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Get introduced to the TPI

What is the TPI and how do we use it to improve our practice?
So now as we move into this next lesson where we actually get into the teaching perspective inventory, I think it’s important for you all to refresh your memory on the basic philosophy questions that we just discussed. Because these questions were–are at the basis of the teaching perspective inventory. By taking this inventory, you will develop a greater understanding of these philosophy questions.
Welcome everyone. This is going to be a couple of short lectures on the teaching perspective inventory, how to use it, and how to make meaning of it. It’s important to note that this instrument was developed by Daniel Pratt and John Collins from the University of British Columbia. And this presentation was made by Edward Taylor from Penn State University. Before we start getting into the instrument, it’s important to return to those key questions that were posed to you earlier in this week about becoming aware of your educational philosophy. These questions include, why do I teach or what is the purpose of education? What do I teach and who determines it? How do I teach?
What is the role of the educator in the classroom? What is the role of the student in this classroom? How do I evaluate learning? And last, what is knowledge? The TPI will reveal more about these questions in relation to yourself. So what is the TPI or teaching perspective inventory? The TPI helps you understand your orientation to teaching based on your beliefs, intentions, and actions. But why would you even use this instrument? Why would you take time doing it? It offers a lot of opportunities for you to improve your teaching in a variety of ways. First, it can help you prepare a teaching evaluation.
Meaning, it can offer you insight on what you value or don’t value when it comes to teaching and learning. It can also be part of a teaching portfolio to give a bigger, clearer picture about who you are as an educator. It’s also a tool to help you provoke reflection. Because very often we may think we are doing some things in the classroom, when in reality, we could be doing other things. In other words, our beliefs and actions don’t align. And it introduces other ways of teaching. The TPI as an instrument, is a product of a lot of research about teaching in higher education. Well over 300,000 people completed this survey. Most of them reside in North America.
Most of them are teachers, but many of them are administrators or play other roles in an educational organization. The university setting covers the disciplines. Most of the people that have taken it have a good deal of experience, but not exclusively; and originally this instrument emerged out of health and medical fields. But now it spans all the disciplines in the university. Now, in the outcome of this instrument, you will see five different perspectives or orientations to teaching,
namely: transmission, apprentice, developmental, nurturing, and social reform. Each one of these perspectives or orientations contains three essential components. Beliefs, like, what do you believe about teaching and learning? Intentions. What do you want people to learn? And then finally, actions. What do you do strategically to achieve your intentions? As we go into these different orientations, each one of them includes a general model of teaching that can be revealed schematically, captured by the teacher and their values and beliefs, the content, what they’re actually teaching, the learners, and their role in relationship to the educator and the content, and the context and its role in relationship to teaching and learning.
Now what we’d like you to do is to get out your profile after taking the instrument and let’s go over it briefly. What you see here is just an example of a developmental profile. You see on the left the score for all perspectives, transmission, apprentice, developmental, nurturing and social reform. Then you’ll see three red or red orange lines that go across the grid. Any column that’s above the top line is considered a dominant perspective. And there’s a possibility that you could have one or two. The next area that’s between the top and bottom red lines is what we call the backup perspective. Here as well, you could have two perspectives.
And they are generally perspectives or orientations that emerged within different contexts or times when you become more confident in your teaching, where you can sort of move based on the needs of your students and the contexts to draw on other approaches to teaching. Anything below the last line is recessive. These orientations are those that tend not to be a part of your approach to teaching. If you notice within each of the orientations or perspectives to teaching, you’ll find three columns. B, for beliefs I, for intentions and A for actions. The more aligned they are with each other, and the higher the score you have, the more consistency and strength you have around that particular orientation.
The more inconsistency and lower score, then the weaker your view is about that perspective. One thing to keep in mind, if on your profile, you have a couple of bars above the top line or the dominant perspective, there’s a possibility that
two things have occurred: One, it’s very important that as you take this instrument, you don’t think about teaching in general. You think about teaching that you do within a particular context, about a particular discipline. Some of you who teach in a variety of settings must pick one setting while you’re taking the instrument and think about your values or beliefs within that setting. Second is, if you will find yourself agreeing with everything in relation to the questions being asked, that could be a problem. So you can’t agree with everything. You have to take a position as you take this instrument. In other words, some things you should agree with, and some other things you should agree with less.
This is really important to be able to identify your dominant, back up and recessive perspective. Before we move on to the next part of this lecture, you are highly encouraged to revisit the TPI website. And at the bottom right hand corner, select reflecting on TPI results. You’ll find a video of Dan and a former student of his. You could watch the video, which isn’t very long. Or at minimum, you could read the information to further understand your profile and perspective. So take a break, do a bit of stretching and we’ll move on to the second half of this lecture.

What is the Teaching Perspective Inventory and how can it help us become more aware of ourselves as teachers?

In a nutshell, the TPI allows us to understand our orientation to teaching based on our beliefs, intentions, and actions.

Watch the video to find out more! As always, you’re encouraged to bring up your questions and share your insights in the Comments section.

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