Hot tea, sore throat and VOC6

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Tuesday’s AC-session had its emphasis on activating teaching methods, self-regulated learning, engaged pedagogy and alternative education, and from my point-of-view the session was saturated with hot tea, Strepsils (sore throat remedy) and a sore throat…

Pre-tasks for the VOC6-session were to watch few Youtube-videos, play a word game (by our team) and to get familiar with pros and cons of alternative education, and also to familiarise a role of a person having varying opinions about engaged pedagogy. The pre-tasks were not that time-consuming, some theories were bit too philosophical or political for my taste, but nonetheless good preparation helped understanding the pre-tasks and getting ready for the actual session. The session itself went well without unnecessary mishaps, although my worsening sore throat made it almost impossible for me to speak in between times…

Some afterthoughts about the topics:

Activating teaching method

The pre-task consisted of a TedX-video of an American lecturer Garr Reynolds, who teaches in Japanese university, and he speaks about lecturing and presentations in lectures. First, he told the audience to think about boring lecture (bad lecture experiences) and to share the answers with surrounding people. During the presentation, the lecturer presented some personal photos, and also had many first-hand experiences, which he used for keeping the listeners interested about the topic. During his presentation, he stated, that there are few things that helps keeping the listeners interested, such as variety of the lecture, learning by doing, students teaching each other, the usage of multimedia, etc. It was very much in-line with activating teaching methods such as Vilonen et al. 2008, and Rainer Baumann’s article, although the short tasks were in a smaller scale – one lecture vs. whole course. But if the methods work in a smaller scale, why they shouldn’t work with bigger setting?

SRL

In this session, the SRL was introduced by a Prezi-presentation and in a form of few videos, and practical examples of the key points of SRL. Some methods for SRL are such as monitoring, reflection, goal-setting, planning, self-motivation, attention control and guided practice. For my personal experience, the self-regulated learning has happened with my previous studies in terms of planning well ahead my master’s thesis writing process and by following the Pomodoro-technique every now and then, if needed. Also for keeping my personal motivation level high, I usually went studying in a library (at the uni or city library), which had a big impact on my motivation comparing it with working at home. I think the biggest impact on motivation of working in a library, was to actually go somewhere else to work, and to concentrate on the job… I really don’t know how to describe it, but it’s somehow self-generated social pressure, which feels like you’re doing a group work, but only by yourself. Difficult to explain, but I will totally do that later on if I need to work on a bigger writing tasks.

In a way, this blogging and facebook-updates about the progress of our studies, seems to be perfect example of SRL-methods, and it fits well with monitoring, reflection, planning, etc… 🙂

Engaged pedagogy

The engaged pedagogy-part of the AC session had different kind of approach this time! It was a role-based acting of engaged pedagogy -related opinions from different viewpoints. One participant played the role of the teacher, second was the student herself, and third was a father of a student. The engaged pedagogy-play was interesting, and it worked out great, but for me I didn’t remember what to discuss about after the play about the topic itself, but I managed to understand few things about the topic itself. I think that by increasing the dialogue between teachers and students helps to improve the learning, learning atmosphere, self-experience, and also to be able to take into account some students’ shortcomings, and to modify the teaching methods accordingly. It was fun and different task this time! I liked it a lot!

According to the after task, by having this “role” and also trying to go into the mindset of a teacher (in my case) it helped to clarify the theoretical part, and also I wrote down some key words of the topic when they matched with my role. The key words were: respect, students help each other, sharing learning process, “inner narrative”, social & political, self-experience, share in the intellectual growth, both active participants, understand situations surrounding students, students’ ability to structure curriculum, dialogical approaches… I think with this role-based approach I HAD to think about the topic from different angle, which helped in understanding the topic itself.

Alternative education

The pre-task was to watch a PowToons-video about the topic, and to play a SpaceRace-game of the terms connected to the topic. Some classmates even had a little competition with results of the game, which obviously drove them to try better with the game, so successful adoption of that method I guess! During the AC-session we had a discussion of pros and cons of alternative and traditional education, and the discussion went quite ok, although my sore throat made it hard for me to speak, nonetheless we came up with results as follows:

Traditional

Strengths:

Governance

Planning

Weaknesses:

Costs

Practicality (theory doesn’t need that much funds)

Alternative

Strengths:

Cutting the costs

Student-centricism (individual approach)

Weaknesses:

Students can’t take the responsibility in teaching

Cultural variation in education

Lack of rationality

As a whole, this session was somewhat different with a little bit of “acting”, gaming and good discussions. I also think that the pre-tasks are maybe becoming bit more demanding, perhaps because of classmates are getting more experienced with there pre-task methods and therefore more eager to try out new approaches. I still don’t feel that pre-tasks are too difficult, but it seems to be that way, and it was maybe Anne or Riikka, who said it out loud…

But great session altogether!

Until next time,

Matti

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2 thoughts on “Hot tea, sore throat and VOC6

    1. Hi, we had a chat about it with Sanna during the AC-session, and she also had good experiences of Pomodoro. It makes brainwork and writing easier for some people, try it out if you need to boost up your productivity 🙂

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