Educational Journey

October 29, 2009

Let the Journey begin again

Filed under: General — Cyndy @ 3:59 pm

It is not without some fear and sincere reconsideration that I once again embark upon this great challenge.

“Why am I here?”

“What am I trying to accomplish?”

“Is it going to be worth it?”

I have been asking myself these questions repeatedly. My conclusion: “I don’t know.” For now, it’s off to the land of insane amounts of homework, crazy reading, and more discussions of NCLB.

September 29, 2009

Student Teams

Filed under: Dissertation Topic Exploration,General — Tags: — Cyndy @ 5:11 pm

Student teams … an effective teaching method or not. Is the educational experience enhanced with team projects, or does it simply add to the frustration and create a negative experience for many. Do enough students benefit from student teams to warrant the use of teams? Is it necessary to have student teams so that students will be better prepared for the real world work environment? Can student teams really reflect the real world work environment?

So many questions to ponder. More insights to these questions after I have spent some time contemplating.

If anyone out there wants to share their personal experiences working in student teams, I would love to hear it.

August 22, 2009

I’m back …

Filed under: Personal challenges — Cyndy @ 2:36 pm

I know it’s been awhile. My mother passed on July 13, and it has been difficult to deal with life. I was 3 weeks into my curriculum and development class when it happened. I managed to finish the class, but I’m not sure how. I certainly did not gain the knowledge from the class that I had originally hoped.  I’m taking a session off from classes now in order to get caught up with life and sanity. As a result of what has happened, I am no closer to a dissertation topic, but hope to use this time to pull some other dissertations to read.

June 23, 2009

Vacation

Filed under: General,Personal challenges — Cyndy @ 2:58 pm

Much earned vacation begins NOW!

Learning styles

Filed under: Dissertation Topic Exploration,What I learned today! — Cyndy @ 2:56 pm

It is all too easy to simply assume how a student learns best or how they prefer to learn. As a teacher, we remember how we learned and model ourselves after our favorite teachers. How many students are lost, because their learning style is not understood?

Much research has been done on the topic of learning styles. Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, Kolb’s experiential learning theory are just two of the more commonly applied theories among numerous theories, constructs and variations of theories. Some of these theories use simple, easy to understand language that can be interpreted and applied in a classroom. Other theories use odd terminology to define  constructs that classify learners such as assimilators or divergers. In a college such as the one I teach at, most of the instructors are educated in their specialty. They have advanced degrees in design, art, business, science or whatever. Very few have formal education in the field of education; therefore, the terminology must be commonly understood in order to be meaningful.  Just one more reason this dissertation topic is appropriate.

June 19, 2009

The topic

Filed under: General — Cyndy @ 2:03 pm

After finishing my final paper in W7000, I have decided that I am starting to like my topic. It would make an interesting and valuable dissertation topic. My final research question: What is the dominant preferred learning style of design students within each chosen major?

The purpose of the study is  to determine if there is a relationship between learning styles of students and the major chosen in an art college.

When I began at Ai, and throughout my career there, I have heard teachers say that most of the students are visual learners. From my experience, I do not believe this is true. Especially with the diverse programs being offered. I would like to dispel this myth once and for all and give teachers something accurate to guide their teaching styles.

Reflection

Filed under: What I learned today! — Cyndy @ 1:55 pm

The writing course is almost over. I,ve learned that APA is like  evil monster waiting around every corner – waiting to catch me doing something wrong. There are so many rules and exceptions to rules. Every rule has to be looked up and carefully read. Sometimes the example given is not what you think it is. It’s crazy!

June 14, 2009

Obsession

Filed under: Personal challenges — Cyndy @ 11:45 am

4:44 am on a Sunday morning and I am awake thinking about how I am going to get everything done. Yeah!

June 6, 2009

Organization, balance, & horse races

Filed under: Personal challenges,What I learned today! — Cyndy @ 11:45 pm

I learned three things today!

Most doctoral researchers advise that organization is important when writing a dissertation. That seems logical. Today I actually learned some methodology regarding that organization. It’s easy, simply color code papers by topics, subtopics and agree or refute position. Then you can use highlighters to note the important elements.

I also learned that balance is important even while trying to obtain a doctoral degree. School administration may push to get you to the finish line quickly, but most teachers agree that only you know the pace you need to keep and how much you can sacrifice at any one time. One of the Doctors mentioned that in the group of 10 students that he studied with, only 2 were still married at the end of their program. I am not willing to sacrifice my marriage. It’s not worth it.

Lastly, I learned not to get in the way of wedding ditchers that are hell-bent on watching a horse race.

Doctoral Residency

Filed under: Dissertation Topic Exploration — Cyndy @ 11:31 pm

It is the end of day 3 of the Doctoral Residency. I am no closer to a dissertation topic; however, I now understand the importance of having a dissertation topic early in the program. I know that I will not pursue the study of learning styles among design management students. That topic, while original, would be problematic in so many ways. I think my goal will be to read the abstract and conclusions of 5 recent dissertations before the end of the June. The topics of dissertations will include the following: learning styles, first-generation students, online learning, technology in education, and one other random sample.

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