In this course I experienced an important change in my beliefs about teaching; I came to understand that there are many different theories and methods that can be tailored to suit the teacher and the needs of the student. The readings, especially those from Lyons, G., Ford, M., & Arthur-Kelly, M. (2011), Groundwater-Smith, S., Ewing, R., & Le Cornu, R. (2007), and Whitton, D., Barker, K., Nosworthy, M., Sinclair, C., Nanlohy, P. (2010), have helped me to understand this in particular. In composing my essay about teaching methods and other themes, my learning was solidified, my knowledge deepened by my research and my writing skills honed.
How my beliefs about teaching have changed from the beginning of the unit
The one belief I had about teaching that has changed since I began this unit, is that all teachers, more or less, taught in the same way. Perhaps this is a belief that I had formed from my own time at school, where all my teachers taught in the same way; some were more or less effective, but I wasn’t aware of them using theories or methods as such, more that they were or weren’t kind people. This belief has changed and it has really opened my ideas to the many creative models, and instructional methods a teacher can use.
When I began the unit, I believed that unless you sent your child to a Montessori or a Steiner school, you were basically getting the same pedagogy wherever you went. Killen (2007) states, “in the past 30 years our understanding of how people have learnt has changed dramatically. New approaches to cognitive research and developmental psychology suggest that learning is a much more individualised process than was previously thought” (p.2). I did not realise that there had been so much research on developmental theories, styles of learning, needs, behaviour, learning environments and motivation in order to develop models; such as the work of Lyons, G., Ford, M., & Arthur-Kelly, M. (2011) who developed the Lyford model. I am really excited about being able to make use of this research and models and come up with my own unique style of teaching, as Marsh (2011) states “teaching and learning modes used in schools reflect directly on the preference of teachers and students. It is crucial for teachers to match their preferences with student preferences and to be creative in exploring new , exciting pedagogical opportunities” (p.195).
The readings that have had the most impact ?
As I stated in my introduction, I found three readings particularly interesting, beginning with, Lyons et al’s (2011) Lyford model. This challenged a lot of beliefs I had about teaching. I was certainly not aware that the study of learning and teaching could be so complex. The Lyford model is exhaustively researched and meticulously thought-out, I had not imagined that the teachers and schools were actually capable of putting something like this in place, and it was great to see that rigorous academic thought could be informing the way our...