Design and Planning
Since delivering the same workshop last year I have introduce some new teaching and learning activities to the lesson plan. Once I demonstrated how to use a kiln programmer I get the group to work together to input all of the kiln schedule data. Not only does this encourage the students to develop group work skills but it gives them hands on experience that was lacking in last years lesson. Through various assignments and class activities I have concluded that the learning of technical skills reflects Kolb’s experiential cycle (1984). Therefore it is imperative that I introduce more opportunities to get hands on with equipment and processes. As Peter Domer, ‘The constitutive rules of craft are only learned by actually doing the activity… you cannot understand it or know it until you can do it.’ (1994: 42). David praised the very ‘hands on delivery,’ which he said, ‘iterated the practice a number of times.’
Here is the lesson plan for this session:
Soon after the teaching observation David and I met to discuss the session. He was largely complementary, praising the rapport with students, communication skills, use of resources, and organisation and planning.
However he made a valid criticism – that there was a lack of dialogue with the students, it’s all a bit one way In the feedback form he refers to this as the transmission mode of teaching. I think this is a symptom of a wider issue with my teaching. Throughout the PGCHE I have identified that my teaching practice is too teacher centric; i.e. I am too concerned with what I am doing, how I am performing. Instead my practice should be more student centric, engaging them more in activities, discussion. During periods of transmission based material I need to break long periods of spoken delivery with more student focused learning activities.
An idea specific to this workshop would be to introduce a form of quiz at the start. I am going over information the students have covered previously, so instead of just talking at them, I could engage them in a fun, interactive activity that promotes engagement with the subject material. Kiln firing schedules are represented in a table with columns and rows – an idea would be to show the data with some blanks and get the students to fill in the blanks. Certain parts of a kiln firing schedule have certain terms, an idea would be to make labels of these terms, that students have to pin on the schedule in the right place.
For more comments from David here is the Peer observation of teaching form (and self reflection):
More reflections on the all of the teaching observations can be seen in Assignment 7.