While completing the Teaching Perspectives Inventory (TPI), I reflected on my role as a post-secondary instructor in the Educational Assistant Certificate Program. In this role, the scope of my classes includes:
- Teaching positive communication strategies
- Exploring a variety of physical and emotional supports and strategies for students
- Developing a deep understanding of neurodevelopmental support
Upon reflection, it is apparent how Nurturing (Pratt et al., 2000) was highlighted as the primary indicator, as my focus in these classes is to not only teach the objectives but to model the ideals in these classes for future educational assistants. In addition, typically, many students in our program have experienced difficulties in their past school environments, and they come into the program feeling apprehensive about their academic abilities. As an instructor, I understand these students need to participate in a nurturing ‘climate of caring and trust’ (Pratt et al., 2002) to feel they can be successful at the post-secondary level. This climate is crucial to building their self-esteem and confidence as learners and practitioners who will move into a classroom setting and support students in need.
Regarding technology, I use various tools and strategies so the students can add them to their teaching toolboxes ‘making these applicable in real-world situations (Tondeur et al., 2017, p. 564) once they enter their future classrooms. For example, I record and post all class lectures for students to review after class. This process is helpful for students with a learning disability or students who English is not their first language and need to spend more time with the concepts. Next, I give the students a choice in their representation format to show their understanding of concepts. Furthermore, during class discussions, students will be assigned sections of a website/video to explore and discuss in a group to communicate findings with the class. This process highlights my core beliefs of creating a student-centered classroom built on constructivist ideologies (Tondeur et al., 2017, p. 557) where social constructivists believe that discussion and social interactions, allow students to learn and grow (Bates, 2015, p. 54).
I love the quote, “There is no one best way to teach that will fit all circumstances’ (Bates, 2015, P43), and this inventory highlighted that there is also no best way to learn. We must remember that our students are all unique, and our responsibility as educators is to provide various learning opportunities. In this way, technology can be invaluable for us and our students.
Bates, A. W. (2015). Teaching in a digital age: Guidelines for designing teaching and learning. Vancouver, BC: Tony Bates Associates.
Pratt, D., & Collins, J. (2000). The Teaching Perspectives Inventory (TPI). Adult Education Research Conference. https://newprairiepress.org/aerc/2000/papers/68
Pratt, D., & Collins, J. (2002). Summary of 5 Perspectives on Good Teaching. https://blogs.ubc.ca/srikanth/files/2011/12/TPI-Teaching-Perspectives-Summaries.pdf
Tondeur, J., Braak, J., Ertmer, P., & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. (2017). Understanding the relationship between teachers’ pedagogical beliefs and technology use in education: a systematic review of qualitative evidence. Educational Technology Research & Development, 65(3), 555–575. https://doi-org.ezproxy.tru.ca/10.1007/s11423-016-9481-2