Volume 14 - Fall 2010

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Signs, Times, Places: The New Beginnings, A Semester One, Biography of Learning, 14(1)

Sasa Boric

Almost a decade ago, in 1999, I created a series of art pieces that were dealing with my identity; my method included deconstruction of my past (quite literally, by tearing up the images of my ancestors into pieces) and reconstruction of those pieces which now carried a new meaning. The installation was titled “Signs, Times, Places” and it was exhibited in the “Little Gallery” (Art Building) in 2000 (you can view it on http://artonlake.ca/signs,times,places.html). With the freedom to choose a form for my Biography of Learning, it was logical to incorporate something that represents my identity, my heritage and me as a person. The result is an interactive Album that is visual support to my written narrative. The iAlbum contains images of my grandparents who were both teachers. I decided to write my biography in the form of letters, a constructed correspondence with my grandparents and other family members who shared the teaching profession. Although I come from an artistic and creative family with a long teaching tradition, I have never thought early on that I would become a part of it. At a young age I have discovered passion for art. But somehow teaching was always finding its way into my life and art practice. I was working as the instructor through various art programs, in theatre, with children with disabilities, in the Outreach School, at the University and privately, so I did gain a lot of experience in teaching and I realized how much I enjoy working with children. I didn’t however have any experience in a formal school setting and I have decided to follow in the footsteps of my ancestors and become a teacher. Being an artist, I consider teaching to be an ultimate form of art. Artists shape clay into beautiful sculptures, or create stunning paintings. Teachers can shape young minds and create future generations of knowledgeable, successful, capable, responsible and caring adults. Teachers are actors, performers, conductors, directors and ultimately they become the audience in the magnificent theatres called classrooms. So, I dedicate my Biography of Learning to all past and future generations of wonderful, talented and creative teachers in my family.

Approaching Technology Integration: The Tortoise And The Hare In The Digital Age, A Semester Four, Independent Inquiry, 14(2)

Kate Nowlan

We are entering the digital age. Whether we like it or not, educators must consider teaching and learning in new ways that reflect our changing world. Digital technology is becoming essential to educators’ continued ability to do their job effectively, and it is also essential to students’ future success in a world where digital fluency is becoming universal. Educators are now facing the overwhelming task of recreating schools to reflect a world transformed by, and increasingly reliant upon, digital technologies. The digital revolution is still an incomplete and evolving revolution and, consequently, we must ask the question, how do we integrate digital technologies and what does this mean for education in the coming decades?

Resiliency in Pedagogy: a Mode for Self-Care, 14(3)

Patrick Tomczyk

The purpose of this hermeneutic study was to interpret the meaning of self-care and the relevance of resiliency as a mode for self-care, in the context of pedagogical practice. This inquiry was interested in exploring and creating an understanding of the phenomenon of what self-care is in the pedagogical framework and how it could be practiced. This study interpreted the meaning of resiliency as a method for self-care and how it could become an effective source of contribution to living in a balanced state of proper health and wellness within the teaching profession. Self-care has been identified as a necessary preventive strategy for what is variously referred to as teacher stress and burnout.

Cleaning House: A Year One, Biography of Learning, 14(4)

Shaunda Foltz

The first semester in the Master of Teaching program has given me some relief in that I am beginning to understand what it means to be a teacher. Not relief in the sense that I am learning that teaching is not as demanding, involved, complicated as I thought it would be but relief in a sense that there IS a better way of teaching that resonates with who I am as a person. This first semester has been a matter of cleaning out old ideas and perceptions I had formed based on my previous experiences and replacing them with new more informed choices and ways of thinking. This Biography of Learning reflects those changes in the metaphor of cleaning house, something with which I am all too familiar.

It's Personal, A Year One, Independent Inquiry, 14(5)

Sarah MacGregor

Teaching is often looked upon as an ever-evolving occupation, one that requires the employment of life-long learners. Teachers, therefore, have the challenging task of keeping up with the most current research about teaching and developing an ever-evolving awareness of how theory and practice coincide. One of the most recent shifts seen in western society is from an industrial-age to an information-age paradigm. This progression, as will be seen, runs parallel to a similar shift in education from a sorting-focused to a learner-centered paradigm. These movements have also been accompanied by learning theories that have helped to shape practices in education, namely behaviorism and constructivism. Under the learner-centered umbrella is a practice called personalized learning that will be discussed in detail. First, what is personalized learning and how does it work? What are the roles and obligations of the teacher in this methodology? What are the goals? Who benefits? And, finally, should teachers and schools be focused on personalizing learning? A lot of support for this practice will be cited here, as well as opposition to this practice.

An Individual ePortfolio of Learning and Teaching Experiences, A Year Two, Semester 3, ePortfolio, 14(6)

Kate Nowlan

In this ePortfolio of work from the first three semesters of the Master of Teaching Program, Kate documents her journey as a scholar of the profession. In an introduction to her ePortfolio, Kate writes: "Teaching and learning is at the heart of living a full life. Assisting students to explore and realize their own growth as people is both important and compelling. There’s a sense of citizenship, personal development, possibilities and renewal in education. Learning improves not just quality of mind, but quality of life. It enables students to see the world more clearly and be able to think and judge and experience in ways perhaps not thought of before". Readers are invited to explore this layered and multifaceted body of scholarly work.

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