A calling ...

"We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims."

"Make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone."

- Buckminster Fuller

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Vygotsky Concepts

Vygotsky’s Concepts: why I chose ***’s PDS MEd. Program

May 10, 2010
By Daniel Kurland
Psychology 231
For ***

Introduction:

My experiences as a Career Switcher in education fit Vygotsky’s Social Learning Theory. In 2007, I earned a PreK-6 License in Elementary Education. While master teachers offered useful theories and anecdotes, despite feedback provided by my program-sponsored mentor, my program did not include student teaching. While launching a Kindergarten class as a long-term sub this past fall, a friendly colleague confided that nobody would hire me without student teaching experience on my resume.

Guidance:

In my first year, I taught a 3rd grade class full of English Language Learners in a Title I School. The Title I Math Specialist agreed to be my in-school mentor, pushed in and helped me plan. The Title I Reading Specialist also pushed in and helped me plan. I had no experience in setting up class routines, lacked skill in classroom management, had never lesson planned, and lacked experience planning for small group instruction. Despite ungodly hours, I struggled.

Language Mediation

Having started just before the first day, I was handed Guided Reading, by Fountas and Pinnell, and instructed to follow their twenty day model. I was also instructed to set up Responsive Classroom routines. While I was given written resources and some of the procedures were modeled for me, the learning curve was overwhelming.

Apprenticeship

At ***’s Professional Development School MEd. Program, I will get a thoroughly guided experience. This summer, I’ll do 15 credit hours, doing coursework that will fall within my Zone of Proximal Development. I will help set up a classroom in a Title I School next August, guided by a mentor, participate in a book club, where we will read Harry Wong’s The First Days of School, and attend content area classes. Next spring, I will continue taking classes, conduct research, shut down a classroom, and assemble my portfolio. While I expect my program to be highly rigorous, I know exactly what kind of support I can expect from the program.