Originally from a very practical background having worked as a chef in the industry a substantial part of my life, I only joined GMIT as a lecturer in 2013. At that stage I had successfully completed a Bachelor of Arts in Culinary Arts and Master of Science in Culinary Innovation and Food Product Development, however I did not have any formal qualification in pedagogy.
My journey on the pedagogic path began by studying for a single module award in mentoring (2013-2014). It was not until 2018 that I was able to continue with my studies, at which stage the Certificate in Teaching and Learning present itself as the perfect opportunity to give a solid foundation to my industry based teaching skills, enhancing and evolving the way in which I was delivering my lectures.
The Certificate in Teaching and Learning encouraged me to look at the different theorists and theories on teaching and learning, giving me a better insight on how learning takes place and which teaching methods may work best in particular situations.
Based on my previous experience my teaching is heavily influenced by the cognitive theory as advocated by Jean Piage (1969) and Kurt Lewin (1951) with a particular emphasis on the experiential learning model developed by David Kolbe (1984).
However during my research as part of the Certificate in Teaching and Learning, I realized that there are problems with favouring a specific theory of pedagogy in the implementation of teaching methods in a learning environment (Mayes, 2016). In order to successfully support development, the student audience should be exposed to the appropriate theory of pedagogy and method of teaching based on time, assessment, and development (Carlile and Jordan, 2005). To enable students to reach their potential, theory of pedagogy and methods of teaching must be carefully chosen. Both theories and methods vary considerably as a student moves through the different levels of education, and as a lecturer it is my responsibility to identify which school of thought best suits the student needs at any given moment in their journey through college.
The workshops during the term, provided a multitude of know how delivered by many guest lecturers, which shared their expert knowledge in their particular area. A highlight for me was an add on session delivered by Dr. Peter Balan from the School of Management at University of South Australia on 'Ensuring Student Buy-In and Engagement with Team Based Learning or Flipped Classes. The workshops also allowed to discuss and share different teaching strategies applied by the other lecturers studding on the programme.
The Certificate in Teaching and Learning highlighted the many new tools available to support us as lecturers and enhance the student learning experience.
The course made me think about how I deliver content, the learning environment that confronts the student, and how to maximise on the sometimes short contact time that we have in the classroom.
The peer assessment, especially the cross disciplinary was extremely useful as it showed us how colleagues on the programme use different ways of teaching, prompting me to adapt new ways to increase student engagement, through student contribution on the white board.
In my opinion the programme is tremendously beneficial to anybody working in education, and I can not recommend it highly enough, as it allows the participants to refocus on how to provide the most favorable teaching and learning environment for the student.
The students and teaching them are the main reason why I became a lecturer in the first place, and it is my aim to pass on my knowledge and expertise in the best possible way.
Balan P., Clark M. and Restall G. (2015) Preparing students for Flipped or Team-Based Learning methods, Education + Training, Vol. 57 Issue: 6,pp.639-657, Available://doi.org/10.1108/ET-07-2014-0088
Carlile, O. & Jordan, A. (2005). It works in practice but will it work in theory? The theoretical underpinnings of pedagogy. Emerging issues in the practice of university learning and teaching [Online], 1. Available: http://eprints.teachingandlearning.ie/2917/1/McCarthy%20and%20Higgs%202005.pdf#page=21
Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development, Prentice-Hall
Lewin, K. (1951). Field Theory in Social Science: Selected Theoretical Papers, Harper
Mayes, T. (2016). Mapping Pedagogy to Theory. In: Glasgow Caledonian University (ed.) Learning and the Individual. Glasgow
Piaget, J. (1969). The Theory of Stages in Cognitive Development: An Address by Jean Piaget to the CTB/McGraw-Hill Invitational Conference on Ordinal Scales of CognitiveDevelopment, Monterey, California, February 9, 1969, CTB/McGraw-Hill.