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Learner Biography

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Running head: Learner Autobiography

Learner Autobiography
Demetria J. Pipkin
ED7311
Theory and Methods of Educating Adults

Growing up I always attended magnet schools once I entered the public school system in Third grade. Magnet schools are public schools with specialized courses or curriculums. In grades 3-12, I attended Communication Arts magnet schools. As a child I never had the desire to be in the "communication field" so I never understood why my Parents enrolled me in these types of schools. Being an only child, I was a very shy child so I believe this was their way of getting me to open up and come out of my shell. And I completely understood how the curriculum of those schools helped me with my communication and Interaction skills throughout my learning experiences especially college and graduate school education.

Typically in Communication Arts the curriculum centers mainly on communication skills. So that included a lot of public speaking and writing. Which was very beneficial throughout my learning experience. I gained much exposure being comfortable with public speaking in small and large groups. Integrating communication skills with our regular courses made for very interesting classes.

In my undergraduate major my courses consisted of tons of writing, debates, and presentations. I was always comfortable presenting projects and leading group discussions because it was something that I had experience with from my early learning experiences.

These events have affected my current educational practices as well as my professional experiences. I think having the ability to communicate with a diverse group of people has helped in many situations professionally and educationally. I'm a very social person now and enjoy engaging in conversation. I find learning through communication to be very interesting and effective. Even in an online setting I can appreciate the discussions because it is still a form of communication and interaction with peers.
My experience in graduate school helped improve my critical thinking skills. While studying in graduate school I eventually realized the key to critical thinking is to develop an impersonal approach which looks at arguments and facts and lays aside personal views and feelings. As a graduate student critical thinking should be applied at all points in academic studies- to selecting information, reading, writing, speaking and listening. I believe learning to read and evaluate information critically is perhaps the most important skill, which helped me to become very successful in my graduate coursework.
The practices of past teachers in my life have affected my belief and philosophy about teaching in a few ways. I’ve had teachers who were great with teaching diverse groups of students which agree with my beliefs that being able to teach a diverse group of students and connect with them draws the attention of the learner. On the opposite end, having a teacher who does not effectively communicate with his students, allows for students to become disengaged in the subject. As a teacher I will stress the importance of effective communication between my students and myself as well as amongst peers.

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