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1. An effective teacher/instructor with
|Development Plan||Portfolio Documentation|
Read selected books and online materials.
Write an annotated bibliography with applications to my workplace.
At the time I took this course (Summer 1999), I had taught two lecture based courses on a contract basis - Management Information Systems on campus in Fall 1997, and IT Management in Singapore in December 1998. I was scheduled to teach Management Information Systems in Singapore in October 1999, so I was eager to learn anything that I could apply in teaching that course. I would be teaching MBA students this time rather than Master of Software Engineering students, and had been told that they were much more outgoing and responsive.
However, I was not going to leave it all to chance, so I deliberately incorporated a number of the active learning principles and techniques described by Johnson, Johnson and Smith. I had mini-case studies for each lesson where we broke into groups and the groups selected a different person each time to report the group's conclusions. To encourage the participation of the whole class during discussion time, I had written each student's name and pertinent details on 5" by 3" cards, and could pick names at random by shuffling them, or I could go through the class alphabetically. When using the latter option, I sometimes found that the last student called would tune out of the discussion since he/she would not be called on again for a while. So I began to work on an automated way of selecting the next student. I had a spreadsheet for recording attendance, so I added a feature that would randomly a student from those in attendance, with a couple of constraints. I wanted to ensure that in a class of say 12 students, everyone would get called within 12 "or so" questions. In a strictly random sequence, some students would get called 2 or 3 times while another may not get called at all. Initially I set it up so that any student called a second time while others had not yet been called would be skipped after the first time. But this created the same problem as reading from the 5" by 3" cards alphabetically. So I programmed in a variable factor that allowed a second question before everyone had been called the first time.
Both Active Learning and Cooperative Learning contain a wealth of material from which valuable learning activities can be taken. But as Dr. Burton stressed many times during the course, the instructor needs to plan out very carefully how the activity will be used, practice it, preferably in a dry run or role play situation. Otherwise you have to learn how to use it "on the job". I consider myself to be fortunate to have opportunities from time to time to teach a class for the university, but the opportunities are too infrequent to make significant use of the material in these books. This is a pity, because I feel that if I were able to master some of the activities, I am sure I would want to use them.
I resonate strongly with Palmer's ideas on personal integrity, and on being honest to yourself was powerful. The message is to be yourself and to serve through being who you are. Do not try to imitate others because what works for them may not work for you if it is at variance with who you are. On page 5, he says, "Technique is what teachers use until the real teachers arrive." But there is a danger in taking this too far. There are techniques and proven methods for dealing with certain situations, and to become skilled in applying those methods in no way means you are denying who you are. The whole idea of mentoring is that one with experience can help another less experienced to make more rapid progress along life's pathway. Palmer backs away from his blanket taboo on technique, connecting it with mentoring on pages 21-24. "Mentoring is a mutuality."p21 "Mutual illumination from being willing to explore our inner dynamics with each other."p23 "the proper and powerful role of technique: as we learn more about who we are, we can learn techniques that reveal rather than conceal the personhood from which good teaching comes."p24.
Palmer expresses a number of ideas that puzzle and trouble me. "I choose life-giving ways of relating to forces that converge within me."p13 He uses the word "forces" repeatedly on this page. "When we think things together, we reclaim the life force in the world, in our students, in ourselves."p66 Who or what is this force that Palmer keeps referring to? What is the significance of these kinds of references to spirituality for the rest of what he is saying. On page 20, Palmer quotes Václac Havel, a political leader in the Czech Republic, "The salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart "p20.
On pages 112, 113, Palmer does an intriguing analysis of typical reactions to new ideas.
It is possible to respond differently to surprises, to allow one new idea to generate yet another in us -- a process sometimes called thinking. But in a flattened, desacralized culture, thinking is not what happens when we are taken -- or threatened -- by surprise. Instead, we reflexively defend ourselves by reaching for a weapon that we know how to use, an old idea whose use we mastered long ago.
To think a new thought in this moment of danger would leave us open and vulnerable, for we do not know what flank it might leave exposed. So we grab an old idea, a conceptual club we know how to use because we have swung it many times before, and we beat the surprise to death -- or we run away before it can make a mark on our minds. Startled by otherness, reacting out of fear, we destroy the possibility of learning anything new by allowing the ancient fight or flight syndrome to have its way. p112,113
He then claims , "This reflex is rooted in a million years of evolution, so it may seem inexorable."p113. Palmer has a section in Chapter IV on the sacred, but it does nothing to remove my concern that his view of spirituality is humanistic. Perhaps as an illustration of the point he just made about reactions to new ideas, I may unconsciously filter everything else he says through what I believe to be his ungodly concept of spirituality.
Palmer makes a number statements about western thinking that parallel the thinking of other authors. He refers to "thinking in polarities", "either-or" fragmentation, true and false statements, competition, conflict, and win-win.
"The culture of disconnection is driven partly by fear, but also by our Western commitment to thinking in polarities."p61
"Niels Bohr: 'The opposite of a true statement is a false statement, but the opposite of a profound truth can be another profound truth.'"p62
"Want a richer, more paradoxical model of teaching and learning than binary thought allows."p64
"to teach is to create a space in which the community of truth is practiced."p95
"Competition is a secretive, zero-sum game played by individuals for private gain; conflict is open and sometimes raucous but always communal, a public encounter in which it is possible for everyone to win by learning and growing."p103
In Six Thinking Hats, Edward de Bono (1985) describes parallel thinking as opposed to argumentative, confrontational, and adversarial thinking. Too often, we make decisions in committees based on the best argument, where each party speaks only in favor of its point of view. "If one party thinks of a point that might benefit the other party, then that point is never raised. The purpose is to win, not to explore the subject honestly." p9
De Bono uses the mechanism of six colored hats, with each hat representing a different style of thinking. The aim of this method of parallel thinking is to have everyone thinking from the same perspective at a time, say wearing the White Hat. Then after a period of time, everyone in the committee 'puts on' the next color hat. De Bono maintains that there is an "absolute physiological need to separate out the types of thinking... You cannot be sensitized in different directions at the same time, so when we set out to do all aspects of thinking at the same moment, we are going to be suboptimal on all of them." p12
|White Hat||Neutral, objective. The white hat is concerned with objective facts and figures.|
|Red Hat||Suggests anger (seeing red), rage, and emotions. The red hat gives the emotional view.|
|Black Hat||Somber and serious. The black hat is cautious and careful. It points out the weaknesses in an idea.|
|Yellow Hat||Sunny and positive. The yellow hat is optimistic and covers hope and positive thinking.|
|Green Hat||Grass, vegetation, and abundant, fertile growth. The green hat indicates creativity and new ideas.|
|Blue Hat||Cool, the color of the sky, which is above everything else. The blue hat is concerned with control, the organization of the thinking process, and the use of other hats.|
Stephen Covey (1998) has also written on the undesirability of thinking and behaving in polarities. Habit 4 in his The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is "Think Win/Win". He believes that when two views are in opposition, that it could very well be that neither view is fully wrong. If choosing one view as the winner means all the others are losers, then we may not achieve our fullest potential. The best solution might involve elements of two or more opposing views.
A leader who is successful in achieving Win/Win solutions with her or her team is one who has effective interpersonal leadership skills. Covey elaborates on five dimensions of Win/Win leadership.
"The principle of Win/Win is fundamental to success in all our interactions, and it embraces five interdependent dimensions of life. It begins with character and moves toward relationships, out of which flow agreements. It is nurtured in an environment where structure and systems are based on Win/Win. And it involves process; we cannot achieve Win/Win ends with Win/Lose or Lose/Win means." p216
Palmer has an interesting approach to the way changes come about in society, and many of the concepts can be applied to change in the corporate setting.
"Organizations represent the principle of order and conservation: they are the vessels in which a society holds hard-won treasures from the past. Movements represent the principle of flux and change: they are the processes through which a society channels its energies for renewal and transformation."p164
The four definable stages of a movement:p166
"Stage 1. Isolated individuals make an inward decision to live 'divided no more,'finding a center for their lives outside of institutions.
"Stage 2. These individuals begin to discover one another and form communities of congruence that offer mutual support and opportunities to develop a shared vision.
"Stage 3. These communities start going public, learning to convert their private concerns into the public issues they are and receiving vital critiques in the process.
"Stage 4. A system of alternative rewards emerges to sustain the movement's vision and to put pressure for change on the standard institutional reward system."
Haggerty starts with an account of how the theory of multiple intelligences (or MI theory) was developed. It resulted from Dr. Howard Gardner's efforts to synthesize two lines of research he was involved in - child development and cognitive breakdown following brain damage. "Gardner concluded that dealing with different kinds of symbol systems, the different codes that we humans have developed to conceptualize and to convey meaning - linguistic, pictorial, numerical, gestural, and so on - must evolve separate psychological processes. His findings suggested to him that human cognitive competence actually is pluralistic, rather than unitary, in design. They suggested, in other words, that intelligence is many, not one." p3.
According to Haggerty, these conclusions challenged the traditional view of intelligence, and led Gardner to propose that "intelligence is 'the ability to solve problems, or create cultural products, that are valued within one or more cultural settings.'" p4.
On pages 4 and 5, Haggerty summarizes Gardner's eight "signs by which to judge whether a particular competence might be considered a human intelligence." Page 4. Several of these signs list "distinctiveness", relative autonomy", "independent existence" as evidences that enhance the claim that a particular competence is an intelligence. Another is to be able to use a symbol system to "capture and communicate experiences or information" p5.
Haggerty then illustrates and describes the seven intelligences proposed by Gardner in his 1983 book, Frames of Mind, and on pages 40 to 43, does a tabular analysis.
The Seven Intelligences: A Summary[p40-43]
|Intelligence||Problem solving skill / Cultural product||Core operation or set of operations|
Literature and other written products
Oratory and other spoken products
|Sensitivity to the meaning of words (semantics); sensitivity to the order among words (syntax); sensitivity to the sounds, rhythms, inflections, and meters of words (phonology); sensitivity to the different functions of language (pragmatics)|
|Musical||Music||Sensitivity to rhythm; sensitivity to pitch (melody); sensitivity to timbre|
Classification of objects
Discovery of patterns or trends
Abstraction of rules from examples
Discovery of causal relations
Creation and evaluation of hypotheses
Development of scientific theories
|Ability to discern logical or numerical patterns; ability to prosecute long chains of reasoning or to handle increasingly abstract tiers of analysis|
Works of visual art
Structures (buildings, bridges, etc.), equipment, engines
Navigation; navigation charts
|Capacity to perceive forms and objects accurately; capacity to manipulate or mentally transform objects and forms perceived and to recognize such transformation; capacity to conjure up mental imagery and then to transform it; capacity to produce a graphic likeness of spatial information; sensitivity to the feelings of tension, balance, and composition that characterize a visual or spatial display|
Invention and use of tools, including machines
|Ability to handle objects skillfully (gross motor movements and fine motor movements); ability to control one's bodily movements in skilled and differentiated ways for functional or expressive purposes|
Evaluating one's talents and deficiencies
Guiding one's pursuit of a career
|Ability to develop a reliable working model of oneself, including one's desires, goals, anxieties, strengths, and problems, and to draw upon that model as a means of understanding and guiding one's behavior|
Leading (e.g., in religion, politics)
Treating mental or emotional illness or disability
|Ability to notice and make distinctions among other individuals, i.e., to read the moods, temperaments, motivations, and intentions of others and to act upon this knowledge|
The second edition of Armstrong's book (Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom) was written five years after Haggerty's an includes and eighth intelligence proposed by Gardner - Naturalistic Intelligence. Armstrong also has a tabular analysis (pp4-6) of the eight intelligences, but with more and different headings. I have chosen just a couple of them that relate to the columns I extracted from Haggerty's analysis.
|Intelligence||Ways That Cultures Value||Core Components|
Folk taxonomies, herbal lore, hunting rituals, animal spirit mythologies
|Expertise in distinguishing among members of a species; recognizing the existence of other neighboring species; and charting out the relations, formally or informally, among several species|
On pages 3 through 8, Armstrong gives an overview of the theoretical basis for MI theory, describing the "potential isolation by brain damage", "the existence of savants, prodigies, and other exceptional individuals, and references to "developmental history", "psychometric findings", "experimental psychological tasks", "a core set of operations", and "encoding in a symbol system". Support for the theory is also claimed on the basis of "having its roots deeply embedded in the evolution of human beings"p7. Chapters 2 and 3 include instruments for assessing MI in adults and in students. The balance of the book is devoted to teaching the eight intelligences in the classroom, and to strategies for utilizing the intelligences in teaching, classroom management, and other classroom situations.
Gary Williams and Robert Miller
(2002) have concluded from their research that
"executives typically fall into one of five decision-making categories: Charismatics can be initially exuberant about anew idea or proposal but will yield a final decision based on a balanced set of information. Thinkers can exhibit contradictory points of view within a single meeting and need to cautiously work through all the options before coming to a decision. Skeptics remain highly suspicious of data that don't fit with their worldwide and make decisions based on their gut feelings. Followers make decisions based on how other trusted executives, or they themselves, have made similar decisions in the past. And controllers focus on the pure facts and analytics of a decision because of their own fears and uncertainties.
"The five styles span a wide range of behaviors and characteristics." p65
This is reported in the May 2002 issue of the Harvard Business Review in an article entitled Change the Way You Persuade. I get the same sense of "lights going on" when I read this article as I imagine would have been the case when the idea of multiple intelligences was first proposed. "Managers typically use a one-size-fits-all approach when trying to influence their bosses and colleagues. New research shows that's a mistake. Persuasion works best when it's tailored to five distinct decision-making styles." p64 "All too often, people make the mistake of focussing too much on the content of their argument and not enough on how they deliver that message." p65
In commenting on the conclusions of John Chubb and Terry Moe, Rich says, "They found that well-run school's can make a significant difference for students, regardless of their background and ability." (Page 69). In the business world, customer satisfaction is in the spotlight. The aim is to serve every customer well and to meet their needs, regardless of how diverse they may be. "Teachers in effective schools were treated as professionals, whereas in effective schools they were treated as common civil servants." (Page 69). The parallel to the business world is obvious. "Effective schools, they observed, experience 20 to 50 percent less interference from superintendents and district-level administrators in areas of curriculum, instruction, and the employment and discharge of teachers." (Page 69). This suggests a leadership style of trust and empowerment, which many business leaders and thinkers claim are essential elements of successful leadership.
I did a search on my developing portfolio website on the word "openness", since I am interested in the way this may relate to trust and empowerment in business decision making and found a number of references relevant to this issue. In The Politics of Information, authors Debra Friedman and Phillip H. Hoffman (2001) discovered that placing decision support information out in the open "enabled key academic decision-makers to ask their own questions".
"Because things were now out in the open, they were able both to inspire improved reporting of data and to fix heretofore unknown errors that had accumulated over time.
"During these visits we also made a commitment to train chairs, deans, and their designates to use the database directly. That, of course, was the true promise of this project: to enable key academic decision-makers to ask their own questions, to model their own futures, to explore solutions to their own problems. Decentralizing access to information facilitated unit strategic planning, an institutional priority in its own right."
In Chapter 3 of a draft version of Eileen White's (2002) dissertation that I was privileged to see, the notions of openness and trust were strongly linked to successful program reviews that were based on readily available information. I have placed a copy of this draft in my portfolio with web links to each of the occurrences of these words or ideas - "program review","openness", "trust", "Information".
In Ken Blanchard's allegory about the Squirrel, the Beaver and the Goose (Gung Ho! Turn on the People in Any Organization), Blanchard mentions that the Way of the Beaver addresses the needs of the individual and his/her relationship to the organization. This is done through a spirit of honesty and openness.
In an article entitled How Things Change in CIO Magazine by Sandy Kendall (2001), Gary Hamel identifies openness as one of the "new virtues" in this fast moving age.
"In an age where business models decay with surprising speed, a new set of virtues will be required. These include creativity, imagination, diversity, speed, openness and the capacity for continual right-angle turns."
While the message in Innovations in Education: Reformers and Their Critics is mainly for the teaching profession and educational administrators, Rich's conclusions in Chapter 5 show again that there are certain fundamental principles of operational effectiveness that are common to all kinds of business.
The title of Robert W. Cole's (1995) book (Educating Everybody's Children: Diverse Teaching Strategies for Diverse Learners), appealed to me in the context of this competency on Instructional management to accommodate individual variability. While much of the book deals specifically with classroom teaching of children, I found many of the "Baker's Dozen: Effective Instructional Strategies" in chapter 3 to be valuable in many other settings. p23-39
|Provide opportunities to work together|
|Involve students actively|
|Actively model behaviors|
|Explore the fullest dimensions of thought|
|Foster strategies in questioning|
|Emphasize brain-compatible instruction|
(2000). Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom (2nd ed.). (EN-0265)
Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). ISBN: 0-87120-376-6.
Blanchard, Ken and Bowles, Sheldon. (1998). Gung Ho! Turn on the People in Any Organization
(1st ed.). (EN-0022)
New York: William Morrow and Co, Inc. ISBN: 0-688-15428-X
URL: ...dlh/comps/2b/3pers_mgmt/gungho.htm (note 1; note 2)
Cole, Robert W.
(1995). Educating Everybody's Children: Diverse Teaching Strategies for
Diverse Learners. (EN-0415)
Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). ISBN: 0-87120-237-9.
Covey, Stephen R. Quoted in the March issue of Bits & Pieces, as saying, "trust is the highest form of human motivation." This was brought out in the WebCT discussion as part of EDUC632 Issues in Education Foundations.
Covey, Stephen R.
(1998a). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. (EN-0048)
Melbourne, Australia: The Business Library. ISBN: 1863500294
Covey, Stephen R. (1998b). The 7 Habits of Highly
Effective People® Workshop. (EN-0429)
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Ringwood, Australia: Penguin Books. ISBN: 014013784X.
Fried, Louis. (1995). Managing Information Technology
in Turbulent Times. (EN-0147)
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Friedman, Debra and
Hoffman, Phillip H. (2001). The Politics of Information. (EN-0453)
Change, 33(3), p50 58p.
Haggerty, Brian A.
(1995). Nurturing Intelligences: A Guide to Multiple Intelligences Theory
and Teaching. (EN-0416)
Addison-Wesley Publishing Company Inc.
Johnson, David W.,
Johnson, Roger T. and Smith, Karl A. (1998). Active Learning: Cooperation
in the College Classroom. (EN-0027)
Interaction Book Company. ISBN: 0-939603-14-4.
(1998). Cooperative Learning. (EN-0028)
Resources for Teachers Inc. ISBN: 1-879097-10-9.
(2001). How Things Change. (EN-0455)
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URL: http://www.cio.com/archive/081501/change.html (on local server)
(1996). Virtual Leadership: Secrets from the Round Table for the Multi-Site
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Kotter, John P.
(1998). Winning At Change. (EN-0151)
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(1998). The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's
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(1992). Innovations in Education - Reformers and their critics (6th ed.).
Needham Heights, MA: Simon & Schuster. ISBN: 0-205-13299-5.
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Johnson. (1994). The New Circles of Learning: Cooperation in the Classroom
and School. (EN-0267)
Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). ISBN: 0-87120-227-1.
Joyce, Bruce and Weil, Marsha. (1996). Models of Teaching
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Created: Sunday, May 026, 2002 09:49 AM
Last Modified: Monday, September 28, 2009 5:20 PM