What sets my courses apart?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

I have been instructing for York University since 2013.  This includes several sections of the Kindergarten Part 1, Part 2, or Specialist courses, International Study Weeks with Kindergarten Educators from China, and also an Emergent Curriculum Certificate program course on the learning environment. 

What sets my courses apart?

Here is what I had to say during an interview with York University's professional development in the Faculty of Education (2016):

If you hope to inspire educators working with young children, I strongly believe in connecting theory with practice.  I therefore, cannot separate what I would have done in an early years context from my course content. 

In any educational scenario, whether that be in my classroom, an adult learning session, presentation, or interacting with my own children, I try my best to bring creativity, hands-on exploration and innovative technologies.

I lead each opportunity using an emergent curriculum.  What do we wonder about or feel curious to discover more upon?  

Instructing courses in this way requires flexibility and I am thankful to York University and participants for allowing me this chance to make our learning situations more authentic.  I model provocations, inquiry, and twenty-first century skills, within lectures and even assignments. 

Together with educators, we co-construct knowledge.  In order to help them have ownership over our course, I give them the important task of reviewing our course outline and providing feedback.  What questions do they have about our topic of study?  How might those questions be supported within our blended learning format?  Using their feedback, I may alter the discussions we have, guest speakers I invite, field trips to real classrooms that we attend, or even the focus of our assignments and readings.

We use platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Moodle, and Google Hangouts to connect with each other during our online sessions and well after our courses are completed.
Over the years I have been fortunate to learn at York University, and even luckier to work here!

Thank you to my friend Laura who took a recent AQ course online and brought my attention to this video clip.  We had video recorded in Spring of 2016 and I nearly forgot about it!

What sets your learning experiences apart? Do you practice what you preach?

Never separate
 the life you leave
from the
words you speak.
-Paul Wellstone


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