My philosophy of teaching


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This is a presentation that talks about how a teacher works in this modern world, connectivism and how you incorporate concepts of life-long learning, personal learning environments and networking into you teaching practice.

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  • teaching isn't just about providing content, but facilitating the means for students to connect with each other so they can learn from the content together. Connectivism is a learning theory that has been mooted by George Siemens and Stephen Downes . The theory postulates that learning is based on networks and connections - people learn from the connections they make to other people and information. This is in contrast to other learning theories such as constructionism, behaviourism and cognitivism that suggest that knowledge is formed as a result of previous experience or is something that is given to the learner. Or as Ron Lubensky puts it: Most people view knowledge in one of two paradigmic ways. First, as objective stuff to be acquired, stored, gained, transferred, distributed, etc. Second, as action depicted in skills, performance, problem-solving and professional identity. Connectivism articulates a third paradigm, locating knowledge in the relationships that we have with each other and objective resources. Knowledge is the network. Knowledge is rhizomatic (multiple entry points, rather than hierarchic) and fractal (portrayed at the social and neural levels).
  • . D'arcy Norman (2008), in his post ' Content is not enough ' says "Content is the least important part of education. What is far more important is what takes place between and among the students. The activities of the community of learners. What they actually DO with the content and with each other. Great content IS important, but only if there is also a functioning and active community working together to learn, create and share. Otherwise, all that takes place is content dissemination. And that’s not education..."
  • Chaos means there is movement - there is action - the learners are doing something. Rather than trying to restrain or structure that movement and activity, it is my role to support students so they can make sense of what is going on and find their own connections and networks.
  • One way to align the use of technology with networking and learning is in the role of technology steward as defined by Nancy White (2008) in her presentation ' Stewarding technologies for communities ' and blog post ' Definition of a community technology steward '. Nancy says that a technology steward is a person "with enough experience of the workings of a community to understand its technology needs, and enough experience with technology to take leadership in addressing those needs. Stewardship typically includes selecting and configuring technology, as well as supporting its use in the practice of the community." With so many of my students having minimal knowledge of how to network and with what tools, I feel it is vital for me to recognize what technology is appropriate, and lead and support the students as they identify what tools they require for effective networked learning.
  • What I am rapidly beginning to think is that we cannot truly label what a connected teacher does or is because I think teaching is a constantly evolving role depending on any given context at any given time. What a teacher does need to be able to do is quickly adapt to her rapidly changing environment: "Content and course materials are no longer necessarily something to be owned and hoarded, but freely and openly shared; Curricula is no longer centrally organised and dictated, but instead contextually interpreted and adapted; Enrollment is no longer controlled, but instead open to all ages, levels of experience or existing knowledge, and geographical regions; Information no longer flows one-directionally from an expert to a novice, but is instead discussed, interpreted and negotiated by a network of its participants…" Mike Bogle (2008) The Role of the Educator and Institution in a Changing Educational Landscape . Chaos and the teacher The students aren't the only ones threatened by chaos. Teachers can also feel vulnerable in the face of this chaos - they lose 'control', which in itself may reflect on them and their 'teaching' ability depending on the view of the person reviewing the teacher's performance . Courses can be difficult to 'manage' if the teacher is trying to constrain learners to prescribed curriculum and learning outcomes. They themselves can find it difficult to react and adapt to the changing needs of the learner. Nevertheless, as Bogle says: tying learning interests back to real life examples and applications - and importantly letting the learner dictate the flow of the experience - with all the tangents that may entail - you reinforce the idea that learning is something to be explored, discovered and enjoyed, rather than endured.
  • Meeting individual student needs
  • Role modeling life-long learning to students – need to be open to do that…open blogging. Reflective – reflect on my teaching practice, learning to improve it all the time
  • My philosophy of teaching

    1. 1. My philosophy of teaching Sarah Stewart 2009 Creative Commons Attribution BY
    2. 2. More than a teacher who ‘teaches’
    3. 3. Connectivism
    4. 4. Learning networks and communities
    5. 5. Chaos
    6. 6. Life-long learning
    7. 7. Personal Learning Environment
    8. 8. Networked teacher
    9. 9. Technology steward
    10. 10. Teacher as curator
    11. 11. Teacher as jack of all trades
    12. 12. Flexible
    13. 13. Open
    14. 14. Teacher as learner
    15. 15. References <ul><li>Stewart, S. (2008). How connectivism changes my teaching practice . Retrieved 18 September, 2009, from </li></ul><ul><li>Stewart, S. (2008). Chaos is good! Retrieved 18 September, 2009, from </li></ul><ul><li>Stewart, S. (2008). CCK08: Not a theory girl. Retrieved 18 September, 2009, from </li></ul>