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Teaching Assignment: Reflection On Research Experience & Interests

Question

Task: All research emanates from a desire to know how, what and why something works the way it does. In this sense the purpose of research is to develop a greater understanding and bring about positive change (Kervin et al., 2016, p.14).
This assessment task focuses on identifying the area of your interest - a first step in the process of educational research. In this task you are required to reflect on your own experiences of how you have used research in your learning and or teaching. You may have been a consumer or a producer of research. Reflect on your experience of using research and how this may have influenced your learning, teaching and or other professional activities.
From these experiences, discuss an area of interest in your specialisation that you would like to research (this might connect to your Task 3). Why have you chosen this area (e.g. you might have encountered some problematic areas in your practice)? What are some specific problems that you want to address? Are there any particular questions that you might want to ask? Locate 3 scholarly sources that relate to the area of your interest and describe how they can inform your future research. What are the problems that the authors addressed? Why are they important? What questions do they leave unanswered? Support your ideas with references to these sources.
To sum up, the assignment should include three sections as follows:
• Reflection on your experiences
• Discussion of the area of interest
• Significance of the chosen area for your future research
You can use these as headings to organise the main body of your paper.

Answer

Introduction:
I would like to discuss in the present teaching assignment that teaching has been my choice of profession right from childhood when I was in school and while I grew up, my aim to be a teacher strengthened. To pursue my goal, I attended the full-time diploma course on Early Childhood Education and Care from Melbourne Polytechnic in Melbourne. It was an 18 months course wherein I came to learn about the intricacies of early childhood education system. Besides the theoretical knowledge, there was provision for practical training giving a real-life exposure how to guide and manage the children. So I have little experience in handling kindergarten kids and want to pursue the Masters of Teaching (Primary) to be a full-fledged kindergarten teacher.

Reflection on experiences in relation to research on teaching assignment:
The course on Masters of Teaching (Primary) is a comprehensive coursework that would be fruitful to pursue my goal to be a kindergarten teacher. According to Davis, Wojcik, & DeWaele (2016), it is stated herein teaching assignment that to be a successful kindergarten teacher, it is necessary to have professional experience in due course of the module. This particular curriculum has the right opportunity to develop an individual even someone from a non-teaching background to be a successful kindergarten teacher. Abed (2014), perceives that having a formal education for being a kindergarten teacher is necessary as dealing with the small children would be hectic and the course installs the requisite qualities and skills to manage the children effectively.

So I think pursuing the Masters course at the University of Wollongong is a good idea as the course here would install in me the right sort of confidence and expertise to be a good kindergarten teacher. The teaching assignment examines the words of Daniel (2016) that the educational institutes design the coursework in an effective manner that is acceptable to the junior schools and kindergartens across Australia. The teaching faculty is also outstanding having profound teaching experiences that would be helpful in giving us the right direction to pursue our teaching profession. Their expertise and experience would be helping us in preparing for our interviews in lieu of job prospects in various kindergartens across the country (Kervin, Vialle, Howard, Herrington, & Okely, 2016).

I believe that this particular coursework would be helpful in developing an inquisitive mind which would be very effective in my teaching process. I would like to pursue certain research-oriented projects for the purpose of my coursework which would be useful in understanding the fundamental of child psychology. In this way I would be able to extend my knowledge domain and land up a job as a teacher in a reputed kindergarten (Creswell, 2019). The professional expertise of our curriculum is widely accepted globally and if I seek placement off-shores that would not be of much difficulty.

Discussion on the area of interest:
The coursework on Masters of Teaching (Primary) outlined in this segment of teaching assignment is a unique one as it would lay down an advanced level of understanding on the fundamentals of teachings in the kindergarten level. The specialisation of this course lies in having a comprehensive understanding of the linguistic, socio-economic, cultural and religious variety amongst the kindergarten students (uow.edu.au, 2020). The interesting part of the curriculum would be that not only the students, it would also explore the environment in which the education would be delivered say the classroom and the school premises. So my degree, Masters of Teaching (Primary) would deliver in me the requisite expertise and skill-set to be an efficient kindergarten teacher.

My coursework on Masters of Teaching (Primary) exploring numerous facets of child development in a multi-cultured environment would glance into the crucial aspects of child psychology. The topic of child psychology mentioned herein teaching assignment is very interesting as it would connect the mindset of the children with me owing my expertise on the subject matter (Kervin, Vialle, Howard, Herrington, & Okely, 2016). So I would be in a better position to understand them and earn their trust and confidence, an effective way to be a successful kindergarten teacher. The knowledge of child psychology would help me to have a critical analysis of the mindset of my students and help them to learn things faster.

As depicted in the teaching assignment, my specialisation is to nurture the students in a cosmopolitan Australian society and to do so I am sure to face a lot of hurdles. At that point of time my understanding of the curriculum, knowledge of child psychology would be helpful to make my students accommodate and make themselves happy in a multi-cultured environment (Ponce & Pagan-Maldonado, 2015). I guess that every child is unique born with certain skill-sets which needs to be nurtured well. So as a kindergarten teacher, I need to leave a very good impression on their mind enabling them to grow as per their in-born capability. Therefore, my role is very pivotal in their transition years as they develop their senses and able to understand the world around them (Abed, 2014). This is because it is at the kindergarten their fundamentals and values are nurtured to be a responsible being.

Significance of the chosen area:
I find consonance to the research work of Abed (2014) in regards to the case scenario of teaching assignment, who states that a child holds key to the future generations and if the child gets spoilt, it would be dangerous for the civil society. His research states that human beings tend to divert from the moral way of life but a proper guidance and training could revive our direction towards growth and development. Similarly if a child is properly guided right from his tender age, he would grow up to be a fine person. So it is like a social responsibility to me to have my contribution recorded by being a kindergarten teacher. But I feel that the researcher is silent about the neglect the kindergarten teachers face irrespective of their contribution to the society, they are considered as a poor cousin to high school education or university education. It is to be noted that it is the kindergarten that is responsible to instil a discipline among the students that is being carried out throughout their entire student life and even to succeed in their professional life (Abed, 2014).

Davis, Wojcik, & DeWaele (2016), stresses on specialising in teaching the child in a multi-cultural environment as in the current scenario, it is of utmost importance owing to the cosmopolitan nature of the Australian society. So my coursework rather my specialisation has direct connotations with the development of tolerance in the community and that too starting at a very tender age. But the researchers feel that the aspect of diversity in the educational system is not so explored which could be challenging to develop my own understanding and interpretations regarding the matter. It would be helpful in my teaching style and strengthening the bond with my students. They are specific that the journey of a kindergarten teacher would be purposeful if I am able to inculcate the moral values and fundamentals to my student right from their childhood.

According to the research on teaching assignment, Kervin, Vialle, Howard, Herrington, & Okely (2016), feels that there are certain avenues that needs due attention such as the age-old curriculum. Though the university is taking responsibility to review its curriculum at periodic intervals but that is not true for the course which I am pursuing right now, Masters of Teaching (Primary). Though it has many elements that would be useful as I become a kindergarten teacher, I believe the world has undergone sufficient change and so does the children. Therefore, the authors suggested that reviewing the course module would be a good idea as latest curriculum would take into account the current scenario rather hypothetical assumptions. Further, it is also discussed within this teaching assignment that I think the coursework would be more effective if on-job training be provided for the purpose. This is because it would prepare students like us to face the daily challenges of being a kindergarten teacher say managing a nagging kid to act as their part-time nanny (Kervin, Vialle, Howard, Herrington, & Okely, 2016).

I think the curriculum of the Masters of Teaching (Primary) would be more meaningful if the universities strive to promote an awareness regarding the aspect of early childhood development and care. This is a particular aspect mentioned in the context of teaching assignment that the researchers has been silent on despite acknowledging its significance in the society. It is because many people does not have the idea of what a kindergarten teacher is and how such institutions are essential for the purpose of early child development (uow.edu.au, 2020). It is important to work for a better future of the children and the task starts by sending them to a kindergarten. And that is where my job as a kindergarten teacher is essential to instil the proper values and discipline in them to be a good human being. There are certain gaps that need to be worked upon to have a bright future for the kids and then only I would succeed as a kindergarten teacher.

References
Abed, M. (2014). A consideration to two main ethical issues in educational research, and how may these be addressed. i-manager’s Journal on Educational Psychology, 8(3), 1-13.

Creswell, J. W. (2019). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (6th ed.). Teaching assignment Upper Saddle River: NJ: Prentice Hall.

Daniel, E. (2016). The usefulness of qualitative and quantitative approaches and methods in researching problem-solving ability in science education curriculum. Journal of Education and Practice, 7(15), 91-100.

Davis, K., Wojcik, J., & DeWaele, C. (2016). A comparison of the fitness, obesity, and physical activity levels of high school physical education students across race and gender. The Physical Educator, 73(1), 15-31.

Kervin, L. K., Vialle, W., Howard, S. J., Herrington, J. A., & Okely, A. D. (2016). Research for Educators (2nd ed.). South Melbourne: Australia: Cengage Learning.

Ponce, O., & Pagan-Maldonado, N. (2015). Mixed methods research in education: Capturing the complexity of the profession. International journal of educational excellence, 1(1), 111-135.

uow.edu.au. (2020). Master of Teaching (Primary) - Course Finder @ University of Wollongong. Teaching assignment Retrieved April 15, 2020, from https://coursefinder.uow.edu.au/information/index.html?course=master-of-teaching-primary

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