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The five teaching perspectives of the TPI

This video will zoom in on the five different perspectives.
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Let’s move on to the second part of the presentation where we’ll zoom in on each of the perspectives. So let’s start with the transmission perspective. The transmission perspective could also be called the presenter. And essentially it’s about transferring the knowledge and expertise of the faculty or the instructor to the students. And it intends to build an accurate and sufficient knowledge base for professional practice. So you see these enthusiastic instructors, really clear lecturers and accurate information. So a good presentation from this perspective equals good teaching. Another way to think about it is a teacher has a pitcher of knowledge in their head and they’re trying to pour that knowledge into each of the student’s heads.
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The way this looks schematically in relation to the teaching model is what is highlighted here is the teacher, their expertise and the content. So it’s really about the teacher in relationship to the content and delivering that content. Learners, on the other hand, are in the background. They’re the receptacles. Context is less important here as well. This approach to teaching is assumed as something that can transfer from setting to setting. It’s not really shaped or impacted by the context. The next perspective is the apprenticeship perspective. And this could also be captured as role-modeling. The belief here is that learning is a process of socialization.
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The instructor in this model very often comes from the private sector where they bring their own experience. For example, an engineer, teaching a course in engineering, or an academic conducting research on engineering and they bring that experience in the classroom. And they not only want students to learn the content, they want them to understand what it’s actually like to be an engineer. So the intention here from the instructor’s perspective is to develop confidence and that identity in relationship to the particular material, discipline and practice. So in this model, there’s a lot of practicing, a lot of modelling, making more authentic and less abstract exercises. Many examples of real-life applications of engineering.
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In other words, it’s really an authentic approach to teaching. So context, a sense of a real context, is the teacher. So when you look at the model, the teacher is the context. And they’re modeling their work of connecting the students to the content by providing an authentic context. And you can see that the context is very bold. Providing real-world examples and applications within their teaching is indicative of the apprenticeship perspective. The next perspective is the developmental perspective. And another way to capture that is as the co-inquirer. This approach to teaching really foregrounds critical reasoning skills. And it believes that learning is a search for meaning and prior knowledge and beliefs influencing that search.
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So they try to help students make sense of the content, more so than trying to learn a lot of content. It’s about developing skills in students so they’re able to apply these reasoning skills, critical reflexive skills when they come upon new content. The primary means is really helping students make meaning of the content, developing the essential skills and knowledge to do that. So here some of the actions are students reason aloud, there’s lot of questioning that goes on by the professor and the students. There’s a lot of open discussion and there are a lot of everyday examples as well of how this information can be applied.
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The faculty member here is coaching, helping students make connections from the knowledge to application, connecting to new or even more difficult knowledge, and all along, promoting skills for critical thinking and problem-solving. Here, it’s less about coverage and more about learning and understanding. When you look at the model of teaching from a schematic design, the teacher is actually in the background, and the teacher is more focused on connecting learners to the content, helping them understand and make meaning from the content. And this is done in a variety of ways. But more often it’s developing particular reasoning skills associated with that content. And it’s about having learners engage and discuss the content and relationship to the teacher.
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The next perspective is the nurturing perspective, or we could refer to as supporter. In this perspective, there’s a real belief that students aren’t just receptacles. They’re not just rational beings understanding the knowledge. It’s a much more holistic view of learning that takes in not only the intellectual needs, but also the emotional and relational needs of the students. And they see that as important to teaching and learning. The intention here is really primarily in the process of teaching and learning, educators here want students to feel more confident and able to do what they’re taught as they go through the course. The intention is to develop self-efficacy, and agency in their students.
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So the actions here are really about how, in the process of teaching, the teacher is able to build a trusting relationship with the students and between the students, providing both challenges and support, encouraging self-disclosure about their struggles, their emotions their joys. So here, there’s an emphasis on respect or what is referred to as instructor immediacy, which you’ll hear more about later. It’s about being really present for students, both verbally and non-verbally. And this is one of the most powerful statements
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from a nurturing perspective: They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. And when you look at it schematically within the model, you can see that it’s quite different from the others. Yes, the content is important. But in this model, the learner is primary. There’s a real emphasis by the educator to connect with learners in their process of having them engage with the content. And like the content, the context is in the background compared to the relationship between the teacher and the learner. The last perspective is the social reform perspective. And this is also called the activist perspective. The belief in this perspective is that education is really about challenging the status quo.
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It’s not just learning something about engineering. Often, it’s about the role of engineering in the larger society. How can engineering, or how can my area of discipline lead to a better, more equal world for all? So the intention here is really about collective action. Getting students to question the deeply unquestioned assumptions about the larger world or in relationship to their particular perspective. So this involves a lot of discussion. There’s a greater emphasis on the discussion between students and between the teacher and the students. It’s not only about learning the content, but it’s about questioning and critiquing the content and understanding the perspective it’s coming from.
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So it questions the dominant ideologies that are embedded in all content and those general common practices that are rarely questioned in every discipline. It encourages critical thinking and it is continually looking at what the social consequences of your particular discipline are in society and what the educators and students roles are and making life better for all. In essence, the goal is not only learning about the system, or society, but discovering how to change it. The model in this perspective illustrates the set of ideals the teacher has, and as they learn question, critique the content, the learners start to change and question the larger ideologies of society. Again, these are the five perspectives of teaching.
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You have transmission, apprentice, developmental, nurturing, and social reform. You are highly encouraged to look at the website for more in-depth resources on the teaching perspective inventory. Now that you’ve heard the description of the instrument, I want to end this lesson with a few questions that I want you to think about. Is this you? Does this capture you as an educator in this particular context? Would others see you this way? Would your students see you as described here? And have you gained any new insights about how you see yourself as an educator and what you do in the classroom? And also if you agree or disagree with some of the conclusions of this assessment, why?
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And what does that sort of provoke you to think about as you return to the classroom?

Now that you’ve gotten a general picture of the TPI, it’s time to further unpack the five different perspectives.

Watch the video to find out more!

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