Saturday, 7 May 2011

Reflections on minimum core and impact on own practice

In this task I am going to describe how my knowledge and understanding of the minimum core in my own practice is developing and the impact this has had on my teaching practice.

All teachers are required to have the literacy, language, numeracy and ICT knowledge, understanding and personal skills as defined by the minimum core. This will equip teachers to develop inclusive approaches to addressing the literacy, language, numeracy and ICT needs of their learners. I am going to concentrate on some aspects of literacy, language, numeracy and ICT and I am going to describe how my knowledge, understanding and personal skills are affecting my teaching practice.

Language and literacy
English is not my first language, so I am capable of understanding what a student is feeling when he or she is having problems with language or literacy. For example, when an ESOL student is making a language mistake, I can understand why he or she is making that mistake, because I have often made the same mistake myself. For that reason, I can make the students reflect on their own approach to error and meaning and involve the rest of the students as well. I am interested in students’ original languages and sometimes we share the differences between languages in the classroom.

On the other hand, I need to improve my language and literacy skills in order to address those problems better. Sometimes I can miss some of the students’ language or literacy mistakes or make mistakes myself (especially speaking) that can be confusing to the students.

I did a BA in Mechanical Engineering, where I studied Maths extensively. I also studied Maths in High School, so my knowledge is above the minimum core.

Numeracy is embedded in the subjects I teach (Maths and Physics). However, sometimes I tend to forget that some students have still numeracy needs. The fact that a student is studying A-level Maths doesn’t mean that she or he doesn’t have gaps in numeracy; I have experienced that in my teaching practice. As teachers, we need to be aware that some of the students have numeracy concept gaps, even if they are studying maths at a higher level. We need to work on those concept gaps before moving on to more difficult concepts.

I use ICT in my teaching practice. I use PowerPoint and IWB when doing presentations. I have tried the use of other technology in the classroom, such as mobile phones.

Doing presentations with using ICT, such as PowerPoint and IWB means that the information should be developed and presented in an appropriate way. This involves using appropriate page layouts, using adequate size of texts and images, using a variety of sources, creating and developing charts, etc. I am acquiring those skills with ICT training sessios and especially by using and trying the programs myself.

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