Vikki Pullen

Processes of Teaching – CED 302

Processes of Teaching

In the course of this assignment I will be reflecting upon my teaching practice to date and considering the influences that have effected the development of my teaching style.  I will be discussing the microteach that took place earlier this term and analysing the teaching style I adopted for this practice.  I will be comparing and contrasting this style with the teaching style and techniques I apply within my employment.  In order to analyse my current teaching practice I will be reflecting upon the two lesson observations I have had within my usual college environment.  I will be also be considering the institutional demands of the post-16 college in which I teach, and looking at the ways in which they may have developed and affected different aspects of my teaching style.  Throughout the assignment I will be considering the opinions of different theorists and relating this to my own experiences.

In order to fully understand the development of my teaching style I must first set the scene of my teaching practice.  I currently teach information technology (IT) on a full-time basis in a land-based Further Education college in South Devon.  The college delivers vocational courses (mainly National Certificates and National Diplomas) in subjects such as Animal Care, Agriculture, Equine and Outdoor Leisure.  The majority of the students at the college struggle with traditional academic subjects and sitting at a computer on a sunny afternoon, or indeed any afternoon, is not high on their agenda.  I began work at the college on a part-time basis during my final year at university.  During this year the college taught Computer Literacy and Information Technology (CLAIT) as well as Integrated Business Technology (IBT2) throughout their IT curriculum.  These two qualifications consist of practical papers sat within exam conditions in the classroom environment based around a number of different computer applications.  However, the government has since introduced compulsory key skills for all students who are under the age of 19 when they commence full-time further education.  These core key skills are made up of IT, Application of Number and Communication.  For the purpose of this portfolio we need only concern ourselves with the details concerning IT key skills, as this is my primary teaching subject.  The key skill qualification is divided into three levels.  The majority of the students at my college work towards level one or two depending upon their main course level of study.  The assessment for IT key skills consists of an external exam (multiple choice for levels one and two) and two pieces of coursework.  The introduction of compulsory key skills as from September 2001 has had a significant impact upon the way in which IT is taught.  The previous CLAIT examinations meant we were preparing the students’ for a specific set of tasks, key skills is more flexible in its approach to portfolio evidence and this has allowed us to be more student focussed in the tasks and assignments we set for IT.

During my teaching practice I have used the reflective style of praxis in order to develop my teaching style.  Carr and Kemmis argue that:

"Since only the practioner has access to the understandings and commitments which inform action in praxis, only the practioner can study praxis.  Action research therefore cannot be other than research into one's own practice."(Carr & Kemmis, 1986, p. 191)

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I will therefore need to explain my initial feelings towards the microteach and also consider the events in my life at the time in order to portray the assumptions I had about the experience, as they played an important role in the teaching style I adopted on the day.  From the moment we were told of the microteach session I was against it.  I initially felt that the session could in no way reflect my teaching style as I teach IT and we were told that we had to use our usual university teaching room, devoid of computers.  We were ...

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