Lectures and Online Projects

– Lecture Theater, School of Engineering, University of Auckland (21.05.08) –

I was feeling quite sleepy in EDUC 283 tutorial today, but I only have myself to blame for that. I slept at about 3.15am last night, so you could guess how hard it was to get out of bed and walk to class at 10am. Our pedagogy discussion today centered on the Facilitator approach to teaching. Theorists we’re familiar with including Vygotsky, Piaget, Hunter, Maslow and Gardner were brought up. I don’t think I will be much of a facilitator when I graduate, though (or should I say ‘if’ I graduate?). I’m more inclined towards the Executive approach, I think. When discussing the Facilitator approach, we delved into the MAKER profile and discussed the redeeming qualities and features of this approach.

A facilitator teacher engages in what we call the Care Pedagogy, which is why teachers who adopt this approach are high in awareness of the needs of students; they also emphasise on attaining and maintaining good relationships with students. This approach considers features of Humanistic Psychology, Constructivism, Multiple Intelligences and a few other aspects. In short, it’s all about teaching students by guiding them to achieve self-actualisation (the highest level in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs), providing them care and making students a priority when making decisions.

No, that certainly doesn’t sound like me.

After the tutorial, Mira and I went to UBS to browse for books. I should remind myself more often to not wander around the psychology and the history sections of the bookstore when I have less than $400 in my bank account. It made me slightly distressed, not being able to buy the books that I want. I think I’ll be buying a few books with the coming allowance. Granted, we should have gotten our allowance about a month ago. Some titles that I want to buy are:

  1. Truth
  2. Artificial Happiness
  3. Rousseau’s Dog
  4. Social Intelligence

A lot? Yes, I know. I have an unhealthy obsession with non-fiction books. I find them more compelling to read, which explains why my bedtime reading usually involves… a grammar book.

EDUC 223 lecture and tutorial today dealt with the topic of classroom management. It’s basically similar to what I’ve learnt back in IPBA during my 1st year, only that the one I learned last year was more in depth. EDUC 223 only covers the theories and practices, common rules, logics, etc. Last year, my coursemates and I were not only exposed to Classroom Management as a standalone subject, but also to classroom management theorists such as Colorosso (Teaching With Love and Care), Canter and Canter (Assertive Discipline) and Alfie Kohn (Beyond Discipline).

I love Alfie Kohn and his ideas. And his classroom management beliefs, of course.

That aside, I’ve made a list of what I should be doing online after having done with the finals (or soon, if I have time):

  1. Move my technology blog to geekdom.info and start tech blogging again.
  2. Revamp stylishgeeks.net into a collective or a graphic site with photoshop brushes, etc.
  3. Finish my web/blog directory at ireadyou.net
  4. Launch booklyhour.com where I’ll be writing mainly about books
  5. Revamp junjou.info to make it more user-friendly
  6. Make new photoshop brushes, graphic items, Joomla/Wordpress themes and PSDs
  7. Launch words.ireadyou.net for original artistic pieces

On another matter, I’m currently really happy that Junjou.info now boasts of minimum 10,000 unique visitors per month 🙂 Way to go!

Last Minute Assignment and Autumn Rain in Auckland

– Autumn in the University of Auckland, Auckland (19.05.08) –

It rained just before I walked out of the apartment building this morning. Autumn in Auckland is really inconsistent. When it’s supposed to be cold, the sun shines down like it’s angry. Sometimes, it rains like this morning – just a brief shower. Another time, it would rain non-stop for a whole day. That scenario usually occurs on weekends when I have plans to go out, though.

I expected ESOL 210 class to be less packed today, considering how we had EDUC 283 assignment to hand in by 4pm. I wasn’t expecting the class to be so empty, though. There were only nine of us attending the lecture, and our lecturer Rosemary smiled knowingly. She must have had similar experience throughout her teaching career. So, with only nine students, you can just imagine how boring the class was. Mira and I tried to see the fun in ‘Results and Discussions’ section of research reports. Sorry, Rosemary. We couldn’t help the sudden snorts, chortles and silent giggles we made when we did the exercises on pages 197 to 205. Well, the fact that the sample research dealt with English vocabulary and teenagers was amusing enough. The fact that 100% of the test subjects answered correctly to the word ‘sex’ was another. I want to see the research instrument! It must have been funny, because I saw words like ‘cream’, ‘skirt’, ‘copy’ and ‘original’. They couldn’t answer ‘skirt’ but they could answer ‘sex’, just what in the world were they thinking?

Speaking of ESOL 210, I got back my 3rd assignment and my 3rd test paper. So far, so good. I got 8% out of 10% maximum for each paper, so I guess I’m pretty safe. I have two more papers for ESOL 210 in the form of a test and an assignment, weighing the last 30% of the course marks. Each paper weighs 15%, and I must get at least 11.5% out of 15% for each of the paper. Not need, but absolute must! Otherwise I’ll fall to B+.

I don’t know what will happen to my EDUC 283 assignment, but I’m pretty sure I won’t get good marks for it. It’s really hard to submit a paper when there’s no clear format of how to answer. It’s not an essay, yet it’s not just a simple comprehension task. I think I would have been more confident if the assignment was in the form of an essay or research/observation. I would gladly write a 5000-word-essay if the instructions are clear. I am to be blame for putting myself on a tight spot. It was a last minute work, and I feel really bad about it. But I know I brought it upon myself. My mind went blank on me after submitting EDUC 223 assignment last Friday. I only got my hands to type out the words late last night and after ESOL 210 class this morning.

I skipped ESOL202 class for the purpose of finishing the assignment too. Yes, I am in a dire need to go and punish myself. No splurging on anything more than $10 for 1 week. I’ll keep reminding myself that for punishment.

I sound like I’m adopting the Executive approach. And here I thought I’m more likely to adopt the facilitator approach…