Of Scantrons and Sessionals

When the author, an accountant, accepted two contract teaching appointments at Ontario colleges, she discovered that part-time post-secondary teaching is both poorly paid and poorly supported. From lack of orientation for new instructors to a counterproductive insecurity around contract renewal, she encountered many impediments to her efforts to integrate quickly into the new milieu and become an effective college instructor. Given the heavy reliance placed by most colleges on term contracts, the author proposes four measures to encourage the effectiveness and retention of contract instructors.

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The Culturally Responsive Classroom

As Canadian classrooms become increasingly diverse and populated with students whose first language is not English or French, it is important for educators to understand how demographic changes in their communities and global forces around the world may affect their teaching practices in the years to come. In this article, teachers and educational leaders are encouraged to be educationally proactive when responding to the diverse needs of their new immigrant English as Second Language (ESL) and English as Additional Language (EAL) students. Professional development activities that are relevant, focused, and examine the issues and challenges associated with diverse school communities can provide teachers with cultural knowledge and skills that will enable them to create more inclusive classrooms for their students.

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The Brain, Learning, and Teaching

In recent years, three major discoveries have reinforced the relevance of neuroscience research in education. The first is that learning changes the architecture of the brain. It is therefore possible to use brain imaging to identify brain changes associated with school learning. The second is that the architecture of the brain influences learning. Consequently, a better knowledge of students’ brain architecture could help us understand the biological constraints related to their learning. The third discovery is that teaching influences the effects of learning on the brain. Thus, two types of teaching may have different effects on the development of students’ brains. These three findings support the idea that better knowledge of students’ brains can provide clues to help us teach better.

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Dr. Kate Tilleczek: 2013 CEA Whitworth Award Winner
Teaching Out Loud (Episode 7) - Flipping the Classroom - Changing the Teacher-Learner Dynamic