To reinforce and sharpen teachers’ competency in conducting Blended Learning lessons, the college’s Professional Development (PD) Committee held a two-day workshop, on 11th and 14th February 2022, to consolidate pedagogical skills learnt over the previous years as well as to learn how to inculcate greater metacognitive study habits in students, respectively. At the workshop on the first day, teachers engaged in inter-departmental discussions on formulating resolutions to real-life challenges confronting the effective conduct of Blended Learning. This was followed by a thorough, experience-based sharing by Lead Teacher (History), Mr Lester Lim on how principles of Never Hard Work Harder than Your Students and Differentiated Instruction can be embedded to improve the quality of Blended Learning. The teachers then shared their takeaways with departmental colleagues and were given time for deep reflection to enhance on their own pedagogical practices.
On the second day, teachers participated in an online metacognition workshop. Besides learning about the various components of metacognition, teachers also explored how metacognitive thinking and strategies enable students to become self-regulated and self-directed learners. During the workshop, teachers were given the time and freedom to watch videos that interested them. This was a perfect way for teachers to practise self-directed learning and differentiated instruction – very much like what they do in their classrooms too! These videos covered three categories: activities and games, journals and reflection logs, and self-assessment tools. For example, teachers learnt how ‘Among Us’, a popular multi-player social deduction game, could be adapted as a classroom activity to encourage metacognitive thinking. For more tech-savvy teachers, they could choose to learn how to create digital reflection journals for their students on Google Classroom. These were just some of the many interesting videos pre-recorded by the Professional Development Committee to cater to the diverse interest and learning needs of our teachers.
American philosopher and educator, John Dewey, once said that we do not learn from experience; we learn from reflecting on experience. This certainly applies to both teachers and students alike. At JPJC, we believe in the importance of Professional Development because skillful teachers play an important role in nurturing a community of active learners, innovative thinkers and compassionate leaders, with confidence for the future.
Over the course of both Staff Learning Days, our teachers explored and dabbled in the following pedagogical concepts and strategies: