Masters of Teaching Mind Dump #14



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.

So, I managed to survive my first trimester of a humanities style degree (Masters of Teaching) with my head not completely exploding... Although, I think if you ask my wife, she will tell you that I had no end of grumbling and uncertainty about how things worked in the assignments and teaching.

... And so now we are in the preparation week for the second trimester. After the experience of studying full time with the first trimester, I have switched to a part time half load. The demands of family life and returning work along with the study was putting a lot of extra demands on my wife which wasn't exactly fair!

So, I've split up the full time second trimester study load and just pulled two units that I can study easily from the other side of the world via the online campus. It really makes much more sense anyway to do the practical teaching placements in Australia when I return instead of doing the first placement overseas in an international school. Plus, it can't hurt to use the placement to try and get done contracts and recognition in the local school system.

After a full trimester under my belt and decent results from the assignments, I'm now much less apprehensive about doing the study... In fact, I feel pretty good about learning. However, I still find that writing essays and all that humanities style stuff to be... Honestly, a bit of a wank. But it is what is required...

So, the two courses that I'm studying... And my initial thoughts based on the course descriptions! Well... At least from what I can decipher from the always high level faff...

Literacies and Numeracies in Context

The unit introduces students to the explicit teaching of language and literacies (including numeracy) in context across all subject areas of the curriculum. It examines literacy/numeracy demands, requirements and teaching strategies relevant to all curriculum areas. The unit provides students working in all subject areas with conceptual frameworks to support understanding and practical guidance to plan and deliver a program which addresses language, literacy, and numeracy. Special attention is given to students' personal literacy/numeracy and their obligation to achieve and maintain the highest standards of literacy/numeracy as part of their professional practice.

In a way, I'm quite curious about how this course works out. As a Math/Physics teacher, the numeracy part is definitely more interesting to me than the literacy part... although, I would hope that by the end of the secondary school, I would only have mostly students that are vaguely comfortable with numbers! On the hand, I guess that I'm just as likely to be teaching students in the earlier secondary years... and also the students in the later years that are being forced to do at least on Mathematics based course for school.

Interestingly enough, there is also the section that mentions my own personal literacy and numeracy skills. I'm really quite at home on the numeracy front... and although I think that I'm quite at home on the literacy front as well, I've found that there is a certain anal-ness that I'm not quite so good at following! To me, message is more important than the tiny details of construction...

Anyway, what I had found interesting in the previous trimester of courses was that there quite a few teaching students that were also studying teaching Math/Science who had surprisingly low numeracy skills! Granted, some of them might have only been interested in the STEM fields as a second subject teaching area, but I was quite horrified by some of the misunderstandings that some of the fellow students had!

Science Education 11-12: Plan, Assess and Report

This unit has a focus on the planning of units and incorporation of compulsory student assessment tasks which address specific skills mandated by Stage 6 syllabi for successful completion of Preliminary and HSC courses or equivalent. Further, the unit addresses broader issues around the profession. Students are required to develop skills and knowledge in relation to: accreditation and the range of professional development opportunities available; legislative requirements of science teachers and implications to teaching and learning; understanding of school structure, administration and dynamics; and social contexts in science teaching.

This unit is the first of the later secondary specific areas that I'm going to study. The previous trimester focussed much more upon the earlier secondary part of schooling which I tend to find borderline inane and much less interesting personally. This section would start to hone in on the streamed students, the ones who have actually chosen to study Science. Interestingly enough, it isn't split out into the Physics and the lesser barely scientific fields of Biology and Chemistry!

Like much of the Masters of Teaching subjects, the course is much less about the topic area and more about the adjacent topics that would affect the teaching, transmission and the secondary students. So, much more of a pedagogical and psychological focus... something that I acknowledge is very important and that I find the high level ideas quite interesting and personally engaging, but much of it gets wrapped up in incomprehensible jargon and babble, and ends up taking about million pages to state something slightly more clean.

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Bang, I did it again... I just rehived your post!
Week 62 of my contest just can now check the winners of the previous week!