Thursday, September 29, 2011

PreSchooler Depression?

I came across this article in my Behavioral Disorders in Education class about diagnosing preschoolers with depression. It is very interesting to see the early signs, and the debate of whether we can diagnose children who barely yet understand their environment with depression. My major concern in this article, is if your child is diagnosed with depression, what do you do about it? In adults the most common and effective treatment for depression is medication, but would you give your preschooler, or even a child in early elementary school anti-depression medication?

Its an interesting read.. check it out...Can Preschoolers Be Depressed??

Monday, September 26, 2011

Chapter 2/3- Different Ways of Learning & Teaching Your Diverse Students

1. How do cognitive, affective, and physiological factors impact learning?
Cognitive factors impact learning greatly. Students have much "different ways of perceiving, organizing, and retaining information"(p. 31). Here is where students will say they are a "visual learner", or a learner who learns through movement and participation. These cognitive factors impact learning and may shape how a teacher should present a lesson. A teacher should understand that students all have different cognitive approaches, and try to include something that will help each different learner understand the information in the best way possible. The affective domain can impact learning just as much as cognitive. If students have behavioral problems and do not respect their peers or their teacher, it will be hard for them to learn, and will also effect other students in the class. Physiological factors can vary depending on the environment and students background. If a student is from a less wealthy family and cannot afford a healthy breakfast, or warm cloths, their attention will not be as great as a student who is in class that is comfortable.

2. How can teachers respond to different learning styles?
 Teachers can respond to different learning styles by planning their lessons according to their students needs and learning ability. For example, if a teacher is presenting in a lecture, they can have visual markers in the slides, including words and pictures, as well as audio segments to go along with them speaking out loud, and even some in class activities that get students moving to help understand the concepts being taught. 

3. What are the classroom implications of Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences?
 Gardener's theory of multiple intelligences includes 8 intellegences. These intelligences are:
- Logical-Mathematical
- Linguistic
- Bodily-kinesthetic
- Musical
- Spatial
- Interpersonal
- Intrapersonal
- Naturalist 

These 8 intelligences are important to consider in education because every student learns differently and has certain things they excel at and will have greater success in learning when taught through those mediums.  Teachers should consider how they can include music in lessons, how to use movement activities in a traditionally lecture styled classroom, how to get students to interact with their peers throughout a lesson, implementing visual aids to better student learning, and include activities outside the classroom.
4. How does emotional intelligence influence teaching and learning?
As defined in the text, "Emotional intelligence is a type of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one's own and others' emotions, to discriminate among them, and use the information to guide one's thinking and actions" (p. 40).  Students have varying emotional intelligences, some tend to be more adventurous and confident, while other students may be more stubborn and frustrated. Teachers must take in to account that not all students will be confident in their learning and motivated to do well. 

5. How can teachers meet the diverse needs of an increasingly multicultural student population?
Teachers must first understand the needs of their students. Since there is an increasing number of multicultural students, teachers should be prepared and understand that they may learn in different ways and need alternative approaches to be successful in school.  One thing I specifically want to do in my classroom is make sure that everyone is treated equally and all students have respect for one another regardless of ability, race, religion, culture, or socioeconomic status. 

6. What are the different levels of multicultural education?
Level 1: The Contributions Approach- focuses on heroes, holidays, and discrete cultural elements.
Level 2: The Additive Approach- Content, concepts, themes and perspectives are added to the curriculum without changing its structure. 
Level 3: The Transformation Approach- The structure of the curriculum is changed to enable students to view concepts, issues, events, and themes from the perspectives of diverse ethnic and cultural groups. 
Level 4: The Social Action Approach- Students make decisions on important social issues and take actions to help solve them. 

7. What are the political and instructional issues surrounding bilingual education?
There are many views of the idea of bilingual education. Some are for it and others are against it. "Critics of bilingual education advocate an immersion model, claiming that many bilingual programs simply do not work, placing ELLs into lower academic tracks in which they may never emerge"(p.70). Those on the other end "point to studies that show first- and second-generation Hispanic students who attended bilingual programs from the 1970s to the 1990s earned considerably less money than Hispanics who attended "English-only" programs. 

8. How are the needs of special learners met in today's classrooms?
In the 1970s the courts established 5 critical principles of special education:
1. Zero Reject: This asserts that no child with disabilities may be denied a free, appropriate public education.  
2. Nondiscriminatory Education: Mandates that children with disabilities be fairly assessed, so that they can be protected from inappropriate classification and tracking. 
3. Appropriate Education: Implies that children have the right to an education involving the accurate diagnoses of individual needs, as well as responsive programs keyed to those needs.
4. Least-restrictive Environment: Protects children with disabilities from being inappropriately segregated from their age-group peers. 
5. Procedural Due Process: Upholds the rights of those with disabilities to protest a schools decision about their education. Gives parents right to challenge actions of the school using a counsel and expert witnesses.
9. Does technology exacerbate racial, class, geographic, and gender divisions?
I personally think technology can help, not hinder, those regardless of class, location or gender. Some argue technology such as spell check hinders student learning. Although this may be true, if students are using technology to research articles relevant to education and access a vast amount of information which could be beneficial to any educational program.

Chapter 1-The Teaching Profession and You

1.What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a teacher?
There are many advantages and disadvantages of being a teacher, all of which can vary depending on individual opinion. Some advantages are fulfilling the desire to work with young people, the love of a specific subject, and value of education (p.3). Other advantages include building relationships with colleagues, job security/benefits, lifetime growth, and summers off. Some disadvantages of being a teacher include inadequate salary, poor working conditions, heavy workloads, discipline issues, negative attitude of students, and lack of parental support (p. 4). Each of these advantages and disadvantages vary from school to school due to factors such as school funding, levels of poverty, location of the school and administration. 

2. What are the satisfactions—and complaints—of today's teachers?
Most teachers reported in the National Education Association Survey that they are satisfied with their job,  collegial relationships, challenge of work, job security (tenure), and their autonomy in the classroom (p. 3). Within this survey most teachers agreed that they had adequate resources and a solid supervising staff.  Some complaints, as stated in question 1, included teachers salary, heavy workloads, poor conditions, lack of teacher involvement, disciplinary issues, negative attitudes towards education by students, and lack of influence over school polices.

3. Can we consider teaching to be a profession?
When looking at the tables on page 11 and 12 and comparing the criteria for a profession and critera for a semi-profession, I found that teachers may not meet every criteria to be considered a profession, but checking of certain criteria for a semi-profession would be selling teacher short. To prepare to be a teacher one must provide essential services to the individual and society (education is essential), teaching is concerned with an identified area or need for function- education,  teachers possess a specific body of knowledge and skills (subject matter), teaching requires a preparation program at a college or university, and teachers are usually characterized by a  strong service motivation and a lifetime commitment to competence. These are just five examples of professional criteria teachers meet, yet the professionalism is still questioned.

4. How has teacher preparation changed over the years?
In colonial America teachers rarely had formal preparation, and rarely attended a secondary school. College completion was more common in Europe than in America. Teachers were expected to have some knowledge of their subject, but not required to complete any form of education. Teaching was not considered a career but as temporary employment (p 14). In 1823 there was a Normal School developed to provide elementary school graduates with some formal training in teaching skills. This school, opened by Reverend Samuel Hall, marked the beginning of teacher Education in America (p. 14). Years later Horace Mann opened another normal school in Lexington. During the 1900s normal school was the expectation to become a teacher. Teaching also use to be female oriented and held in a low regard. As time went on Normal schools became three or four year schools to learn how to teach. Into the 1980s a demand for professionalism increased for teachers. This called for a masters level degree in teaching. In '87 the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards was developed to recognize outstanding teachers. This Board aimed to award board certification to extraordinary teachers (p. 15). The board had 5 specific criteria- mastery of subject area, commitment to students, ability to effectively manage a classroom, continuous analysis of teaching performance, and a commitment to learning and self improvement. Today teachers must go through specific requirements depending on state standards. Teachers must earn a B.A. or an M.A. or have a 5th year of study to obtain a teachers license. 

5. What are the differences between the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers? 
 The National Education Association was created in 1857 and is the largest professional and employee organization in the nation with 3 million members (p. 21). NEA provides free legal services, training opportunities, and is also a political force and works to make sure pro education candidates get elected and promotes laws to be passed that are beneficial to teachers and students.  
The American Federation of Teachers was created in 1916 and has over a million members and has a leadership role in education reform. The AFT supports national standards for teachers, charter schools, and induction programs, that enable new teachers to work with master teachers and recruits people of color into the teaching profession.

6. What traits and characteristics are needed for successful teaching?
Teachers must be compassionate, knowledgeable of their subject matter, punctual, professional, and personable. Teachers must be committed to educating their students and caring about them. Teaching is a profession that you need to put in extra hours, extra research and be compassionate about your students and professional with your colleagues to be successful.

7. Is teaching a "good fit" for you? 
I believe that teaching is a good fit for me, especially physical education. I love being around kids, and helping people. I also think that physical education is one of the most important things for people to learn and understand. Regardless of what your interests are and what you want to do in your life, you will always need to take care of your body to be successful. Teaching students lifetime fitness and aspects of nutrition will ensure a greater quality of life. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

First Night of APE

Last night was our first lab for Adapted Physical Education. I was super excited, and a bit nervous. It was kind of scary to go into a lab with students who have different abilities than you are used to. We got a bit of background information on our students, but you can never understand someone from whats written down on paper, you must actually meet them and speak with them to figure out who they are, what their likes and dislikes are and build a relationship with that student.

I prepared a lesson plan in which I got to know the students with a beach ball game. I planned on having a beach ball, and depending on which color your right thumb lands on when you catch a pass from a fellow student or teacher, youd have a specific question to answer. These questions were my way of getting to know the girls interests and seeing what kind of activities theyd enjoy later in the year. I also had a few games in which the girls would participate in movements that I can assess using the Adapted aquatics for Individuals with Disabilities Skills Checklist. Although I planned plenty of games and planned a pre-assessment. But any teacher candidate knows things seldom go according to plan.

I met my girls and was very excited to finally see them face to face. They both were excited and were very happy about their lesson in the gym they had just before. I asked them if they had fun and what kind of games they played. They told me they had a lot of fun and played a numbers game, but didnt want to explain it to me. I learned a little bit about them as we walked down to the locker room, and helped them change then get into the pool. The girls were excited to get in and pretty good listeners which is exciting for me, because I can plan some fun activities. As far as my lesson plan went, I attempted to implement some of the activities I had planned, but the girls wanted to do their own thing. Within the little games they wanted to do, I could convince them to hop on one foot, or go under water and spin, a few things that are on the aquatics checklist. Both girls are pretty good swimmers.

As far as teaching in the pool, this was my first time, and it was a bit difficult. I know the girls enjoyed what we did, but It wasnt much teaching. Hopefully next week they will participate in my activities, and Ill have an incentive at the end for them if they did well.

All in all week one went well and Im excited for the rest of the weeks to come!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Similarities in Class

I've noticed in the past few weeks of class that since I am finally in my senior year, all my classes seem to correlate. I am taking Adapted and Statistics, and both of those classes go hand in hand. Im also taking Emotional/Behavioral disorders in Education and that has many similarities to the APE class. I am excited for my senior year to kick off and I know I have a lot more to learn but I'm excited! I feel like this year will prepare me even more than the past three years have. Combining a number of classes and making the connections between them and my past three years of school I feel is very important to my success. I am very excited yet nervous to go into the adapted lab. As of now I don't know what student I have or their abilities. This will be a whole new experience for me, teaching in the pool, and teaching an adapted class. I have great help from my TA's already and my professor, so hopefully all will go smoothly. I also want to work on associating and collaborating with my peers and bouncing ideas off of them. I think it is really important to have students within a class communicate and express their thoughts and beliefs about subjects together. Although these students will be my competition out in the real world, they also will be great to make connections with and come together to make changes in the PE world.