Exit PIDP 3100

IMG_5923Everyone needs an exit strategy: a plan. When we wake up to a new day we have no choice except to progress through it filled with expectations, responsibilities, goals, and if we’re lucky, time to reflect. Regardless of what the day brings, it comes to an end, and is followed by the next day: the eventual do-over! An exit strategy allows me to feel control over what I have to, and what I want to accomplish during my waking hours.

I’ve just completed Foundations of Adult Education 3100, the first of eight courses in the Provincial Instructor’s Diploma Program at Vancouver Community College. The final assignment involved an Exit Interview. I was not asked to write an educational philosophy: I simply had to think about what my educational philosophy might be, and be able to verbally share my thoughts with my instructor on how adults learn. The one recurring theme was adapting to continuous change and the ability to be a lifelong learner. In Freedom to Learn (1969), psychologist Carl Rogers said it best,

“An educated person is one who has learned how to learn … how to adapt and change”

In the Exit Interview, I also had to talk about which adult teaching philosophy I most align with.  In my opinion, an educator needs to decide if a traditional approach (Behaviouristic) or a more interactive method (Humanistic) is needed in a lesson. But most importantly, one needs to remember that you are teaching adults, so a positive and mutually respectful environment is first and foremost.

In addition, an adult educator provides a service. It doesn’t matter if you are instructing in a classroom, as a practitioner in the workplace, or giving a tour in a museum; there is a responsibility on the part of the teacher/facilitator to meet the needs and expectations of the students. The service that I provide on any given day is a reflection on me, and luckily, if I’ve failed to articulate or demonstrate what the day’s planned outcomes are, there is always another chance to learn how to do it better the next day.

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 5.10.45 PM The photograph above was taken on my husband’s cell phone in December at Big White ski resort in Kelowna, British Columbia. Sunset: the ultimate exit plan that provides proof that the sun will also rise tomorrow, and that I’ll have another opportunity to learn, change and grow.

Reflection

Trees

I’ve been reflecting. The PIDP 3100 Course Journal Assignment involves  quotes in which to ponder, and subsequently reflect upon for evaluation. My “reflections” are posted on my PIDP 3100 page. Reflection is tough, specifically critical reflection. Who really cares what I “think,” even supported by resources? I enjoyed the research though; one can literally Google anything and come up with something that supports any thought or whim! Luckily, it’s fairly easy to tell the legitimate information from the junk. I hope that if a naive student stumbles upon my ramblings one day looking for something academic, they won’t cite me, but hopefully they’ll check out my links and resources. Of all the interesting reads that I “stumbled” upon, the research of psychologist Carl Rogers is my favourite; his keen and articulate observation into how humans (should) live and learn will stick with me, and hopefully help a fellow student someday.

I also enjoy reading the reflections of other people. I love to observe a different perspective; it helps me to think “outside the box.” After all, I do care about what other people think! Go figure.

♥The above artwork is an original painted by my daughter Isabel

Perseverance

“Start my doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible”
Francis of Assisi

The Trends and Roles assignment in PIDP 3100 includes an appointed learning partner to collaborate with in researching trends in adult education, and the roles of educators in relation to these trends.

The instant that something becomes a trend, and subsequently enjoys its 15 minutes of fame, it is soon replaced with another trend. After pouring over the textbook for PIDP 3100, Adult Learning – Linking Theory and Practice (2014), followed by a few hours of “surfing the net,” I learned that trends seem recurrent. For example, new technology is introduced into the classroom (onsite or online), only to be replaced by newer technology, and so on.

The constant trend that I did observe in my research was that the demographics of adult learners have shifted: traditional adult learners are 18-22 years old, while the non-traditional students are 25 and over. The interesting thing to me was that since 2007, non-traditional adult students have evolved into to the increasing majority of students enrolled in post secondary institutions.

While researching the topic for this assignment, my learning partner withdrew from the PID program. I decided to look into the reasons why non-traditional adult students resign; there are many conditions accountable for this phenomenon, paired with the fact that institutions are increasingly encountering this issue due to higher non-traditional student enrolment. I identified that this trend is certainly one worth exploring, especially considering my current circumstances.

On my PIDP 3100 page, my Trends and Roles paper gives a brief insight into the roles of adult educators in dealing with student retention in the 21st century, and how I can prepare to address this trend. I’ve also included some web articles that I stumbled upon (i.e. Googled), during my research; see my Links page for those.

Lesson Planning for Beginners

I have completed the Lesson Planning Component of PIDP 3100; it is posted on my PIDP 3100 page. There are links to assist in lesson planning for adult learners on my Links page. I am learning that lesson planning, specifically discovering who your students are, and what their expectations are, in relation to learning outcomes is the key to success (for the student and the teacher). Mostly, the teacher needs to be enthusiastic and genuinely interested in the lesson in order for it to be relatable to the adult learner. I’ve included a video that my daughter Rachel did for a required assignment during the first weeks of her BEd program at the University of Victoria. Her teacher asked the students to reflect on “Who am I?” I may be biased because I am her mother, but Rachel’s video is truly relatable and inspiring.

Welcome!

Terrace Beach

Featured Image: An unbelievably beautiful blue cove surrounded by tall pine trees

I’ve embarked on a journey to complete the Provincial Instructor Diploma Program (PIDP) at Vancouver Community College! My first completed assignment, the Learning Theory essay on the Behaviourist’s Theory is posted on my PIDP 3100 page. My Instructor gave me great feedback, by asking me to think about how I would reinforce and reward learning. While doing research for this assignment, I stumbled upon journalist George Sylvester Viereck’s Albert Einstein interview in the Saturday Evening Post (1929). The article is rich with Einstein’s philosophies on teaching and learning. He states that,

“the ordinary human being does not live long enough to draw any substantial benefit from his own experience.”

I’m not sure if Einstein was being literal, or in which context his statement originates. I guess I’ll have to try to be extraordinary if I want to learn and to change. Thanks for the pep talk Professor Einstein 🙂

Check out Viereck’s article:

http://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/wp-content/uploads/satevepost/what_life_means_to_einstein.pdf

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 5.10.45 PM The photograph was taken at Terrace Beach in Ucluelet, British Columbia on my cellphone; it seemed like a great pic to include with my first post 🙂