Learning from the best

Learning by looking at the best is inherent in human. Children try to do almost everything like the most advantaged student in class, with the aim of being at least as good as him/her. What happens when you grow up? When you are adult you are more conscious and thus you search for reference people that could help you to improve any skill or capacity.

Teamwork and Leadership with education symbol represented by two human heads shaped with gears with red and gold brain idea made of  cogs representing the concept of intellectual communication through technology exchange.

KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER

 

Methodology to continue improving chemistry teaching

Since chemistry is everywhere, there are a lot of experiences that could be designed to be carried out in the laboratory (at school) and examples that could awake the interest of students for chemistry reactions.

Taking into consideration Bloom´s taxonomy and from my personal experience, the way you acquire the knowledge influences on your remember. For this reason, I consider that the methodology, resources and evaluation criteria used in class are critical for students understanding and assimilation.

In this sense, I would like to be involved in training courses focused on methodology knowledge transfer.

In the countries with high PISA index, there are schools that have designed novel methodologies to teach chemistry. In some cases methodologies are based on learning by doing to motivate students and to encourage them to continue learning. The methodologies include class explanations, solving theoretical problems, outdoor experiments, frequent experiments in laboratory and industrial plant visits where chemical reactions take place.

From my point of view, the best way of learning is by doing. Therefore, I would say that these sorts of courses might be a combination of observation (how other teachers manage the methodology and students motivation) and implementation in real conditions (either in our own class or in the class of the teacher who is teaching us). Since we are teaching the subject in English, it would be even better if those teachers that are transferring their knowledge use this language as well.

In conclusion, a transfer of knowledge from the best teachers or schools and learning by doing would be from my point of view the key aspects of a perfect training course.

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Ready for the future, logic and enterprenourship

If you have a look at the actual business world and a foresight of the future positions, you realize that to be able to analyze data, make conclusions and be capable of drawing innovative solutions (that must be technical and economically feasible) are the key aspects. Why not start building these capacities at school?

Logically logical

Although most of the subjects and units are based on metacognition that boost students´ capacity of thinking about the way they think and learn, a didactic unit called “Logic” would go beyond. The purpose of Logic would be to make student capable of solving problems by analyzing all the factors that could have an affect.

cientifico

The teacher would provide them with techniques and methods they could use to deal with a problem o face a challenge. Sessions and units would be designed taking into consideration that students should improve they logic thinking progressively. Some of them could be based on mathematics, physics and chemistry.

Some activities would be planned to learn in a collaborative way, what means that students would be taught about methods and techniques (based on science) and afterwards they would be asked to work in groups to apply them when facing a challenge. Other kind of activities would be based on games, where pupils would be asked to pass different levels by solving different situations.

Have you ever watched or read Sherlock Holms cases? A sort of activities could be based on this famous detective. Working in groups, students should solve a mystery with the help of some tips. At the end all groups should have solved the mystery but the way they get it could have been different (different science application).

The objective of these activities is not only to learn how to identify information and efficiently analyze it, but also to work in group summing up capacities and knowledge, interacting using a foreign language and reaching agreements that permits the team to go forward.

The achievements would be evaluated taking into consideration the number of levels students passed, the techniques used, the collaboration among the group members as well as the use of specific vocabulary.

Why enterprenourship at the school?

Identify opportunities that might solve a problem or answer a social or market necessity are the origin of a successful business. There are some abilities that could be acquired in childhood.

A didactic unit would aim at developing the capacity of analysing data, identifying a real necessity and designing an innovative solution. Lessons would be focused on techniques that could be used in these three steps.

Activities focused on analyzing a situation and give to students time to imagine a solution would be habitual. In some cases students would work in groups with the aim of learning in a collaborative way and analyzing data from technical and economical point of view.

As a final task, students would be asked to make different oral presentations about their innovative solutions. Therefore, students should progressively improving their skills concerning analyzing data, designing a feasible solution and making presentations, at the time that improve their specific vocabulary and improve their speaking fluency, among others.

 

In the end, the ability of thinking out of the box would be the skill students would acquire with these two didactic units. It would help students to get good job positions and fortunately scale up quickly.

Let´s use the European Language Portfolio in class

There is a growing social demand focused on people with mastering different languages and cultures beside the capability of managing any situation in a global world. Therefore, to know a foreign language is almost “mandatory” to finally get a good job and succeed in a career.

Language leaning is a lifelong activity, for that reason if we had a document that could allow us to better know how much we know and what we should learn to improve our competences and skills, we could focus our learning process on these aspects.

ELP

European Language Portfolio (ELP) could be a guideline to teachers when preparing the lessons to fix the objectives with a double aim, on the one hand to teach a particular subject and on the other hand, to make students improve their language skills.

Although there are several advantages, there is also one disadvantage concerning the implementation of ELP in classrooms.

Disadvantage

Since it is not widely used, students would need time to get use to understand the procedure, how to carry out the self-assessment (and the importance of being honest) and to fill in the form in an appropriate way. Although students would certainly be supported by the teachers along the training process, the first times it would require time that should be discounted from lessons.

Advantages

The ELP is clearly and transparent written what permits to fix learning realistic objectives. Three ELP´s components serve for both pedagogical and for reporting activities.

On the one hand, pedagogical function would allow students to be more aware of learning process and to develop their capacity of self-assessment and reflection. Nowadays, ask students to evaluate themselves is not usual, generally is the teacher o students´ classmates who evaluate the student achievements.

By assessing themselves, students would make an effort to explain to the teacher their achievements by giving examples and features that justify they have followed the descriptors. It would contribute itself to the learning process too (when explaining or teaching someone else, you fortify your understanding).

On the other hand, since the document would permit students register their own learning results and intercultural experiences, they could realize about their achievements what would be a motivation to continue improving their competences. Moreover, to be aware of their achievements could boost student´s self-confidence.

If teachers used the ELP frequently to fix every lesson objectives, and then make students aware of language goals before, during and after the lesson, it would help students to work towards them and thus maximize lessons´ effort.

Furthermore, like concepts explained in subjects, language aspects learnt by following ELP´s descriptors could be used by the students outside the classroom. They would be a resource students could use in any occasion to better manage a particular situation.

In conclusion, the implementation of ELP in a classroom routine would contribute to improve students training and would provide them with linguistic resources that could be use in their daily life.

A role model, miss Marita Roselló

Col.legi Claret Xativa

It was in 1990 when I started the 3rd course of EGB (Basic General Education, official school system in the 90´s) in Col·legi Claret Xàtiva. My teacher was Miss Marita Roselló, a woman with large experience in teaching and whose vocation was to educate children in a global way.

In that time, students had a high respect to their teachers but in this case it was more than respect, it was admiration. When Miss Marita was explaining the lesson, everybody was paying attention and following what she was saying without disturbing. She explained us not only maths, science and Spanish language (grammar and vocabulary) but also she taught us manners and values, how to manage our feelings and how to give our support to other classmates.

I clearly remember when my friend Vanesa arrived to the school. She was new in the city and therefore in my school. Miss Marita explained us that a new classmate had just arrived to Xativa and that she had not friend. She told us we should welcome the new girl and try to make her feel comfortable in the class and in the school. The way she taught us the importance of supporting other people influenced me and I learnt how important is to welcome others and integrate them in a new group (sooner or later we are the new ones in a class or in a work place and we would appreciate that other make the same with us).

Miss Marita was who built up our capability of team working and the hability of setting up a specific team to solve a problem. During the two years that she was teaching me, I was involved in many different group activities that allowed me to learn how to deal with a problem, how to coordinate working groups and how to plan the activities to carry out a succesfull job. Moreover, since part of these group activities had to be presented, we all learnt the importance of the body expression; it is like it was yesterday, when she told one of my classmates the meaning of making a presentation with the hands in the pockets, “making a speech with your hands in your pockets, it gives the audience the impression that you are a lazy person”. I am fairly sure none of my classmates have given a talk with their hands in the pockets.

From my point of view, miss Marita achieved her purpose. Being aware of the importance of the education, she used all the resources she knew at that moment to teach her pupils not only about the mandatory subjects but also about something more important what are values and manners. These skills are the ones we will never forget and will help us to face problems and to make life easy.

Nowadays, miss Marita is retired and when any of her pupils see her in the street, we refer to her saying “hello miss Marita, how are you doing today?” She will be always “Miss” Marita.

When I become a teacher I would like to do the same, transfer to my pupils those skills, values and habits that will help them to deal with any situation they may be involved.