1P00CZ90: Value Competence (31)

Human rights are the fundamental freedoms and safeguards to which everyone is entitled. They are rights that we all have, regardless of nationality, residence, gender, ethnic background, race, religion, language, sexual orientation, or any other status. Human rights are guaranteed to all people without exception. All these rights are interconnected, interdependent, and inseparable. In general, human rights include issues such as race and gender equality, active participation, adequate livelihoods, and a healthy environment. Thus, the organization should include these issues in planning, hence I promote and act accordingly.

As a teacher/tutor, I promote and act in a way  students learn equality and their rights to understand how they should be treated as well as how others should be treated. I promote students to investigate, discuss, challenge, and build their own beliefs and values in a safe environment. These help students to be empowered to combat discrimination, strengthen relationships, and make the most of their lives by gaining information and respect for their rights, as well as understanding, respect, and tolerance for difference. These lead to an active participation of students in the subject matter and social life. It’s more crucial than ever to instill positive and open-minded attitudes in our increasingly varied and dynamic society.

1P00CZ90: Value Competence (30)

The Comenius’ Oath for teachers (here)  is an ethical code that supports teachers’ activities and provides as a reinforcement that ethics are at the heart of education, like the Oath for physicians and for engineers. Thanks to the comment from my tutor that I reviewed for the first time.

The Comenius’ Oath, drafted by the Ethical Committee for the Teaching Profession, contains the essential principles for teachers’ professional ethics. Any certified teacher, regardless of degree level, can take the oath; it is meant for all teachers from early childhood education through higher education.

The Comenius’ Oath is intended to promote teachers’ professional ethics and identity. It emphasizes the importance of instructors acting fairly and equally in all circumstances. In addition, the oath emphasizes teachers’ skills and fosters the unity. For more, here .

In my own field, the gray area ethical decisions ranges from simple to complex. Chemistry can be used for building and destruction. From simple one: PVC is a polyvinyl chloride is most widely used for tube and plastic production on which we depend on. At the same time, the environmental impact has been a concern. This leads to an emergence of new field ‘Green Chemistry’.  Considering the complex issue: precious elements like diamond which we all adore are mined in the expense of environmental destruction and the expense of local population at the mining sites (ref. to previous blog ). Mining rare elements favor the present generation in the expense of future generations who might not have access to due to depletion. To add more example, the research, development, and production of chemical weapons are considered morally wrong to ethical theories. Even not condemned, instead those researchers involved during WWI considered as role model for young generation.

1P00CZ87: Safety Competence  (21 & 22)

The physical part of the safety is handled clearly. How about mental and social side?

I have discussed the physical aspects of safe learning environment, in my previous blog (here). Here, some of the mental and societal aspects discussed. Wellbeing of students should be maintained for successful learning outcome. The mental and societal aspects of safety are protected by students, teachers, family, and authority. As a teacher, I

  • will build respectful relationship
  • respect the values and responsibilities
  • promote inclusiveness
  • respect diversity and individual differences
  • communicate regularly and have open discussions
  • follow, record the challenges and progress of the students
  • work in collaboration with family and colleagues where needed

For example, from cultural and religious side, there can be student who grew up in unhealthy family relationship, bullying …and others that may affect learning. Hence, identifying the problems (via developing honest and respectful relationship) helps in planning and guiding students under such influence.

1P00CZ85: Competence in Special Pedagogy (16 & 17)

Learning environment plays significant role in planning and learning. It can be physical, emotional, or intellectual. For example: I had experience where all chairs in the university were designed for right-handed persons, difficult for left-handed. Same way, classrooms designed in a way sound from one makes noise to the next. In laboratory classes, the chairs and even the exit doors not suitable for disabled. Regarding accessibility of resources, the infrastructure e.g., library, internet, printing services are some of the determining factors. Individual difference among students: cultural, religion, disability, family background…all these could affect learning. Thus, I get to know about student and background as it would help in planning, guiding/teaching, and assessing. I help   students to learn on their phase thus assess based on the study material , keeping the standard and quality regulation. I consider individual difference in group formation. For example, home exam could be considered an alternative where the student/s can’t involve with others. In fact, some of the  issues can be solved in collaboration/by the organization. So, I record and report the challenges.

   1. 1P00CZ83: Pedagogical Competence I 6 Cr (2 & 3)

2. Guidance and counseling are available to all students in all sectors of education. The goal of guidance and counseling is to help students succeed in their studies by ensuring that they have the knowledge and skills they need to progress to further education and employment. The goal of guidance is to help students succeed in their studies, develop skills and progress in career. Thus, the following are the practical aspects from tutor for guidance in own field;

 – help students when setting the first version of career plan.

 – Keep record of guidance and support of each student (that agreed on) in personal development plan

 – keep record of a career plan that is developed for student in competence development plan.

– give guidance individually or in group depending on the situation. For example, there is a situation where students get guidance in group where they share common ground on the specific issue. Thus, they develop interactions, group work skill and open discussion, identify the challenge and set solutions. In own field: theory and practical skills are at the core, there are broad field of specializations, decision making to stay in academia or industry …all these are where students need guidance to mention few.

Source: here

3. Theory and Experimental work are at the core of own field. Hence, while learning by doing i.e. experiential learning considered as the background in my own substance field, I encourage and guide students ways to explore resources and apply what they have learned theoretically. Following their progress via observation and reports would be the main way how the learning is manifested. In addition, I encourage students to  show, share, present their work at seminars, conference and even encourage to publish the results.

Special Needs Education

Special Needs Education is a form of education for students with disabilities that considers their educational needs and attempts to enhance their learning potential, independence, and social involvement.

Academic institutions strive for a conducive learning environment and unrestricted studies. Student counselling and student welfare services, such as school social workers, study counselling psychologists, and student healthcare services, are examples of individual support. When one has specific issues about studying or the progress of studies, advisable to seek counselling and support based on the practices of each educational institution. For example, in Finland individual support for the learning and welfare of pupils is well accommodated, and the national core curriculum contains guidelines for the purpose. Thus, special needs education is integrated into regular education as far as possible.

Student welfare refers to programs that encourage students’ physical, emotional, and social well-being. The services promote balanced development of the youth, establish a caring and good culture in the school community, and ensure that all students have equitable access to learning opportunities.

Accessibility and learning support

Everyone has the right to obtain an education, learn, and study based on your own abilities and potential. Also, the right to obtain assistance, special equipment, or other forms of support under specific circumstances. To acquire access to the services, one needs to notify the study location of any potential obstacles to obtain the demands in a timely manner.

Certain elements are considered during studies

  • Individualized instruction and counselling
  • Participation and well-being of students
  • Interaction between the institution’s facilities and its surroundings
  • Information technology, communications, and educational materials

Each educational institution has a person or a unit responsible for the accessibility of student admissions and study who can provide more information about the institution’s accessibility practices. This includes assessment (entrance exam, matriculation exams and others), study material (can be online materials and IT equipment) and study guidance.

In a learning environment, everyone should be allowed to move and act. This entails

  • accessibility in and around parking lots and outdoor spaces
  • easy access to the structures
  • ability to move and respond fluidly within a learning environment (elevators and accessible toilets)
  • a good listening environment
  • instructions and indicators that are clear

(for more)

At Vocational Schools,

Every department should possess

–Teacher who is responsible for special education

–Special personnel for support

–Counsellor working in every department

Planning, Assessing and Interaction _Online Tutoring at Brainfuse #2

Unlike the physical classroom where the tutor/teacher comes to class prepared on the topic, methods, and time; the experience at brain fuse slightly differs for the following reasons:

  • Planning the schedule (timetable) is handy as it is online and flexible. For example, I plan my schedule for a week, or a month based on my availability. But the planning is only the time as I have the chance to tutor different topics based on my selection during the qualification (e.g., Grade 12 chemistry, College chemistry, AP chemistry. in my case). So, students from any level for any topic/question comes for help. Thus, it is quite not easy to prepare for specific subject/topic before the session. Rather, it is always good to have good general knowledge on own subject matter. This encourages to read and more preparation on the subject matter.
  • Planning teaching/tutoring method

In conventional teaching/tutoring; teaching and assessment method can be pre planned based on the subject/topic, the student, and the learning environment. Here, the situation is different as the topic and the student is unknown until at live meeting session. Thus, preplanning is different from the conventional teaching/tutoring. However, it is possible to have general teaching and assessment method that can be applied for wide area of subject matter and student type. For example:

  1. Inquiry helps to know the knowledge level (subject matter) of the student.
  2. Giving a chance for the student to express the challenge they have/or start to solve a problem themselves so that I can figure out where they need help. Thus, guide them how to solve the problem/concept rather than giving them answer. For example few of my tutoring sessions are shared here for educational purpose (as the name of the student and tutor is invisible), here1, two.
  3. Continuous interaction with the student helps a lot during the tutoring session. As a rule, at Brainfuse, it is recommended to have continuous interaction with the student. In fact, I observed how students are engaged when the interaction is smooth (encouraging, motivational, professional). The interaction with other parties (for example: session monitor, technical assistant) also very helpful for the success of the lesson. There are times when new student signed in while my scheduled time is to end. Thus, letting know my time schedule for the student that I leave soon I will inform session monitor for transfer when my time ends.
  4. The system has an option for the student to give feed for the tutor. That helps to improve and develop teaching methods and interaction in addition to the subject matter.
  5. The learning environment at Brainfuse is well designed for live session with whiteboard (interactive and sharable between student and tutor), audio and video option, chat room with file transferring option, cloud for storage that makes file transfer easy. In addition, colleagues who monitor session and technical assistants are always there.

From my experience as assistance to undergraduate students during their project work, that requires practical laboratory work, one of the drawbacks that e-learning has in my subject area is implementing practical work. In fact,  AI and simulations has been implemented in other suitable fields. But, practical work in basic science remains challenging to bring to e-learning.

Online Tutoring Experience at Brainfuse #1

Picture from pixel

Brain fuse is an online tutoring platform where people who want to learn connect with experts who teaches.

After qualification as a tutor at Brainfuse, going through documents of the guidelines, rules and regulations are mandatory. Code name is generated for me which is visible to the client (students). As it is an online platform, it requires to get familiarize with the online tool which is utilized for live session. The tool has interactive white board, chat room, audio, and video option. The white board has different menus that can be utilized for drawing shape, mathematical equations and more. Students create a username and password when they register. Students just log in with their identities and passwords, go to their own personal profile, select a subject for instruction, and enter a virtual tutoring room. The Brainfuse whiteboard (a shared virtual chalkboard) is in this room and allows students and teachers to use instant chat as well as draw diagrams and calculations. When a student draws a figure on the whiteboard with a mouse, the instructor/tutor sees exactly what the student has created in real time. Tutors and students can also use the audio capability to communicate with one another in real time. Students and tutors can share their own private whiteboard.

It is the institutions mandate to provide guidelines, rule, and regulations whereas it is teachers/tutors responsibility to go through and rely on during teaching/tutoring. Thus, the following are some of the rules and regulations at Brainfuse:

  • Guiding Student
    • It is important to lead the learner through the through the questions as a tutor rather than giving answer/work for them. This can be achieved by determining the issues that the learner is experiencing. How can we then guide the student through the difficulty such that they can complete it independently? It’s also advised to consider how to teach the learner so that they can solve similar problems on their own in the future as you guide them.
  •  Online Communication
    • This includes strong greetings to have conducive working environment e.g., good internet connection.
  • Assessment  
    • It’s recommended to find out what the student is working on and what the problem is with the assignment. Figure out how to do? By first examining the work and then posing questions! This can be done by asking ‘probing’ inquiries if the student is willing to share information. What is the issue with this problem? Is there any evidence that the student has worked on the problem? What is it that is causing them to become stuck? Where does the student stand in terms of knowledge? Is there a concept they need to investigate further, or is the problem one that can be resolved quickly?
  • Designing/finding a way to guide the student and implementation
    • Present Main Concepts
    • Use Examples
    • Use a Hint