Reflection on the PIDP Program (3260)

The PIDP program has been a valuable experience during which I have had many ‘Aha!’ moments and probably even more ‘I did not know that’ thoughts.  Each course offered new learning or validation of existing knowledge but throughout there was never a shortage of new insights or strategies to explore.

I think I had the most fun in the Media Enhanced Learning because so much of what was discussed in the forum sessions was not familiar to me.  I was so amazed by things such as google glasses being used in the science classroom, and using digital stories to convey a point, or even how gaming could play a role in education! My eyes were clearly opened to the endless possibilities media brings to enhance both student engagement and learning.

My favourite activity has been participating in the forum discussions.  They were more than a little daunting at the beginning, but the wealth of information that was shared, particularly where is was based on experience, I found helped to clarify things that were not making sense to me.

There are three components from the PIDP program that I view as being key to being successful in my role as an educator.  They are: Assessment for Learning, Reflective Practice, and Obtaining Student/Peer Feedback.

PIDP 3230:  Evaluation of Learning

Assessment for learning is the process of seeing and interpreting evidence for use by learners and their teachers to decide where the learners are in their learning, where they need to go and how best to get there.’ (Assessment Reform Group, 2002).

Assessment, done in collaboration with students, frequently and in a positive manner not only improves motivation and self-esteem but it creates a bridge between teaching and learning.  Over time, students acquire the skill to regularly self-assess, which is the key to our desire to produce lifelong learners.  One tool, the Focused Conversation Model (Stanfield, 2000) has proven to be a very effective during my PIDP journey and I would continue using it in the future.  For myself, identifying an emotional connection to the concept was the instigator that encouraged further research and exploration that resulted in a better understanding of the topic.

PIDP 3250:  Instructional Strategies:

Reflective practice is necessary to understand our thoughts, feelings and actions and in doing so creates opportunity for professional growth and development. In essence, reflection uncovers the link between experience and knowledge from which we adjust in order to expand knowledge and improve in practice.

In this course, I was introduced to Gibbs Reflective Cycle (1988), a looped six step process that sequentially reflects on the situation or learning, encouraging the user to consider how things could have been done differently.  In my nursing practice, I have typically reflected using a journal format.  I now realize the use of Gibbs cycle creates a much more comprehensive level of reflection therefore greater opportunity for ongoing professional growth.

PIDP 3260: Professional Practice

One of Brookfield’s (2015) core assumptions of skillful teaching is that to be effective, teachers must always be aware how students are experiencing their learning and perceiving the actions of the teacher.

In 3230 we became familiar with the use of Classroom Assessment Techniques (CAT) to provide students with performance feedback and to promote critical reflection of their own learning.  In 3260, I have learned that the CAT is also a strategy used to obtain feedback from students on the effectiveness of the teaching and to identifying areas where change or improvement is required. This process will help to address problems before they become issues, alert you to the need to change the teaching strategy, and offer the more introverted student an opportunity to provide feedback using a safe anonymous method.

The Critical Incident Questionnaire (Brookfield, 2015) appears to be a tool that can elicit this feedback. Knowing that the design of the questions is imperative to obtaining useful feedback, I would plan to change the reflective questions, consistent with the content or practical situation I am in, to ensure relevancy and quality in the feedback.

In summary, the PIDP program has been a valuable learning experience.  In the past, I have done many workshops and in-services and I am looking forward to applying what I have learned to a role as an educator in healthcare.

Hmmm, I wonder what educational endeavour I will undertake next?9436786_orig

References

Assessment Reform Group, (2002).  Assessment for Learning:  10  research-based principles to guide classroom practice.  Assessment Reform Group, London, UK.

Brookfield, S.D. (2015).  The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the     Classroom (3rd ed.).  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass.

Gibbs, G. (1988).  Learning by Doing:  A guide to teaching and learning methods.  Further           Education Unit.  Oxford Polytechnic:  Oxford.

Stanfield, B. (2000).  The art of focused conversation:  100 ways to access group wisdom in the workplace.  Toronto, ON:ICA The institute of Cultural Affairs.

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The Value of Lifelong Learning (3260)

Lifelong learning is about intentionally seeking opportunities to continue to learn, grow, and develop both personally and professionally. The motivation comes from within based on a deliberate desire to know more.

Commitment to lifelong learning offers personal advantages such as enhancing confidence and self-esteem, improving job satisfaction as you build on existing knowledge, and develop new skills that can be used now or transferred to future job opportunities.

The economic factors and employability status are also strong motivators for professionals to engage in lifelong learning.  Higher income and steady employment have positive effects on health, well-being and sociability.  Being secure in who we are is usually accompanied by an optimistic outlook on life and greater confidence in our decision-making skills.   It has been document that well-being is also associated with better health, higher levels of social and civic engagement, and greater resilience in the face of external crises (Cooper et al 2010).

As a nursing professional, to remain competent in practice, there is an expectation for ongoing education and learning which is then integrated with existing knowledge to create improved clinical knowledge and competence.   As in any profession, ongoing learning keeps us current and aware of issues that are trending in our field of practice.

The following video, Lifelong Learning for Nursing succinctly captures the rationale for ongoing professional development, but also, the need to integrate critical thinking and evidence based practice to achieve ongoing professional growth.

References:

Cooper, C., Field, J., Goswami, U., Jenkins, R. and Sahakhian, B. (2010), Mental Capital and Wellbeing,     Oxford and Ames, Iowa: Wiley-Blackwell

Lifelong Learning for Nursing (Video file). (2014, August 11).  Retrieved February 17, 2017, from:  https://youtu.be/SXALt9_76XI

 

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Brookfield Chapter 11: Teaching in Teams (3260)

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Brookfield is understandably very passionate about teaching in teams and it is evident throughout this chapter of his book The Skillful Teacher (Brookfield, 2015). I found his excitement contagious as I identify so many student and instructor benefits to this teaching strategy.  The table below is a list of the benefits as identified by Brookfield:

Student Benefits

Educator Benefits

Reaches a Wider Variety of Learners Provides Emotional Support
Models Respectful Disagreement Develops Trustful Relationships
Creates a Learning Environment of Risk and Uncertainty Creates a Built-in Critically Reflective Mirror
Confronts Students with a Broad Variety of Perspectives  
Demonstrates Synthesis, Connection, and Integration  
Demonstrates the Importance of Giving Appreciation  

In my research, what I found most powerful, aside from the obvious benefits to students, was the connection that must exist between educators.Team teaching requires educators to do everything together such as planning, instructing, assessing and reviewing course delivery.  To do this successfully, a strong commitment to the process is required.  The process includes a willingness to get to know each other thereby creating a relationship of mutual respect and trust. Other fundamental elements such as a plan for communication methods, planning & evaluating schedules, and clear roles & responsibilities would need to be discussed and agreed upon.  To me, these seem like achievable tasks that if I am committed to the process of team teaching, I am willing to fully participate in.

Where I am feeling a little uneasy, is with the need for each educator to be comfortable to talk about their strengths and weakness as teachers and be open to receiving constructive feedback on performance.  With this come the need to be open to discuss and share individual teaching style, philosophy and values.  It is possible that with experience this task will become more ‘comfortable’ but as a new educator, I can sense a little intimidation with this type of reflective assessment.  I do appreciate the tremendous value from team teaching and the impact it can have on student outcomes so I hope to become more self-assured in my abilities so I can team teach with confidence.

The School of Education at California State University (2015) has outlined six team teaching strategies that I look forward to trying in a classroom. They include:

  1. One Teach, One Assist – One teacher takes the lead, the second teacher monitors and supports the students allowing the teaching to be uninterrupted yet student support is provided.
  2. One Teach, One Observe – One teacher acts as the primary teacher and the other gathers observational data on student learning. This helps to identify if teaching strategies are meeting the variety of student learning needs.
  3. Parallel teaching – Class is divided in half and the same lesson is taught by each teacher.  The main benefit is the reduction in student/teacher ratio.
  4. Alternative (Differentiated) Teaching – Class is split into two groups, one larger and one smaller group that typically is working on specialized task.
  5. Station Support Teaching – Course content is divided into separate parts and is taught by separate teachers at stations. Teachers are able to address several areas of the curriculum as  small groups move from station to station. Student/teacher ratio is improved with this strategy.
  6. Team Teaching – Two teachers share the lead role with one class group. The ability to collaborate is demonstrated to students.

References:

Brookfield, S.D. (2015).  The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the                       Classroom (3rd ed).  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass.

Team Teaching (Video File). (2015, July 22). Retrieved February 16, 2017, from:               https://youtu.be/RWB8cg0K3DE?list=PLCDsTyftAA2D_buI_Rti5phLZ1DdFsAMc

 

 

 

 

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Brookfield Chapter 6: Lecturing Creatively (3260)

 

In chapter 6 of his book, “The Skillful Teacher” Brookfield (2015) discusses the importance of lecturing creatively. I think we can all agree; basic lecturing has been an over-used instructional technique over the years.  When not delivered with some innovation and student interaction it merely becomes the presentation of information by the instructor, directed toward the student, yet no learning takes place.  Brookfield (2015) stated, “The challenge is to make our lectures as helpful, enlivening, and critically stimulating as possible.”  This is noteworthy because lectures, done right, aim to provide students with the framework to the concepts being taught that are then analyzed, discussed, and reflected upon to gain greater insight, understanding, and learning.  Missed learning opportunities occur when lectures lack creativity, imagination and innovation.

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Brookfield (2015) shares research based on student input that gives insight to the features of lectures they deem to best support their learning.  They are:

  1. Apply a variety of teaching and communication processes
  2. Must be clearly organized so students can follow the thread of the lecturer’s thought
  3. Model learning behaviours expected in the course

Chapter 6 responds to these recommendations with multiple strategies that can be used to enhance student learning by adding unique elements to an otherwise dull sharing of information.  However, in trying to consider how best to engage students in ‘my’ own classroom with my specific course content, I found an article that offers additional examples/suggestions that would be suitable for my audience and have summarized the six points below.

Are You Not Entertained?  How to Build a Dynamic Lecture

  • Know and communicate your goals – make sure objectives are clear and communicated
  • Engage your audience immediately – humour, storytelling, make connections to draw students in
  • Mix it up – use variety in styles, formats and media selection
  • Interact with your students –listen, be attentive, read the audience and adjust as needed
  • Bring great materials –create engaging lecture handouts, avoid the bad PP
  • Less is More – lecture less frequently and keep presentations short

During my final reflection of Chapter 6 I found I became focused on Brookfield’s reasons for using lecturing as a teaching strategy.  I can’t help thinking that if lecturing creates such strong outcomes for students, then isn’t it my responsibility to put in the extra thought, research and preparation to add innovation to how the content is delivered and strive for the greatest learning outcomes in my classroom?

References:

Brookfield, S.D. (2015).  The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the     Classroom (3rd ed.).  San Francisco, CA:  Jossey-Bass.

Finley, T. (2014, January 28). Are you not entertained? How to build a dynamic lecture. Retrieved February 8, 2017, from:  https://www.edutopia.org/blog/how-to-build-dynamic-lecture-todd-finley

 

 

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Accreditation Standards (3260)

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I have had the experience of being involved with the accreditation process at Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), accredited with Accreditation Canada.  VCH participates in accreditation on a regular basis to evaluate and improve services and in doing so demonstrates that national quality standards are being met within the Health Authority. The standards set out by Accreditation Canada (or other accrediting bodies) help organizations to gauge service quality at the point of delivery and take into consideration the elements of quality, safety, client and family-centered care.

Accreditation Canada’s standards are built on a client and family-centered care approach that involves working collaboratively with all stakeholders to provide care that is respectful, compassionate, culturally safe, and competent.  This approach also includes being responsive to individual needs, values, culture, beliefs and preferences.  Accreditation Canada has integrated the following four values to reflect this collaborative approach into their service standards (Adapted from: Johnson & Abraham, 2012):

  1. Dignity and respect:Listening to and honouring client and family perspectives and choices. Client and family knowledge, values, beliefs, and cultural backgrounds are incorporated into the planning and delivery of care.
  2. Information sharing:Communicating and sharing complete and unbiased information with clients and families in ways that are affirming and useful. Clients and families receive timely, complete, and accurate information to effectively participate in care and decision-making.
  3. Partnership and participation:Encouraging and supporting clients and families to participate in care and decision-making to the extent that they wish.
  4. Collaboration:Collaborating with clients and families in policy and program development, implementation and evaluation, facility design, professional education, and delivery of care.

My involvement with accreditation at VCH was in Home Support.  The following four evaluation areas are the service standards set by Accreditation Canada for Home Support services.

Investing in quality services

  1. Home support services meet the needs of its clients and the community it serves.
  2. The organization provides leadership and support to deliver home support services.

Building a prepared and competent team

  1. Staff and service providers are education, trained, qualified, and competent.
  2. Promotion of well-being and worklife balance for all staff.

Providing safe and effective services

  1. Coordination of timely access to services for current and potential clients, families and referring organizations.
  2. Clients and families are encouraged to actively participate in service delivery.
  3. Promotion of safety in the service environment.
  4. Delivery of effective services to clients and families.
  5. Medication administration is managed appropriately.
  6. Clients and families are prepared for transitions to other services or at end of service.

Maintaining accessible and efficient information systems

  1. Client records are accurate, up-to-date and secure.
  2. Access to information technology to deliver home support services.
  3. Use of current research and leading practices to improve service quality.
  4. Evidence of ongoing improvements to services.

Accreditation is a rigorous process for any organization to undertake however, it is necessary as expectations within the health industry continue to escalate along with public expectations.  Upon completion of the accreditation process, organizations have the confidence that decision-making related to health and service delivery meets the highest standards and that is worth the effort it takes to achieve accreditation.

References:

Accreditation Canada Quality Standards.   Accessed:  February 7, 2017.  Retrieved from:  https://accreditation.ca/quality-standards

Johnson, B.H. & Abraham, M. R. (2012) Partnering with Patients, Residents, and Families:  A Resource for Leaders of Hospitals, Ambulatory Care Settings, and Long-Term Care Communities.  Bethesda, MD:  Institute for Patient-and Family-Centered Care.

 

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CNA Code of Ethics (3260)

Canadian Nurses Association Code of Ethics

Ethics

Ethics and values are a huge part of our daily personal and professional way of being.  Values provide the framework upon which we distinguish between right and wrong and therefore guide responses in either the action taken or the emotion felt. Velasquez, Andres, Shanks, and Meyer (1987) have defined ethics as a “well based standard of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do, usually in terms of rights, obligations, benefits to society, fairness, or specific virtues.”

Origin of my Ethics

I would attribute the development of my core values to the influence of my parents, teaching, education over the years and lived experiences.  Reflecting on my core values the following list defines what guides my daily personal and professional practices: family, integrity, respect, excellence responsibility and accomplishment.

Ethics in my Profession

In my professional practice, the Canadian Nurses Association provides a Code of Ethics for all Registered Nurses.  The purpose of the code is to provide nurses’ a frame for ethical practice and are specific values and ethical responsibilities expected of registered nurses in Canada.

The CNA Code of ethics assists nurses to practice using ethically appropriate behaviour and acts to support ethical decision making with the application of seven key expectations.  In general, the seven core principles guide: relationships, behaviours, responsibilities and decision-making related to professional conduct.  In addition, as nursing is a self-regulated profession these core principles are used in self-reflection and peer review to assist with decision making and professional growth.

The code also provides transparency for other health-care professionals, families, and the public on the ethical commitments and responsibilities nurses take in a self-regulating profession which is important when dealing with health care issues and direct client care.

I don’t think however; the CAN Code of Ethics alone is enough to guide and support an ethical nursing practice.  I believe it is the integration of my own core values with the seven elements of the CAN Code of Ethics that have allowed me to practice ethically.

References:

Canadian Nurses Association, (2008).  Code of Ethics.  Retrieved from:  https://www.cna-aiic.ca/~/media/cna/files/en/codeofethics.pdf

Velasquez, M., Andre, C., Shanks, S.J., & Meyer, M. (1987).  What is ethics?  Journal of Issues in Ethics, 1, 623-635.

 

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Brookfield Chapter 17: Responding to Students’ Resistance to Learning (3260)

It is important to understand that student resistance to learning is rooted in an intrinsic fear of change.  We know that learning is all about change as we are exposed to new ideas and ways of thinking and that change is a significant part of the learning process (Brookfield, 2015).

Several factors can be responsible student resistance to learning such as: fear of the unknown, unmatched teaching and learning styles, irrelevance to the learning activity, learner readiness, instruction that lacks of clarity, or even teacher dislike, to name a few.  However, as an instructor we need to understand that resistance to learning will inevitably always be present in our classrooms and overcoming it completely is highly unlikely.  Our job therefore, is to explore the nature of the resistance, consider that possibly it is justified, and then employ strategies that will respond to students’ resistance to learning.

Brookfield has highlighted several ways to respond to resistance in Chapter 17 of his book. There are three that I found particularly valuable:  involving former resisters, using a variety of teaching methods, and assessing learning incrementally.

Involving Former Resisters – I love this idea!  Former resistant students presenting the value found in the learning after the fact.  They provide credible feedback that is validated by the instructor as the course gets underway.

Using a Variety of Teaching Methods – Using a minimum of three different learning strategies will hopefully cater to most learning styles and reduce learner resistance.   Variety is essential to keep all learners engaged.

Assess Learning Incrementally – resistance to learning often results in lack of participation and effort. Formative assessment is key for these students so that ongoing they are made aware of their status, giving them opportunity to address their own lack of commitment which may result in negative outcomes.  Additionally, ongoing assessment and feedback can empower students to make decisions about how they want to proceed, such as getting extra help, more practice or study more.  (Fenwick & Parsons, 2009)

“Remember that resistance to learning is normal, natural, and inevitable.  The trick is to make sure it interferes as little as possible with classroom activities that others see as important and helpful.”  (Brookfield, 2015 p. 238)  

References:

Brookfield, S.D. (2015).  The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness                   in the Classroom (3rd ed.).  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass.

Fenwick, T. & Parsons, J. (2009).  The Art of Evaluation:  A Resource for Educators and           Trainers (2nd ed.).  Thompson Educational Publishing Inc.

 

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Professional Development (3260)

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Professional practice is the final course in the PIDP program for myself before the Capstone and I hope to complete the Diploma this spring.  I began my PIDP journey in July 2015 with the desire to add teaching in Community Health to my work experience.

My five-year professional plan focuses on finding employment in an educator role, ideally in Community Health, but I am open to anything healthcare related.  I am in the process of updating my resume and can already feel the anxiety related to the interview process!

I have wanted to change my volunteer role with the Alzheimer’s Society of BC and so this spring, as I close in on the completion of this program, I will begin facilitating community workshops for families and caregivers related to Dementia and Dementia Care.

Ongoing professional development related to nursing includes attending education courses offered though Vancouver Coastal Health and CRNBC.  I receive The Canadian Nurse on a regular basis and find it keeps me in touch with nursing issues on a national level.  Depending on what employment I am able to find I would like to join the professional practice group for support and ongoing learning.

As a new educator, I would like to subscribe to the Canadian Teacher magazine, and I will continue to use the VCC SIE Facebook page as a resource tool to stay connected with current initiatives in education.  I have found TED talks incredibly entertaining and insightful and will continue tuning in to those regularly.

 

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Brookfield Chapter 8: Teaching in Diverse Classrooms (3260)

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DIVERSITY 

 

It is true, class composition in colleges and universities are becoming increasingly varied in backgrounds and experiences, reflecting the diverse society we live in.  Diversity includes any element that can be used to differentiate groups and people from one another.  It requires a respect for, and acceptance of, differences for such things as age, ethnic origin, gender, religion, physical abilities, economics status, or sexual orientation.  Beyond that, diversity recognizes and respects that each person contributes a variety of experiences, perspectives, skills, and lifestyle that must be valued and viewed as equal in order for us to work, learn, and grow with, and from, one another.

In Chapter 8: Teaching in Diverse Classrooms in his book The Skillful Teacher, Brookfield (2015) suggests that in order to effectively work in the diverse classroom you need to take the time to determine what the class composition is. This can be achieved using Classroom Assessment Techniques such as creating learning profiles, background probes, or initiating group activities/games that encourage individuals to ‘share’ who they are.  He recommends staying in touch with your students regarding how diversity is playing out in the classroom, in addition to understanding your success rate in addressing it, can be achieved through the regular use of the Critical Incident Questionnaire (CIQ).  I like this idea as I think the ongoing nature of using the CIQ sends a clear message to students that you care, value their feedback and are responding to their comments by constantly varying teaching strategies based on their needs.

Brookfield recommends the following broad strategies to cope with diversity in the classroom:

  • Team teaching
  • Mixing student groups
  • Mixing modalities
  • Visual or oral communication
  • Silent or speech filled classrooms

I particularly like the team teaching approach as I can see there would be a greater ability to connect with a larger group of students as the additional variety of skills would cater to more students.  Better connections would be made on an individual level which promotes a positive learning environment and therefore, better learning outcomes.  It may not always be possible, due to financial or staffing reasons, but this is an approach I will consider when faced with a complex variety of student elements in my classroom.

Diversity in the classroom is a reality and it can feel overwhelming trying to grasp how one can possibly meet and accommodate all the needs within any given course.  Rather than get overwhelmed, maybe I will start with common sense and let it be my guide followed by a few of the techniques identified above.

“There are no universal solutions or specific rules for responding to ethnic, gender, and cultural diversity in the classroom.   Perhaps the overriding principle is to be thoughtful and sensitive….” (Davis, 1993).

References:

Brookfield, S.D. (2015). The Skillful Teacher:  On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the Classroom (3rd ed.).  San Francisco CA:  Jossey-Bass.

Davis, B.G. (1993).  Tools for Teaching.  San Francisco CA: Jossey-Bass.

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Every Child Deserves a Champion (3260)

Rita Pierson, in my opinion, does a wonderful job of motivating educators to consistently believe in their students.  In her May 2013 TED Talk she stated, “Every child deserves a champion:  an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists they become the best they can possibly be.”

I don’t think this is any different for adult learners – every learner wants to feel valued through a connection that is personal and authentic in its context.  When we feel valued we are motivated to achieve our goals.  When someone believes in you there is a sense of empowerment to apply oneself knowing we are supported and a confidence in our abilities has been validated.

But believing in students alone is not enough (Shouse, 1996) and must be coupled with a learning environment that is safe, respectful and open resulting in limitless student potential.

Resources:

Pierson, R. (May 2013).  Every kid needs a champion.  Retrieved from:       www.ted.com/playlists/182/talks_from_inspiring_teachers

Shouse R.B. (1996).  Academic press and sense of community:  Conflict, congruence, and implications for student achievement. Social Psychology of Education, 1(1), 47-68.

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