Reflective writing assignment for PIDP 3100
In a rapidly changing world, we need to learn how to adapt and apply what we have learned to new situations. Especially in Trades Education, we have an obligation to teach our students not only the knowledge and skills required to perform their duties well but also the ability to continue learning. We all rely on them, to build a solid house and to maintain a safe vehicle. The rapid innovation and changing demands of our times necessitate a flexibility in our students that past generations did not deal with to the same extend.
My personal connection to this quote lies in my own history. When I first immigrated to Canada, I worked for a person that was still of the mindset that he completed his learning when he became a journeyman Pipe-Organ builder in the late 1950s. Because our industry had evolved rapidly after 1980, he was left behind and could not build instruments that were satisfactory for potential clients. For me, this meant that the only way to develop my skills and knowledge was to go back to Germany to study.
I also grew up with a learning disability that forced me to learn to find and learn to use, tools and methods to function despite the handicap.
These experiences remind me that we have to go beyond teaching “material” and educate our students on how to continue learning.
Reading through the textbook (Bierema, 2014) I realize how in trades education we are answering to a lot of pressure from industry and trades organizations. Students need to master a set curriculum and pass provincial exams. The default learning method is still Behaviorism as described on Page 26 – 29 of (Bierema, 2014). When we teach practical skills we apply many of the ideas of Cognitivism where the experience and repetition of demonstrated tasks reinforce the theory learned in the classroom.
In my article “Helping Student Succeed” (Petscheleit, 2020) I reference a TED talk by the psychologist Carol Dweck (Dweck) that describes the difference between a “fixed mindset” and a “growth mindset” that allows for continuous learning and development.
“The fact that brain activity is most intense with a growth mindset, shows just how important it is that students believe in themselves and that they know that they can grow and change with hard work.
Not only will this mindset ensure our students succeed in tests and school, but it will also encourage them along with helping them solve problems in the workplace. It will set them up for success for the rest of their lives.”FP
While we have an obligation to supply our trades students with the required learning, we also need to teach them how to continue learning after they complete our program.
In designing courses and teaching classes I plan to provide information on ways to find answers to upcoming questions and point out opportunities to widen the scope of my students’ learning.
Bierema, S. B. (2014). Adult Learning. In S. B. Bierema, Adult Learning Linking Theory and Practice (pp. 1-41). Jossey-Bass.
Dweck, C. (n.d.). The power of believing that you can improve. Retrieved from Ted.com
Petscheleit, F. (2020, March 25). Helping Students succeed. Retrieved from Frithjof’s Site
Rogers, C. (n.d.). Freedom to learn. Columbus, OH: Charles E.Merrill.