Module 1 Blog Post

The relationship between research between and practice is complicated, but very efficient when successfully producing higher quality learning to be taught to students.  This is largely due to the way they work to inform each other, and the ability to both; practice in education, and conduct research at the same time.  A good example of this can be seen in a recent debate about homework, and whether or not it should be assigned or not.  The situation could be researched, as to whether homework is beneficial or not to improving student performance, by allowing the teacher to run his class this way.  However, attempting to research students’ performance while teaching them at the same time may have some negative effects.  One thing that could be a problem is the teachers’ ability to give adequate attention to the students and their learning while researching and assessing their student performance.  This could lead to the teacher paying more attention to some students more than others, not being able to focus on the lesson plan due to research activity.  Ultimately, the question is, if risking student performance improvement with possible distractions is worth the research or not.  Given this, it is complicated as to how research is conducted while in practice with education.  To avoid these distraction to students, researchers and teacher collaborate in a way that allows the research to still be conducted, while the students are given full attention.  This is usually done by having the researcher observe the teacher while they teach.  Researcher is given a specific characteristic to watch for, while the teacher tries different methods of teaching.   They then meet with each other and discuss their findings.  I am not sure if research has been conducted by a teacher while they were teaching but I personally wouldn’t advise it.  A students understanding is too valuable to chance with any kind of distraction.  “The goal of P.L.94-142 is to guarantee equal education opportunity for all”(Lowenbraun 1978). This means, by law, teachers are to exclude as much distraction as possible, and attempt to fully grasp the attention of their students.  Which leads me to why I believe that homework should be used to improve student performance.  Since performance is improved after practice, an adequate amount of practice balanced with proper reflection can result in better understanding.  Going back to the least restrictive environment, I also believe that homework can cause for some restriction. Thus, the teacher must make it important not to make homework overwhelming or seem inapplicable to everyday life. They must also make sure there is an arousal to the assigned work.  A good analogy would be a teacher on a tight rope, balancing students on one end and books on the other end of their balancing stick.

Lowenbraun, S., & Affleck, J. (1978). Least restrictive environment.

Week 1 Blog Post

My name is Brooks Jackson and I am studying to be a physical education teacher at UW-Whitewater.  As long as I can remember the physical use and other aspects of the human body has always grabbed my attention.  My initial focus coming out of high school was to be a physical therapist, so that I could help people with physical discomfort.  I was told to tackle my most difficult classes my freshman year by my advisor at UW-Oshkosh, which ended up intimidating me out of pursuing the kinesiology major.  I thought its’ course was too rigorous.   After a year of undecided activity at a technical college, I found my way to UW-Whitewater where my advising has helped catch me up in my new program. With a handful of credits from my prior pursuits, I decided to change my major to physical education.  I did this in the realization that I could continue helping young people better understand their; health, wellness, and physical relation to the world around them.

Throughout my journey, I’ve gotten to meet some outstanding people, and gain different perspectives on why teaching physical education is important to society.  My P.E. teachers from elementary and middle school were the greatest influnce for me.  This is because of the relationship they built for me and physical education at a young age.  When I looked back to their methods and techniques of teaching, I realized that they engaged students on a personal level.  It was a lot like the scene from Dead Poets Society, when the teacher gathered his students and read Shakespeare voiced from actors they were familiar with.  Another influence or inspiration that I could think of would be a current teacher of mine name Jay Cameron.  The main reason I find him suitable as a role model teacher, is because of how invested he is in to helping others understand, and how he helps them gain their understanding of the physical world around them.  His nurturing approach allows for students to feel comfortable, all while he is encouraging them to fully experience and enjoy themselves while learning.

Last but not least, my Mother has been the main source of influence in my pursuit of my career.  She has helped me finish what I’ve began by reminding me how I deserve to shine, and that I can’t allow others to bring me down.  Her attitude reminds me a lot of the speech given by Timo Cruz in the movie Coach Carter.

Again, I think these people were, and are, important to my career in physical education because of how they made the subject seem friendly, easy-going, and enjoyable.  Also, they inspired me to remain persistent through my toughest challenges, and accomplish my dream of helping students learn new life perspectives that will better themselves.  With these tools I plan to take the techniques and strategies I have witnessed, and use them in my own way, allowing younger people to gain a better understanding of physical aspects of life.