Tuesday, September 22, 2009

{Grad School Post} Concept Attainment Model

As I've studied the Concept Attainment Model this week, I've really struggled with my opinion of the value. I was convinced today. I have the joy of being able to work with Janette Bales (also an ASTL student taking this course) who is an EAST facilitator I've always "clicked" with. Janette filmed her lesson today and I watched it 'work'. I believe the students gained the information in the lesson, but also gained a little better understanding - of learning.

I plan to film my lesson tomorrow. I will be using this lesson to teach presentation skills. In the EAST environment we use presentations for many reasons. Our students present project ideas and budget requests to school administrators as well as community members outside of the school. They present their projects and learning obtained in the EAST environment to each other and to students outside of the EAST classroom. They also present this information to their facilitator - for grading purposes. Of course, they learn a lot of technology when they create these presentations. They use PowerPoint, MovieMaker and sometimes even free software they find on the Internet. They use language skills. Their writing and communication skills are constantly honed. I believe these skills are one set of the many things outside of the 'core' curriculum that is important to teach our students. I believe being a strong communicator can give them a 'leg up' in the world beyond high school. I hope using the Concept Attainment Model will help me teach them not only the skills they need, but the importance of those skills. I'll post more after I've gone through this (six times :-) tomorrow. I expect each group of students will be unique, as they always are.. but especially after observing Janette's film today, I expect they will learn - and that's what our journey in education is all about.

Completing a Master's Program

This fall I am completing my Master's degree in a program titled Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas. I began this program with the hope I would learn to be a better classroom teacher and a stronger teacher leader. As I near the end (the course I am taking this fall and the capstone of the program is called Models of Teaching) I believe I have become a stronger teacher and have gained many tools to help me in educational leadership roles. I moved to a new school last fall and have not taken on as many leadership roles as I had at my last school, but I think they will come - I certainly hope they do.

One thing I would like to say before I attempt to intelligently discuss different models of teaching, is that what I have gained from this program is much more than I expected largely in thanks to my fellow students. The teachers in this program are amazing! They are kind, hardworking, incredible educators.. AND, they are always willing to share their strengths. Of course, it wouldn't be possible for us to share our joys (and sorrows) without the understanding of OUR teachers that while teaching the curriculum is important it is also vital in continuing the education of educators to allow them to share. to discuss. sometimes even to disagree :-) Thanks to all of you for allowing me to share this journey.