Education

Motivation for a varied life in teaching

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(1385 Words)

What motivates a teacher to start in the profession? For sure many reasons make someone begin a career in teaching. Is it pay or job security or is it a fall back option? This being said, initial motivation does not mean that years later the same can be said. The fact of the matter is the evolution of the new teacher into a mature tutor. This is then the professional person who has recognized the true meaning of teaching. This person recognizes their role in helping to shape young minds and impart moral values through education. Teaching has to be a vocation. In part an autobiographical story highlighting aspects of Asian teaching and also analysis, there are many aspects that any teacher has to realize to fulfill true potential.

Certainly, ongoing professional development highlights certain challenges in teaching that a teacher has to face up to. A focal point has to be the realization that students do not really know how to learn. How can any teacher, great as they may think they are, not realize that the students are naive about how to get the most benefit from a lesson? Any teacher has to look at the students’ own learning traits in light of today’s imperative that they both foster lifelong learners in their classrooms as well as become lifelong learners themselves. It’s the teacher’s inspiration that plays a huge part in a student’s education although every student and the class as a whole have to progress to help the teacher get the most out of them.

Different countries have varying approaches to learning and teaching. How does a foreign teacher survive in another country’s learning environment? Any foreign teacher working abroad has to adapt and work within the culture. It can be hard to change teaching methods to what has been ingrained from school through to university. Motivation to rise above some of another country’s inequalities as you see them is paramount. In some of these cultures, students tend to be passive and may be reluctant to participate in communicative exercises. A change in the style of teaching to suit these learners’ needs is essential because completely following an Asian model would be alien to any foreign teacher; a balance has to be met. A new foreign teacher would think it is strange to see no encouragement given to the students to think independently while just following the examples of the teacher, who is held in high esteem. Progression as a teacher means drawing attention to many facets of teaching. Inspiration has to come from somewhere. Breaking the barriers that slow students’ learning and build foundations that provoke students’ development has got to be a motivator.

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What makes a good (English) teacher working in Thailand? – Thai class survey

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(817 Words)

Any new foreign language teacher in Thailand can feel that they have studied and acquired the knowledge to feel confident in a classroom full of excitable children. This knowledge lies at the feet of the teacher having the foresight to know how the students might react in any learning situation. One of the most important factors of teaching is the students who have to be in the right frame of mind while having the willingness to learn. This said, a confident teacher still has to change course when their best-laid plans do not seem to be working because of uninterested/reluctant students. For this report, I based my research on what a good teacher should have and do in class. I surveyed 50 Thai students who were between 15 and 17 years of age. This was done by way of a survey during the class where I had the chance to circulate and talk to the students.

My initial thought was to use a list of factors I thought the students would empathize with that showed the character of a teacher.

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FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT – (Teaching) Action Research Project

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(8900 words)

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Context
  • What is action research?
  • Literature Review
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Quantitative Research Methods
  • Research Question
  • My Research Method
  • Ethical Issues                                                                                                         
  • Analysing the results                                                                                           
  • Conclusion
  • Reflecting on my research
  • Reflecting on the issues
  • Action from my research
  • References                                                                                                           
  • Appendices:
  1. One Sentence Summary
  2. Four Corners (I’m confused, I’m lost, etc.)
  3. One Minute Essay 
  4. Four Corners (Agree, disagree, etc.)
  5. TEFL Practice Teaching Observation (checklist)
  6. Questionnaire (you as a student)
  7. Questionnaire (you as a new TEFL teacher)
  8. Completed One Sentence Summary
  9. Completed One Minute Essay
  10. Completed Questionnaire (you are a student)
  11. Completed Questionnaire (you as a new TEFL teacher)
  12. Completed Field Notes

Introduction

Having used formative assessment in my class before and been given written and verbal feedback on this, I feel this is a great method to check my students’ understanding of the subject matter at various stages of their foreign language teaching course.  Of course, my formative assessment procedure needs work, and getting to know how much of the subject matter the students have processed is a major factor of myself succeeding in my class and developing educationally. My course and the modules within it are on a set time limit and students have some difficult days of study absorbing all the information as within their 20 hours of study they have many modules to complete. From this it means that students must be able to comprehend the subject matter; take in all that the teacher offers and be able to show this in their practice teaching. Although I am fundamentally teaching the basics of TEFL and what they essentially need to begin their first teaching experience, I still need to give them more than enough information to achieve this. This leads me to improve on my approach, method, and techniques to enhance the learning experience, so that each and every student has grasped the subject matter of the module, and can walk away after the course feeling they have the confidence and the knowledge to prepare for their first teaching assignment while at the same time the knowledge they have gained will inject that incentive to further their studies and their teaching. As well as improving on my delivery and content, I would like to see the students’ collaboration heightened during the formative assessment. By formative assessment, I not only need to know the content delivered is valuable but also to see students showing others what they have learnt and recognising what others have learnt that they may not have noticed. This I feel can be enhanced by formative assessment of each module during the course.

Context

The first aspect of formative assessment is that it focuses on the feedback received which will then be used to adjust the students’ learning and make positive changes. This puts the focus on meaningful formative assessment such as ‘when students are involved in the process through peer and self-assessment’ (Black
&
Wiliam,1998). Furthermore, formative assessment will judge the students’ comprehension of each module over the period of study. Important to this research is to collate what concepts and skills the students have found to be most important while showing which ones they should have recognised. This highlights the fact of mastery of learning that by showing that they have identified concepts and skills students can progress which confidence. Various formative assessments will be completed over the students’ course of study; written and verbal feedback will be taken. This will form the bulk of my research.

When it comes to the students’ actual practice teaching, the method of research will be achieved by direct observation. This will observe those aspects of teaching that highlight clear instruction, lesson content, delivery, time, and action. Although this will be reactive observation, no judgments will be made on their teaching but this will be used as a statement of progress. Observation forms will be filled out and given to the students. Paired with each formative assessment are specific “corrective” activities for students to use in correcting their learning difficulties (Guksky, 2005, pg4). This formative assessment research will focus on the students collaborating in group activities to help their development; therefore, I must differentiate the students’ instruction, both in their initial teaching and especially through corrective activities (Bloom, 1976).

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Does teaching just mean standing at the front spouting all your knowledge?

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So, imagining the classroom as more of an environment where all are involved and books and worksheets are in the background just as supplementary materials, we need to have the students as active participants. We need them to express themselves and see how relative topics affect them that generate opinions. We need to challenge them and let them all be part of the class that relates to them as individuals and as part of a group. Pairwork, groupwork and class debates help all involved. We need these students to have a voice that makes them feel part of the group; that empowers them to be creative. Or should the teacher just lecture at the front?

What we need is problem-posing education.  The students need lessons, exercises, and dialogue that bring thought and opinion to the fore that makes them think about the world differently. On this theme, Paulo Freire in his book Pedagogy of the Oppressed mentions that ‘in problem-posing education, people develop their power to perceive critically the way they exist in the world with which and in which they find themselves; they come to see the world not as a static reality, but as a reality in process, in transformation (Freire, 1970: 64). He also says ‘problem-posing education bases itself on creativity and stimulates true reflection and action upon reality; thereby responding to the vocation of persons as beings who are authentic only when engaged in inquiry and creative transformation (Freire, 1970: 65).This is handy reading when thinking about your lesson plan and all the work you may put into getting it right, but you may be avoiding your best asset: the students and their input.

(278 Words)Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire

What salient aspects of an Asian university and the students that attend do you see as a contradiction?

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(1600 Words)

Abstract

‘Manners maketh the man’ (William of Wykeham, 1350).  Whether you are in the street, in a restaurant or for this case in an Asian university certain etiquette prevails. My observations were done to draw attention to the value of etiquette and also to show the extent of contradiction to normally accepted good manners there are in the university in question. The results showed that the philosophy lecture room in this seat of learning far from being a quiet room of studious individuals was, in fact, a myriad of factors void of study ethics. The conclusion is, that when it comes to study, there is not a universal ideal as the acceptable method.

Introduction

Etiquette is not a new idea and is changing all the time, as we see nowadays with the development of the smart telephone, but propriety still holds to essential tenets.  There are unspoken rules about daily etiquette such as talking loud, jumping queues and generally being aware of others. There certainly can be a lot of daily life that breaches social manners.  In a recent survey, 90% of people thought it would be rude to receive a telephone call at a church which goes to say certain arenas are faux par for telephone use. It is a fact barriers are being crossed.

In a social minefield for new students to their university, one business has recognized what many would not think was needed for learning, and as such, CLM Business Etiquette Consulting in Austin Texas has advised how students should invest in their courses to get them through their time at university. CLM’s study courses highlight factors such as establishing meaningful relationships with your professors and other students to ascertain a co-operative experience.

My observations will show that new students in this certain Asian university need to be shown, taught, and given rules as to how to behave in a lecture room whilst having a clear understanding of other fellow peers’ feelings and education.

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