EDS 111 Module 3.1: The Knowledge Base of Teaching

image source: http://whatteacherscanbe.blogspot.com/
image source: http://whatteacherscanbe.blogspot.com/

When we started this course, I talked much about my desire to be a master of my domain; to be an expert teacher by knowing every nook and cranny of my chosen field. Little did I know that such ambition requires solid foundation in both the academic part and behavioral line.  As I read more, I realize it would take my whole being and capacity to be a teacher of competence but it all has to begin at acquiring the TEACHING KNOWLEDGE BASE, and it will be a daunting task.

Based on Schulman’s philosophy and checklist, I will attempt to figure out what these categories of the Knowledge Base 1  means to me, assuming my field will be Sports Science.

  • Content knowledge

As a Zoology major, we lived and breathed Physiology and Anatomy during those days, and although I was not able to get into medical school, I was able to put much theory into practice as I got involved in pharmaceutical marketing of cardiovascular and pulmonary products. It came to a point that I could give lectures to doctors about certain diseases and their therapeutic management. It was only a few years ago that I was able to develop the athletic side of me and that’s when I also began coaching the art and science of running. Despite some initial success, I knew I had to get formal teaching capabilities if I wanted to do this on a long term basis.

This current collection of knowledge, skills and experience is my launchpad into developing a formidable and comprehensive knowledge base.

  • General pedagogical knowledge (broad principles and strategies of classroom management and organization that transcends subject matter)

As a former learner, with an eye to get to the other side of the fence even in the beginning, I went to workshops and clinics and self-studied all there was to know about multi-sports. I learned that all the physicality related to the sport is just a part of the entire science of it all. This includes specific teachings on proper form, scientific way of refueling the body and even calculating outcomes of a race-event. In addition, I learned about making my classes interactive and fun – using a variety of technological tools and visual aids.

  • Curriculum knowledge (materials and programs that serve as “tools of trade”)

To be an effective Sports Science teacher, I must do a lot of research on best practices by global leaders and determine how applicable they can be in the local setting.

  • Pedagogical content knowledge (professional understanding of how to teach the content)

As teachers seem to have an uncanny ability to see with their heart, thus will prevail an understanding of what strategies and techniques will result in a better application of concepts in the real world.

  • Knowledge of learners

It is almost impossible to teach this subject matter without determination of individual learner’s capacity and potential.  Acknowledging weaknesses and building on strengths is key towards providing inputs that can be both practical and challenging.

  • Knowledge of educational contexts (groupworks or classworks, external factors impacting on subject matter)

The Philippines Sports Commission (PSC), as the regulatory body of all sports-related matters, conducts periodic workshops on sports and fitness.  Unfortunately these activities are not connected to curriculum-based education as what UP or UST offers.  This gap can be corrected by forming cross-organizations or teams to address integration of enhancement-workshops into the school curriculum. From a mentor’s perspective, PSC can also be at the forefront of accrediting trainor’s training programs, to develop future trainors.

  • Knowledge of ends, purposes, values and their philosophical grounds

The true value of sports in itself or related to health and fitness must find its way into general public awareness and adaptation, after all, sports is not just for the exclusive athletic type.  Missioning and visioning into the future of sports and fitness in our nation depends on longterm goals emanating from the primary institutions offering this course.

In the process of becoming effective teachers using the prescribed knowledge base as primary support, teachers have to develop skills in critical analysis, problem-solving and decision-making. I am particularly interested to learn more and grow as a reflective decision-maker because reflection is a mark of maturity and professional competence (York-Barr, Sommers, Ghere & Montie, 2006). 2 Reflection also makes us more rational and accountable for our actions.

After 4 weeks into the course, journaling is still a chore but it has become a voluntary one, as I begin to appreciate the effects of reflective thinking as imperative in becoming a good teacher.  And since the e-journals are post-module activities (of which sometimes feel like a whole lot to swallow!), one develops a deeper understanding of the lessons, doing these reflective analytical writings.

References:

  1. Schulman, Lee. (1987) Knowledge and Teaching: Foundations of the New Reform, Harvard Educational Review Vol 57.
  2. York‐Barr, J., Sommers, W. A., Ghere, G. S., & Montie, J.(2006). Reflective practice to improve schools: An action guide for educators (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks,CA: Corwin Press.

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