Ek is ‘n week of drie gelede gevra om my klasgee-filosofie te verwoord. Hierso is dit (in my mooiste Engels):
Personal teaching philosophy
I teach, because it is fun for me to do so. I enjoy facilitating discussion and seeing people grow in the complexities of and naunces in their thinking. It is a way for me to serve, maintain hope and create meaning through the work I do.
Teaching to me is more than the mere transferral of content matter; it is a critical engagement with knowledge and the community (and landscapes) of practice within which it is constructed and shared – and at its heart is a reciprocal, trusting relationship with those you teach and with those from whom you learn.
Apart from teaching the curriculum, it is important for me to develop students’ creative and critical reasoning skills, for them to challenge the status quo – and to keep their inherent interest and curiosity alive: “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel” (Socrates).
I recognise the responsibility of being a teacher and vow to practise my profession in an ethical manner. I believe in the scholarship of teaching and learning – in reflecting and improving on the strategies I employ to facilitate learning, and remaining active in the research field, as a lifelong learner.
I subscribe to constructivist and connectivist learning theories and believe in blended learning, catering for personal differences of students in terms of their diverse backgrounds, personal experiences, multiple intelligences and preferred learning styles.
I want to challenge and surprise (even frustrate) the students I teach; make them feel and think; inspire them to act; make them laugh, and be confident.
Sharing in their lives, their thoughts and fears, joys and sorrows is my reward.
As teaching remains a challenge I will be open to criticism and welcome new ideas.
Wat sou jy toevoeg? Waarvan verskil jy?
In die era van Facebook, sal jy jou oud-onderwysers opsoek?
I have just returned from the annual Southern African Association for Institutional Research (SAAIR) conference. It was held in The Friendly – as well as The Windy – City of Port Elizabeth, at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) campus.
As conferences go, it followed the typical pattern: a keynote speaker opening the day, followed by speakers from different institutions (universities) delivering papers on their recent research findings, followed by tea, more speakers, lunch, some more speakers, tea, and an evening excursion, (Monday evening a boat ride in the harbour; yesterday a game drive in the Kragga Kamma Game park), followed by dinners.
The theme of the conference was Closing the Loop.
Even as a novice in the field I really enjoyed the variety of topics ranging from closing the quality assurance loops (departmental evaluations and programme reviews) to measuring graduate employability as an indicator of institutional effectiveness.
Yeah, I know – it might sound a bit boring, but you really do get insight into the Southern African Higher Education sector if a representative from Umalusi presents A comparative evaluation of the Senior Certificate curricula. I especially enjoyed my colleague, dr Gert Steyn’s presentation on Measuring student participation in higher education with special repeference to South Africa. (I will put the links in when the powerpoints are uploaded to the SAAIR website.)
What was most interesting to me was that, at the end of the conference when the keynote speakers and chair led a panel discussion, they came to the conclusion that institutional research (IR) actually cuts across the borders of institutions and could indeed in a sense be referred to as connectivity research.
This made me think. Since recently becoming aware of a learning theory called connectivism, I now like the idea of connectivity and creating connections/promoting lateral thinking. It provides a construct for the way in which we learn: through neuron connections we create/construct within our brains. It also provides us with a construct for the way in which we should teach/act as knowledge partners.
Thinking of IR divisions at universities which convert knowledge (raw data e.g. student enrolment figures) into meaningful information (business intelligence) to inform action (insight for decision-making)… made me realise that IR personnel are in fact teachers who need to strategically facilitate learning to all managers and decision-makers at universities (academic and administrative colleagues).
Connectivism therefore, I think, may provide a useful paradigm for assessing the effectiveness of the business intelligence reports we produce.
* * *
According to constructivist and connectivist learning theories, lecture formats (such as the way in which the papers were presented) are not the most effective teaching methods for promoting student learning. If you go to a conference, sit passively and dose off every second powerpoint slide, you will be none the wiser afterwards. Students (conference goers) need to talk too, share ideas, integrate diverse opinions and reflect on the learning that takes place.
For me this happened in the evenings when we debriefed in our guest house and chatted informally over coffee, tea and a decanter filled with sherry. I really only learned something – or realised what I had learnt – after a couple of sherries with our American guests, Rick and Alice Voorhees of the Voorhees Group. (Read his blog at http://voorheesgroup.org/wordpress/)
And according to constructivist and connectivist learning theories one needs to reflect about one’s learning for learning to truly take place.
Thus, by writing this blog, I am closing my IR learning loop (…or maybe rather, swinging my learning lasso).
* * *
Connectivism also explains the mistakes we make: the connections we incorrectly create between unrelated matters. Haha, that may just be the case with this post! Do you think IR and learning theories are in any way connected?
Ek is besig om op te lees oor konnektivisme – ‘n leerteorie wat kortweg sê dat die skep van kennis as nodusse en netwerke voorgestel kan word.
Dit is dus ‘n verfyning van konstruktivisme, wat sê dat leerders self kenniskonstrukte skep. Die nuwe -isme beskryf in verdere detail hoe die konstrukte (op neuronvlak) lyk – en beperk “leer” nie net tot lewende organismes nie. Ook verreken hulle die uitwerking wat tegnologie op (informele) leerprosesse het.
(Die konstruktivistiese leerteorieë het op hulle beurt weer behaviorisme uitgebrei, wat leer d.m.v. kondisionering aangeprys het.)
Vanuit ‘n artikel deur George Siemens http://www.itdl.org/Journal/Jan_05/article01.htm is die volgende leertendense en -beskouïnge vandag relevant:
- Many learners will move into a variety of different, possibly unrelated fields over the course of their lifetime.
- Informal learning is a significant aspect of our learning experience. Formal education no longer comprises the majority of our learning. Learning now occurs in a variety of ways – through communities of practice, personal networks, and through completion of work-related tasks.
- Learning is a continual process, lasting for a lifetime. Learning and work related activities are no longer separate. In many situations, they are the same.
- Technology is altering (rewiring) our brains. The tools we use define and shape our thinking.
- The organization and the individual are both learning organisms. Increased attention to knowledge management highlights the need for a theory that attempts to explain the link between individual and organizational learning.
- Many of the processes previously handled by learning theories (especially in cognitive information processing) can now be off-loaded to, or supported by, technology.
- Know-how and know-what is being supplemented with know-where (the understanding of where to find knowledge needed).
Die uitgangspunte van konnektivisme is:
- Learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions.
- Learning is a process of connecting specialized nodes or information sources.
- Learning may reside in non-human appliances.
- Capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known
- Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning.
- Ability to see connections between fields, ideas, and concepts is a core skill.
- Currency (accurate, up-to-date knowledge) is the intent of all connectivist learning activities.
- Decision-making is itself a learning process. Choosing what to learn and the meaning of incoming information is seen through the lens of a shifting reality. While there is a right answer now, it may be wrong tomorrow due to alterations in the information climate affecting the decision.
Ek hoor graag wat julle hieroor dink. Veral my ingenieursvriende en ouens wat spesifiek met netwerke (en wiskundige modulasies daarvan) werk. Intussen lees en wonder ek verder.
Miskien is ‘n beter vertaling: verbintenisme?
Onderwysers word oorlaai met merkwerk. Een opstel x 35 leerders x 4 klasse per graad = baie rooi ink. Veral taalonderwysers het ontsaglike hoeveelheidjies merkwerk (lees, luister, praat, skryf) vir elke kind se portefeulje.
So moes ek ook onlangs 22 parodieë bepunt.
Maar hoe nou gemaak as jy wil fokus op die leerders se groei en ontwikkeling? …as jou lesplan uitloop op die redigering van tekste en jy leerders/studente wil kry om selfvertroue te ontwikkel in hul eie kreatiewe vermoëns…? Maak jy dit nie als ongedaan met die merkery ter wille van ‘n punt nie? …want of jy nou 18 of 47 uit 50 kry – albei punte ontmoedig verdere léér! ‘n Punt veronderstel dat die proses afgehandel is: klaar, finis, afgemerk. Punt.
Kreatiwiteit kan, volgens my, geleer en -onderrig word. So ook kreatiewe skryf.
In my parodie-opdrag word leerders (in hierdie geval opvoedkunde-studente) begelei deur ‘n omskeppingsproses van ‘n sprokie tot ‘n eie verhaaltjie: Eers som hulle die oorspronklike teks op, en dan torring hulle aan die verskillende verhaalelemente (karakters, tyd, gebeure, ruimte, tema en vertelinstansie) om die hele affêre snaaks te maak.
Hierdie benadering berus sterk op die konstruktivistiese leerteorieë wat nie net aanvaar dat leerders “kreatief” is of outomaties snap wat met die konsepte “opsomming”, “parodie” of “verhaalelemente” bedoel word nie, maar konstant hulle eie verstaan skep, en begelei moet word om – deur self te doen en te sukkel – geleer te kry.
Die uitkomsgebaseerde onderwys (UGO)-filosofie agter die magdom take is wel op grondige leerteorieë geskoei: ‘n kind léér meer as hy/sy self inligting navors en take doen.
In plaas van klastyd afstaan aan begeleide navorsing, deel onderwysers die opdragte as huiswerk uit; in plaas van één omvattende taak waarin verskeie leeareas geïntegreer word, dink elke onderwyser sy/haar eie takies uit, sonder om dit te koördineer op die kwartaalrooster.
En so leer ons kinders cut en paste – nie om selfstandig te dink of kreatief kennis te skep nie – maar om onderwysers suksesvol te fnuik.
* * *
Wat ons werklik in klaskamers kort, is onderwysers wat konstruktivisties, taakgerig klasgee om leerders se belangstelling te wek; onderwysers wat nie iets as ‘n losstaande, summatiewe (net-vir-‘n-persentasiepunt) opdrag uitdeel nie, maar as ‘n geïntegreerde, formatiewe (vormende) oefening, waarop daar voortgebou en verbeter kan word.
Wat ons werklik in skole kort, is ‘n beleid rondom take, plagiaat en portefeuljesamestellings.
Wat ons by die huise kort, is ouers wat nie naslaanwerk namens kinders doen nie, maar vir hulle die beginsels van navorsing onderrig.
Wat ons verder kort, is biblioteke en behulpsame bibliotekarisse.
* * *
Dalk help my handleiding.
Of dalk kort ons politieke ingryping.
Maar die take-tsunami’s tans grens aan kindermishandeling, of hoe dink jy?