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DVD memories May 2, 2006

Posted by Michael McVey in Online Tools.

1962   In Arizona, where I live and work, there are several routes to go about getting a teachers’ certificate. We have three universities and several community college systems. The University of Arizona is in an awkward situation when it comes to granting professional certificates such as we do in the College of Education. We cannot simply hire a slew of adjunct professors with excellent life experience to share through a wide range of short courses. We have professors who are devoted to the subject matter but they have, in addition to their role of teacher, the role of researcher and since we are a university with a research focus, we must require our tenured and tenure-track faculty to research.

This makes it difficult, not impossible, but difficult, to react efficiently to shifting market trends in the needs for teachers in certain subject areas. We, as a college, are a little slower to move and react than smaller institutions. Consequently, our students take longer to finish their programs but get a fuller experience with more hands on interactions with children in the schools. I noticed this today, the last day of classes for my students.

We shared final video projects and discussed the pros and cons of some of the assignments. Since I was tinkering with the curriculum, again, I wanted to hear from them, informally, about a few of the assignments. This interaction and introspection about the curriculum and our teaching practices is something that happens in a research-centric college.

As I watched my students share a few of their movies, I was genuinely pleased to see that they were not simply doing the work for credit or to get through the most courses in the shortest time. One of my students created a DVD of a trip she took to the zoo with the students in a school were she was doing observations. She brought in a pack of DVDs and proceeded to work at the DVD until it exactly matched her vision. Once it was completed, she made twenty-five copies, one for every student in the class. What is more exciting is that she was not the only one to do this. The only visual remnant of my own Kindergarten years is a group photo taken in front of Manhattan Park Public School in late 1962. What a treasure a DVD of a field trip from those days would be today.

There is something to be said about moving slowly through the process of training to become a teacher.



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