Running head: COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION CAST PROGRAM
Guided by four principles – Respect and Value all Individuals, Educate by Integrating Theory and Practice, Advocate for Access to a Socially Just Education, Lead in Order to Facilitate Transformation, the Loyola Marymount University (LMU) (2009) Education department has developed a structured curriculum by which teachers learn and are able to make an impact in our world today. The theories and foundational principles of education, as well as how those principles were shared provided me with an incredible perspective on learning and education. This paper discusses the elements of learning and describes ways to apply those elements to instruction to create truly “active” learning. Keywords: theories, education, language acquisition
“It is the journey, not the destination”, a quote attributed mostly to Ralph Waldo Emerson, succinctly expresses the road to achieving my Masters of Education at Loyola Marymount University (LMU). Fondly, I review each forward step built upon the next and the unexpected challenges faced on a journey of self-discovery of my chosen profession. The journey is central to the travels and the circumstances faced, each making me stronger and better equipped to face the challenges in my future.
Holly, Archar and Kasten (2004) utilize Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz (1900) and her journey down the “yellow brick road” to illustrate the process and journey of action research, which can also broadly describe the educational “road”. They described the “human understanding and community” and also succinctly states, what I feel to be the foundation of the Loyola Marymount education, “We need different ways of thinking, different kinds of education and scholarship” (p. 7). To reach students “where they are,” demands that one find a different way of thinking about education, scholarship and students. The CAST program represents that very thing to me, it is a program designed to meet the Catholic school educator where he/she is and further develops the educator in theory and practice. As the CAST Cohort attended classes and absorbed the knowledge of the LMU professors, we too, found a different way of thinking.
Holly, Archar and Kasten (2004) state, “Fixing what is wrong in the past will never bring us our imagined future… The educational scholar’s life is one of commitment to realizing one’s aspirations, and thus to continual inquiry and growth… -bringing light to darkness and learning from darkness to light” (p.6). Education illuminates the dark areas and shines the light on the sparkling places, which gives insight into what we are doing right. “Catch them doing it right!” is one of my personal philosophies to education, and should also be part of my own introspective journey.
My journey at LMU began in the early 2000’s, with the inception of the Masters Program of Catholic Inclusion. I earned a Certificate of Inclusion, but sadly, left the teaching profession before I achieved my master’s degree. Earning a master’s has been a goal of mine, so when I returned to teaching again, I made it a priority to do so. My renewed journey began again with the CAST Program and Professor McGarry.
Professor McGarry introduced Dr. Stephen Krashen’s Monitor Model (Krashen, Theories of Second Language Acquisition Binder, p. 99) with five hypotheses for second language acquisition, which profoundly influenced my classroom (that semester) and for years to come. Krashen theorized, “…we learn a second language in much the same way we learn our first language…” (Wright, p. 38). He developed five hypotheses, “The acquisition, The natural order, The monitor hypotheses, The input (comprehension) hypotheses, The affective filter” (p. 38-39) to support second language acquisition, based on Noam Chomsky’s first language acquisition theory. Further, Krashen’s fourth and fifth hypotheses states, “student learning...
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