Professional Teaching Standard #3

CURRICULAR AND PEDAGOGICAL CONTENT KNOWLEDGE ALIGNED WITH STATE RESOURCES

Knowledge of subject matter and pedagogy with reference to the MCF and other state sponsored resources, for consistent and equitable learning in Michigan schools, including the ability to:

a. Design and implement instruction aligned with the MCF, Universal Education Vision and Principles, and the Michigan Educational Technology Standards;

I have read a  number of books regarding Universal Education Vision and have implemented many of the principles into my curricula.  I have allowed students to use different accommodations involving technology and some of the ideas involved

b. Create learning environments that promote critical and higher order thinking skills, foster the acquisition of deep knowledge, and provide connections beyond the classrooms to promote substantive conversation and clear structured writing among teachers and learners regarding subject matter acquisition;

During my student teaching experience, I conducted a unit based on the oft controversial topic of illegal immigration from Mexico.  Students began the project with their own preconceived notions of what the situation was and throughout the unit they were exposed to arguments from both sides of the debate.  Students began to analyze their own beliefs and better understand the connections between race, economic status, international relations and a “simple” issue such as illegal immigration.  During the unit we had debates between classmates, substantial discussion analyzing multiple resources, and a final essay in which students expounded their beliefs and what they had learned during the unit.


c. Help each student to learn how to safely and responsibly access and use resources to become a discerning independent learner and problem solver (e.g., print materials, information technology, assistive technology);

Before beginning my first research project with any given class, I have become accustomed to giving a brief info session on legitimate and illegitimate resources.  I inform them about how popular sites like Wikipedia, and web based forums can provide useful information, but also how they need to find cited resources.  I also lead students in lessons that provide information on proper citation, and help them learn to use websites like easybib.com in order to insure proper citation of resources.

d. Design instruction so that students are engaged in actively integrating and transferring knowledge across the curriculum;

In designing my illegal immigration unit, I had ancillary foci on both history, political science, and current events.  In order to fully understand the current situation regarding illegal immigration, students had to examine past events, the politics between the United States and Mexico, and current events and legislation regarding the situation.  These facets of the illegal immigration research tie into the more curriculum-centric theme of what it means to be Latino on both sides of the border and further cultural analysis of Mexicans in the United States.

e. Engage students in activities that demonstrate the purpose and function of subject matter to make connections to the world beyond the classroom and enhance the relationship and relevance to a global society;

In my unit on illegal immigration from Mexico to the United States, students examined some of the real life issues dealt with in the Spanish world. Students examined multiple sources and watched multiple fictional and nonfictional accounts of the lives of Mexican illegal immigrants to understand the oftentimes unjust treatment.  Using multiple electronic resources, students were asked to examine both sides of the debate and to analyze the reasons that immigrants may choose to make the decision to cross dangerously and illegally into the United States.  This unit helped students to relate to those from a Spanish speaking culture and to understand their motivations and lifestyles in a way that they had not before.

f. Evaluate, adapt, and modify instructional strategies, technologies, and other educational resources to enhance the learning of each student; and

For my Action Research Project, I studied the efficacy of different types of instruction in regards to student performance (student-led teaching versus teacher-led teaching).  By trying this new type of learning environment, I found a better way to teach my students.  Since they understood many of the troubles their peers were having with learning a language, student-led instruction created a connection and ability to learn that I may not have been able to replicate.

g. Embrace teaching through appropriate and creative activities utilizing instructional techniques that are supported by current research.

As a proponent of a dynamic and constantly changing classroom environment, I have employed a multitude of different instructional techniques during my student teaching experience.  I’ve used electronic resources in a variety of ways throughout my student teaching experience, including but not limited to, online journals, news websites, online videos, and online review games.  I have also used student-centered learning which required students to lead vocabulary games for a few days each week.  Research points to the fact that both of these types of instruction not only increase students’ understanding of the material.  In addition, different methods of electronic education provide for multiple viewpoints of many topics and allow students to think in ways that cannot be easily reproduced in the analog world.


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