Posted on January 14, 2023
Pedagogy. In the universe of education, the term refers to the ways of teaching, how teaching transpires, and the impact of particular methods or approaches. Ask any seasoned teacher, learning how to teach goes beyond an instructional manual. Like a master chef, developing the artistry of teaching speaks to a skillful ability to combine many ingredients -- knowledge of the content to be taught, an understanding of the each studentʻs psychological, social, emotional, cognitive map, an awareness of the cultural and historical contexts of the school community, the interplay of individual personalities and formation of a class community, etc. -- in order to teach effectively, humanely, compassionately. Pedagogy is the art of teaching. Learning the art of teaching, that unique flow between Experience and Expertise, is aspirational and inspirational. The master teacher never "arrives" but continues to wonder and discover because of one constantly changing factor - the students! Ongoing educational research is another important factor.
The Mid-Pacific faculty embraces the civic responsibility for preparing new teachers entering into this noble profession. We usually have a cohort of students from higher education institutions in Hawaiʻi or sometimes institutions from the continent or other countries who work and learn beside our faculty. This semester we are mentoring five teacher candidates in their final semester (they have been with us at least a year) before graduating with a bachelorʻs degree in education.
Alyssa Oshiro, teacher candidate for M 3-4 with Tiffany Byrne, mentor teacher
Erin Wagatsuma, teacher candidate for M 3-4 with Arlene Holzman, mentor teacher
Many teacher-education programs are robust! In addition to course work, student teachers are required to spend four semesters in "real" classrooms observing and interacting with students under the tutelage of their mentor teachers. These student-teachers also create lesson plans and have several opportunities to teach under the guidance of a university supervisor. These apprentices work very closely with their mentor teachers, and in the final semester, are now attending our faculty meetings so they can observe how a faculty collaborates as a professional community. From the first day student teachers are on campus, our students regard them as another teacher in the classroom; our faculty relate to them as colleagues.
Teacher candidate Vivi Nguyen in M 1-2 with mentor-teacher Jennifer Manuel
Many of the teacher-candidates who have completed their internship at Mid-Pacific over the years are in public, private, and charter elementary schools across the island. They report that they are finding ways to implement progressive practices learned from our faculty in their own settings, especially an inquiry approach that sustains student interest and integrates content and skills from different subject areas. The pedagogical goal is to create conditions that enable learners to see connections among the skills and content of their learning and be able to apply their learning to new and novel situations. The relationship between the faculty and the teacher candidates is mutually beneficial. The collaboration is enriching, and Mid-Pacific benefits from the support that the teacher candidates provide the children.
Teacher candidate Kralyn Salazar in M 1-2 with mentor teacher Coral Balubar
Teacher candidate Shana Shin in M 1-2 with mentor teacher Liane Angaran
I am especially grateful to our faculty who open their teaching to aspiring teacher-candidates. Getting into the minds of our faculty contributes significantly to understanding the artistry of teaching. Mentoring is an awesome responsibility, and we are honored to guide Hawaiʻiʻs future teachers.
E Kūlia Kākou! Letʻs strive and aspire together!
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey, Ed.D.