Who defines Morality?

Is it cultural? Is it subjective to religion? Is it God or the Government? or does it cross all borders?

Some say that you cannot legislate morality? Some say that all laws legislate morality?

Morality is doing whats right regardless of what you are told.

I really like this definition:

“The simplest answer is that morality is the human attempt to define what is right and wrong about our actions and thoughts”

 

 

Source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morality

 

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3260 – Education Related Article

EXPLORING STRATEGIES WHEN THE CLASS CLIMATE INADVERTENTLY THREATENS STUDENTS

The Eberly Center from Carnegie Mellon University wrote an interesting article which talks about the intellectual, social, emotional and physical classroom environment.  The climate can be influenced positively or negatively by many different factors. There are a number of things that teachers can do to provide a supportive respectful and safe environment.

The article recommends the following:

  • Use the first day of class to establish the climate
  • Establish ground rules
  • Reduce anonymity
  • Do not ask individuals to speak out for entire group
  • Avoid differential treatment
  • Acknowledge and draw on diversity
  • Invite feedback
  • Address offensive behaviour
  • Acknowledge emotions
  • Address problems outside of class
  • Provide opportunities to cool off
  • Facilitate active listening
  • Turn discord into a learning opportunity

If you know certain topics will illicit strong feelings talk to your students ahead of time about the emotional aspects of these topics.You can also remind students that the differences of opinion are healthy.

It’s also important to recognize that although teachers cannot control all aspects of a course climate you should still try and maintain an environment that is both intellectually challenging and emotionally supportive.

 

Resource:

http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/solveproblem/strat-unproductive/unproductive-01.html

3260 – Accreditation

Accreditation

Accreditation is a status which shows the public that a school has met and is maintaining a high level of standards set by an accrediting agency. Program Accreditation is a critical element to help support and give legitimacy to a school or program. This is especially important for international students or higher education institutions with students who want an internationally recognized qualification after their studies are completed.

I found this article on a Veterinary school that lost their accreditation. What a surprise to read how a school losing their accreditation can affect a graduated student. Losing their academic standing can have serious effects on the school and the student.

Veterinary School loses accreditation.

“As it stands now, students at Canadian veterinary schools are licensed to practice when they graduate. But if they were to graduate from a school that has lost its accreditation, they would have to tack on another year of study at an accredited college or take a written exam with a hands-on practicum for which there is a long waiting list.” _Canadian Veterinary Journal.

In this particular issue was raised because improvements were needed to the facilities.

As the article mentioned “ongoing failure to put money into the buildings, labs and hospitals that make up the veterinary colleges means that it could take up to half a billion dollars from a mix of sources to ensure Canada’s veterinary schools maintain their accreditation in the future.”

I currently work for government and my field of expertise is governed by legislation and does not need to be accredited. I can see how important it is to choose the right college or university to ensure you don’t end up being affected by accreditation issues as a graduating student.

I further read that there are some flags students can keep an eye out for to identify if a college is unaccredited:

  • There is evidence of numerous student complaints about educational quality
  • The name of the school is similar to a well known college or university
  • Credits are awarded for very little work
  • Students are not eligible for federal financial aid

Remember, doing a little research up front can save you time and trouble in the future.

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

The Canadian Veterinary Journal
Karen Birchard – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC339197/

3260-The Core Assumptions of Skillful Teaching

In chapter two of The Skillful Teacher, author Stephen D. Brookfield discusses the four core assumptions about skillful teaching:

The Core Assumptions of Skillful Teaching

  • Skillful teaching is whatever helps students learn
  • Skillful teachers adopt a critically reflective stance toward their practice
  • Skillful teachers need to do good work and have a constant awareness of how students are experiencing their learning and perceiving teacher’s actions
  • College students of any age should be treated as adults

What helps a student learn:

Factors relating to classroom instruction and climate have nearly as much impact on learning as do student aptitude.

I recognize that direct influences have a greater impact on learning than indirect influences.

Direct influences include the amount of time a teacher spends on a topic and the quality of the social interactions teachers have with their students. Continuous assessment of learning is required to ensure the lessons are resonating with the majority of students.

Indirect influences that impact on learning can include home environment, peer aspirations, community influences, school culture, school demographics, and size of instructional group (whole class, small group, one-on-one instruction).

Critically Reflective 

If Skillful teaching is to be informed. What does that look like? We can use formative assessments such as Critical Incident Questionnaires to establish credibility and authenticity with our students.

As teachers we should expect ambiguity and not be afraid to take risks. We should be willing to research and confirm with our students our assumptions. This will give us a greater ability to reflect on our teaching practices.

Constant Awareness

What better way to stay connected to your practice than to always see yourself and the material you are teaching through the eyes of the students in front of you.

To me true awareness is when your feedback is anonymous. The students feel free to share their thoughts better. This gives me a good idea where my strengths and weaknesses are.

College students of any age should be treated as adults

If students are neither adults nor non-adults, what are they? I treat everyone the same. The students are responsible for seeking the help they need when they need it. I am responsible to help them learn.

Students should be prepared to take responsibility for their learning, self-assess their work, work well with others, submit homework on time, and act respectfully.

To me age is not a factor. We are all there to learn and be responsible for our learning path.

 

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

 

Saying Goodbye

There is no activity or gesture too small when it comes to saying goodbye to students.

Here are five suggestions I researched.

  1. Write an individual note to each student acknowledging or celebrating something specific and unique about her or him
  2. Make an advice wall
  3. Create a photo booth
  4. Craft a class appreciation poem
  5. Give a speech to class

 

Its been a slice. I leave you with this quote:

“A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.” – Brad Henry

 

Classroom Management

Earn students respect

  1. Your words must be golden
  2. You must be the same teacher, today, and tomorrow
  3. You must never take misbehaviour personally

Quote from the article:  “Respect is earned through the honor of your word, the steadiness of your temperament, and the gentle, quiet strength of your convictions.”

You must have a classroom management plan with rules and consequences to enforce and you must find a way to challenge the students. If the material is too easy, the students will misbehaves and will not find it worth their time.

 

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