SLO #4 - Educational Awareness
Professional educator demonstrates Educational Awareness by knowing current discipline-based and current general educational issues and how those impact schools.
Discrepant event demonstrations posted online on the SED 695 b Wiki site. I produced four demonstrations of discrepant events in science and posted a web page for each describing how to create, perform and explain the demonstration. The discrepant events that I demonstrated are: center of mass, electrical short circuits, siphons and conservation of momentum. The web pages all include embedded videos of me performing the demonstration and explaining the results. The web page is accessible to anyone with internet access. The demonstrations were also shared as live demonstrations with other students in the Cohort during class. The project is located on my professional website (xrl.us/whsphysics).
Through research and many discussions within the science education masters program I have come to realize the power of professional development. Professional development has been a strong theme in many of the classes in the masters program. Starting with research and discussion in Professor Rivas’s SED 625, then as application in Professor Herr’s SED 619 class, followed by the history and theory in Professor Foley’s SED 690 class and again as practical application in Professor Herr’s SED 695 b class and finally as analysis of successful strategies in Professor Rivas’s SED 610 class. Professional development has been an ongoing topic that has been weaved into almost every class in the program. My artifact is only a small piece of the entire spectrum of my better understanding of professional development. My project was a demonstration of collaborative professional development. By posting online and sharing ideas within the classroom, the entire class was able to experience and analyze the strength of many more in class demonstrations than if we had only worked as individuals. I also developed a video portion for each demonstration so that those accessing the information via the internet would have a similar experience to those who were present for the live demonstration.
The reason the masters program has been so rewarding for me has been because of the enhancement of professional development among the members of the cohort. I have learned so much about science education, including theory, demonstration and application from discussions with my colleagues and professors within the cohort. By enrolling and participating in a masters of science education program, I am engaging in professional development, but what I have learned is that some of the most important professional development comes from teacher collaboration. This was one of many underlying themes in SED 695 b with Professor Herr. Every project was designed to develop a tool that could increase student learning within our own classes, then that project was shared with the entire class. This sharing of ideas provided everyone participating with a huge wealth of resources to pull from. It also improved how we interact with other professionals by teaching us how to share our experiences both successful and otherwise with the educational community through internet websites. This is so critical because of the dissatisfaction with professional development or lack there of currently being provided at most school sites. I have learned of the need for major reform of professional develop and have learned many tools needed to make professional development more successful and valuable to all involved. I have learned that professional development needs to be a united movement toward a common goal by all participants. By taking an active lead within my SED 695 b class, I feel I am better prepared to lead professional development at my school site and within my district. I have already given two demonstrations on technology at my school and am piloting a mandatory tutoring program in an attempt to share my experience with the school and the district. I have also, through the masters program, created a comprehensive website which I can disseminate my knowledge to a wider audience.