June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.1347.1 - 11.1347.32
Transforming College Teaching Courses into Authentic Experiences: Learning through Diversity Abstract Authentic achievement requires learners to “engage in disciplined inquiry to produce knowledge that has value in their lives beyond simply proving their competence.” (Newmann, 1991) While college teaching courses provide an important role in preparing future faculty in STEM disciplines, a more authentic experience was the goal of one already successful course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Similar to other courses across the nation, students write a teaching philosophy, design a syllabus and learning plans, and complete a micro-teaching experience. While the micro-teaching experience is continually ranked as the most valuable, the instructors experimented with making the micro-teaching more authentic. In so doing, they piloted a “micro-course” in which students identified real students, rather than their peers, to teach. The unique components to the approach involved both the teaching-as-research model and the authentic achievement model.
The microcourse provided the context for potentially rich conversations about teaching and learning and, therefore, for learning itself. However, results of the pilot indicated that the authentic microcourse experience was not as significant as the instructors had assumed. Rather, the components of diversity, learning community, and teaching-as- research were central to student learning; the basic micro-teaching experience returns as the authentic learning experience central to the course.
This paper describes the microcourse, an innovative approach to micro-teaching, the experience of students in the pilot of this innovation, and results from this “teaching as research” experiment. This research approach to microteaching provided an opportunity to try out different teaching methods and strategies for engaging learners; learning through diversity remains key to authentic experiences.
Background Designed especially for graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, “Teaching Science and Engineering” provides a forum in which to discuss issues of learning, teaching, and assessment through the lens of “teaching-as-research.” We define “teaching-as-research” as “a deliberate, systematic, and reflective use of research methods to develop and implement teaching practices that advance the learning experiences and learning outcomes of students as well as teachers.” The graduate course is designed to promote the development of those skills and habits-of- mind, along with the knowledge base associated with high-quality teaching, learning, and assessment. Within the graduate course, students participate in a micro-course, an innovative adaptation of the traditional micro-teaching experience. The unique components to our approach are both the teaching-as-research model and the authentic achievement model.
Courter, S., & Kwako, J., & Wright, J., & Byrnes, D., & Root, T., & Conrad, C. (2006, June), Transforming College Teaching Courses Into Authentic Experiences: Learning Through Diversity Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1347
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