Professional Practice Reflection

Week 1                                                            August 31, 2015

Hello to all on this page too!

I am taking this course (PIDP 3260) as partial requirement for the Provincial Instructor Diploma Program.

To date my biggest concern is to get the text; The Skillful Teacher by Stephan D. Brookfield.

Order through Amazon August 20 is taking forever to get here!

Borrowing book from VCC Library…it is to be mailed tomorrow!

I hope that it comes this week! (September 3…still not here 😦 )

Week 2                                                          September 7, 2015

Happy Labour Day!

The book arrived and reflective paper #1 completed! I enjoyed the first chapter of The Skillful Teacher by Stephan D. Brookfield because of his perceived honesty and candor! I am ready to learn more.

Chapter 1 for me about being yourself and not to worry about screwing up…to muddle is okay it is hard to be proficient in everything.  I feel that after the years in the education world, Stephen Brookfield articulated a circumstance that I too struggle with; working with others that are on “auto pilot’ or in deep “denial” of how little they are able to self assess their strengths and weaknesses. My day job has often involved health care professionals and in my world I have also seen this denial and unresponsiveness to the surroundings. I hope that chapter one is an example of his candor and honesty; I look forward to more validation and learning.

This video is of Stephen Brookfield talking about authenticity and credibility…it is a hint for me that he will continue to expand on some of the elements in chapter one…

I attempted to take the Teaching Perspective Inventory but it would not allow me to go to the second page 😦

Just took a peak at assignment 2 and so far I think I am okay…

I am leaving my home computer for awhile so I need to be sure that I have everything I need on a memory stick before I travel.

Week 3                                                          September 14, 2015

Hello to week 3! I am on the road and away from my home computer…some challenges with internet…but it’s good this morning 🙂

Assumptions…You know what they say about assume 😉

Assumption #1: Skillful Teaching is Whatever helps students Learn

I enjoy the simplicity of this assumption – ‘good teaching is whatever helps students to learn’ P. 17.

Assumption # 2: Skillful Teachers Adopt a Critically Reflective Stance Toward Their Practice

There is so much to talk about in the first assumption but lets review the “checking for accuracy” list that Brookfield writes about on P. 20.

  1. Lenses of students’ eyes
    1. research techniques – which I feel we are doing now – using the work of Brookfield as one of our guides
  2. Colleagues perception
    1. team teach, debrief, reflection and conversation groups – I would love to work in an environment like this
  3. Literature
    1. stories, narrative,theoretical analysis – this seems to fit with an existing value – Narrative therapy
  4. Own autobiography
    1. the pleasures and the terrors of our own experience as students

Assumption #3: Teachers Need a Constant Awareness of How Students Are Experiencing Their learning and Perceiving Teachers’ Actions

I especially like the idea of anonymity for the students and I equally like the idea of consistency for the ‘skilful teacher’.

Assumption #4: College Students of Any Age Should Be Treated as Adults

The dilemma of have such a wide range of age groups in a classroom…I have personally experienced this  both as a student and a teacher. I find that Brookfield has more experience than I with the 18-22 year olds and his perspectives of this age group; he provides good insight for the reader.

Comment on an education-related article?

I find that I enjoy to hear what the author says about his own work. Brookfield in this video shares critical thinking for the student…he explains that the student appreciates it when they see critical thinking in action or modelled and then to be told that what they have just witnessed is critical thinking!

It all seem so simple but another term I have learned in the program is tacit knowledge and for me this is one that I need to be wary of…I have found that I just thought particular information was a given and then it becomes clear that (usually through conflict or communication break down) that the other person has no idea of that topic. Tacit knowledge.

Week 4                                                          September 21, 2015

Good evening week 4! I am still not near my home computer! I am super busy for the next few days in other areas of my life so today (September 18) is my Sunday for school work!

I am choosing chapter 8! I always like to start at the beginning of things…I just don’t want to miss anything 😉 I am already surprised that there is no mention of ageism. I also see that Brookfield is talking about Clickers again…I’ve got to look that up! He continues to talk about the benefits of Critical Incident Questionnaires…he then introduces the concept of team teaching.

This week I have chosen Stephen D. Brookfield gets feedback…I chose this video because I have just finished assignment 2 and as you are aware it was to make a feedback tool and provide a rationale for the tool.

Professionally where I am at is at the end of my career, but I have chosen that I want to spend the next few years sharing my knowledge as an educator. I am already part of different organizations pertaining to social work and I am open to learning what organizations are available to educators with the same background as I – PIDP

I had no idea about clickers…the first video although her intention was good to audio was too monotone… the second one I reviewed was a college student getting instructions in a dream from a guy in a box the third one is perfect for me…short and to the point…I want to use clickers!

Week 5                                                          September 28, 2015

Back to my home computer! Yippee!

Not sure if you have had a chance to check out the examples that Karen Brooke posted recently for assignment 5 but I was thrilled to see this presentation on Critical Incident Questionnaires that I was discussing from last week! I think it is fabulous, again I am not sure of the creative commons but I hope that it is okay to share in this space.

PIDP 3260 – CIQ Presentation

I have chosen chapter 16! Right out of the gate…learning is the fear of change…”! I have often wondered why there is resistance to change…I have always thought change was good, change meant growth, change means to find a different way to perform an old task…I love change (mostly).

Stephen D. Brookfield, 2015, pages 219-225, explains all the different rationale as to why some people resist change and it has given me some different considerations…let’s consider:

  1. if the learner has a poor self image
  2. fear of the unknown hence the quote “learning is the fear of change”
  3. a rhythm
  4. the style produces resistance
  5. irrelevance
  6. level of required learning
  7. looking foolish
  8. cultural
  9. lack of instruction
  10. dislike the instructor
  11. too far too fast

In retrospect, yes I have felt some of these feelings…as an instructor these eleven considerations also need to be remembered.

This week I would like to share Stephen D. Brookfield’s website! I was only on it for about fifteen minutes and was thrilled to see all of what he shares with us! How nice, how considerate, how giving 🙂

My field does have professional ethics and in the province of British Columbia there are two professional organizations that I can belong to,and I belong to both. The guidelines are clear, although if there is uncertainty the staff at both offices are very efficient with providing guidance. Recently I viewed an advertisement for a “lay counsellor” which I was unsure about, after discussing this with the governing office they explained that anyone can use this term “counselling” and that the term is not protected by my governing body.  Good information to have and it is also important to know that each province has their own set of rules; counselling here in British Columbia could be meant differently in the other provinces.

Week 6                                                          October 5, 2015

I am forging ahead in this course as October is going to be busy for me with lots of things going on…

Week 6 and the discussion is Chapter 6 of The Skillful Teacher – Lecturing Creatively. As always there seems to be a lot to say about the writings of Stephen D. Brookfield…and again I enjoy that he not only writes a text but he provides real world examples of how to implement the strategies in the class!

Why Lecture?

Characteristics of Helpful Lectures

Modelling Learning Behaviors

Both of these sections of chapter six provides a mix of potential options that might be useful in the class that you teach. Now I can see myself implementing some of these suggestions but I want to touch on a sensitive issue again..ageism. Maybe it is just me because I have spent most of my academic career as an older student…here is the but…

On page 75 Brookfield talks about Siberia and I am sure he is right in most cases; I on the other hand I sat at the back near the exit because I didn’t want to be noticed as the old student in the room…I didn’t want to be seen…I just wanted to be…to absorb…and to learn. So for those of us that like the back of the class be gentle with us…we may not have the confidence to sit up front and centre.

  • Now I love the chunking and I have been doing that intuitively
  • I also like the example of putting up signs/posters of different perspectives and speaking from that perspective (I am going to implement this activity in one of my workshops)
  • As mentioned before I enjoy what I have been learning about clickers
  • I am going to add to this section a list of the recommended websites to check out
  • One day when I was away from my home coputer I attempted to try and figure out Twitter…not completely there yet but it is coming 🙂
  • Handouts (scaffolding notes) I have been doing only because and a learner it is what I enjoy
  • What’s the most important question? is a great question to ask at the end of a class!
  • the Clint Eastwood Chair…how funny is that…but hey it might be something I could try one day…I never have given it any thought 😉
  • Love the peer critique idea…using Skype…lovely.

Now to spend some time on accreditation. My experience has been working for health care institutions that are accredited.

I have mixed feelings about the knowledge I have on this topic. The negative is that I wonder if accreditation is…what is the ideal situation on paper and not the reality of what really takes place in the day to day routine of the organization. Sounds critical but this is what I have observed. The only positive is the plaque that goes on the wall and that it is pointed out to invited guests of that facility. Yup…my experience has not been positive. I hope that one day I will see changes that will change my opinion.

I was involved with a “buzz group” to discuss any concerns with an accredited education institution that was critical of the institution. We were assured that whatever we said would be held in camera but in the end there was no action taken by the accreditors against the institution; the relevance of the buzz group exercise seems lost.

To be accredited

  • The public enjoys that they might be associated with an accredited organization
  • There is a tremendous cost associated to this process
  • There is an enormous amount of paperwork required for accreditation
  • It requires a team of people to work towards accreditation

Week 7                                                          October 12, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving! Doing my first half Marathon!

I am going to chose chapter 17! I enjoyed 16 so I feel that I need to complete this topic of resistance. In anticipation of the chapter I wonder if I will learn why some people are so fearful to change!

Oh no! I am not sure I found the answer! But this is what I did find out…that resistance is complex.Here are some of the highlights of the chapter for me.


  1. Asking yourself “…if the resistance is justified…” and has there ever been a time where you have resisted learning and if it was “principled” by you why can’t your student use the same “principled” tactic. (p.229)
  2. Tacit learning is creeping in again! On page 234 Brookfield says “…we see clearly the value of learning and we all too easily assume students can see this too…certain understandings or skills are important is so obvious to us that we may feel they need minimal justification”. Nope be wary says Brookfield, he insinuates that this is the most important teaching.
  3. “…try to describe the benefits you believe learning brings in terms that make sense to students…”
  4. “take students to a location outside of the classroom where the desired skill or understandings are clearly being put to good use”.
  5. “…you have to grant people the right not to learn something that you are convinced is important.”

Life long learning! This is what I know…

The more you learn the more questions you have about any particular topic, and then you require to learn more; it is a vicious circle…enjoyable but vicious. I continue to be a life long learner and already have further plans for learning in my future 🙂

Week 8                                                          October 19, 2015

Reflection 🙂

Tacit Knowledge has been the most important thing I have learned in the PIDP courses that I have taken to date.

I feel liberated and less angry with having this knowledge about myself. I just couldn’t wrap my head around the idea that something that comes so easy for me is nearly impossible for others to understand. I was frustrated with their apparent lack of understanding.

I plan to teach people what I know to be so easy – dementia.

I also will use Brookfield’s The Skillful Teacher as the perfect teaching resource. I have appreciated his style of writing and his sharing of examples…the how to’s of teaching is just fabulous for me.

This course has given me many opportunities to self assess and although at first it felt icky…I am also coming around to this as being a good tool for betterment.

Okay I have a self assessment to do…and a short paper to complete for this assignment. 🙂


Week 9                                                          October 26, 2015

Okay I am done…just waiting to hear back from a virtual student to have her permission to use one of her links 🙂

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