Mica Pollock, editor of Everyday Antiracism: Getting Real About Race in School, calls on educators to develop an “everyday consciousness” about the relevance of race in schools. Be aware, ask questions and “keep inquiring,” says Pollock, who is the director of the Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment and Teaching Excellence at the University of California, San Diego.
Pollock offers four questions as a starting point for assessing and addressing institutional racism in a school setting:
When somebody points out that you've said or done something racist, perhaps something that hurt them personally, the game-changing response is first to understand that your intentions are not the centerpiece of the interaction.
"Award-winning novelist and University of Toronto professor David Gilmour said he was "not interested in teaching books by women."
"I’m not interested in teaching books by women. Virginia Woolf is the only writer that interests me as a woman writer, so I do teach one of her short stories. But once again, when I was given this job I said I would only teach the people that I truly, truly love. Unfortunately, none of those happen to be Chinese, or women. … [U]sually at the beginning of the semester a hand shoots up and someone asks why there aren’t any women writers in the course. I say I don’t love women writers enough to teach them, if you want women writers go down the hall. What I teach is guys. Serious heterosexual guys. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Chekhov, Tolstoy. Real guy-guys. Henry Miller. Philip Roth."
Does anyone still doubt that white male privilege the Eurocentric colonial mentality thrive in our educational institutions?
Ontario government said it introduced Regulation 274 to prevent nepotism and favouritism in hiring practices, but critics charge that seniority-based hiring will only exacerbate the unemployment crisis hurting new teachers...
Trust is on the decline, and we need to rebuild it. That’s a commonly heard suggestion for making a better world … but, says philosopher Onora O’Neill, we don’t really understand what we're suggesting.
Learning is defined as a change in behaviour due to experience. It is about personal and social transformation. Learning means an approach both to knowledge and to life, that emphasises human initiative and human engagement. It encompasses the acquisition and practice of new methodologies, new skills, new attitudes, and new values necessary to live in a world of change. Learning is the process of preparing to deal with new situations.
College study: Successful hybrid classes still depend on instructor abilities
College courses that mix traditional face-to-face instruction with online learning appeal to both students and faculty, but the success of these hybrid classes is largely dependent on the abilities of the instructor, particularly their technological skills, dedication and organization, according to a new study from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario.
Hybrid Learning in a Canadian College Environment examined the impact of hybrid course delivery methods on student success and course withdrawal rates, as well as the faculty and student experience of hybrid instruction. The study was conducted at Sheridan College during the fall 2011 and winter 2012 terms using administrative data, faculty and student surveys and focus groups.
While students seem to enjoy hybrid curricula, the authors note that like traditional course structures, the skills and commitment of the instructor are crucial to success in the hybrid classroom. Well-defined direction and orientation to web-based tools are also essential.
Students achieved slightly lower final marks in hybrid courses as compared to the face-to-face control courses, although the study found that students with high academic standing were successful regardless of course format, while students with low grade point averages (GPAs) performed slightly worse in hybrid classes. The course format did not have an effect on withdrawal from the course, suggesting that the format does not impact course completion.
Overall both students and faculty responded positively to the hybrid mode, say the authors. Students enjoyed learning and engaging online, but did express concerns about reduced access to instructors and/or a sense that lectures were rushed.
Said one Sheridan College student: "It allowed me to really learn beyond my normal scope. Usually in class I can only gain as much as I am taught by the professor… However, with hybrid I can engage in discussion, search the internet to build my responses and really get great feedback that helps facilitate my learning further."
"I didn't understand what was considered online instruction as the online portion of the class was reading the online textbook and notes," said another student. "For this particular class it just felt like an hour less of teaching and more independent work to teach myself the course material."
A Sheridan College faculty member said that the hybrid format gave students more flexibility and better control over their study/work schedule but acknowledged concerns about access to instructors: "I am not certain if students have the chance to develop the same rapport with their instructor/professor – or they feel as supported (time is tight, and we always seem rushed)."
Students embraced online discussion boards and said they should be an integral part of the hybrid classroom. However, they said that teacher accessibility was important to them regardless of the mode of course delivery and suggested that instructors maintain a high level of visibility and responsiveness to student questions both online and in person and that delays in responses to messages should be kept to a minimum.
Conclusions / Further research
The study recommends that colleges continue developing hybrid courses, "as they do provide an excellent opportunity for independent learning and flexibility for students with busy lives." But the authors also call for additional technical support for students and faculty, mandatory tutorials introducing students to online tools and hybrid course development training for faculty.
They also said that further research could help instructors better understand which online tools are most successful and further explore why students with lower standing GPAs underperform in hybrid courses.
Authors of Hybrid Learning in a Canadian College Environment are Jeffrey Waldman, Sheridan College; and Carrie E. Smith.
"Building a strong writing workshop is similar to building a house. Doing it successfully takes expertise, patience, foresight, flexibility, and, of course, the right tools. Having an arsenal of resources to draw upon, both in minilessons and in conferences and small groups, is paramount when aiming to expertly and efficiently meet the needs of a range of writers.
"Just like in writing where organization and development are crucial, when putting together a teaching toolkit, it is essential to consider organization of materials and which resources to include. However you decide to store your teaching toolkit, digitally or in a good, old-fashioned binder, here are some tips for its organization and development."
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