Masters of Teaching Mind Dump #17

in Education2 months ago


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.

... and after a week of slow progress (due to a family holiday), I'm back at it again. Unfortunately, that also means that this week is assignment week, with one assignment each from the two units that I'm doing. I also have a pretty tight deadline, as I need to finish it all up by the weekend, but thankfully, I had already laid out the skeleton ideas for the two assignments on the holiday, so this week is just going be the hard slog of fleshing it all out and completing it!

First to complete (earlier due date) is an essay for the Literacy and Numeracy unit. I find this unit pretty damn tedious... I think I got the gist of it in the early weeks, and I'm sort of curious to see how it all develops. Basically, it is dealing with the expanded definitions of literacy and numeracy... away from the politically popular 3'Rs understanding, and talking more about HOW you use those basic literacy and numeracy skills to actually communicate and interact with society and the Universe.

To me, that always seemed pretty obvious... no cares too much if you use the right words, know grammar or can spell correctly... or if you can do your times tables. Of course, these are important fundamental building blocks and it is a good idea to be decent at them, but the real important thing is how you use those skills to transmit and receive meaning and information. It is funny that in a subject that recognises that those primitive 3R skills aren't the primary focus, that we have to complete a range of spelling, grammar and basic arithmetic quizzes! After all, if you qualified to get into a Masters degree, you should have those things sort of figured out... on the other hand, some of the other students do surprise me with the lack of skill with mathematics. I aced the numeracy quiz in short order... but the grammar ones gave me a bit of a pause. Did pretty well at them, but instead of completing them in a few minutes (numeracy), they took me about 20 minutes each... I'm not even sure that I really was taught grammar formally at school!

I found this assignment a bit tricky to complete, as the question for the essay were at best confusing... and the lecturer wasn't too helpful in the forums and tutorials either, it appeared that I wasn't the only one who was having trouble understanding what the hell was being asked. Quite funny that the literacy lecturer is the one that has difficulty communicating a message...

Anyway, I did manage to finish it this evening... I'm sort of happy with it, but I found that the main questions could have been answered with either a "duh, yeah.."... or something much shorter. But, word limits are word limits... and so it needed to be fleshed out a bit more than that. I hate re-reading this essays, I sound like a pompous arsehole! It definitely isn't the way that I prefer to write, and I don't go full academic, but it still sounds off to me...

Next up is the Senior Science project... this is getting back to the good old lesson plan and units of work planning, this time for a end of year Physics topic instead of a middle school one. I do sort of start to enjoy these, especially learning about the interesting misconceptions that people can come to the topic with... or that they continue to misunderstand in their adulthood!

I will be trying to devise a unit of work around Magnetism and the introduction to Magnetic Fields. It is one of those topics which always seems to run into problems at school... perhaps it is the combination of the abstract ideas of fields combined with the lack of mathematics (Vector Cross products) that make the topic much more difficult than it needs to be. I'm curious to see if I make a logical unit of work that captures the way that I understand it?!??!?

After the two assignments are completed, I will have to catch up this week's coursework in the next week as well. I've completely ignored the coursework in favour of getting the assignments done in time!

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Yeah man math is really not my strong point but im better with reading and abstract thought. Im sure the next project with magnetism will be more interesting for ya. Good luck figuring out a unit of work for magnetism!

Thanks, tricky stuff to try and develop something for magnetism... it seems to be a struggle for many people, despite the fact that they have all played with magnets since they were kids!