Friday, December 21, 2012

A Glimpse

Well folks, it's official, last Friday marked the end of our fall quarter. For all but a couple of us, our final days were spent partner teaching with our colleagues. For me, this was an absolute joy as I taught alongside one of my peers while learning, laughing, and loving the additional energy flow. And, while we've all gone our separate ways for the holiday season, IslandWood is ever present in our thoughts as we interact with friends and family who ask, "So, how do you like IslandWood?" or "What is this program you're involved in and do you actually live on an island?" As my lips part, my mind immediately returns to the community of which I am so fortunate to reside.

Being a member of the IslandWood graduate community isn't something that can be easily explained. In fact, I'm not even convinced it can be explained. I think it must be lived in order to truly understand. If you're considering this as a future path, come visit! Take a tour. Follow a field group around for a day. If you can't travel to the campus, contact IslandWood if you'd like to speak with one of us directly. Use us as a resource and if you'd really like to read about something in particular, post a comment on this blog and we'll make it happen!

In lieu of wrapping up our quarter, I wanted to give those outside of the IslandWood graduate community a glimpse into one of our assignments from this past fall.

During the fall quarter we take four classes: Elementary Science Teaching Methods, Natural History & Ecology, Curriculum & Instruction, and Child Growth & Development. While each of these courses is wonderful in its own way, I particularly enjoyed our Child Growth & Development course.

Taught by a former IslandWood EEC graduate student (now a professor at the University of Washington), this course delves into the cognitive processes that shape an child. Throughout the quarter we explore how different theorists explain how these processes take place and the multitude of techniques a parent, guardian, teacher, or role model can implement to assist in a child's development.

A focal assignment for this course was three-fold. First, read a book related to child development. Second, write an annotated bibliography that briefly details the book's contents. Finally, create a poster or other visual display that allows colleagues and professor to experience our book without actually needing to read it.

Imagination Poster
One of IslandWood's EEC graduate students explores the content emphasized in Kieran Egan's book "Imagination In Teaching & Learning: The Middle School Years."

To fully experience David Sobel's "Children's Special Places: Exploring The Role Of Forts, Dens, and Bush Houses In Middle Childhood", graduate students could climb inside of a fort where they could draw or write about their childhood "special place".

Why did I enjoy this assignment? I enjoyed it because I read material I could immediately apply during my teaching weeks. This relationship was ever present throughout the quarter as each week we put our own experiences under the collective microscope to better understand how we can be a more effective educator.

With a new round of classes beginning on January 7th, I'm anxious for another round of mind expansion.

Happy Holidays!


1 comment:

Emma said...


You are very right about this place being hard to explain! I loved your offer to have future grads comment and call to talk to one of us. It's a community learning opportunity that I want everyone who thinks they are ready to grow as an educator to have. Growth is the word of fall quarter for me.