Published by the CFCC Teaching/Learning Institute.
Contact Person: Joe Zimmerman, Building 1,Room 103A
Ocala Campus, Extension 1782 or 1708
Energetic, purposeful, creative, Central Florida Community College
promotes learning in an open, caring, inclusive environment which encourages
individual and community development inspired by shared values of
integrity, service, responsibility and diginity
October 20th, 2006
by Joe Zimmerman, T/LI Coordinator
Following the departments retreats for College Planning Day on October 10, the T/LI Steering Committee met at the Appleton Museum to sort through the material gathered at the retreats and to forge some of these shared ideas into action that will enhance student learning at CFCC. At the retreats, you remember, the groups were asked to read Terry O’Banion’s article “An Inventory for Learning Centered Colleges” and respond to several questions, including this one: “Which of the 14 benchmarks should the college focus the most attention on during the next three years?” Below are the benchmarks discussed in the article followed by the number of departments that listed that particular benchmark as one that the college should bring more attention to:
- Revising Mission Statements (0)
- Involving all Stakeholders (1)
- Selecting Faculty and Staff (6)
- Training Faculty and Staff (6)
- Holding Conversations About Learning (4)
- Identifying and Agreeing on Learning Outcomes (4)
- Assessing and Documenting Learning Outcomes (4)
- Redefining Faculty and Staff roles (4.5)
- Providing more Options (2)
- Creating Opportunity for Collaboration (4)
- Orienting Students to New Options and Responsibilities (8)
- Applying Information Technology (1)
- Reallocating Resources (2)
- Creating Climate for Learning (2)
After reviewing all of the department reports, we decided to focus our time on three of the benchmarks:
Orienting Students (Benchmark 11) As we found out in the faculty focus groups last year, many faculty members are seriously concerned about the readiness of our students for college. Should all students be required to take SLS? (Should a more diverse group of faculty teach SLS?) If we are a learning centered college, should we test for learning styles in orientation? The online orientation process at CFCC just doesn’t seem to be working; Students do not know much about the financial aid process, nor do they know whom to talk to when they have questions and problems about registration or required courses. They continually say that they get different information from different advisors.
Much of the input on this benchmark concerned the disconnect between instruction and student services. The T/LI Committee agreed that in order to help soften this rift between instruction and student services, that we should invite advisors and financial aid to our colloquiums and college planning days. Since the retreat I have spoken with new PDC manager Chuckie Delano and he has some ideas about workshops that might help bring these two “universes” more in tune with each other.
Besides the logistics of registration and financial aid, there was concern that the students are not involved enough in the philosophy of the learning centered college. Do they realize they are at a learning-centered college? What does this mean for the student? Are they aware of their responsibilities?
The Steering Committee agreed that this should be a part of orientation. We also decided to have student-faculty forums once a semester on teaching/learning issues. I have contacted Marjorie Magee, our new head of Student Activities, about this and we are in the process of setting one up for spring term. We will probably hold it in the Patriot Dining Room in building 5. We will ask several faculty members to participate and invite all students. Another suggestion was to involve students in College Planning Day. While the faculty is together, why not bring in some students? Instead of giving students off that day, they could go to one of their regular classes, which would be dedicated not to content but to learning related issues. Or we could at least bring a panel of students to the faculty colloquium.
Selecting Faculty (Benchmark 3) From the input on this benchmark, it is clear that there is a lot of concern about our faculty hiring process. Department responses to this benchmark mentioned faculty pools being too small and poor time management in advertising position announcements. (We often begin looking in May and June when there are few applicants left). Although several new faculty members believed that the college does care deeply about hiring faculty with learning-centered philosophy, we did agree that the idea of CFCC as a learning centered college should be a part of the interview process.
The Steering Committee suggests that selection committees for faculty require a question or two about the learning –centered institution in the interview process. We also highly suggest that these selection committees require candidates to teach a short lesson, give a sample of their teaching abilities. Right now it is up to the individual committee to decide. I will talk to Peter Smith, the Faculty Senate president about this. I will also meet with Michelle Gayle of H.R. for her input. The lack of cultural diversity in our faculty is also a concern. We would like to hear more from the Diversity Task Force, created by Dr. Cooper, early this year, who are working on this problem.
Retaining faculty was also a concern discussed with this benchmark. Higher salaries, orienting new faculty to CFCC, and the mentoring process were brought up, but no concrete suggestions were formed.
Learning Outcomes (Benchmarks 6 & 7) Despite serious efforts over 5 or 6 years on learning outcomes, the input from the department retreats suggests that there is little agreement across the institution regarding the value and importance of identifying and agreeing on outcomes. I personally was surprised at this because these outcomes have been identified and agreed upon by the institution and the process of assessing these outcomes in pilot testing has started. As far as the assessment process, many faculty members who volunteer to be involved feel that the institution is not providing resources and support to assist staff with this important and difficult task.
The Steering Committee was unsure how the T/LI could facilitate in this matter, particularly the testing. We did agree that perhaps we should hire outside help to get faculty more involved with getting some of the language of learning outcomes embedded in their syllabi.
Although we focused on the benchmarks that need improving, we did discuss the fact that much of the input did suggest that CFCC does a lot to foster its learning-centered philosophy. There were many positive comments about ongoing discussions of the teaching/learning process, the availability of professional development opportunities for faculty, and the obvious commitment of the administration and faculty to student learning.
[Please go to the T/LI Website on the intranet to find the “Compilation of Responses from the Fall 06 Department Retreats” as well as the “Fall 2006 Faculty Colloquium Survey Results” which also focused on student learning.]
Back to top
Florida Philosophical Association Conference
by Ron Cooper, Humanities
The 52nd annual meeting of the Florida Philosophical Association was hosted by the University of South Florida on November 9-11, 2006. Professional philosophers, graduate and undergraduate students, several philosophers from other states, and a few from other states now retired to Florida attended. The entire state was represented geographically (members from Pensacola, Miami, Jacksonville, etc.) and institutionally (research universities, private colleges, and community colleges, including Hillsborough CC, Valencia, Miami-Dade, and of course CFCC).
One of the most interesting sessions I attended was “Is ‘Evolutionary Psychology’ Even Possible?,” in which Sally Ferguson of UWF took issue with Jerry Fodor’s (Rutgers U.) piece from the Times Literary Supplement. Ferguson agreed that Evolutionary Psychology (in capitals), which tried to account for every belief in terms of adaptation fails (largely for the same reasons that folk psychology fails, for eliminative reasons), but she argued that Fodor’s reasons (which seem much too Cartesian) were wrong.
“Understanding Heidegger’s Claim that Aristotle’s Concept of Phronesis is Conscience” by Hans Pederson (USF) was a paper that was particularly appealing to me, given my research on Heidegger. Heidegger was notorious for his imaginative readings of Greek philosophy, and Pederson tried to be as accommodating as possible in arguing that Heidegger’s special use of Gewissen in Being and Time has some parallels with Aristotle’s notion of “prudence” or “practical wisdom” in the Eudaimonian Ethics.
David Copp (UF), in his “‘Ought’ Implies ‘Can’ and the Derivation of the Principle of Alternative Possibilities,” offered fresh treatment of a series of puzzles that challenge the well-known Kantian dictum. Long before his recent fame with the book Bullshit, philosopher Harry Frankfurt offered several imaginative scenarios that re-opened the question of whether an agent might have duties that he or she cannot fulfill. Copp and a co-author several years ago joined the discussion and were criticized by another philosopher; so, in this paper, Copp defended his previous position by amending a certain maxim about the conditions under which an agent is responsible.
The best attended session (other than the Presidential
Address/Banquet) was a book symposium. Two panelists (one from FSU, the other from UM) discussed the strengths/weaknesses of a new book on the late Donald Davidson by Kirk Ludwig (UF) and Ernest Lepore (Rutgers). Davidson is considered one of the most important American philosophers of the latter half of the 20th century; however, despite scores of papers, Davidson never wrote a systematic, book-length treatment of his thought. The Ludwig-Lepore new book, Donald Davidson: Meaning, Truth, Language, and Reality, explains Davidson’s thought and provides coherence to his numerous, influential ideas. Interestingly, even though they are perhaps his most faithful proponents, Ludwig and Lepore conclude that Davidson’s overall project fails. The two commentators were largely in agreement with the authors, but raised some serious questions about their critiques of Davidson, and Ludwig (Lepore could not attend) provided a nice outline of the book and excellent responses to the commentators.
As with all academic conferences, the most enjoyable parts were the informal discussions between sessions and at the bar. Many of the topics were common to at any such conference: students, administrators, etc. Often the concern was online courses. Those who teach online philosophy classes all agreed that the greatest mistake an online instructor can make is to try to approximate, as best one can given the limits of the medium, a classroom. The consensus was that one must simply abandon trying to make the online courses an “as close as we can get to a classroom” course. Even if students post numerous comments, that form is categorically different from tête-à-tête dialogue and needs to be understood as such. Another point of agreement was that online philosophy courses are much more successful for upper-level classes than for intro. Finally, a general complaint was that administrators tend to demand that all online courses have a similar design and seem to pick a learning management system for reasons other than facility for learning.
By far, the most impressive feature of the conference was coffee and doughnuts from Krispy Kreme!
Florida Art Education Association
by Verne Ayers, Fine Arts
The conference, held in Jacksonville on October 19-22, was a success in many ways:
- I met with high-school art teachers and a few college art educators for information about the place a community college plays in their programs.
- I did a personal art performance piece as a workshop/presentation on Oct. 20.
- I met with manufactures of art materials and attended workshops dealing with the new materials and techniques available to the artist today.
- I talked with various art schools as to what their institution would expect of a transferring student from a community college.
- I attended a workshop about photographing and choosing portfolio artworks as well as how to present a portfolio today.
- I researched ceramic information for a Paragon kiln.
- I discussed employment opportunities for the practicing artist today.
76th Annual Florida
by Eric Warner, Communications
I had the privilege recently to travel to St. Petersburg Beach for the 76th Annual Florida Communication Association Convention. I was hoping for a good convention, one where I could learn something new and/or interesting for use in the classroom. I was not disappointed. The theme of the convention this year was “Models of Excellence: Raising the Standards in Teaching, Research, and Service.” The individual sessions I attended were a good blend of practical and theoretical, from learning about options for communication educators after retirement (two of the panelists were our very own Adjunct Instructor of Speech Vi Asmuth and her husband) to creative ways of teaching students some of the more mundane aspects of speech development to an interesting session concerning the present “war” between the opposing camps of quantitative and qualitative research advocates.
The most informative session was a presentation of an ongoing study at UCF concerning student motivation. Dr. Jim Katt has been examining learner motivation through the lens of Herzberg’s “Motivation-Hygiene” theory, which holds that people are motivated by certain factors, but de-motivated by different factors (evidently, it has nothing whatsoever to do with personal cleanliness, as one might suspect). Herzberg’s study, done originally in the workplace, demonstrated that supervisors need not only motivate their workers, but also to avoid “de-motivating” them – two different processes. Katt’s research has taken this concept into the college classroom, beginning the process of identifying what motivates (and de-motivates) college learners. Too often we think of motivation as a continuum with motivated at one end and demotivated at the other. Herzberg claims that there are actually two
continua, one for motivation and a separate one for de-motivation. Certain factors will result in a student being either motivated or not motivated on one continuum and other factors will result in a student being de-motivated or not de-motivated on another. After questioning undergraduate students at UCF, Katt has determined some key factors that affect motivation and de-motivation in the classroom environment. It was eye-opening to see how we might spend time on issues that we deem important to the student (have to get those good student evaluations, you know!) when other factors could be more influential on a student’s motivation to learn. And, since we’re all about being a learning environment here, it seems fairly important to know what motivates and de-motivates our students in our classes. All in all, one of the best sessions I’ve attended.
The most profitable thing I learned from my weekend in St. Pete, however, took place outside of the sessions. I learned that if you want to make a few extra dollars, take Connie Tice miniature golfing and bet 20 bucks per hole. You’re sure to walk away with at least $300 in your wallet!
National Council of Staff, Program, and Organizational
by Carole Bartholomew, Communications
As the former Professional Development Manager, I had the opportunity to design and implement professional development opportunities for career and professional service staff and adjunct faculty. Throughout the five years in that position, I attended the NCSPOD conferences to learn about techniques and strategies of other community colleges throughout the US and Canada.
Attending the conference this fall was bittersweet for me. This would be the last NCSPOD conference I would attend since I had accepted a full-time faculty position in the Communications Department. The exciting highlight of the conference was accepting, on behalf of Dr. Dassance and Joe Zimmerman, T/LI Coordinator, NCSPOD’s Institutional Merit Award for CFCC’s “comprehensive professional development program.
I offer my congratulations to Chuckie Delano, who succeeds me as the Professional Development Manager.
Florida Communication Convention
by Connie Tice, Communications
What a pleasure it was to attend a conference where I didn’t have to judge or coach a team; actually this is the first time I’ve taken time out from teaching and coaching to attend a speech convention here in Florida. Thanks to the generosity of the T/LI, I had the privilege of attending the 76th Annual Florida Communication Association
Convention in St. Petersburg Beach. As has been my experience in the past, attending any seminar developed by a speech teacher is always entertaining and challenging in regard to content, I certainly hope the reader is at least smiling concerning this comment. Two seminars stood out in regard to both my professional and college goals: Is there a professional life after retirement? and Connecting Faculty: Developing a Speech Program Website. Let me begin with a short discussion of the retirement seminar.
Our own Dr. Vi Asmuth, an adjunct instructor for our Speech Department, was one of key speakers on this particular panel. It was particularly interesting to learn that money was not the big dilemma in regard to retiring; it was more leaving the educational environment and not the institution but rather the students. All of the retirees there were still teaching in some situation; sorry people looks like I’ll be here for a long time. Eric Warner and I had fun comparing our differing perceptions of this seminar – me considering retirement in ten years and him in thirty. Eric is still a young pup and don’t believe what he said about miniature golf – I let him win.
The other seminar I particularly want to mention is the one concerning developing a speech program website; my attendance at this particular seminar was based on being charged with working on the Communication Division’s website. The presenters for this seminar were all from the University of Central Florida where you cannot receive a bachelor’s degree without taking a speech class; so as you can imagine they have at least one hundred speech courses and growing. In the next two years it looks like all faculty will have a site and syllabi will be distributed via the net. I didn’t learn much in regard to the technical aspects; however, I am now convinced the Communication Division’s website does need a great deal of updating.
Having time to actually have a conversation with colleagues was the best part of the convention. Our own Dr. Vi Asmuth is a much respected member of the Florida Communication Association and my bet is absolutely no one on this campus has any idea about her many accomplishments; we are very lucky to have Vi, she does make it very clear she is part of CFCC. Eric Warner is a hoot, especially when he can’t find the donuts. I met a lot of great new people, got to know my colleagues on a different level, and came away knowing that what I do here at CFCC is important.
Florida Foreign Language Association Conference
by Jean Scheppers, Communications
Jean Scheppers and Judy Haisten attended the Florida Foreign Language Association (FFLA) Conference held in Sarasota, FL October 12, 2006 through October 14. The annual conference brings together language educators from elementary, middle and high schools as well as community colleges and universities, and offers sessions in a variety of language related areas: pedagogy, assessment, technology, service learning, culture, and more.
Jean attended several sessions that focused on using technology in the classroom and learned how to use her iPod to create audio “podcasts” of the material being covered in class that her students will be able to access via the internet. She is now in the process of organizing a “podcast” library of materials created world wide that she will be able to share with her students. She also attended a session that focused on how to add a service learning component to a foreign language class. The session provided valuable information that she will use because she is interested in organizing a service learning project that spans the next four years and culminates with a trip to Peru in the year 2010.
Judy attended several sessions as well. One particularly interesting session was a unique way of reinforcing vocabulary words and cultural tidbits using PowerPoint presentations. She is now in the process of developing different PowerPoint presentations to introduce and reinforce vocabulary relevant to the curriculum used here at CFCC.
While at the FFLA conference, both Jean and Judy also attended two meetings of Florida Foreign Language Instructors in Community Colleges (FFLIC). Judy continues to serve as the organization’s treasurer and Jean was elected secretary for 2006-7. Serving in a state organization provides a means of articulation between community colleges in Florida, as well as offers visibility for CFCC’s foreign language program.
by Vi Asmuth, Communications
Every time I have attended the Florida Communication Association’s convention I have made new professional contacts and have learned information from the programs. Held in St. Petersburg Beach on October 19-21 this year, one of the programs, “Dealing with Challenging Students in the Classroom: A Counselor’s Perspective,” made me realize that as an adjunct I do not have all the information that one needs to meet serious student problems. The program covered behavior problems such as depression, disruptive, suspicious or demanding, eating disorders, etc. An instructor must know how to deal with the problems in the classroom
and when to call for help. Not only should phone numbers of security be easily available but counselors for referral to the student. An example was given of how the instructor had to walk the student to the counseling center. I need to find and meet counselors so as to know where they are located. I do not know if anyone is on duty in the evening when I teach.
The key note speakers, Dr. Steven Brydon and Dr. Michael Scott from California State University, did a duo approach on the topic “Engaging the Me Generation.” They helped us understand the present generation who although higher on volunteerism than any other generation, still feel each one is the center of the world.
There were several programs assisting instructors with high tech methods which I continually feel I have not yet caught up. I was part of a panel that addressed the topic of retirement. Preparing and presenting the information made me realize that I need to set a different set of priorities.
I thank CFCC for assisting with expenses. The school puts a high emphasis on professional development and as I talked to others I found that is not true in all colleges.
National Collegiate Choral Organization National Conference
by Gregory Ruffer, Fine Arts
Held in San Antonio Texas on November 1-4, this was the first conference of this new organization, founded in 2005. Most of the attendees are also serviced by the American Choral Directors Association and/or Chorus America, but felt that there was a need for an organization dedicated to collegiate choral directors that would meet every other year. About 250 college directors from across the country were in attendance, making it a very good opportunity for networking and sharing ideas.
The biggest reason I chose to attend was to hear Dale Warland speak. He founded the Dale Warland Singers, considered by most to be one of the finest choral ensembles in the world until their retirement in 2005. Dale, with whom I last worked in 1998 in Cincinnati, provided four hours of workshops and more time in reading sessions. Instead of lecturing he used the time to rehearse two college demonstration choirs and talk about the literature, rehearsal techniques, and other issues relevant to the audience. It was an amazing experience to watch him in action and to hear his thought process in the rehearsal.
Joan Conlon, another master conductor, lead a similar clinic with some very good ideas about the interpretation of text. Concerts were presented by nine excellent collegiate ensembles and several reading sessions were held to share new and classic choral literature. It was a truly outstanding conference.
Florida Association of Accounting Educators
by Vern Allen, Business & Technology
This annual meeting was held in Plantation, FL on October 5-7. FAAE’s keynote address was presented by Sgt. Jay Leiner, Economic Crime Unit of the Broward Sheriffs Office, who spoke on recent prosecuted money laundering cases and related ethical accounting issues. The concurrent sessions I attended were 1) what colleges and employers look for in recent graduates; 2) internships; 3) test preparation; 4) online learning techniques; and 5) accounting teaching software. These sessions were both energizing and laced with ideas applicable to CFCC’s ACG2O21 and ACG2O71 classes. Every FAAE conference provides an opportunity to share with colleagues “what works” and “what doesn’t work” in the classroom as well as renew friendships with accounting faculty representing colleges throughout the state.
I trust members of the Professional Development Committee and the T/LC will accept my sincere appreciation for making possible my participation in the Florida Association of Accounting Educators annual conference.
Back to top
Back to top
Please share your GIFTS with your fellow instructors. E-mail Joe Zimmerman at email@example.com.
Paying Tribute: A Language Arts Project
Drawing upon the Humanities
by Chuck Gonzalez, Communications
People of various ages often experience a stage of rebelliousness or at least a period of questioning the status quo regarding many social standards. In addition, students in college preparation courses or in the freshman composition class are often in the stage of exploring choices for their future careers. In this time they must clarify their stance on many issues and learn the skills and content for their new career and for the individual they want to become. This humanities project aims to capture student interest and elicit student involvement through the study of two highly individualistic fine artists in a non-traditional approach for the language arts classroom. Two multimedia presentations in Microsoft PowerPoint paying tribute to visual artists Vincent van Gogh and Georgia O’Keeffe comprises the core of the project. Since both artists’ work and lifestyle veered from the norm of their time and have become increasingly popular, they are linked. Each PowerPoint presentation includes music, lyrics, fine art and other images. The images, primarily created from the canon of each artist’s work, were selected to illustrate and interpret the content of the lyrics and musical compositions of Don McClean and Dan Fogelberg. The text for the unit includes written reactions and criticism of their art, popular music and lyrics paying tribute to each artist, and videotape biographical sketches including analyses of the artists’ work and times. Students will have the opportunity to engage in discussion, composition, research skills, creative expression, and oral presentations depending upon the assignment selected. The project is intended to provide students with content in a quick manner as well as to offer a variety of pre-writing exercises and writing prompts.
What Not to Do When Doing PT
by Patti Hooker, Physical Therapy, Hampton Center
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program has an on-site clinic that began this semester. In order to prepare new students for their clinical rotation early in their learning experience, I decided to teach some skills by creating a video with them. With the help of my 2nd year students, I produced a video which presents the way not to do things (after the popular “What Not to Wear” TV program). We made eight vignettes, highlighting different scenarios that students may face in the clinic. Topics include such things as cell phone use, appropriate attire, privacy considerations and appropriate behavior. In the skit on cell phone use, a student who is working with a patient stops to answer what is obvious a personal call on her cell phone: “No really? She really went out with him. No way!”
When I presented the video in new faculty training in August, the favorite skit was the one where the PT assistant spotted a friend in the waiting room, went up to him and said, so all could hear, “Is it true they gave you a DUI for that accident?”
Creating the video was a fun activity for the new students. I highly recommend it as a learning tool for other instructors. I think the students learned a lot while making the video, but we also viewed the finished product together and after each vignette had a discussion regarding “What Not to Do” in the physical therapy clinic.
A “Dress Shoe” Occasion
by Denise E. Moyer-Staker, Music Appreciation Adjunct, Citrus Campus
As an adjunct instructor teaching Music Appreciation at the Citrus Campus, I am always seeking opportunities for my students to attend a live concert. Ideally, I would like this concert experience to take place in Citrus County, during a regularly scheduled class, on a Tuesday night, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:40 p.m., near the Citrus Campus. Yes, I am an idealist and a dreamer, but even to my amazement, on October 10, 2006, the opportunity actually materialized.
I was very excited to receive permission to meet my class less than five miles from the Citrus Campus at Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church in Lecanto, Florida, to attend a concert of The Kiev Orchestra and Chorus from Ukraine.
Although we had discussed traditional concert etiquette at great length in class, I sent a blind courtesy copy email to each of the students as a reminder, one week prior to the concert. After sending the email, I wondered, “Am I scaring them off?” Certainly many might prefer to attend a concert in the heavy metal style, rock, hip hop, or possibly country western music. At these concerts, it may not be necessary to address “no ringing cell phones,” “proper concert attire” (no baseball caps, t-shirts with writing, colorful boxer style shorts) “no cameras,” “no recording devices,” “no food or beverages in the sanctuary,” “no talking during the concert,” and “do not applaud between movements.” (The list was appearing to become endlessly negative.)
The church had required that we meet promptly at 6:00 p.m., to receive our tentatively reserved tickets. The doors would not open until 6:30 p.m. The concert was scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m., with “open seating,” even if the tickets had already been obtained. The concert had “sold out” the day after we had been given verbal reservations.
I arrived early at 5:30 p.m. to a beautiful cathedral, thinking that we may have to wait outside in the sun for a minimum of thirty minutes. Amazingly again, the doors to the atrium were open. There I found the information desk, bookstore, coffee and comfortable seating. The ushers gave me a program early to peruse. As I waited, I again worried that my students may not arrive. Everyone appeared to be extremely friendly and gracious. There was a long table upon which were over 17 Compact Disc recordings available for purchase. Reviewing the CDs, I was reminded of many of my favorites that I had performed, but these recordings were not in my library. At $15.00 each, I was thinking that I should limit my purchase, when my students started to arrive. They suggested that I should first attend the performance of the ensemble before purchasing the recordings. (“Good point!”) It was so exciting to see them dressed so impeccably. I directed them to the information desk with their CFCC ID cards. I took attendance, and reminded them that they need not be seated with me (50 years of age, and graying) and that they were free to be seated with their friends. To my surprise, they insisted that they wished to be seated with me. (They appeared to be sincere.) In this hour prior to the performance, I was in a dream world of that similar to chamber music; that “give and take,” sharing of ideas that I believe to be the goal of the quest for knowledge of CFCC. I passed out extra binoculars and was emotional again, when one student exclaimed, “Wow, the harp has the colored strings indicating the intervals, as we discussed in class.” Another student informed us that if we needed to go to the restroom now, the one on the left was apparently where the orchestra and chorus were, and that they were speaking Russian. I took their advice, and witnessed beautiful ladies braiding their long shiny hair, dressed in long black dresses, applying last minute make-up to their already seemingly flawless complexions.
Just before the concert began, a student was looking down at his shoes, telling us that they were a little tight, but his mother had advised him to wear his “dress shoes,” as this event would be taking place in a church sanctuary. When I complimented him on his “dress shoes” and all of them on their attire, this student responded that he had noticed that I was also wearing my “dress shoes.”
The performance opened with Finlandia, Jean Sibelius. As a flutist, among the many that have performed this solo, I was impressed with the principal flutist’s accuracy of technique and clarity of tone quality in his performance. In contrast to the low brass and strings, he appeared to perform with a more delicate, light, “French” tone quality.
I also enjoyed the open “German” tone quality and projection of the low brass, to include the bass trombone. The cello and bass sections appeared to have extremely fine intonation, using the full bow. It appeared to my students and me, that
the members of the entire double bass section were all using “German” bows. In contrast again, the timpanist appeared to be using a “French” grip. I would normally expect that the entire ensemble would have this “German” tone quality and interpretation, as they were from Ukraine. The conductor is from the United States. Possibly, he believes in allowing individual diversity of the soloists’ choice of tone quality and interpretation. The concert appeared to include an endless variety of performances that encompassed many sacred and spiritual works; those of Ukrainian folk instruments; Sergii Golubnychyi performing an accordion arrangement of “Michelle,” Paul McCartney, John Lennon; many John Rutter choral arrangements; many a cappella performances with what I thought was “Heavenly” intonation; endless opera excerpts (Don Carlos, Giuseppe Verdi and many others) arrangements for hand bells and many compositions of Irving Berlin. This included a brief intermission of approximately ten minutes, during which I purchased two CDs. At the conclusion of the concert, after receiving a standing ovation, the orchestra and chorus performed Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah. My students remembered to stand for this as discussed in class, which added to my emotional finale.
According to the program and the Citrus County Chronicle, all of the musicians in the ensemble were from Ukraine. The conductor, Roger McMurrin, is originally from the United States. He also has assistant conductors from Ukraine. Mr. McMurrin retired to Florida. After taking a trip to Kiev, he and his wife sold all of their belongings and moved there to become volunteer missionaries and started The Kiev Orchestra and Chorus. They have performed throughout the United States to include Carnegie Hall in 1998 and other countries promoting Ukrainian music and composers whose family heritage was near Ukraine. While on tour, the ensemble members are housed by church members, and are compensated by the sale of CD recordings and memorabilia from Ukraine.
The concert ended at approximately 10:20 p.m. As I drove out of the parking lot, which was directed by the Citrus County Sheriffs, I hoped that the students had enjoyed the concert. Most of all, I will always remember the gift of having the opportunity to sit with my students and share that special musical evening with them in our “dress shoes.”
Back to top
by James Roe, Math
Every worthwhile lesson has two distinct types of objectives; cognitive objectives and affective objectives. The cognitive objectives are clearly stated and easily measurable. It is relatively easy to teach a lesson if one focuses solely on the stated cognitive objectives. How does one achieve the more elusive affective objectives? The answer is in diverse teaching methods and attitude.
Recognizing that students think and learn differently is the key to successful teaching and learning. Every teacher has been introduced to this concept, but how many actually apply this concept in his or her teaching practice?
To a student who is struggling to learn a new concept or algorithm, the appropriate teaching method could be the difference between success and failure. Teaching an algebraic or abstract concept to a geometric or concrete thinker is not effective teaching. Restating the same algebraic concept slower and louder, as some do when attempting to converse in a foreign language, is wasted effort. Many mathematical concepts can be discussed from either the abstract or the concrete perspective. A student learns best when the teaching perspective is harmonious with his or her own learning perspective. To this end, lesson topics and concepts must be taught, as often as possible, from both of these different perspectives.
A student who achieves success, even if in minute quantities will have a better attitude toward learning and will be more likely to continue with his or her educational plan. The student will enjoy more success if the lesson is taught from the basis of the student’s prior knowledge. Expanding a new concept based on what the student already knows gives the student a familiar and comfortable foundation on which to build new knowledge. A successful and comfortable student has a better attitude and is therefore a more productive student.
Diverse teaching methods and developing the right attitude; simple yet powerful concepts in teaching and learning.
Back to top
CFCC Book Club Schedule
All meetings will take place from 12-1 p.m. in the Professional Development Center, Bldg. 1, Room 101.
Jan. 26 - Selected poems from White Apples and the Taste of Snow by Donald Hall, current poet laureate
of the United States. Facilitator: John Retey
March 2 - Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic by John de Graaf, David Wann, and Thomas H. Naylor Facilitator: Darrell Riley
March 30 - Carry on Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse Facilitators: Susan Bradshaw and Darrell Riley
April 27 - Hume’s Fork by Ron Cooper Facilitator: Amy Mangan
The Copyright Quandary
It is the day before class and the lesson you have prepared is pivotal to students understanding the subject. You have just read a piece of literature that would fit perfectly into the discussion. Since it was given to you by a colleague, you do not know if it is protected by copyright or if it is in the public domain. It is probable that the information is copyrighted even if there is no notice. Susan Bradshaw, Learning Resource, has compiled information about copyrights and fair use of media in the educational setting and provided us with the following information. Section 110 of the copyright law authorizes educational institutions to perform or display works like poems, plays, musical works and movies but provides stipulations on where and how it is transmitted.
Although you may be using a work for educational purposes and deem distribution to students to be within educational fair use, you are not insulated from a lawsuit. Prior to using information protected by copyright, consult legal advice from a licensed attorney. If all this sounds too discouraging to use copyrighted materials, review the information located at http://www.benedict.com/info/fairUse/fairUse.asp, which includes information on the Fair Use Provision of the Copyright Act - The Statutory Decree including information on the four factors to be considered when determining fair use: Purpose and character of use, Nature of copyrighted work, Relative amount, and Effect upon potential market.
For information on public domain: http://www.benedict.com/info/publicDomain/publicDomain.asp
Back to top