Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Reflections on my current teaching practice m1-1.3

1.3 task is not just a course task that has to be completed, but Interesting questions that I was reflecting on, even while cooking!

What teaching strategy do you use most commonly? 
Depending on the  teaching subject, a mixture of traditional and project based strategy.

What do YOU do most of the time in the classroom? 

What do the students do most of the time? 
During my theoretical courses, they are mainly listening, taking notes.
But actually, they are talking to each other, getting distracted when they are not engaged in the learning process.

Do you feel your current approach could be easily complemented with a PBL approach? 
Easily? No. But it would be more effective, for sure.

Do you sometimes have the problem that students don't remember what they "learned" the day before? 
How do you address this? 
repeating and repeating and repeating.....

Do you already use some of the PBL approaches mentioned in the video? 
My most successful etwinning projects where fully integrated into my teaching subjects and the lessons were following project based learning approach.
Odysseus - research project on Human Rights
Planning our sustainable town - research project on sustainability
Two islands inspire - research project and landscape design
In fact, etwinning has played a major role in the change of my teaching.

What works, doesn't work? Why? 
In the end of each pbl attempt I make an evaluation of my planning, of my implementation, of students' engagement and learning. I'm not satisfied with the result and I try to spot my mistakes. That's why I'm following this course. I like this pedagogic method and I want to improve myself as a facilitator of knowledge.
The fact is that there is no magic recipe to follow. There are some directives that the educator must know and use flexibly, depending on the students of each class.
What keeps impressing me is that later, students remember details of those lessons that I wasn't expecting them to remember. Learning by doing, right?
I've faced problems on late planning, on the way to form teams, on forming the right driving question, on the use of technology and the available resources, on the students' evaluation. Each case was different and I had to adapt to different situations. It made me be more careful with planning and improved my organization skills for sure.
I feel that I'm an amateur. Sometimes things went wrong because I didn't know how to be flexible.
BUT, no matter how many difficulties I have faced during my attempts for pbl, I don't regret. I remember each of these  attempts with joy and I keep the enthusiasm, my own enthusiasm that most of the times was/is being transmitted to my students. 

How do you find out about your student needs and how do you incorporate this knowledge in your teaching? 
It's a major issue! In the beginning, I was deciding the course where I would use pbl, on my own. Then I realized that it was a mistake. If I had the consent of my students they would engage more, so I started asking them, in the beginning of the school year, about how they would like to learn the specific subject. Then we brainstorm on the final product. I have to admit that I'm trying to influence them, in favor of my choice!...
I ask them to fill a questionnaire too, to identify their strong and weak points, so that I adapt my techniques and the teams.

A class and a subject topic that I teach which I can use to experiment with PBL.
This is the perfect timing for me, to reflect on this. The curriculum is being changed again and next school year I'm about to teach "environment and agriculture" in my B class of the department of agriculture, ages 16. I want to find a way to follow a pbl approach and I believe that this teaching subject helps. Time to experiment again! 

(It ends up quite a pleasure to keep this diary!)

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