Artifact #4: Good Teaching Revisited Paper (TE 807)

Artifact #4: Good Teaching Revisited Paper (TE 807)
Program Goals:
2
Standards:
3, 4, 5

           In this final writing project for TE 807: Professional Development and Inquiry, I built a case for what I believe constitutes “good teaching.”  The paper involves three specific sections that focus on:  my own beliefs, values, and understanding of what it means to be an effective educator; barriers to good teaching at differing levels; and the review of what research says about this ideal goal.  Thinking and writing about what good teaching means was essential in the process of helping define myself as an educator.

            This paper weaves together ideas and concepts from educational literature along with my own experiences and learning trajectory.  By utilizing a number of resources, I was able to critically develop a strong argument for what it means to be a good teacher as compared with my own teaching (Standards 4, 5 & Goal 2).  I provide both the description and support of my own “identity and integrity” as a teacher.  This notion of good teaching is proposed by Parker J. Palmer in his book, The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life.  I provide readers with detailed examples of my practice and my students’ learning from each of the unique teaching contexts that I have experienced in my career (Goal 2).   In my consideration of the local, state, national, and global issues that act as barriers to good teaching, I discuss specific barriers and ways to overcome them (Standard 3).  Additionally, the third section of my paper provides specific commentary on the relationship between research and good teaching.  I was also able to connect theory and research findings with my own experiences and practice in the final part of the project (Standards 4 & 5).

            It is integral for educators to know and understand what good teaching means.  This enlightening process of self-inquiry/examination allows teachers to connect with their own identities and integrities − an imperative if we are to teach and reach all students.  Palmer’s text provides teachers with the opportunity to consider the purpose and depth of their work.  I believe that embarking on this process afforded me the chance to better connect with my own identity and integrity as a teacher.  Using this method, I was able to contemplate the characteristics of a good teacher, recognize problems of practice (and propose possible solutions), and present these ideas with strong examples of research.  All three of these sections helped solidify my values and beliefs as an educator.

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