I learn a lot about teaching as I nurture my little garden. I nurture soil to grow plants, observe the eco-system of the garden, pay attention to growth of plants, cannot water too much or too little, have to be patient, and listen carefully the characteristics of each plant and change the soil accordingly. In this process, I also nurture myself.
Through my teaching, I try to promote justice-oriented and humane disciplinary praxis.
Courses I teach
I have taught 11 different courses both in the graduate education programs and in the undergraduate teacher education programs, and both online and face-to-face courses. At the graduate level, I have taught specialization courses in the learning sciences, mathematics education, and research methodology. At the undergraduate level, I have taught STEM Education, Diversity in Learning, and Specialization courses. I have taught in the community-based BEd program. Beyond the Department of Education, I have also collaborated with the Department of Mathematics.
The Use of Video Interactional Analysis for Teacher Education
One of the challenges in Year 1 teacher education courses is the students’ limited interactions with the realities of the classroom. To facilitate a dialogue between theory and practice and teachers’ pedagogy in action, I facilitate video-based interactional analysis sessions in my teacher education course. Classroom videos were made possible through collaboration and partnership with local schools. Some comments from students: “It is helpful to see the practices we are learning about in action,” “I am able to observe the classroom environment and make connections to what we are learning”. Also, bringing video-based interactional analysis into teacher education courses is one way to connect my research project and theoretical insights into teacher education.
STEM Education for Societal and Environmental Justice (K-4)
In my STEM education course, I start with discussions on what “STEM” is (historically and ideologically), computational/algorithmic thinking and design in the context of our everyday problems and democracy. Such discussions facilitated students’ inquiries centralized social and environmental justice issues that are relevant to learners in the early years (Kindergarten to Grade 4) – “how can we mitigate damages caused by wildfire?” “how can we clean the polluted ocean?” “how can technologies help people with less mobility?” These inquiries led to a STEM unit plan that teacher candidates collectively design.
In my methodology courses, I try to create opportunities to analyze data as much as possible. I encourage students to apply key theoretical constructs to analyze data (e.g., fieldnotes taken by students in public spaces, newspaper articles on mathematics education, photographs of learning spaces). Along with this exercise, I introduce and demonstrate the way I use data analysis software for coding and collectively map key analytic constructs.
Let’s grow together!