Masters of Teaching Mind Dump #22



You can find previous Brain Dumps here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21.

Sigh... this has been a mixed trimester of study for me. I really enjoyed the down to earth Seconday Science course, and I was initially interested in the Literacy/numeracy course until it just got completely bogged down in nit-picking nonsense. I think that much of it is in part due to the less than stellar lecturer who seems to be at best inconsistent and clueless about the course that he has put online.

Hilariously enough, although we were told that modern literacy and numeracy aren't about grammar, spelling and arithmetic but more about using these tools in an advanced way to convey concepts, the lecturer keeps just bringing up spelling and grammar mistakes in the feedback to the assessed forum posts. Plus, it has come up in assessments as well... I don't say this about my own work, but because the forum feedback is public, and most of it is pretty trivial and lame feedback at best... if it is there AT ALL!

So, I'm a bit cranky about the lecturer for presenting and running this course so badly... it does seem like it would be an interesting and worthwhile topic. That said, most of the policy documents and crap from the education departments seem like they have been run through a corporate/academic random word generator and make little sense... the sort of thing that you have to read a few times to be sure that they are actually saying something trivial and useless. Well.. I hope that someone gets paid well for doing that...

So, to this last assignment... I'm lacking in motivation for this one. We need to analyse and assess a sample piece of work from our learning area... and provide student feedback in around 300 words. Well, that word limit is a joke... and I think that this lecturer takes great pride in word limits (unlike the Science lecturer who just said, take as many or little words as you need to say what you want to say!). I start to really despise the humanities academics...

Anyway, then we need to come up with a Unit and Lesson plan that showcases the literacy and numeracy demands of the topic/subject. Well, it is something that is definitely important, but it is also something that is secondary and embedded within the teaching... so, designing a lesson that highlights that sort of thing feels really artificial! Well, in Maths and Physics that is... for history or humanities subjects, it is a little less weird.

Anyway, I'm now done with the Unit overview on DC electricity... it was a bit hard to get the Literacy/numeracy bits in focus, and there are definitely a couple of lessons in there that I wouldn't have ordinary made into full lesson focuses.

Now, I'm into writing the lesson plan for a specific lesson... and it is about research/lab reports. Again, it is a sort of secondary topic to the actual learning of DC electricity... but I had to shoehorn an inquiry project in there so that I could have a bit of literacy/numeracy goals that I could hit with a dedicated lesson about reports and data presentation. It really irritates me that I have to design these lessons and units with the aim of hitting some bureaucratic goal... but I guess that is what teachers have to do to protect themselves from overzealous administrators and politicians and the coddling parents.

I wonder what this will be like in the real world... if I ever do decide to become a high school teacher?

... I do feel like this particular university course (it is a mandatory one for the Masters of Teaching) was a bit of a redundant course that could have been skimmed over in a few lectures instead of a full unit. It also didn't need 4 assignments (others have had 2...) of incredibly dubious quality and direction. It is a struggle to even decipher exactly what the hell we are supposed to be doing in the assignments... and I'm not even going to talk about the struggles that I've had with the provided assignment templates. I suspect that they have been written by someone who has just discovered Word in the last year...

Cranky cranky me...

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