaluation, I will present my opinion about some points that were stated in the document. First, there is a point in Taylor’s document when she mentions the case of an adult ESL teacher. There, the author stated that during research, it is important that teachers: know exactly what is going to be the focus of their investigation; answer themselves what can improve their lessons; identify their weaknesses; and determine what needs to be treated. I agree on this point because in my opinion teachers should focus their investigations on specific aspects in order to make the most of the time and work effectively. I believe that teaching improvement is a continuous never ending process in which some teachers may progress faster than others. Therefore, I think that when teachers want to investigate their classes, they do not have to be too ambitious. They need to use the available time wisely, and need to be realistic about their goals. They have to know themselves, and the effort they put in the process should be according to their own characteristics. That is why I agree on the author’s argument. Secondly, following the idea of teachers’ development, the author mentions that to be better, teachers must assist to talks, discussions, and other instances in which they receive information about how to investigate and how to improve their lessons. I
  11. 11. TEACHER’S DEVELOPMENT11 agree on this, however, Taylor did not express that the inconvenient is that most of the teachers do not have time for these moments. In my opinion, schools must promote this and arrange the teacher’s schedule. This is an investment in which the progress of teachers and students will be reflected in the future. In conclusion, I have to say that I did not discover new things when I read this paper. My perspective and understanding about teaching remained the same after I finished the paper. In my opinion, the author should have been more realistic when expressing the teaching situation taking into account the diversity that is part of it. However, I do think that that this paper provides good support to its arguments, and in my opinion, the author expressed herself in a clear and precise way. Joanne Pettis: Developing Our Professional Competence: Some Reflections Summary First of all, it is necessary to mention that this is a reflective paper. Pettis (2002) starts arguing that good teachers have to possess principles, knowledge, and skills in order to be competent. Also, she manifests that these are independent from one another but need to be complemented in order to obtain positive results when teaching. Secondly, she explains that there are different perspectives about the relation between teachers’ preparation and practical performance. According to her, teachers should definitely be prepared with linguistic knowledge before teaching in order to provide appropriate explanations to their students. Moreover, she declares how important is for teachers to be constantly analyzing themselves about the principles that determine their decisions.
  12. 12. TEACHER’S DEVELOPMENT12 In the third place, Pettis, there are novice and experienced teachers; therefore, their opinions, interests and concerns might be different from each other. Furthermore, she states that she attempts to improve constantly by examining her own characteristics as a teacher which permits her to make better decisions regarding her technique or methodology. Finally, she expresses that constant progress for teachers is compulsory. To achieve this, they need to be committed in a personal way to the teaching labor having in mind that learners and teaching are extremely relevant. In addition, it is necessary to emphasize that self-improvement, self-analysis, self-commitment, and constant discussion with colleagues, are characteristics that, according to the author, should be part of every teacher. Evaluation First of all, I want to say that this paper provides positive and strong content that can be quite enricher for teachers. What I liked the most about it was that it emphasizes how important commitment is. It may sound kind of obvious, but it is always necessary to remember that because there are a lot of teachers that, according to me, still do know its true meaning. Nevertheless, I will also speak about a point that I disagreed with. To start, I have to say that I agree on that teachers must integrate principles, knowledge, skills to their teaching. In addition, Pettis said that there are some people that express that it is not necessary for teachers to have linguistic knowledge because they teach the language and not linguistic aspects. In my personal opinion, someone can explain but not teach a language without linguistic knowledge. The reason why is because this is limited to communicative and prone to be done in informal contexts.
  13. 13. TEACHER’S DEVELOPMENT13 Therefore, I completely agree with the author about teachers having academic and linguistic knowledge before teaching a language. Moreover, I believe a teacher must be prepared to answer any kind of question related to the language. Thus, I think what Pettis expresses is completely true; the mixture of these three elements will give teachers enough preparation so they can provide complete and detailed explanations to their students whenever is required. Secondly, I would like to write about the novice and experienced teachers. Pettis declares that novice teachers tend to focus on what to teach whereas experienced teachers focus on how to teach. I disagree on this point because I believe that teachers are always concerned not only about the content that is going to be reviewed in the lessons, but also about the way in which they will explain such content to the learners. In my particular case, even though I am a novice teacher, I always try to make a good relation between the topic of the lesson and the corresponding activities for it, so that students can have a better learning. Therefore, being an unexperienced teacher does not imply that you will not consider certain methods or techniques when teaching. To conclude, this paper possesses quite persuasive arguments and the author expresses clearly. Although there was a point that I disagreed with, I perceived the paper positively. I want to emphasize that for me, the most important contribution of the author, is her personal testimony because it motivates teachers to understand what the teaching labor really is.
  14. 14. TEACHER’S DEVELOPMENT14 REFERENCES Brown, H. D. (2001). Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language pedagogy (2nd ed.). Pearson Education. Hayes, D. (2000). Cascade training and teachers' professional development.ELT journal, 54(2), 135-145. Pettis, J. (2002).Developing our professional competence: Some reflections.Methodology in language teaching: An anthology of current practice, 393-396. Richards, J. C., &Renandya, W. A. (Eds.). (2002). Methodology in language teaching: An anthology of current practice. Cambridge University Press. Taylor, E. (2002). Research in your own Classroom.Methodology in language teaching: An anthology of current practice, 397-403. Ur, P. (2002). The teacher as Professional.Methodology in language teaching: An anthology of current practice, 388-392.