I conducted my action research during my second term of student teaching. My research focus was on student media and news literacy and whether or not it can be improved by instruction. I completed my action research symposium presentation yesterday, so that's one more big thing to scratch off my to-do list. I still have to finish writing the final paper for next week, but I thought I'd share some of my presentation.
While reflecting on my student teaching experience, and the program as a whole, I thought of some of the advice I would give myself it I could travel back in time to the start of my master's degree program last fall.
As part of my grad school coursework, I have written an elevator speech explaining the importance of inquiry-based learning in History/Social Science. Here's what I came up with:
The adoption of Inquiry-based learning in History/Social Science Education ensures that students are not performing rote memorization and regurgitation of dates, facts, figures, people, and places. Instead, they are learning the disciplinary knowledge and practices that will allow them to develop a deeper and more holistic understanding of History, Government / Civics, Geography, and Economics. Students are taught to think critically about the information: to evaluate the source(s), to consider the temporal and spatial context from which it originates, and to identify any biases that may impact its reliability. They learn to look for connections and causal relationships between systems, events, decisions, and cultures; and also to their world and experiences. The ultimate goal of inquiry-based learning is not merely to impart content knowledge, but to teach students the skill set and thought processes required to be informed, active, and engaged citizens. In light of current events, I believe that this is critical.
I'll be refining this over course of the term but this is my quick take on the subject right now. Yes? No? Maybe so?
This afternoon I received the results from my Social Science CSET and I passed all three subtests! When I took the test, walked out of the testing center feel pretty sure that I'd done well. From the start I wasn't sure that taking all three subtests in one sitting was the best idea and, never one to be overly optimistic, for the last month while I waited for my test results I've done a lot of worrying. It’s a HUGE relief to have this done.
I'm so stoked!
This afternoon I was accepted into the Master of Arts in Teaching (with preliminary credential) program at Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology! A new chapter in my life begins. And as with most good things, it’s going to begin with 11 months of hard work.