Reflection: Introduction to Teaching

8. Professional Practice Criteria – The teacher participates collaboratively in the educational community to improve instruction, advance the knowledge and practice of teaching as a profession, and ultimately impact student learning.

Introduction

I really enjoyed taking Introduction to Teaching. The flow of course content, theories of knowledge, methods of instruction, historical movements, policy and reform as well as the description of expectations of teacher interns were all helpful in deepening my understanding as an emerging future educator in the American school system. What was even more influential throughout the course was the collaborative discussion shared  among my classmates.

Discussion

Some discoveries my classmates and I made came from module 3 group discussion. We explored and discussed forces behind educational policy and reform and the implications they have had on education.

Figure 1

• Without the call for “reform” or”change” (whatever you prefer to call it) where would education be today? In my opinion we are a fairly young country that is extremely diverse. These two key elements have made our educational pursuits unique compared to other cultures.
• It makes sense that we are still trying to “figure out” the best way to educate our children. Maybe I am too optimistic, but I would like to think that despite the politics and the set backs in trying out different educational reforms, we are making progress.
• In order to make a difference you have to question, test, hypothesize and engage in possibilities.

Figure 1 is an example of my response to the article by Jal Mehta (2013) which in turn prompted collaborative feedback from my classmates. Other engaging discussion was developed around the idea of how the public views education. For example Thomas C. Hunt feels the education system is failing and doomed (Education Reform: Lesson from history) and has offered little suggestion in how to make change while others (parents, educators, state representatives) have taken action to keep school districts and governments accountable in providing quality education for all children.

Collaboration

As emerging educators our collaborative discussion was an invaluable instructional practice designed to create an opportunity for us to share our developing ideas and opinions. Peer discussion and feedback helped deepen my understanding of specific content we were learning and validated our impact in the educational community.

Collaboration with fellow educators is a skill that should be practiced and refined throughout the course of our professions. This will help us continue to grow and develop into better educators for the overall goal of supporting student achievement.

Reference

Hunt, T. (2005). Education Reforms: Lesson from History. https://www.questia.com/library/journal/1G1-137269828/education-reforms-lessons-from-history-just-as-there. Retrieved August 11, 2015.

Mehta, J. (2013). How Paradigms Create Politics: The Transformation of American Educational Policy, 1980-2001. American Educational Research Journal, 50, 285-324.

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