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Transmission Approach:

- The ‘behaviorist’ and ‘traditional craft’ paradigms require student teachers to copy and adopt pre-existing practice and accept knowledge as presented by an ‘expert’ such as a university tutor or school based mentor.

- Some argue that the ‘transmission’ style of ITE is character by a ‘top tips’ approach, where experienced practitioners, either in schools or universities, consider their solution to be the correct one.

- Negative consequences to be aware of:

Differences between the 4 paradigms:

- Difference between paradigms is related to the debate around what knowledge is and how it is created.
- The difference is between:
a) Knowledge being in the power of others and ‘given’ to a student teachers (the ‘transmission’ of knowledge and skills), and
b) Knowledge being something that is co-created and able to be influenced by all participants (including students and teachers)
Behaviour management:
- approaches to behavior management might work with one class one week, but then not have the same impact the following week.

4 paradigms in teacher education:

- Zeichner (1983) identifies four paradigms in teacher education: behaviouristic, personalistic, traditional craft, enquiry orientation ( ‘Alternative Paradigms of Teacher Education’, Journal of Teacher Education, vol. 34, pp. 3–9.)
- It is highly likely that an ITE course will combine aspects of the four but may have a tendency towards one paradigm.

- Taylor’s (2008) research also supports Zeichner’s views. Taylor’s four ways of describing ITE learning: Cascading expertise, enabling student’s individual growth as teacher, developing student teaching, students as teachers and learners.

‘Transmission of knowledge and skills:

1. Learning to Teach - Making sense of Learning to Teach

1. Learning to Teach -
Making sense of Learning to Teach

Teacher training? Teacher Education? Initial Teacher Education (ITE)?

SUMMARY: Learning to Teach #1: Making sense of learning to teach

Here is my summary of the open learning course: Learning to Teach - making sense of learning to teach.

I have learnt a lot from this course so I recommend you to have a look at it.

REFLECTIONS: Instrumental vs organic view of progress

I think the thing that I need to remember the most is that "the world is open to endless possibilities and I shouldn't falsely believe that I am locked into taking a shrinking range of possibilities, locked out of some for false reasons such as fear, bias, or force of habit."
It's nice to be able to just let go and do whatever comes around. It's one of the biggest predictors of good luck, extroversion, creativity, innovation and adaptability.
There is freedom in the world, and that is what excites me - the possibilities (and thus future adventures) are endless.

STUDY: successful initial teacher education

Successful initial teacher education relies on all partners working effectively together to create an environment where student teachers can learn effectively by observing, questioning, discussing and critically reflecting on their experiences in a structured way to allow progress.

STUDY: Vygotskyian idea of Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)

As Warford (2011) state, student teachers 'take the facts and appropriate their own meanings by means of cultural tools... This process... grows in systematicity and complexity as teacher knowledge is continually reshaped to accommodate the dynamic nature of schools and classrooms; consequently, a Vygotskyan approach to teacher development sees the education of teachers as situated learning.

Wargord sees a Vygotskian approach to ITE as involving a three way conversation between:
- Student teachers prior experiences as learners and often tacit beliefs about pedagogy
- Pedagogical content of the teacher education program
- Observations of teaching and learning in the field placements.

The three way conversation can lead to tensions, conflicts of beliefs or direct contradictions.

STUDY: Combination of the personal and collective

Student teachers need to also be aware that the knowledge that they are developing is constructed from a combination of the 'personal' (their experiences) and the 'collective' (the literature and the professional wisdom of experienced teachers).

They need to understand the particular context they are in, how the personalities and backgrounds of the staff has informed the curriculum and pedagogy of the department and how working with different personalities and teams would lead to different approaches.

STUDY: Behavior Management basics

Behavior Management basics are:

If you’re new to our noble profession, the basics will give you a
great foundation for the journey you’re about to take. They’re

Be definite: ‘I know what I want.’
Be aware: ‘I know what will happen if I do/don’t get what I want.’
Be calm and consistent: ‘I’m always polite and fair to you.’
Give them structure: ‘I know where we’re going.’
Be positive: ‘You’re doing great.’
Be interested: ‘You’re people as well as students.’
Be flexible: ‘I know when to bend rather than break.’
Be persistent: ‘I refuse to give up.’
Engage them: ‘I want you to want to learn.’

HEALTH: consistency (or frequency over amount)

Yep. The questions is how to be consistent, every day..

building of unconscious habits? (+ 21 day rule)
and the easy, so easy, it's impossible not to do habits;
figure out where the barriers to action are and reduce the barrier so much that its harder to not do the correct habit.

Wait for Me Until I Become You

Recently I’ve been giving my students mini essay assignments each week on various topics to improve their persuasive and creative writing. Below is the work of one of my strongest students. I asked him to write a letter to his future self in the year 2020. Check it out! It’s pretty great!


Dear myself in the future,

Hello, myself. I’m yourself. Precisely, I’m yourself in the past. I heard you’re 23 years old. Though you are older than me, I will not treat you politely. I have many questions. Most of all, what is your college? Seoul University? Really? You did a good job. And, did you go the army? Where? Katusa? Oh, I think you’re very good at English.

5 ESL Games for All Levels and Ages

As an ESL teacher working with middle school, high school, and adult students, I am always on the lookout for games that are fun and appropriate for a variety of skill levels and ages. Below is a collection of games that I’ve found to meet those standards! If you have any ideas of your own, questions, or feedback, feel free to leave them in the comment section!

1. Dots

IMG_1884Materials: Paper with pre-drawn dot grid, pens/pencils, dice

The only thing to fear is change itself…. Wait…

It was only temporary…but…last week, in the immortal words of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, my new Korean life got totally flip-turned-upside-down. Now-I’d-like-to-take-a-minute, just-sit-right-there-and-I’ll-tell-you-how-I….how my…forget it. How things changed.

Long story short, part of my Winter Camp involved me teaching at an elementary school reading camp for a few days before going back to teach at my regular middle/high school. Sidenote for those not in-the-know: a winter camp is a  two-three week period between regular semesters where kids come to school anyway to study more. The camps vary in theme and content, sometimes being determined by the school and other times by the Native English teachers. Generally speaking they’re supposed to be lighter and more “fun,” but in the end the kids are still there to study and learn English.

A definition of bullying

Bullying can be described as a form of aggression, and these aggressive actions tend to culminate in a variety of negative consequences for the victimized party in question. It can develop as an individual or a group act, and involves repetitive antagonistic behaviour carried out with the intent to commit harm in one way or another.

The values of Peace Education

In an analysis of the work of Elise Boulding, Morrison (2008) describes peace education as having “embraced the idea of connectedness, caring and the importance of thinking globally and acting locally”. In order to think and act in unison, peace education needed to evolve into something more dynamic than a mere process of divulging information on war and peace.

The vicious cycle of education

Education means a myriad of things to many people; however I would like to depict it as the influential catalyst of two contrasting cycles, one vicious, and the other virtuous. It seems apt to describe the former as education for the purposes of indoctrination. The school oftentimes becomes a mechanical factory in which so-called model students are replicated on a conveyor belt of control and compliance.

A Message To Korea From A Student

In light of my recent post on exam stress, I thought it was quite fitting to share a video I saw on YouTube today. The video was made by a Korean middle-school student called Jason, and it shows his message to Korea: a depressing discussion of the Korean education system. 

Vlog Entry #11: Fall School Festival

Each year, on a Friday in October or November, public schools all over Korea host something known as Sports Day or School Festival. Students spend the day playing games (or in my school’s case, trying a bunch of different sports) and making crafts. Meanwhile, the teachers retreat to the adult cafeteria to enjoy a variety of tasty Korean dishes and several bottles of rice wine. Then, in the afternoon, everyone gathers to watch group after group of students perform their favorite songs and dances.

Tough TEFL Love

Food for Thought

This New York Times article, Toward Better Teachers, is a brief, well-balanced, thoughtful piece on some of the complexities and challenges of teaching. I most strongly agree with Bruni’s final point that, although teachers deserve greater support, compensation, and respect for their work, they also owe the people from whom they’re demanding those things a “discussion about education that fully acknowledges the existence of too many underperformers in their ranks.”

What do you think?

Lessons For The Teacher- What We Learnt To Expect When Teaching In Korea


We came to Korea to be teachers, to help children to learn. Turns out that working as an English teacher in Korea has taught us a lot of things too: lessons in leading, discipline, understanding and eternal patience (ok, still working on that last one…). And, we’ve learnt that school in Korea is completely different than in England; would you ask about a teacher’s relationship status in the UK? Most probably not. In Korea? It’s one of the first questions you’re asked (and repeatedly asked again, and again, and again).

RTBC Day Twelve: Looking Ahead

Reflective Teaching Blog Challenge – Day Twelve: How do you envision your teaching changing over the next 5 years?

At the moment, I have no idea if I’ll still be teaching in Korea five years from now. Heck, I have no idea if I’ll still be teaching in Korea one year from now. But if I do end up staying for awhile, I’d like to experience these changes as an educator:

RTBC Day Eleven: The teacher becomes the student

Reflective Teaching Blog Challenge – Day Eleven: What is your favorite part of the school day? Why?

RTBC Day Ten: 5-4-3-2-1

Reflective Teaching Blog Day Ten: Share five random facts about yourself. Share four things from your bucket list. Share three things you hope for this year, as a person or an educator. Share two things that have made you laugh or cry as an educator. Share one thing you wish more people knew about you.

Five random facts:

RTBC Day Nine: Flying Solo

Reflective Teaching Blog Challenge – Day Nine: Write about one of your biggest accomplishments in your teaching that no one knows about (or may not care).

Part of being an English teacher in the EPIK program means working with a co-teacher in the classroom. However, this past week I was faced with the challenge/opportunity of teaching not one, but TWO classes all on my own! And get this: the students and I both survived, and maybe even thrived!

In the minutes before these classes, part of me was absolutely terrified to stand alone in front of a room full of students who barely understood a word I said. I dreaded the process of presenting vocabulary and explaining activities without my co-teacher being there to come to my rescue. And I almost had to sit down at the thought of how I would discipline the students if trouble came along.

RTBC Day Eight: What’s in your wallet?

Reflective Teaching Blog Challenge – Day Eight: What’s in your desk drawer and what can you infer from it?

Ok, you got me. This post isn’t about my wallet. Here’s what you’d find in my desk drawer(s) if you were to open it(them) at the moment:


Unused binder clips – Tells you I don’t like clipping things together, apparently.

Keys – Tells you I find the contents of my desk to be very precious, or at least worth locking away each night.

Tooth brush and tooth paste – Tells you Koreans take dental hygene very seriously (they brush their teeth after EVERY meal).

Tax exemption forms – Tells you I’m trying to keep Uncle Sam’s share of my earnings in South Korea for myself.

Plastic plates – These actually go with two suction cup/sticky balls I’ve used in class. Tells you I like to play games in class!

RTBC Day Seven: My Co-Teacher

Reflective Teacher Blog Challenge – Day Seven: Who is your most inspirational colleague? Why?

Me and my co-teacher!

Me and my co-teacher!

In Ulsan (Cups Song – South KoREMIX)

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: my most advanced first year high school students singing a revised version of the Cup Song from Pitch Perfect! Enjoy!

RTBC Day Six: Teaching Mentors

Reflective Teaching Blog Challenge – Day Six: What does a good mentor do? Explain.

Regardless of what field you’re working in, everyone should have a mentor. And it doesn’t matter where you are in the span of your work life either. Whether you’re at the beginning or the end of your career, you’re never too old to benefit from the wisdom and experience of someone else!

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