Monthly Archives: July 2014

PIDP 3100 Journal Category 4

“Persevering at online learning is also affected by computer and information literacy, time management…online communication skills…self-esteem, feelings of belongingness in the online program and the ability to develop interpersonal skills with peers…”

Objective: What have you learned from reflecting on this particular quote? What has caught your attention?

I chose this quote because I can relate to it completely as all the factors listed are what weigh on me as an online learner. I have not taken a class in over 10 years, especially not an online program. In regards to time management, online communication and just being in a state of mind where I feel I can be part of an online community gives pressures I am not used to.

There was an assignment where I had to work with a partner and that tested my online communication skills. I found it to be a good exercise and helped me feel less alone as I went through the course because we could support each other in addition to collaborating on our assignment.

Reflective: What did you realize about teaching as a result of this quote?

To be an educator in an online program, you have to understand how your students may feel in regards to aspects they may not be comfortable with. You would also have to address any insecurities that your students may have with self-directed learning. When going through this online course myself, my instructor made me feel comfortable enough to share my insecurities if I hit a roadblock or did not understand the assignment. We would communicate through email and he provided support through check-ins to see how I was doing. I appreciated the support and would mirror this model if I were teaching an online course.

Interpretive: What was your ‘Aha!’ moment when you read this quote? In what ways did this quote change your mind about being an adult educator? What was one key insight that you now have as a result of this quote?

After going through the process and understanding how it feels as the learner, this quote and this course helps me realize what I can do as the educator to help students through an online program, should I be teaching one.

The biggest challenge the quote had listed, is for the learner to feel a part of an online community. Not only will this be a challenge to the learner but for the educator as well to run an educational program where the students feel comfortable learning in an online environment. Having gone through the process myself, I really appreciated the help I had from my instructor and my learning partner. In particular, our group assignment and for the overall support I received in order to feel comfortable as I went through the course.

Decisional: How has this quote and the insight that you have gained from reflecting upon it, influenced your notion of teaching or how you will teach in the future?

With my goal as being a culinary instructor, teaching an entire curriculum online may not be a normality because of the importance of hands-on experience with demonstration and the use of the 5 senses to identify proper techniques.

When I think about people who learn from short online videos about a particular dish or technique from websites like Youtube, I believe that online courses for culinary may become h norm. I think that to have an effective class with physical interaction with food it would need to be in a format where there is a combination of online and in-class where students can be graded on their abilities to produce proper products with the right techniques through demonstration. “Key findings include that blended instruction (a combination of face to face and online) was more beneficial than either totally face to face or online. Learners also had better outcomes in courses where the online instruction was collaborative or instructor-driven than when learners were left to be self-directed on their own.” (Merriam, Sharan B., Bierema, Laura L., 2014, page 198)

REFERENCES
Merriam, Sharan B., Bierema, Laura L., 2014, page 198

PIDP 3100 Journal Category 3

“…some suggested strategies for engaging in critical reflection possibly leading to transformative learning are modeling and peer learning, storytelling and dialogue, coaching, and action learning conversations.”

Objective: What have you learned from reflecting on this particular quote? What has caught your attention?

Looking at this quote, it made me focus on the relationship between critical reflection and transformative learning. Critical reflection is the tool that the learner has to use to challenge their own ideologies in order for transformative learning to occur. With that challenge, the learner has much to question and it will give a reason to question their own beliefs on a certain subject. “In an instructional setting the tools at our disposal are to model and enable students to examine and critically assess their assumptions about themselves, the world, and their place in the world.” (Merriam, Sharan B., Bierema, Laura L., 2014, page 95)

Reflective: What did you realize about teaching as a result of this quote?

This quote gives numerous suggestions on strategies of critical reflection. Looking at those suggestions, they all involve interaction between peers and also with the instructor. Critical reflection involves a lot of questions and that prompts the class to find answers. To be an instructor who wants to use critical reflection in their classroom, you must be prepared have open dialogue and promote the class to push boundaries in how they think. It is also the instructor’s responsibility to create a positive learning environment where any idea, no matter how different or outlandish is not judged harshly by peers. That would be counterproductive in terms of reflecting and finding answers to have transformative learning occur. “There must be space for students to reflect, discuss, and engage in activities that draw upon their life experiences.” (Merriam, Sharan B., Bierema, Laura L., 2014, page 96)

Interpretive: What was your ‘Aha!’ moment when you read this quote? In what ways did this quote change your mind about being an adult educator? What was one key insight that you now have as a result of this quote?

Transformative learning is quite challenging as you have to evoke the learner to challenge their own belief system. To have a classroom of students using the methods of critical reflection suggested in the above quote does not guarantee that transformative learning will take place. Transformative learning can only take place within the learners themselves, although the suggested strategies may help the learner see things in a new perspective in order to ask themselves the important questions. “It is clear that the individual learner is at the heart of the process. It is the learner herself or himself whose attention turns to questioning and examining long-held assumptions about the self and the world in which one lives. Even if changing society is the ultimate goal as in the social change perspective of Friere and other activists, the process begins with individuals questioning and ultimately altering the way they see themselves in the world.” (Merriam, Sharan B., Bierema, Laura L., 2014, page 90)

Decisional: How has this quote and the insight that you have gained from reflecting upon it, influenced your notion of teaching or how you will teach in the future?

Between the theories of andragogy and transformational learning, the focus has their similarities. To me it reinforces the fact that when dealing with adult education, the focus has to be on the individual and the role of the educator is to facilitate the process.

Transformational learning deals with the learner in a state of self-realization. Using critical reflection as a tool, the educator must be supportive and positive to help the learner shed new light on perspectives they might not have thought about and possibly improve on their understanding of certain subjects through transformative learning. I believe the transformative learning promotes the idea of allowing people to learn in general. The idea that someone’s presumptions of themselves and the world can be changed due to open reflection and dialogue with others shows a willingness to learn and evolve.


REFERENCES
(Merriam, Sharan B., Bierema, Laura L., 2014, page 95)
(Merriam, Sharan B., Bierema, Laura L., 2014, page 96)
(Merriam, Sharan B., Bierema, Laura L., 2014, page 90)

PIDP 3100 Journal Category 2

“adults are problem centered, not subject centered, and desire immediate, not postponed application of the knowledge learned.”

Objective: What have you learned from reflecting on this particular quote? What has caught your attention?

I look at this quote and can’t help but agree especially because I can relate personally. As an example, I am a chef who’s been cooking for 18 years. After recently getting married and having a child on the way, I believe it’s time for me to have a different lifestyle. The hours at my current job are not ideal for the life I want with my family and that could potentially be a problem for me. I believe taking the Provincial Instructor Diploma Program (PIDP) will advance my career towards becoming a culinary instructor. Upon reflection, I had identified that my current lifestyle may become problematic, so it propelled me to consider taking a program centered on teaching.

Reflective: What did you realize about teaching as a result of this quote?

From reading further upon this quote, I am able to understand why adults prefer problem-centered learning as opposed to subject centered learning. “Problem centered learning is preferred by adults because it is more engaging and lends itself to immediate application, which in turn solidifies the learning.”( Merriam, Sharan B., Bierema, Laura L., 2014, page 54). For me, using problem-centered learning in lessons can be beneficial as in the culinary industry it is very hands on. I can keep the class engaged by identifying possible scenarios where problems can occur and as a class, discuss how to find the solutions. I think the important key component is showing the class real authentic problems that can take place in a kitchen within a restaurant, hotel or any other kind of food service establishment. I feel this will have a positive impact because the student would want to relate to the problem they may experience in the workplace and therefore will have a real interest in the lesson.

Interpretive: What was your ‘Aha!’ moment when you read this quote? In what ways did this quote change your mind about being an adult educator? What was one key insight that you now have as a result of this quote?

As an aspiring educator and not having taught a class in any field, I feel I want to learn as much as I can in learning theories and different approaches. Problem-centered learning is another orientation for me to consider incorporating into my teaching. The key insight for me is the fact that adults want immediate results with their learning, and I can relate. The life experience they have attained makes them focus on what is most important to them in terms of how the education they are seeking is beneficial to their own livelihood. “If adults can see why it is important to learn something before they begin a learning activity, their motivation is that much stronger. Of course, much of one’s “need to know” arises from encountering life situations and developmental changes in social roles.”(Merriam, Sharan B., Bierema, Laura L., 2014, page 55)

Decisional: How has this quote and the insight that you have gained from reflecting upon it, influenced your notion of teaching or how you will teach in the future?

I will never know the teaching style I’m going to have until I actually start teaching but I look at problem-centered learning as a great way to motivate people to learn the material. They can have an immediate solution and have information they can use right away. To draw on this ‘need to know’ philosophy which is rooted deep in the model of andragogy, I have to show the importance of the current lesson and how it relates to each individual.


REFERENCES
Merriam, Sharan B., Bierema, Laura L., 2014, page 54
Merriam, Sharan B., Bierema, Laura L., 2014, page 55

PIDP 3100 Journal Category 1

“There are few educators who would disagree with the principle that lifelong learning is a good thing but the important questions are about the types of learning that the concept promotes, the life that it encourages us to lead, who benefits from this and the nature of the society that it upholds.”

Objective: What have you learned from reflecting on this particular quote? What has caught your attention?

When looking at this quote, I was still unclear on the principle of a lifelong learner. After researching online, Wikipedia states that “Lifelong learning is the “ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated” pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. Therefore, it not only enhances social inclusion, active citizenship, and personal development, but also self-sustainability, rather than competitiveness and employability.”

People who choose to become a lifelong learner may have many different reasons for doing so. They may not be seeking education for general knowledge, but because of their well-being, their careers, or just to keep up in today’s ever advancing technological world. “Most professional preparation becomes outdated before one gets situated in a career. Hewlett Packard has estimated that what one learns in a Bachelor of Engineering program is outdated or “deconstructs” in 18 months, and for technology-related fields the half-life is even less. (Merriam, S.B., Bierema, L. L. (2014). Adult Learning, P. 5)

Reflective: What did you realize about teaching as a result of this quote?

This quote makes me realize that teaching is not a simple thing. For someone like me who have not taught yet and am hoping to be an instructor one day, I believe the use of motivation will help me in my lessons. I hope to be an instructor in culinary arts. If my class is comprised of aspiring chefs hoping to succeed in the culinary industry, I would use examples of in restaurant experiences through my history in various establishments. This will give them a better understanding on what it is really like in a professional kitchen. Having heard my stories and career experiences, I believe I can evoke some excitement in the students who are serious about this career choice.

Interpretive: What was your ‘Aha!’ moment when you read this quote? In what ways did this quote change your mind about being an adult educator? What was one key insight that you now have as a result of this quote?

My ‘Aha!’ moment was at the end of the quote where it asks “who would benefit from this and the nature of the society that it upholds.” It made me stop and think for a moment. Who would benefit from someone taking a class in order to get a promotion at work? Wouldn’t it be obvious that it would be the student taking the class, who is the one with an opportunity to learn as well as receiving a promotion and creating a better life for themselves? Or could it be the employer benefitting from having someone willing to take classes in order to be a stronger employee and being more efficient at their job while increasing productivity? Both are valid as they would each benefit from further education. I have never thought about being an educator and how it would be related to society before and I find that very interesting. This quote has shown me lifelong learners may think what they are learning is for their own benefit, but it also has an impact within the society they are in.

Decisional: How has this quote and the insight that you have gained from reflecting upon it, influenced your notion of teaching or how you will teach in the future?

After reflecting upon this quote, I believe there is more to teaching than educational material and tests. This process of reflection has helped me realize the responsibilities of an educator and how the lessons being taught will have influences on people’s lives. If I want to succeed as an educator, I will have to keep these reflections in mind and think about the bigger picture in terms of the impact it will have in our society or in my case, the culinary industry. Giving students relative insights and showing them the areas where creative freedom is welcomed will help them grow.
REFERENCES

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifelong_learning
Merriam, S.B., Bierema, L. L. (2014). Adult Learning, P. 5

Collaboration with My Learning Partner

The assignment of creating this blog also had us work with a learning partner, which I found was a great experience. I had the pleasure of working with my learning partner Valinbc. We had multiple Skype sessions discussing what topic we would be comfortable with and if it be compatible with our respective professions. What I found really helpful was the fact that I have someone in the same situation as me going through the same process. I appreciate the fact that not only did it make this assignment a lot more enjoyable, but it helped me feel better knowing I had a friend I can contact if I had trouble with the course.
She had an interesting article relating to a system of education focused around Online Badges. Instead of committing large amounts of time to completing a degree, educational institutions are turning to these online badges to give learners the opportunity to learn in shorter amounts of time and still attaining credentials in a smaller scale.

She was very thoughtful and wrote a short summary of what we had discussed. Enjoy

Roles and Trends in Education – Laying it out for the world to see

More and more, demand for digital learning and online collaboration are increasing – in education as well as on the job – and it’s becoming less of an option for educators to ignore engagement with these new technologies if they are going to meet learner demands for easier access to education. Yet, there are still a lot of educators who are intimidated about exposing themselves online because of privacy concerns. Fortunately, educators do have models online who they can look to for ideas of how it can be done.

Also, in my field of Adult Basic Education, there is talk about the use of Online Open Badges to offer ‘microcredentials,’ or verified learning milestones. The Open Badges system by Mozilla Foundation gives adult learners the opportunity to manage their learning pathways and display a variety of achievements from a variety of sources, but they also require an open and trusting display of personal data for the world to praise, or to scrutinize.

(I have created a link to her blog so please feel free and have a look. Here’s a short intro)

In my blog, I review a paper titled The academic online: Constructing persona through the World Wide Web (Barbour and Marshall, 2012). It presents five different types of academic online personas and features distinguished academics who are good examples of how to successfully engage with learners and peers in the digital realm. These personas are the formal self, the public self, the comprehensive self, the teaching self, and the uncontainable self.

I also explain what Open Badges are and some of the debate surrounding them and present some findings from a report: The potential and value of using digital badges for adult learners (Finkelstein et al, 2013). In it, the authors note that a badge system based on a standardized framework of literacy competencies and administered by partners and stakeholders in adult education could benefit adult learners. It could eventually break down barriers to employment or education, help with motivation, and increase access to online learning. Still, questions remain, and the value of open badges are yet to be seen. You can read more about both these topics on my blog.

Trends Relating to Education and the Culinary Arts

As a working chef in the culinary industry for the last 18 years, I can say the idea of being a chef has changed significantly and trends are often encountered. When I decided this was the field I wanted to enter, I never had the notion of being a celebrity or famous, which now seems to be a normal thought with the rise of the Food Network and prominent chefs gaining celebrity status.
In the area of culinary arts, there is a mass amount of online resources that people can refer to between blogs, forums and videos posted on sites like Youtube. Amateurs and professionals are turning to online applications and creating online personas to introduce themselves to the online community, and thus linking the world of culinary arts closer together.
The idea of being able to turn on your electronic device to get an online cooking lesson from a professional or to solve a problem you have about cooking can be very exciting. Following a blog where you can’t wait to see what the next fresh idea is from your favorite chef or personality can also add to that excitement. Whatever the motivation, online learning in regards to culinary arts has a relationship that is ever-evolving

New Insights on Roles of the Adult Educator

Adult education has significantly changed since the advancement of online technologies. I have posted an article in my resource section about learning through the use of Youtube. With my background in culinary arts, I see the learning process to still be in the traditional sense within a classroom and demonstrations in a kitchen. I remember being taught in classes by older chefs from an era where computers and the internet were not relevant. With the rise of different networking and online communication programs and online learning being a preferable option for adults, I believe teaching culinary arts online will eventually be a viable option. I think it would be exciting to have the option of learning different cuisines from the actual country of origin and the distance would not be an issue.
After discussing with my learning partner, we reached a topic of online persona. We talked about insecurities for educators to be out there in the digital world and having to uphold an online presence. The responsibility of having an online presence, where any material you post can be seen by anyone on the internet weighs heavily on the educator to keep teaching material relevant and authentic. I think it’s important to have a positive online persona, but there needs to be a balance in one’s life so knowing when to ‘unplug’ from online interaction is beneficial as well.