Learnings from EDS111: Principles of Teaching

The learning from this course enhanced my knowledge about the teaching profession. I am probably one of the students in this course who have appreciated the theories very much. My background is pure mathematics and during the early years of my career, I did not really believe that I needed courses in education to be able to teach effectively. The discussions during a 1.5-year training program abroad made me realize that I needed a background in education to be an effective teacher, that is why I enrolled in PTC. In a recent conversation with a former colleague, he told me that I was good in teaching. I just replied that I was not really teaching during that time. I was only talking in front of my students.

One of the realizations that I have is that teaching is complex. There are numerous variables to consider when you teach. You have to consider the students cognitive levels, the students’ background, the curriculum, the theories of learning, the content, the pedagogy, etc.

The Most Important Concepts Learned

Out of the numerous topics that we have discussed in this course, the ones that particularly struck me are technological, pedagogical, content knowledge (TPACK), reflective teaching, and deBono’s thinking hats.

TPACK is important because it is the only thing that the teachers have control of. Teachers cannot control the learning environment, the school policy, or the number of students, among many others. But teachers with strong TPACK will be able to use them to his/her advantage. Among TPACK, I still maintain that a strong content knowledge is the most important. No amount of technology and pedagogy can cure a teacher with a weak content knowledge.

Reflective teaching is also one of the things that I appreciate in this course. I think this calls for attention because a lot of teachers are so overloaded that they do not even have time to reflect on their teaching. Personally, I have also neglected this in the past. I have been too engrossed with the content that I have forgotten think about the other aspects of teaching.

Lastly, I really like de Bono’s 6 thinking hats. I think it is a good framework for analyzing teaching practices. If we combine this with the four reflective lenses discussed in Module 1, then teachers will have a strong framework for looking at their teaching practices from multiple perspectives.

What now?

I will particularly use the knowledge in TPACK as my field as one of my interests is the integration of technology in teaching mathematics. The TPACK will give me a framework in making activities in my lectures on the use of different software in teaching mathematics. I will also use the deBono’s thinking hats in reflecting on the professional development projects that our institute is currently doing.

The learning that I gained in this course gave me a stronger pedagogical knowledge that I lack during the early stage of my career. I still plan to continue my studies in education after my this course (PTC) in preparation for a PhD degree in mathematics education.

Thank you Teacher Roja for your efforts in teaching us.

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