With week 1 and most of week 2 behind me, I find myself thinking more about how my time here in Ireland is meaningful to me. Not only have I grown as an educator because of my experiences in MAET, but I have grown significantly as a person.
As an educator, I have looked at so many tools to use in the classroom. Having the opportunity to explore and share about my findings has helped mold me into the educator I am today. I no longer am hesitant to tell my students to, “figure it out”. The professors in MAET have helped push my thinking and now I feel much more comfortable pushing my kids! The discussions that we have in class, more often than not, have the most impact on changing my mindset on how I approach something in my own classroom.
Making the leap from a Year 1 student to a Year 2 student has been eye opening. Starting the summer with a mind map of what we feel comfortable with and what we still are needing to know more about was helpful to prepare for the learning ahead. Personally, I came into this year with a decent understanding of the TPACK framework and how to analyze lessons through it. I however, am not super comfortable with research. I am definitely beginning to become more comfortable not only finding research, but sorting through whether or not it is valuable.
The Willingham book we are reading presents a useful shortcut to deciding if research
we are presented with is valid for our situation. In his book, When Can You Trust The Experts, Daniel Willingham offers the process of Strip it, Flip it, Trace it, and Analyze it as a short cut for processing research, advertisements, new curriculum, etc. By stripping something of all the “fluff”, flipping it to look at the data the opposite way (85% lean vs 15% fat), tracing it back to who originally made the claim, and analyzing what exactly they are trying to say, you can more efficiently sort through the advertisements, research, or new proposal you are looking at.
The advice that Willingham presents in his book applies not only to teaching, but many every day situations. While his book was at times repetitive, the overall message is proving to be quite valuable.