Thursday, September 16, 2010

Closing in on the final two...

After a week that felt like "Waiting for Godot," I've begun attending classes this week at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education as part of my Canadian Journalism Fellowship. I had short-listed four and have one remaining this evening before deciding which two I will keep auditing / attending for the remainder of the fall term.
Some details on the courses I've selected to-date.
"The battle over history education in Canada," would involve selected readings, seminars and discussions on how history is taught in Canadian schools.
"Issues in numeracy and literacy," a Masters of Teaching course. It's a cohort from this two-year program with students in the second year of studies. Centres on examining the way math and reading/writing skills are being taught and challenging these teacher candidates on the methods they can use to teach these subjects in innovative ways.
"Cognitive development and learning," an intense study of how changes in children's brains as they age affects learning.
"Historiography and the history of education," which I haven't been to yet, examining the main issues in educational history.
I've also had another meeting with the associate dean and the director of the initial teacher education program. I left the meeting with another small pile of things to read and consider as they're strongly recommending I sit in on some of these courses as well. I agree, given my stated interest in earlier meetings has been to get an opportunity to observe what we're teaching our teachers.
J-fellow activities also chug along, as we gathered for our second lunch today. These lunches will be our off-the-record opportunities to invite guests of our choosing to the college for food, a beverage or two and some discussion with the four of us. We are responsible for booking these every week during term in the fall and spring. We're meeting Friday for lunch to take a stab at some division of labour on this and other tasks that we have to complete to organize the various fellowship program activities. We await confirmation from the German government regarding the trip to Berlin in December, but all signs point to this taking place. The relationship the college's journalism fellowship program has with the Finnish government also continues, and this appears to be confirmed as the destination for the April trip, with potential inclusion of Norway.
The others have also been dropping into a smorgasbord of courses this week, taking them for test drives to see which ones they might stick with through the rest of the term of year. Under the fellowship program, we do have to complete all the course requirements for one of the courses we choose to audit. I'm hoping to borrow one of their courses for my third/fourth course to audit, but we've not yet really shared what each of us has seen and done this week to move forward with that.
Myself, after attending tonight's course (historiography), I'll need to consider which ones I'm going to continue attending and which I might take a pass on. I also need to start thinking of what I may line up for the winter term, as all the OISE courses I've engaged with are only on for the fall term.
In other college life, it's the first high table of the year at Massey College Friday, which from what I understand is a more formal dinner (well, more formal than the existing formal dinners where fellows wear their Massey gowns) where guests of the master sit at the high table, actually elevated, and then are introduced by the master to the fellowship.