Class 2: Teaching for Learning – Pedagogies // Resilience, Comfort and Fluency

What’s below is my public mapping of how this class session fell into place – that blending of what was planned with what we adapted as students grew ideas and what we integrated as their interactions/feedback/ideas/words reshaped the questions to be asked in a next round.   The class session was build from a Learning Circles model, anticipating the need for adaptation and integration based on participants’ interactions, and the social learning / constructivist / social constructivism informing the Highlander Folkschool Learning Circle practice seemed especially suited to this class session.  In Highlander practice, learning circles move from What (collecting ideas, experiences, information within a diverse group) to So What (what are convergent threads, what are divergent ideas, have we made room for dissenting views – and how do we name the ideas we will move forward in our discussions and actions? the ones we are not moving forward – and why not) to Now What (what’s this mean for our practice? as individual? as peers and colleagues? as part of larger institutions? in light of power dynamics – personal, local academic cultures, national cultures, personal political and cultural affinities, prevailing political power and privileging; what actions will we take – at individual, groups, institutional, policy and practice levels).

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this session participants will be able to:

  • Describe connections between learning and teaching as expressed in Class 2 readings focused on pedagogies for adult learning
  • Summarize principles/practices of active learning set out in today’s readings and used in today’s classroom activities
  • Explain, generally & in your own context, environmental factors that impact teaching

Required Reading

  • Heutagogy: It Isn’t Your Mother’s Pedagogy Any More
  • Halpern & Hakel “Applying the Science of Learning to the University & Beyond”
  • Nelson “Student Diversity Requires Different Approaches to College Teaching, Even in Math and Science”
  • McKeachie Chapter 14 on Active Learning/Group Based Learning
  • Try out two tools/technologies from the Web Possibilities listings

Tech Talk – GoogleDocs practice: invite all to a doc where we “crowd source” ideas about their comfort with technology as well as first thoughts on how they might use tools/technologies explored in a F2F class to enhance learning, interaction, speaking up.

Learning – Personal Definitions / 15 minutes, in trios
Introducing artifacts/drawings/diagrams/images/charts – ways of showing learning.

The prompt: individuals in turn put their drawing on the table, hearing others speak back to the image, to what they see and are understanding as viewers, then the image creator speaking to the image s/he’s created and to viewers initial responses; after all three have engaged in this call & response cycle, the remaining time is for comparative conversation – personal learning contexts, emerging teaching contexts.  Each trio ends with sharing a single word/short phrase with the class to capture the essence of learning as they’ve set it out.  These are put on the white boards assigned to the individual tables and we do a quick whole class discussion about the words/phrases.

Learning – Pedagogical Theories / 30 minutes, full table works together, drawing on readings to map (via white board) connections they see authors making between teaching and learning – making use of the words/phrases on the white boards from previous activity to frame learning.

At a mid-point we turned their attention to the “understand” component of Bloom’s Taxonomy, starting with describing what it is they would want students “to understand” at the end of the first week of the course they will design as part of final teaching portfolio.  They then worked in original trios to come up with stronger specific verbs for the outcome so that they could specify the learning and teaching that they intended to provoke in that first week.

Learning – Cultural Contexts: Aspirations and Actualities / 30 minutes

Viewing Ken Robinson’s Changing Education Paradigms talk with animation via RSA – task while viewing this long – 11 minutes – presentation is to compile a focused listing (using white board next to team’s video screen) of key points heard, especially points to come back to for exploration or underscoring. Students encouraged to all contribute to the list by walking up to the board, by calling out ideas to a team member already writing, by keeping a personal focused list and adding phrases to the board as the video ends.  This informs whole class discussion of environmental factors that influence aspirations and actualities, a looking at gaps between the two, naming of what provokes the gaps and what needs to happen to address the particular “wicked problem” they’ve outlined.  The discussion provides an occasion for weaving in Scotland’s Colleges write up on creating cultures of learning, which wraps this segment so students return to talking in groups.

Learning – Back to Personal Contexts / 15 minutes

Back to groups – so, what is learning and how does learning happen? what are the environmental factors that impact learning [definitions, explicit & implicit, and practices, advocated and enacted] where you’ll be teaching?  what environmental factors do you want to take hold of and help to flourish as you engage in learning and teaching in the courses you’ll create and classrooms you’ll enter into in a teaching role?

First Meeting of Teaching Teams / remainder of class session

  • teams meet for first time, continue introductions begun in Classes 1 & 2 (spreadsheet notes days to be absent, primary disciplinary home of student, teaching experience to date, and US or international education background prior to graduate school)
  • review of the 5 weeks and topics allocated for team teaching to launch teams’ discussion of topics they’ll “bid for”
  • each team submits a bid card naming choices 1, 2 and 5 – and with the last choice noting factors that play into that decision (such as team members having planned absences that fall during that class session); co-teachers were prepared to allocate 5th choice topics if factors pointed to a desire to avoid “difficult” topics.
  • teams begin to discuss the preparation process co-teachers have set out, asking clarifying questions (clarifying for us and for them – this is a wholly new format for the class session teaching component of 8101)

Closure for the day – fielding questions about teams and “A” Contracts (the new item to be discussed during Class 3) and setting up the coming week’s Active Reading Assignment, which has the basic charge of introducing students in the course they will be designing/teaching to learning as a concept and practice.  Requirements:

  • create a 3-5 minute presentation – 3 key points, 3 carefully composed slides
  • for students enrolled in the course they will be designing
  • to introduce learning into a first week class session of that course
  • ideas developed via Class 1-3 readings, discussions, assignments as a base
  • but ideas/content/concepts appropriate to that first week of their course as the focus

Classroom Assessment for the Session:

  • 3×5 card
  • skim Halpern & Hakel bold typeface setting out factors that enhance learning; list two that you saw at work in our course plan for today
  • on other side of card, describe how these factors impacted you as a learner, your learning during class today



One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.