Faculty from across the disciplines, the levels, and the state love the six-week online course, RA for Community College Instructors. Here are a few of their reasons why:
- From a Math Instructor: Through effective modeling and the development of routines that help students discover, develop and share their mental processes, I am convinced students can become both independent and collaborative learners. The challenges will be in discovering my own process in order to make it visible to students and in learning to adapt these strategies to the peculiarities of each course. The process of grounding my mathematics courses more firmly in text will take time, but I’m hoping the result will be students that can turn mistakes and confusion into learning experiences as opposed to obstacles.
- From an ESL Instructor: One of the most interesting things I realized from Reading Apprenticeship is the difference between my writing instruction and reading instructions. For writing, I have been great at modeling (with examples, practice, etc) while I have often assumed that how to read just gets done, takes care of itself, and didn’t really have to be modeled more than one time. What was I thinking!?! RA has also given me the practical tools I need to make the invisible reading process more visible and to create a more metacognitively aware classroom culture.
- From a Chicano Studies Instructor: I learned that I have more to learn about teaching and learning. These first 20 years has provided me the ability to have a good foundation, but that I needed to look at the mirror a bit to see something different. For the most part, college faculty are never really asked to examine their own teaching, rather, we assume that the content simply carries us forward with the hope that students learn. I had a good idea that students did not read the material and had a difficult time teasing out meaning. I took some role in developing their reading, but I was not sure what steps were needed to take the students to the next level. Sure, we read about pedagogy here and there, however, most of the time we do not think how the design a better learning environment. Now, with the strategies of RA, I can see that as an advanced reader, I need to demonstrate to students how to read.
- From a Nursing Instructor: The reading apprenticeship (RA) really gave me a new perspective and tools that will not only nurture my own reading but will be facilitate student success. I thought I understood how to teach others to read and understand, but what I found out was that it was a whole set of different skills. It was like deconstructing reading and all the habits you had learned and then re-building the process with a new set of skills. The scariest part was CHANGE! but once you got past that and really, really thought about what you were doing it actually was kind of fun. In nursing, I find it really fun to take apart the pieces, break it down to pathophysiology, and then rebuild. I see the RA like re-mapping the brain to clearly forge the trails and roads that lead to success. The biggest take-away from the RA is the constantly model the way or think-out-loud.