Saturday, October 25, 2003

More thoughts rising out of considerations of the "hidden curriculum." In essence the impact that circumstance and society have on the delivery of curriculum. I'm really enjoying the exploration of pedagogical semantics we're undertaking in CTL 1000. A recurring theme in our discussions is that teachers, trainers, coaches, facilitators -- educators -- interact with learners in ways that mimic educational experiences they've enjoyed....

Along the lines of our discussion, I've been considering teachers who've made a big that made a huge difference in the way I view pedagogy.

NOTE: I continue to interact with "huge difference" educators as a graduate student @ OISE/UT. In fact I've been extremely impressed with the "computer-mediated communication (CMC)" faculty I've encountered in the last two and a bit years. They've all been first-rate. Some a little more challenging than I may have been prepared for, but all most capable and engaging.

In terms of those before -- in the "formative years" if you will -- there are a few who bear mentioning for the positive impact they had on the way I look at the world :

  • Wayne Haramis, Shirley Kucharuk and Susan Teske of Queen Elizabeth Public School
  • Brian Yuke of Central Public School,
  • Les Anderson, Dave Lesaux, Lew MacDonald, Chuck Miller, Brian Percival, Charles Robinson, Gary Scott, Barry Stevens of Renfrew Collegiate Institute
  • Grieg Henderson of the University of Toronto

Indeed, the introspection required when considering of the hidden curriculum has made me realize that I owe those named above -- and many more -- a great deal in terms of what they taught me by example in their classes.
(There are also a number of individuals who provided "non-examples" who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty;-)

Although all the interaction I had with teachers over the years has been face-to-face, much of what I've learned F2F is directly applicable to the on-line interactions I have with colleagues in CMC environments. CMC can be a great leveler in the student-teacher dynamic, if the teacher will allow it. Relating to learners "at their level" is something that's applicable to all learning environments -- be they CMC, F2F, or "blend" or "hybrid" of both.

That's exactly why I enjoyed my interactions with those named above -- they made an effort to reach out to the learners they encountered in their classes. Each established an environment of mutual respect, which informed day-to-day interaction in the class. The positive impact this had on "classroom culture" was welcome, productive and every bit as possible in CMC environments. I know this to be the case by virtue of my CMC-based studies at OISE/UT.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Here's a picture I took of Torrey Pines Golf Course, home to the Buick Invitational and the Junior World Golf Championship.

A picture from behind a green at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, CA

California is a wonderful place.

It must have been truly magnificent before automobiles ruled it.

Here's hopin' Arnie sticks to his guns in terms of alternative fuels. Hydrogen powered automobiles would certainly help the air quality everywhere, but it would be especially welcome in CA. I'm really looking forward to seeing the proposed retrofit on the Hummer -- that's gotta be expensive....

Speakin' o' Ahnnnnnn--ooooollllddddd, I heard that he's got a new handle. I think it was CNN last night where I heard that he known in some circles as the Gropenfuhrer -- which will make sense to those following the recall/gubnatorial race in California.

I went looking for references to what I'd heard last night, and came up with the following @:
Ahnold, however, if his 16 or so accusers are telling the truth, has broken the law on countless occasions. If the shoe was on the other foot, and Ahnold was a Dem, CA Republicans would be calling for Herr Gropenfuhrer's indictment and removal from office. Unfortunately, my fellow Democrats are not nearly as vindictive as I would like for them to be.
You just gotta love politics on the left coast of the U.S.A. Of course many would argue that the politics begin with Hollywood's portrayal of "reality." Whether this is true or not, it's apparent the two will soon be closer bedfellows. There's something surreal about the Governor of California starring in Terminator movies while in office.

He'd rightly argue that he's just doing his job as an actor, and everyone knew the score going in -- or thought they did --- but it still seems a little "out of bounds" to me.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Here's a picture I took last night of the San Diego Presidio.

The view and the grounds are definitely worth a visit. The park-like setting provides a welcome respite from the buzz of the city that surrounds this oasis of tranquility.

The Presidio, as one might expect, is next to Old Town in San Diego.

I had dinner at the Casa De Pico, one of several restaurants in the Bazaar del Mundo, and I would definitely recommend it as well.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

A post from San Diego, CA.

I'm here ahead of a training session on the SMART Board(TM) interactive whiteboard tomorrow.

It's good to be back in Southern California, and in San Diego, one of my favorite cities.

In CTL 1000 we've recently turned our attention to the concept of the "hidden curriculum" and how it relates to curriculum development and delivery. While making my way through the recommended readings on the subject, I couldn't help but think of the exposure to rhetoric I had during my undergrad at U of T. Specifically with Dr. Grieg Henderson of the Department of English and how he was fond of saying that what wasn't said was as important as what was -- in a given piece of writing.

Indeed, what the educator doesn't include in a given class on a topic is as important as what is covered in terms of course content. I was also intrigued by what Dr. Terry Anderson had to say -- again in another assigned reading -- in terms of the hidden curriculum in distance education. Regular readers of this blog will recognize Dr. Terry as one of the speakers I interacted with during the KMDI's spring lecture series of a couple of years back.