The assumptions of skillful teaching

Discussing the core assumption of skillful teaching, Brookfield, in The Skillful Teacher, Chapter 2, expands on some key concepts of being a skillful teacher. The four assumptions discussed were:

  • Skillful teaching is whatever helps students learn
  • Skillful teachers adopt a critically reflective stance towards their practice
  • The most important knowledge that skillful teachers need to do good work is a constant awareness of how students are experiencing their learning and perceiving teachers’ actions
  • College students of any age should be treated as adults


This chapter, like I’m sure most will, brought up some thoughts. I am only in my second year of teaching which to me, means I am going to have time to grow and learn with these assumptions.


Since I started I have always believed that treating my students as adults is crucial. I know how its exactly how I wanted to be treated when I went through the program, even though I was likely one of the youngest in my class. As for the first thing, I see them as quite related to each other. Obviously helping students is our number one objective. In order to accomplish that, we need to critically reflect in order to keep improving and adapting for our learners. Of course one of the most helpful ways to accomplish teaching our students is to ask them how we can teach them better.


Brookfield, Stephen D. (2015). The Skillful Teacher: On technique, trust, and responsiveness in the classroom (Third Edition). San Fransisco: Jossey Bass



Using technology to move learning outside the classroom

Things are changing in the world of education. I understand this is a huge topic right now in the world. Even for myself, I attended my technical training around 8 years ago, and now I am teaching in the same course. The way the program has changed in that short 8 year period is a common thought I have, as well as now a reoccurring theme throughout the PIDP course.


This year we rolled out D2L in our program as a learning management tool (a few years behind many other programs since I remember it in high school). This introduction of an LMS has been huge. The possibilities are endless. I have so far been using it as a tool to reduce class time spent on quizzes, which are required on our program from our government laid out rubric. Having the students complete the quizzes at home is working well for me. It marks it for them, shows them the right answer, automatically updates their grades, and they can complete it in their own amount of time. The next day in class, I take the time to review the questions that need attention. On average per quiz I’m finding it saves 45 minutes per quiz. A huge help in a busy 8-week program.


Watching the following TED talks just goes to show how beneficial the use of technology can be in the classroom. I find the principal of the Khan academy one that can work quite well. We have used our D2L program to use tutorial and different learning activities for some of our concepts with wonderful feedback so far. I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes in the next few years, as I know it will be an exciting time.


Moments of Shock

p.1 “…teaching is frequently a gloriously messy pursuit in which shock, contradiction and risk are endemic.” (Brookfield, 2015)


A quote I recently chose to write about had me reflecting on how my second year as an instructor is shaping up so far. It cause me to think about how I came into this year of teaching with a huge level of confidence, believing I was ready for all the challenges it could throw at me. I was under the impression after teaching for a full year I had been prepared for the majority of issues I could face.


Reflecting on how wrong about this I was, made me realize i doubt i will ever be at a spot in my career when i am no longer shocked or contradicted. A great quote to read in the first chapter, of what I’m sure will be a very insightful read.


Brookfield, Stephen D. (2015). The Skillful Teacher: On technique, trust, and responsiveness in the classroom (Third Edition). San Fransisco: Jossey Bass

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The Teaching Perspectives Inventory is a lot of big words. A lot of big words which I would never be qualified to explain, however even at the lowest level I think it does show a lot about myself as an instructor.

I received results close to what I was expecting, showing very high scores in transmission and apprenticeship while getting my lowest score in social reform.

The transmission perspective reflects the importance of subject matter knowledge. Our systematic processes that must be followed in the electrical trade are crucial. I also believe that I am very enthusiastic about the content, because I do truly enjoy it.

The apprentice perspective is everything the trades is based on. As teachers, we show early learners the basics of what we are doing, and as time progresses we shift from teaching more into assigning more responsibility and guiding of the subject matter. It is our job to simplify some of the complexities of the content and deliver it in a more manageable way for the students.

The social reform, my most recessive trait, deals with using our position as teachers to try and awaken our students ideologies and values. I do not make this a part of my daily job.

I look forward to reflecting more on my TPI and hopefully giving all three of my readers an update one day.

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Updated Biography

Well I am now halfway through my second year of being an instructor at SAIT. It is still going great. Every new group of students brings all sorts of different challenges and rewards. I am an electrician by trade, and wanted to try something new so I took advantage of the opportunity to teach apprentices.

In my spare time I like to hang out with my dog, play squash, drink coffee, and do some woodworking in my garage.

The Professional Practice course is the last one I have to complete before the Capstone which I hope to complete by the end of June. So far I have found the PIDP quite rewarding, although sometimes I fail to see the whole purpose of certain assignments, after receiving feedback and reflecting I often have learned more than I expected. I’m looking forward to seeing what 3260 has to offer.