Category Archives: Uncategorized

PIDP 3260 Professional Practice Journal Entry 2


“…there will be very few standardized practices that help students across the board learn essential skills or knowledge. An approach that one student finds particularly useful or congenial may well be profoundly unsettling and confusing to the student sitting next to her.” (Brookfield, 2006, page 17). With a quote like this, it makes you wonder how an instructor will deal with this reality. How do you deal with the fact that when using certain teaching practices, only a fraction of your class are grasping the concept, where the rest are getting more confused? Will instructors be on the never-ending quest to find these few techniques that can reach all of your students?


When I read this quote, the 2 words that jumped out at me were ‘standardized practices’. It made me think about the term and question: What is the purpose of standardizing teaching practices? What benefits does it have for the learner? I ask those questions because as I am going through the PIDP, the main focus is the learner and it’s obvious why. Our success as instructor hinges on the fact that we help students learn. When you think about standardized practices, it doesn’t make me think about the learner. I feel the benefits of standardized practices are within the institution’s administration to create consistency in teaching, not learning. I found an interesting website that discusses areas of standardization and weighs the advantages and disadvantages. “The most obvious and concrete problem with standardizing level, pace, and path is illuminated by how poorly that serves students who are far from “average” in any given academic area.  It isn’t news that students who “get” the material quickly often disengage due to boredom and students who struggle disengage due to hopelessness.”


When I look at this quote, I feel it has validity. To think that there are certain practices that will reach all your students is unreasonable. As a result, instructors will need to find multiple practices to reach all your students. When starting a new class, you must be prepared to face students with different personalities, cultures, and beliefs. No two classes will be exactly the same with an entire class ready to learn concepts in one particular fashion. As the instructor, this is an opportunity expand your mind and discover new ways to reach certain types of students. “”We want to have a class where everyone can be successful because we need everyone to be successful,” says Brian Lukoff, an education researcher at Harvard who is studying ways to more effectively teach large classes.”


As I have stated earlier, in order to have a lesson be effective to my entire class, I cannot rely on standardized practices. Every class I intend to teach will be different from one another and it is part of the job to understand what types of personalities, learning styles, and beliefs I am working with. From there, I will have to decide what combination of practices and techniques will work best with my current class. “The most we can hope for in facing them is that we settle on responses that make sense for context in which we find ourselves, and that lessen rather than exacerbate the tensions we inevitably feel….I know I will never connect with everyone’s preferred learning style 100 percent of the time because the diversity of my students’ personalities, experiences, racial and cultural traditions, and perceptual filters (as well as my own personality, racial identity, learning style, cultural formation, and professional training) make that impossible. (Brookfield, 2006, page 9) Having read that, it doesn’t make sense to believe that I would be able to find a one style fits all practice in instruction.


Brookfield, S. D. (n.d.). Skillful Teacher: on Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the Classroom {Jossey-bass Higher and Adult Education Series ; 2nd Ed.}. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (US). Pages 9 and 17.

Bjerede, M. (2013, April 26). Education Standardization: Essential or Harmful?

Media, A. P. (2017). Rethinking the Way College Students Are Taught. Retrieved February 26, 2017


Professional Code of Conduct and Its Consequences

I was researching about professional code of conduct and came across University of British Columbia’s Professional Code of Conduct for their teacher candidates enrolled in their Bachelor of Education program. UBC is one of the more prestigious institutions in the lower mainland of British Columbia and I found it interesting to see how they structured their code of conducts, since it is local to me.

I have also attached a link to the protocol and procedures that happen when this code of conduct is broken. When you read through the sites, you know they are serious, and rightfully so, because of the liability involved. You can see the careful planning that is involved when structuring such a protocol.

It is important to have these guidelines in place for aspiring teachers and faculty members to know what is acceptable and unacceptable. Not only does having the code and protocol  help groom teacher candidates, but it protects the institution from strikes in reputation if these procedures are not set in place.

The Skillful Teacher by Stephen D. Brookfield-Chapter 2

Chapter 2 – The Core Assumptions of Skillful Teaching

The 3 core assumptions  in chapter 2 are:

  • Skillful teaching is whatever helps students learn
  • Skillful teaching adopt a critically reflective stance towards their practice
  • The most important knowledge skillful teachings need to do good work is a constant awareness of how students are experiencing their learning and perceiving teachers’ actions

After reading the chapter and reflecting on these assumptions, it definitely makes sense. The first assumption is very broad and encompasses both the instructor and the learner. Do whatever it takes so that the learner the learner can learn. Be open to do anything that can make your lesson effective. There was a point made where an instructor usually feels most helpful when being suggestive and assisting right away. Brookfield makes a point in arguing that. “…the best teaching behaviour is sometimes to leave the student alone and not to intervene.” (Brookfield, 2006, page 26) I liked that point because whatever it takes can come in many forms and there’s insight to the other side of a perspective that is very common in teaching, which is being readily available because you think you will be helpful.

The second assumption deals with self assessment. I think it is important to constantly evaluate how you are teaching. With most things done repeatedly, like teaching a particular subject or class, once you get comfortable with a certain way of doing something you people tend to become complacent. I feel the point here is to strive to improve your practice. Constantly evaluate and re-evaluate what can be done better in your style of instruction. Technology can play a big role in this assumption because of the rapid rate in progression. Keeping up with learning tools is one example of finding ways to improve.

The third assumption deals with accessing your students. I feel this is the most important assumption. This is because the focus here is on the learner. “We may exhibit an admirable command of content, and possess a dazzling variety of pedagogic skills, but without knowing what’s going on in our students’ heads that knowledge may be presented and that skill exercised in a vacuum of misunderstanding.” (Brookfield, 2006, page 28). Basically, it doesn’t matter how good of an instructor you are or how much useful information you have to offer, if you are unaware of how your students are perceiving your lesson, it could all be lost in translation.


Brookfield, S. (2006). The skillful teacher (2nd ed.). S.l.: Jossey-Bass. Pages 26 and 28


3240 Journal Entry #2


Virtual study groups allow students to connect together easily without having to be physically present. “Most learning management systems have a group function that allows the professor to create virtual groups with an e-mail list and a shared discussion space, but you can also use any number of social networking sites. Facebook allows groups large and small, and a group hashtag will allow its members to communicate on Twitter.” (Bowan 2014). Students within your virtual study group may be scattered across the country and still have the same collective goals of solving problems within the learning content.

Here is an example from a blog from Boise State University on how to start a virtual study group. Ground rules are set to give general guidelines and expectations of each member. Self-assessments were also recommended to work towards each individual’s strengths and help support weaknesses.


I feel collaborating with peers through virtual study groups is an amazing way to expand each other`s minds. In cooking, there are many different factors in why a recipe or a technique might fail. Being able to have these processes tested from different locations and perspectives can help understand those reasons. Someone might be from an area where the elevation is higher or certain ingredients may be different in terms of taste or texture due to different regions. These factors can be tested to find out reasons for failures or find breakthroughs to make techniques better.

Top Chefs of the world have food labs to create new innovative ideas in a test kitchen with their own culinary team. Here is an article about restaurants that have created food labs to innovate for their respective kitchens (Future of Food). By applying a virtual study group to cooking, you would essentially be creating a food lab that can expand all over the world. Chefs can contribute and learn from each other`s experiments to raise the level of food knowledge within the group.


Being able to collaborate with peers from many different areas of the world can be very helpful in solving problems by testing them in different conditions. Having the same recipe tested from different perspectives lets us understand the factors which can be ideal or unfavorable to the success of the product. With the ability to connect to peers across the globe easily, the possibilities are endless in what we want to question in the world of cooking.

I am certainly excited about what these virtual groups can achieve but there are concerns about forming such groups. I came across this paper talking about The Seven Problems of Online Learning. Problems four (the free rider), five (possible inequalities of students abilities), and seven (the assessment of individuals in groups) are the ones that stand out to me the most. Forming these groups to promote collaboration is certainly positive, but there is no guarantee that you will have all members contributing equally. Problem five and seven relate to each other where you have to have enough trust to work with someone you may not have the opportunity to meet. Trusting that they have performed experiments or techniques properly can affect the results and compromise the lab at hand.


Having virtual study groups is something I definitely would like to explore. Creating an environment online where my students can visit to interact, learn and collaborate is something I believe is positive.

Before something like this can be conceived, I think I need to be organized in deciding the materials and tools needed for this environment. Guidelines must be set and the students need to have a firm understanding on the purpose of such a group.

Looking at the possibilities I mentioned earlier seems very exciting. I do believe it will take time to scale a virtual study group globally. Being able to find success in a local environment would be a good starting point, and I believe it won’t be long before Chefs from around the world start building connections and friendships through these virtual study groups.


Teaching Naked by José Anotonio Bowen

Boise State University


The Future of Food: Ten Cutting-Edge Restaurant Test Kitchens Around the World
by Gabe Ulla

The Seven Problems of Online Group Learning (and There Solutions) by Roberts, T.S., and McInnerney, J.M. (2007)

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.

(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)