The Hero’s Journey and the growth of the instructor

Recently our class shared our favorite movies featuring education in the classroom. I shared one of my favorite movies, “Tampopo,” whose protagonist is a single mother who one day approaches a Ramen Master (Japanese noodle soup) and requests training in the “Way of Ramen.” As I thought about a common thread which links many of the protagonists in the movies listed in our discussion forum, I realized that each movie recognizes that the educator enters the movie as just another instructor but through many trials and tribulations they grow into an inspirational leader for the learners of their respective classroom. (See Hero’s Journey definition) This message is important to me as an instructor who is learning “The Way of the Instructor” through the PIDP program and slowly implementing the strategies and theory I learn into my own classroom.  At times I make mistakes during my class and at times the class flows perfectly with all learners remarking how unique and enlightening my classroom experience was for them.

How do you feel about group work in the classroom?

Group work in the classroom! How do you feel about it?

I recall one group project during my Geography course on sustainable development at UBC more than 15 years ago.  Not one person took the lead and each of us contributed our equal share to the assignment.  We met outside of the campus at an arranged time and took a short tour through Gastown, Granville Island and the adjoining neighborhoods.  It was a great experience for me because I had never spoke with the other three members in our large class.  After the project, I would either speak with them before or after class and would see them occasionally walking on the campus.  Group work for me at times can be frustrating because of a clash of personalities.  However, the random grouping of classmates with various approaches to the course and reasons for being there often lend to a altered learning experience within the learning process.  Mixing in one group project within a collection of assignments is a good idea.  But I do not believe all activities should focus on the group dynamic.

Here are a few positive attributes we can assign to group work:


Looking at Introverted Behavior…Who me, couldn’t be, then who?

Until a few days ago I had not studied the difference between introverted and extroverted types of characteristics.  The introvert is seen as finding stimulation in quiet places, often looking deep into the meaning of things through self-reflection.  Extroverts are seen as being outgoing the type of person who has confidence to speak their mind. Upon reading the definitions of the two types, I relate more towards the introverted way of being. I do not feel comfortable in many social settings and find the most enjoyment in pursuing self-directed forms of learning. Especially diving into cook books and formulating recipes in my mind.

I also tend to respond to questions with a carefully thought out reply, often speaking slowly and picking each word as I go.  I am amazed at people who can easily speak their mind and respond to anything quickly and without hesitation. This cartoon is a great reflection for this topic.


Thinking about Visible Learning and Visible Thinking

visible thinking.” Visual thinking challenges the learner to question themselves and see what reasons formulate their stream of thinking, what are other possible outcomes, points of view and approaches they can filter their formulations through in order to see anything through a multiple of lenses.

“visible learning” occurs when teachers see learning through the eyes of students and help them become their own teachers. Hattie (who first introduced visible learning) found that the ten most effective influences relating to student achievement are: Student self-reporting grades (d= 1.44), formative evaluation (d=0.9), teacher clarity (d=0.75), reciprocal teaching (d=0.74), feedback (d=0.73), teacher-student relationships (d=0.72), meta-cognitive strategies (d=0.69), self-verbalisation/ questioning (d=0.64), teacher professional development (d=0.62), and problem-solving teaching (d= 0.61)”

I am enthusiastic to introduce to my classroom skills that tie both visual learning and visual thinking into the self-directed learning/assessment process.  The question for me is what techniques will generate the motivation for the learners to engage with this form of learning and allow them to develop their meta-cognitive skills rather then scare them completely from engaging with the process.

Cooking Demonstrations

Please view this web link to view my Instructional Strategy Digital Project. It summarizes what are the best practices for a cooking demonstration. How can you apply these practices? Also it looks at what is the role of the educator and learner. Finally I look at the pros and cons of the cooking demonstration. Please enjoy!