Flexible Learning Experiences

Design and implement engaging and flexible learning experiences for individuals and groups

This has been my main focal point for the time I have been taking my postgraduate diploma in secondary education.  I have learnt that through experience that effective blending of learning and technology gives an excellent flexible model that applies in learning situations for both individuals and groups. I also have immense knowledge in computer troubleshooting and software applications something that will allow me to effectively utilize and dispense electronic and multimedia learning resources which form a vital constituent of online and flexible learning experiences for instance I have been able to prepare comprehensive online models about digestive system and other important science topics which I intend to employ when teaching junior science and biology. Therefore by embracing technology I intend to break the challenges that usually come with teaching science subjects among juniors.

During the course of my studies I have acquired a strong comprehension of learning theories that add to constructive learning experiences, i.e. Piaget and Vygotsky. For instance, I am in a position to evaluate development of skills and knowledge and judge diverse learning theories to get a suitable approach to a given learning situation. For example, through countless assessment of year 10 science class, I learnt a Socratic and POE method is more effective. The students are very involved and inquisitive.  This is accomplished via facilitated theoretical discussions to encourage them to share their ideas, opinions and personal experiences.  

For the time I have been undertaking my postgraduate diploma in secondary education, I have been appropriately exposed on how to develop and implement learning resources (ICT visual aids, computers, whiteboards, telescopes, etc.) in the classroom and also the tools required for effective class management especially when dealing with junior science and biology which is my area of specialization. For instance, starting with simple gathering of handouts, online resources, and textbooks am in a position to create a unique lesson plan that employs a variety of interactive tutorials and class collaboration that are appropriate for flexible delivery and varying student demographics. This will help me to be appropriately prepared to ensure that science concepts that are perceived difficult are appropriately understood by adopting this flexible approach.   

Flexibility also requires one to be all-encompassing especially. In the course of my training, I have equipped myself with appropriate knowledge that will help me to effectively look into this important aspect. For instance during my diversity and inclusive teaching course and Society and Cultural Contexts of Education,  I was able to explore arguments about the nature of inclusion and exclusion and how policy and legislation impact on my own teaching practice – i.e., indigenous policies, Disability and Discrimination Act, etc.

During my stint as an associate teacher, flexibility was also utilized  by regularly changing the learning environment from the routine of full class schedule of lectures to 30 minute lectures; sometimes followed by lab practicals, collaborative classroom discussion or handouts, interactive online activities. I realized that this had a positive impact in provoking the students to fully participate in learning. I plan to utilize this flexibility concept in my teaching career to develop and promote junior science and biology.

During my training as a teacher I have learnt the ideas of social capital (students’ families and communities) and the value that education holds to the society. This will be indispensable in my career as a teacher as it will allow me decide on strategies and resources that will aid me in realizing flexible and diverse ways is essential in setting up an inclusive environment where all students can learn to be supported. The knowledge that I have acquired in the course of my training on literacy and numeracy issues will put me in a perfect position to build and execute flexible avenues of presenting information i.e. PowerPoint presentations or ICT visual demonstrations. I plan to employ these avenues while teaching junior science and biology as tools to effectively explain various science concepts and to make sure that all students develop an insight on these concepts. 

Although it has been considered that curriculum is an aspect that is beyond teacher control, during my studies as a teacher I went through a relevant course in curriculum that enabled me acknowledge factors and influences in developing and implementing a curriculum that can have an effect on the inclusiveness of a class or subject. This helped me realize the role I should play as a teacher in implementing a curriculum that conforms to institutional, legislative and social requirements.

Design and implement learning experiences that develop language, literacy and numeracy

Schools in Australia are characterized by many international students whom nearly all, English is a second language. This creates a big challenge for science teachers like me in making sure that students comprehend various science concepts which are often written in English. This has demanded the awareness and development of language, literacy and numeracy issues in both this client group and the general population. In the course of developing my career, I have prepared myself properly to this situation by developing an understanding on the correlation between socio-economics, social and cultural transformation and educational policies and practice which can be applied to literacy and numeracy. I being from a diversified background, that is, an African American, I am better placed to analyze and evaluate the impact of these and the frameworks of the classroom, learning institutions and community. During my training as a teacher I was exposed to appropriate knowledge and practice in the procedures employed in critical reflection of my own practice of teaching literacy and numeracy. This will play a significant role in my career as a science teacher by ensuring that various science topics are approached in a way that all students comprehend irrespective of the background.  

During the course of my training as a teacher I acquired an insight into curriculum development.  I was introduced to the concepts of intended, enacted and experienced curriculum. This equips me with appropriate tools on this issue that will enable me to effectively examine the relations between the intents and execution of literacy and numeracy in the classroom with the aspiration of promoting teaching of science subjects. I also equipped myself with knowledge on strategies that are employed and enacting the provisions of literacy and numeracy in various learning environments. Monitoring and refreshing my own literacy and numeracy competence through keeping up to date with new technologies, current and relevant curriculum documents, continual reading and subscription to journals and websites. This will enable me to come up with new ways of overcoming challenges in teaching junior science and biology which always demands new and innovative ways. 

The following are literacy strategies I have been able to incorporate into the classrooms:

  1. Key Word Pictures- this proved to be a great one for the students that really tried, but most ended up just drawing the word. It's a challenging option for the advanced learners. To ensure that all students are involved, this strategy needs a lot of modeling. I was able to develop the following model which proved to be very viable: Draw the first (appropriate) thing you think of when you hear the word. (i.e., for autotroph, most drew a car), Then read or discuss the definition of the word. Now, draw something else that incorporates your first picture and the meaning of the word. (With the car, some drew the car performing photosynthesis, some drew it flipping a burger-making its own food, and some drew it eating out a trough-like a farm pig!) .I also had them summarize the definition is 5 words or less (autotroph=makes own food-photosynthesis).
  2. Write, Read, Read, Trade-This strategy worked out like this:
    - Students write down one example, characteristic, etc about the topic.
    - Everyone stands, finds a partner, and both people read everything on their card.
    -  They then write down what the other person said & trade cards.
    -They continue to find a partner until they have a card with 4 things (characteristics, examples) on it.
    - When everyone is finished call on students to read one thing off the card while you write them on the board & students cross it out if it's on their card.  They can't sit down until they have everything crossed out.

This strategy worked out excellently and helped me in ensuring that every student was actively involved in learning. This method will be of great help to me in as a science teacher because science subjects calls for full participation among students and exposing students to ways which will help them think critically while learning.
While undertaking my postgraduate diploma in secondary education, I was exposed to various assessment techniques. I was able to identify that formative assessment is indispensable in assessing and supervising literacy and numeracy demands in students and in science subjects at large. I was also able to equip myself with an understanding on the criterion involved in reporting the results of assessment efficiently.

Various course materials that I have covered on literacy during my training through reading and through qualitative and quantitative research have also helped to develop an awareness of different types of literacies and equip me with the capability to evaluate and analyze the content and purpose of various learning materials. I was also exposed to various literacy theories and how they are applied or used in various classroom situations. My immense knowledge on ICT will play a critical part in my career in helping medesign and implement learning experiences that develop and promote language in science, literacy and numeracy. This can be accomplished through consistently monitoring and evaluating language and comprehension of science development of the students through the use of various observations, assessments and lab practicals.   

Design and implement intellectually challenging learning experiences

Learning is the foundation to teaching. In the course my career building it has been my aspiration to design and implement challenging and appropriate learning experiences. In the course of my studies I was able to develop an insight of concepts involved course development which will play an indispensable role in my career as a teacher in creating challenging learning experiences this employed brainstorming activities to which students incorporated ideas, solutions, possibilities and consequences when given a task; included questioning techniques where as an associate teacher I asked open and close ended-questions; carried out Predict Observe Explain activities where I describe to the students what I am about to do. Their role is to predict and explain what will happen. This worked out excellently and helped me a lot in conveying various science concepts that otherwise student will find hard to comprehend.

While undertaking my studies, I was effectively exposed to various research methodologies, criterion involved in interpreting and setting up an applicable research and inquiry through validating and analyzing quantitative and qualitative research and designing feasible research projects. This equips me with the necessary tools to deal with difficulties that are involved in designing and implementing intellectually challenging learning experiences. In my studies I was able to learn various theoretical foundations which will enable me to decide on the most effective ways of coping with difficulties that entails a variety of complicated issues for instance I am now in a position to utilize proper approaches for important learning that advance student inquisition and high-order thinking. This will be a vital tool at my disposal through my career as a science teacher.

During my studies I covered various course materials on teaching literacy and numeracy. This will be vital in my career as it will help me to categorize and execute appropriate goal setting activities that are both diverse and challenging in nature. Through observing in-class and numeracy am now in a position to utilize various teaching approaches and atmosphere to encourage students through inquiry and engagement. This knowledge is going to help me a lot as a junior science and biology teacher.

While undertaking my post graduate diploma in secondary education, I covered a variety of course materials that have given me an understanding and practice of making use of diverse and challenging learning atmospheres where student knowledge is build and redeveloped through their own critical reflections and experiences. In addition to this, I come from diversified origin thus I will be better placed in my career to design and implement even the most challenging learning experiences.

Also during my studies I went through theories and practices of setting up an inclusive and clear assessment model that will enable individual and group learning. This will play a vital role in my career because analyzing learning requirements and evaluating both the results and the learning itself forms a very significant part of the critical reflection that is essential in developing proper and challenging learning environments. I was also able to learn how to implement inclusive teaching in classroom and the role that it plays in providing the procedure on how to include all students into a purposeful and engaging learning environment. The course materials that I covered on curriculum while undertaking my postgraduate diploma in secondary education equipped me with knowledge on how to put into practice various learning experiences in the classroom set-up in a way that looks into the best satisfaction of the stakeholders in education.           

Design and implement learning experiences that value diversity

Diversity is a very significant element that should always be valued in classrooms especially in Australia which is characterized with students of varying backgrounds. Diversity can be used as learning in itself. Diversity was the key aspect when I was covering my course work on diversity and inclusive teaching in college. This requires that a teacher should acknowledge and appreciate community and student diversity so that he or she is in a position to setup an inclusive environment that brings every student on board. While undergoing my training I came across a variety of learning theories that can be employed in diverse learning experiences, this includes some of the theoretical foundations that will enable me solve problems that entails a range of complicated parameters and how I can put into use right approaches for learning that reflect the knowledge and experiences of students. Myself being an element of diversity, I stand out as a teacher who has a better understanding of what diversity is and how to embrace diversity to promote learning among students irrespective of the challenges that come with it.

The course materials on teaching literacy and numeracy that I covered while training gave me appropriate knowledge and practice of teaching procedures that I can employ as part of diverse learning experiences. While training as a teacher, I have been prepared by being exposed into practices in both design and implementation of experiences through use of various theories and approaches that takes into consideration individual and group learning that bring everybody on board. I intend to use this knowledge to promote learning especially for science subject where I have specialized.

During my training I covered various contemporary theories of diversity and their application in relation to teaching. This will be significant in helping me implementing and designing learning experiences that value diversity. I have also been appropriately exposed to use of technology in meeting teaching objectives and challenges, this has enabled me appreciate the role that ICT plays as part of the diverse learning experience. I have realized that technology plays a critical role in implementing diversity models especially when teaching science subjects.

I understand through experience and exposure through course materials that each individual student has a learning history with unique social-economic and cultural background. This has given me knowledge of the response of schools to diverse learning environments and the impact of not providing diverse learning environment. The fact that I come from I diverse cultural background (Africa-American in Australia) has made me aware of cross cultural perspectives that should be taken into consideration in designing and implementing viable learning experiences that value diversity.   

Assess and report constructively on student learning

While I was undertaking my post graduate diploma in secondary education I covered various course materials on how to effectively assess and report on student learning. This also provided me with knowledge and rigorous practice of designing and implementing assessment. I was able to appreciate the significance that extensive analysis and planning plays in assessing both the students and learning environment especially when teaching science subjects.

Through my teaching course I was exposed to various practices employed in identifying and establishing learning assessment objectives and providing support for students in the classroom. In the course of my training a was able to attend various teaching seminars that gave me an insight of the range of teaching activities and how to design flexible and effective assessment tools in classroom. For instance I was able to learn skills required in conducting and reporting on classroom observable activities such as recording learning events and analyzing and evaluating them in terms of skills and knowledge required- something that worked out well when I was teaching some science topics. During my training I was able to cover various learning theories that gave me a chance to comprehend behavioral, cognitive and social aspects of learning. I have learnt how these theories can be used to analyze the strengths and limitations of cognitive learning in certain learning environment and instructional approaches. I was also able to cover models of inclusive training which gave practice at setting up realistic and learning objectives that puts into account the requirements and expectations of various stakeholders in education in an ethical and inclusive manner.

Through training and attending various workshops on curriculum development, I have been introduced to concepts of intended, enacted and experienced curriculum which has put me in a position to be able to analyze the correlation between the’ intends’ and implementation of learning goals. I was also able to learn activities that are involved in carrying out assessment and reporting and how to design and implement provisions of assessment within education. During this time I was exposed to various theoretical principles that can be utilized in setting learning objectives and goals, assessing student progress and assessing the methods of teaching and assessment used. 

During my training I was able to gain knowledge on the procedures and practices that are employed in gathering information on student capabilities and progress in both the classroom and individual student.  I was also able to appreciate the value of reviewing my own approaches to planning, teaching and assessment.

Support personal development and participation in society

While training as a teacher I covered various course materials such as inclusive teaching, society and cultural context in education, and Development and Learning helped me realize the significance of connecting societal aspects in learning environments to support personal development and involvement in the society. Reflection on my history shows my propensity to lifelong learning, a way of sustaining my personal development and techniques of supporting student development.  During my training I attended several seminars and workshops on the effect of globalization on work, education and leisure (Women at Work and Indigenous cultural awareness). This helped realize strategies and obligations of teachers in blending the concept of globalization into learning environment in order to promote personal development and participation in this ever diversifying society. I intend to use this knowledge to promote learning especially for science subjects.

During my training and at work, I have been exposed to various communication models that can be used in various learning environment to instigate participation among learners. I have also come to learn that participation in any society requires that effective communication models to be put in place. During my training I was exposed to models of inclusive teaching that enable me acknowledge the correlation between the sociological background of students and their personal development and engagement both in the learning environment and in the community at large. This also gave me practice of implementing experiences that uphold these theories.

The course materials that I have covered on curriculum development introduced me into various concepts and theories that will enable me to develop teaching approaches that will foster positive learning environment and participation among the students. This has also equipped me with knowledge on various models that can be used to design and implement the provisions of societal development within education.

While undertaking my postgraduate diploma in secondary education, I was able to learn through course material and through seminars and workshops the theoretical principles that will enable me to decide on the most effective ways of resolving problems that involve a range of complex factors. Because of this am now in a position to use right approaches for significant learning that support and promote engagement outside classroom. 

I have also covered in great details literacy and numeracy and also research procedures involved in various aspects of teaching. This has enabled me to effectively use observation as one of the models of assessing student behavior and development.

I have also been able to cover a wide range of teaching practices including how to implement a wide range of learning experiences. This will provide me with a wide range tools that I will use in making sure that the teaching model I will employ in teaching science lessons effectively takes into account student participation and at the same time support personal development of all students.  I have also been able to learn various theoretical frameworks that can be used to design and implement learning experiences that provide active engagement for a wide range of learners.

Create and maintain safe and supportive learning environments

During my training I covered various course materials that have equipped me with knowledge and practice of this standard of creating and maintaining safe and supportive learning environment. I have gained an insight of motivation and behavioral theories and how to implement them in classroom set up in order to create a safe and supportive environment for the learners.  For instance the course materials that I covered on curriculum development have equipped me with various models that can be used in setting up and implementing supportive learning environments. This will enable me to meet various needs of involved parties by adopting and implementing appropriate models that will enact safe and supportive learning environment.  

During my training I attended several workshops and seminars that gave me understanding and practice in promoting positive social interaction and active learning. Also through this exposure and through course work materials I was able to acknowledge various theoretical foundations that will allow me to determine the most appropriate means in resolving problems that involve a range of complex factors.  I intend to use this knowledge in developing strategies and resources that use the correct approaches for supporting different learning types that promote teaching of science subjects.

The contemporary research and theories that I learnt when covering my course work for instance on literacy and numeracy will assist me in setting up a supportive learning environments that takes into account the individual needs and expectations by the students. My course work also exposed me to theories and practice in individual and group motivation, learning differences and behavioral modification. This will play a fundamental role when developing and implementing safe and supportive environment that satisfies the needs of all learners. I was also able to learn how to implement various learning environments by employing a variety of learning and behavioral management models.

Foster positive and productive relationships with families and the community

Several content of my course work involved analyzing how teaching policy and practice relates to the community. Rapid transformation in society, family structures and economies has an impact on the relationship between education institutions, teachers, families, business and government.  An understanding of these issues will endow with me with the capability to put up positive relationships within both the teaching, and wider community.

During my training as a teacher I was able to acquire tools through course work, seminars, workshops and experience that will help me measure positive community relationships and actions. For instance while researching on the theory of ethics, I found the ideas of communitarianism, consequentialism and situational ethics particularly relevant to myself and my professional relationships. My course work materials on inclusive teaching will help me to develop models of setting up relationships both in class and outside classrooms that cater for a range of student. This will play a significant role in my career in ensuring that am in a position to promote and foster positive and productive relationships not only in class room but also outside classrooms including families and communities.

I have also been effectively exposed to the practice in setting up teaching and learning programs through the use of community based learning activities and collaboration with stakeholders. By making sure that all parties (students, teachers, parents and the community at large) are involved, it helps to easily set up and foster relationship with families and the community. I have also been able to develop knowledge on the theoretical foundations that will enable me apply a range of communication models and to utilize correct approaches for promoting the values and achievement of goals as part of education and the wider community.  

My course work on curriculum Development that I covered during my post graduate diploma in secondary has enabled me to realize how different models can be employed to design and enact the provision relationships with community and education sector. This will play a vital role in ensuring that in my career as a teacher I meet this standard of fostering positive productive relations with families.

During my training I covered several course materials and did a few researches on various teaching strategies which gave me immense knowledge on the practice of wide teaching methodologies that create enriched teaching and learning programs with the aspiration of ensuring that positive and productive relations with families and communities are fostered. Also during my training I was able to develop an insight into the many stakeholders of education here in Australia and strategies that can be utilized in setting up and sustaining positive relations with these stakeholders. For instance by identifying the resources that the stakeholders have and utilizing them in learning and teaching programs. 

List of teams you are a member of and your role

I also acknowledge the significance of teamwork among teachers and student. This is because when complicated issues are approached as a group they are easily solved than when solved individually. During my training I have been a member and sometimes a leader of various teams that have completed various tasks given by our instructor. I have also assisted students form science discussion groups which helped them to collectively face some challenging science topics.  Although working as a team comes with challenges, I understand the aspects that should be emphasized to ensure success. Some of these include effective communication, negotiation, time management, conflict resolution and problem solving techniques.

For the time I have been undergoing training I have gained an insight into the values of peer moderation and participation in team environment. The training that I have gone through promotes the use of goal setting, communication, and negotiation and emphasizes the roles of responsibilities of teams and teaching professional. This has enabled me to appreciate that challenges that we have a head of us as teachers and how I can cooperate with other members of my profession to overcome them and contribute positively to the teaching profession.

Through training and research I have exposed myself appropriately on education change issues and analysis theories against practical situations. Having knowledge of this issues and impacts will enable me to contribute to team management within the learning institute more efficiently. I have also been able to cover in great details through course work and research about values and ethics that are involved in teaching profession. This has helped me to examine and understand issues within teams and justify recommended courses of actions based on ethical grounds. My course work on inclusive gave me practice in enhancing student learning and the critical self-reflection processes used to improve the learning and teaching process. I was also able to cover various assessment models that gives me knowledge to effectively assess learning, teaching programs and teamwork.

Also through my course work I have learnt assessment models that can be used to evaluate group performance and factors that should be emphasized to ensure high performing groups for instance embracing concepts of participation, effective communication and group motivation. I have also been able to appreciate the roles and responsibilities of school-based and other professional teams and how they can be efficiently setup and implemented in meeting various objectives in the learning environments.

Commit to reflective practice and ongoing professional renewal

For the time that that I have been exposed to teaching career I have been able to appreciate the changing role of teachers in the modern learning environment. I describe myself as a learner who reflects on the changing role of the teacher in modern learning environments. During my training I learnt how to identify and assess the contributions of others to the education field.

I have also been able to develop reflective practice in the course of my training. This is something that will help me to acknowledge various ethical dimensions to various situations in the education sector and employ ethical perspectives in designing various ways on how to improve learning activities both inside and outside classrooms and also in identifying areas that needs improvement in learning situations. During the time I have been training as a teacher I have also equipped myself with critical reflection skills that are indispensable in professional development and in building my own teaching and learning skills. I was also able to acknowledge the value of keeping skills up to date so that I am always in a position to overcome various challenges in the profession and to always deliver the best. I have learnt that this can be effectively done through continuous improvement of my current skills through research and embracing technology. During my training I went through mentoring programs through clinical supervision cycles and critical reflection of teaching practices that will enable me to positively develop my profession. Also various research models that I have been exposed to will enable me to identify and asses the contribution of others to the education sector.   

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