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Teaching

Guidelines for Paper

 

This should be in a narrative format, in other words, don’t submit response merely by answering each question as posed, although you may want to use the main questions as headings for different sections of your paper. Integrate references from the attached readings as appropriate to support your ideas and beliefs about responsible practice and your analysis of institutional, organization, and personal influences on that practice.

 

Please note: Responsible practice “looks different” in different practice contexts because of the varying characteristics of practitioners, organizations, content, learner populations, etc. Do not respond to these questions with answers about what is responsible practice for educators in general. For example, do not write, “An educator should….” Write in the first person (I) and focus on your practice context when stating your beliefs about responsible practice (“In my practice context the ideal of responsible practice…”; “To fulfill my ideal of responsible practice I need to…”; etc.)

 

Part I – What does it mean to teach (or practice) responsibly?

 

1. What does it mean to you—in the idealto teach (or perform your education-related practice) responsibly in your particular practice context?

 

In answering, you should consider, but are not limited to, the following questions:

  • What purposes and or/goals do you believe responsible practice in your context should entail?
  • What personal values do you believe your responsible practice should express?
  • What  kinds of relationships do you believe your responsible practice should reflect? (examples might be: loyalty to my organization; a mentoring relationship with students [or those you serve]; a healthy relationship between different aspects of my personal life; etc.)
  • What behaviors do you believe would express your ideal of responsible practice?

 

2. How closely do you believe your own practice matches the ideal you’ve described above? Be specific in describing contradictions between the ideal and your actual practice. (At this point you’re only describing those contradictions. Below you’ll be asked to analyze the reasons for the contradictions.)

 

Part II – Reasons for the gap between the ideal and the reality

 

1. What characteristics of your institution affect your ability to practice responsibly, as you’ve defined responsible practice above?

You should consider, but are not limited to, the following questions:

  • What characteristics support you in practicing responsibly?
  • What characteristics are barriers to responsible practice?

 

2. What characteristics of your organization affect your ability to practice responsibly, as you’ve defined it above?

  • What characteristics support you in practicing responsibly?
  • What characteristics are barriers to responsible practice?

 

3. What personal or identity characteristics affect your ability to practice responsibly, as you’ve defined it above?

  • What characteristics promote your ability to practice responsibly?
  • What characteristics are barriers to responsible practice?

 

4. Sometimes it’s not any one set of characteristics that are at issue, but rather the interactions among them or contradictions between them, as illustrated by the familiar saying, “I’m between a rock and a hard place.” What interactive or contradictory forces (institutional, organizational, and/or personal) influence your ability to practice responsibly?

 

Part III – Closing the gap between the ideal and the reality of responsible practice

 

What opportunities do you see to bring the reality of your current practice closer to the ideal in your specific context? Describe one area of your practice in which it would be possible to make a change or changes that would have this result. In addressing this question, identify specific institutional, organizational, and/or personal factors that will affect and be affected by this change.

 

 

  1. Essay clearly describes what you believe would be the ideal of responsible practice in your specific context. Your description focuses the personal values, goals and actions that you would combine to implement your ideal of responsible teaching/facilitating (that is, it does not focus on a general idea of responsible practice).

 

  1. Essay discusses the reasons behind differences between the ideal practice you described and your current reality, with references as appropriate to course readings. Interactive and contradictory forces are identified and discussed.

 

  1. Essay proposes a change in one less-than-ideal aspect of your practice and discusses the institutional, organizational, and/or personal implications of that change.

 

  1. Essay is well organized with few grammatical and/or APA formatting errors.

 

Should reflect understanding of appropriate ideas from the required readings and

 

As the last section of your paper (after the usual Reference list that includes all articles cited in the paper), include on a separate page an annotated bibliography of the three to five external sources. These sources should be ones that you believe would be helpful in guiding your attempt to

 

  1. understand the forces that operate in your specific practice environment;
  2. develop strategies for negotiating power relationships or conflicting expectations within that environment;
  3. discover methods for “how to teach” the adult learners in your specific environment; and/or
  4. make the change/improvement you’ve identified in your paper.

 

(In other words, the articles you choose don’t need to provide guidance in all of these areas.)

 

Although the focus of each of these external sources doesn’t need to be on your specific context (that is, if you teach GED classes the article doesn’t need to be specifically about GED teaching), the forces, strategies, and/or methods discussed in the article do need to be relevant the specific challenges you face.  You will need to make clear connections between any general suggestions or analysis in the article and how they are appropriate given the characteristics of your teaching context.

 

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