Critical reflection on the T&L Certificate #GMITMATL

This post aims to illustrate the personal journey I undertook while attending in the Level 9 Teaching and Learning Certificate in GMIT.

This journey started as part of my Marie Skłodowska Curie Career and Development Plan and gradually evolved into an extraordinary experience of discovery of educational philosophies, new technologies that enhance learning and other tools and resources that can be used in daily life.

This has been a very valuable experience, as it allowed me to explore different views on teaching and learning experiences, learn about useful tools to use in the classroom, and improve my engagement with fellow lecturers from different fields within my institution, and of course with students.

Regarding my teaching philosophy, my original intent was to compare teaching and learning strategies between Eastern and Western societies, which is ultimately reflected in the humanistic and constructivist approaches to education. The main book I would recommend for someone engaging in this sort of topics for the first time is Bethel’s Education for creative living: Ideas and proposals of Tsunesaburo Makiguchi. This book reflects on humanist approaches to teaching and learning, and is based on teaching models from the 1930s, which are still actual today. I wanted to explore these theories because we live in a fast and demanding world and there is a need for teaching and learning experiences to adapt to the fast pace of society.

This course enabled me to understand how it is possible to flip a classroom and use technology enhanced learning to engage with the 21st century students, both in face-to-face and in online interactions. This course enabled me to feel more secure in my online presence and more confident to share video and audio files with students.

The peer-reviews were particularly interesting and relevant for me, both as an observer and also while being evaluated. I tried to the best of my abilities to have the space and time to reflect on how my peers were conducting their lectures and also on how I could improve my own lectures through their comments and suggestions. This proved to be a very valuable exercise that I know use in all activities in my daily life.

This whole journey allowed me to see the world in a fresh new perspective, which allows me to share the 3 core values of my teaching philosophy in a daily basis with all students, staff and care takers. These core values are:

  1. Creating human value;

  2. Promoting lifelong happiness and

  3. Mentoring.

As part of this reflective practice, I try to uphold these core values daily, in every single aspect of my life.

I conclude by thanking all the lecturers and invited speakers who were part of this journey and which made it fruitful for future experiences.

I take this opportunity to share some of the most relevant online resources and references used throughout this course, below.

Online resources and references:

Ayala, F. (2009). Darwin and the Scientific Method. PNAS June 16, 2009 106 (Supplement 1) 10033-10039 

Bentham, S. (2002). Psychology and Education East Sussex: Routledge

Bethel, D. (1989). Education for creative living: Ideas and proposals of Tsunesaburo Makiguchi. 1st Edition. ISBN-13: 978-0813803913.

Barrett, T. (2005). Understanding Problem-based learning

Chan, C.; Lo, M., (2016). Exploring Inclusive Pedagogical Practices in Hong Kong Primary EFL Classrooms. International Journal of Inclusive Education. Vol 21 (7).

Levinsohn, K. (2007). Cultural Differences and Learning Styles of Chinese and European Trades Students. Institute for Learning Styles Journal. Volume 1, Fall 2007. Pp 12 – 22.

Maslow, A. H. (2013). A Theory of Human Motivation. ISBN13 9781627554671

United Nations Education for Sustainable Development

United Nations Our Common Future

The disarming case to act right now on climate change | Great Thunberg

The Irish National Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development in Ireland, 2014- 2020

Wangari Maathai and the Green Belt Movement

Woolfolk, A. (2008). Educational Psychology (10th ed.). USA: Person Education Inc.

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