Posts Tagged ‘teacher training’

“Teaching can get in the way of learning.” – Doc Meek

Saturday, October 27, 2012: Today I am grateful for those who jog our minds about how we learn (and teach)! – Doc Meek


Text below was posted in: TENNESSEE TEACHING AND LEARNING CENTER BLOG on June 13, 2012.


What Works in Student Learning, and

What Gets in the Way – Teaching –

The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Chronicle reviewed a recent conference on student learning, sponsored by the Teagle Foundation,  What Works in Student Learning, and What Gets in the Way – Teaching – The Chronicle of Higher Education.  Attendants considered the state of student learning in higher education.

Among their suggestions: Students should be active in constructing their own learning, and activities should stimulate not just their intellects but their emotions.

As often happens, the comments are as interesting as the article.  Among the comments are questions serving students with disabilities as well as a bit of debate about “learning” versus “teaching.”  A large amount of comments point out that what was said at the conference has been well-established and said before.

This is true.  However, we who are currently teaching in higher education are at different stages–and with different training to support our skills at teaching.  New assistant professors may or may not have had graduate training in teaching and learning theories and in pedagogical practice.  There is some interesting research (and hopefully there will be more) that shows the more professors know teaching and learning principles and understand student learning, the more successful they are at evaluating and improving their courses (Milton & Lyons, 2003).

For new professors, the amount of teacher preparation is changing as more universities establish graduate teaching certification programs.  These programs allow those students who are not in departments that traditionally provide a lot of support (graduate students in Language and English programs, for instance, teach a lot and usually are provided with a lot of training by their home departments).  For others, though, they may start their first job with no training or experience in teaching! For the rest of us, most midsize and large institutions have teaching and learning centers to provide ongoing support.

We in academia are slow to change (are you shocked by this statement?)  We honor traditions, yet the traditional lecture is slowly being replaced by “active lecturing” in which students get involved or by active learning in the classroom, in which the lecture is minimized or moved out of the in-class session entirely (as in the flipped classroom).   This movement to change our pedagogical practice is slow but follows decades of research on promoting student learning, as the conference participants noted.

Finally, our students have changed (again, not a shock to point this out).  They have changed in response to our culture and cultural priorities, our uses of technology, our economy, and other changes in the West (I want to be careful to distinguish between a U.S. university and those in developing countries).

Much of our professional lives have remained the same–we balance research and teaching and service, in proportions dependent on our type of school.  For some of us, our teaching in and of itself has not changed.  However, job security has lessened, demands on our time have increased, student expectations have changed, and public expectations have increased.  However we address these issues, we must remind our stakeholders that we are teaching always the new generation.  What will our culture do to support our mission in higher ed?


Thank you, TENNESSEE TEACHING AND LEARNING CENTER at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, for teaching us how to teach better!

Doc Meek, Sat, Oct 27, 2012, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

“What if you are smarter than you think?”

J. Collins Meek, Ph.D. (Doc Meek)
Trusted Learning/Teaching Guide
[“Everyone” says: “Fun to work with.”]


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CANADA: P.O. Box 3105, Sherwood Park, AB T8H 2T1


“Integrity is where you find it.” ~ Doc Meek

Monday, May 16, 2011. I am so happy to know that integrity is where you find it, whether in the classroom or elsewhere. ~ Doc Meek

Delightful and heart-warming short video of a classroom test situation, from

Doc Meek, Mon, May 16, 2011, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

“A beautiful song for all mothers.” ~ Pat Wyman

Sunday, May 8, 2011. Today I am grateful for my mother, and her mother, who shaped my life and gladly shared their intelligence and wisdom with me. I am also grateful for my spouse, Jeannette, who is a great mother and grandmother. ~ Doc Meek

Contact Pat

Image from:

Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers from Pat Wyman at

As I count my blessings on mother’s day with two
wonderful children and a new grandchild, I want to share
this beautiful song with all mothers.

We would love to hear your special mother’s day stories
on our blog – leave a comment after watching the video.

Happy Mother’s Day ***

With love,
Pat Wyman

The Center for New Discoveries in Learning, Inc., 4535 W. Sahara Ave., Suite 200, Las Vegas, NV 89102


*** Video from:

An original Mothers Day song by Eddie Kilgallon, for his mom and yours!

Eddie is on the Advisory Board of Songs Of Love, and YOU can help by downloading this song at:

*** Here’s an animated version of Eddie Kilgallon’s beautiful Mother’s Day song (also the words are larger and clearer):


I did leave a comment on Pat Wyman’s website:

Dear Pat,

I am so grateful for your leadership of love and learning. This “Mother’s Day Song” is a treasure!

Thanks to you and to Eddie Kilgallon, who created the song.

Blessings and Gratitudes,

Doc Meek
Sunday, May 8, 2011, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA


Thank you, Pat Wyman and Eddie Kilgallon, for your leadership in learning and love!

Doc Meek, Sun, May 8, 2011, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

“Does your child really have ADHD?” ~ Dr. Guffanti

Wednesday, May 4, 2011. Today I am grateful for leaders like Pat Wyman and Stephen Guffanti, MD, who can show us ways to help kids learn, even when others say it is hopeless! ~ Doc Meek

Contact Pat

Message from Pat Wyman, Founder,

Dear Doc,

Our Official ADHD expert, Stephen Guffanti,
M.D., has written a very practical book called, Does Your
Child Really Have ADHD?

He was kind enough to give us a nice long excerpt called
“A Tale of Two Viewpoints” about learning style
mis-matches which includes a deeply personal look into his
own life as a child with ADHD.

I am certain that you will find the information
exceptionally helpful and there is a video as well on
one of Dr. Guffanti’s patient’s, Charley.

Read Dr. Guffanti’s book excerpt here:

Pat Wyman

The Center for New Discoveries in Learning, Inc., 4535 W. Sahara Ave., Suite 200, Las Vegas, NV 89102


Thank you, Pat Wyman and Stephen Guffanti, for your remarkable contribution to learning and children!

Doc Meek, Wed, May 4, 2011, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

“Changing for Good.” ~ James Prochaska

Changing for Good: A Revolutionary Six-Stage Program for Overcoming Bad Habits and Moving Your Life Positively Forward

Prochaska, James O., John C. Norcross & Carlo C. DiClemente (1995).


Image/text from:

Monday, April 11, 2011. Today I am grateful for those people who work with addicts (that’s all of us, to one degree or another, maybe) and help them (us) mover forward in our lives in a positive way . . . permanently. Dr. Prochaska and his fellow Ph.D.s/colleagues are such people. ~ Doc Meek

I wrote to an ex-alcoholic friend about Dr. Prochaska’s work, as follows: 

Dear B, Drs. Prochaska, Norcross & DiClemente put forward the idea that family or corporate interventions that rush/push addicts (or any of us) into changing their (our) behavior before they (we) are ready internally to make the change, are almost certain to fail.
From what you have shared with me, you know this already. This program greatly increases the success rate and greatly reduces recidivism (relapse).

Blessings and Gratitudes, Doc ………………………………………………………………………….
1. Precontemplation
2. Contemplation
3. Preparation
4. Action
5. Maintenance
6. [Self-management] Termination [the end of official formal therapy]
– Prochaska, James O., John C. Norcross &
Carlo C. DiClemente (1995). Changing for Good …………………………………………………………………………..

This inexpensive and powerful book has been read by many; here is one reader’s comment:

5 out of 5 stars. What a nice change!

Published on July 14, 2007 by Henry

Unlike most self-help books out there, this one is actually based on research for a change. Based on this PhD’s work on how people change, this guy has uncovered the different, predictable stages of change that people go through when they attempt to get themselves to change. Although the stages are fairly predictable, not everybody goes through them in the exact same…

Thank you, Drs. Prochaska, Norcross and DiClemente, for forging new ground and increasing success rates and reducing recidivism (relapse).
Doc Meek, Mon, Apr 11, 2011, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

“The Age of Autism.” ~ Olmsted & Blaxill


Dan Olmsted (Author), Mark Blaxill (Author)

(33 customer reviews)

Image and text above from:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011. Today I am grateful for those who have the courage to warn us we are “fouling our own nest,” as they say of careless birds, eh? Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill are among the number warning us. ~ Doc Meek

Here is what one reader has to say about Olmsted’s and Blaxill’s book (review from

(4 out of 5 stars) A look at the “Kanner 11” with the eyes of history past and present
The content of this book is a bit different than what this reviewer had expected. Much of the material presented here can actually be read apart from what the authors discuss about autism, even though autism is one of the core elements in some areas of the text, comprising perhaps about one-third of the book. In reading some of the reviews here, as well as the great…
Published 2 months ago by Erik Gfesser
Thank you, Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill, for telling it like it is: we have to stop allowing technology to hurt us while it is helping us!
Doc Meek, Wed, Mar 30, 2011, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

“Field trips can enhance learning.” ~ Doc Meek

Image by somenametoforget

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011. Today I am grateful for those who labor to bring teachers ideas they can use to increase their effectiveness. ~ Doc Meek

Melissa Kelly

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Here is the email message I received from Melissa Kelly recently:

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From Melissa Kelly, your Guide to Secondary Education
Creating Effective Field Trips

While field trips aren’t normally a required part of your curriculum, they can be extremely effective if planned and used correctly. This article discusses the pros and cons of field… Read more

Top 10 Concerns of Social Studies Teachers

In the last post, I focused on concerns that many science teachers share. This post focuses on the specific concerns of social studies teachers. Top Ten Concerns of Social Studies… Read more

Creating an Effective Tardy Policy

Dealing with tardy students is an important part of any teacher’s job. Finding a tardy policy that works for you is extremely important. If you allow students to be tardy… Read more

Curriculum and Lesson Plans

Curriculum is at the heart of education. This category provides a wealth of information, resources, and lesson plans for each subject area across the curriculum.

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Thank you, Melissa Kelly, for helping teachers to help their students!

Doc Meek, Tuesday, March 29, 2011, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

“Learn about GIRL UP from Gina.” ~ Doc Meek



I’m 16 years old. She’s 14. My name is Karina. Her name is Massa. I live in Carpinteria, California. She lives in Todee, Liberia. We’re half a world away and our lives are dramatically different, but we’re both girls who have our entire futures before us. READ MORE

Image and text from: http://www.

Monday, March 28, 2011. Today I am grateful for the Girl Up campaign by the United Nations Foundation. – Doc Meek

GilrUp | Uniting Girls to Change the World


See “Girl Up” video by Gina Reiss-Wilchins, Director of “Girl Up,” on YouTube:

Hi Doc Meek,

It’s taken me a few weeks to settle in at the UN Foundation, and now it’s finally time to introduce myself to you — I’m Gina, the new Girl Up Campaign Director! From the moment I heard about Girl Up and the amazing things you all are doing to unite for girls around the world, I was hooked and knew this was the job for me. Of course my 4-year-old daughter Dylan had to approve of the choice too, as you’ll see in the video below.

Girls across the world have dreams and goals just like my daughter does here in America. They want to go to school, be safe, stay healthy, and have a chance to grow up and be whatever they want to be. I am so excited to bring my experience and passion for empowering girls to Girl Up — I can’t wait to unite with YOU to build a generation of global leaders and philanthro-teens, all working to create a better world with the United Nations.

You’ve all done such inspiring work already, and I’m looking forward to the rest of 2011 and beyond with the Girl Up and UN Foundation teams, our Teen Advisors, Champions, partners, and YOU!

Thank you,

Gina Reiss-Wilchins, Director of Girl Up

P.S. I’d love to hear from you about how you’re supporting Girl Up and your ideas to make the campaign even better for you – send me an email or write me a note on the Girl Up Facebook page!


I did send Gina Reiss-Wilchins an email:

“Gina Reiss-Wilchins, Director of Girl Up” <>

Dear Gina,

I am delighted that you are promoting the “Girl Up”program.

I am delighted to be putting up “Girl Up” information on my blog website:

You can click on the specific post by title hereunder:

“Learn about GIRL UP from Gina.” ~ Doc Meek

This is the second posting of Girl Up on THE LEARNING CLINIC WORLDWIDE blog. Here is the first posting by title:

“Learn ‘Girl Up’ by the UN Foundation.” ~ Doc Meek

Blessings and Gratitudes,

Doc Meek

P.S. We all love seeing your 4-year old daughter Dylan on YouTube with you!

Doc Meek, Mon, Mar 28, 2011, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

“Behavior” versus “the condition.” ~ Doc Meek

lesson bad behavior comes with consequences children parents and ...

Image from:

Friday, March 24, 2011. Today I am grateful for the distinction between “behavior” and “the condition.” This has proven to be controversial so all the more worthy of presentation here.

When a child has some kind of “condition” such that his/her behavior is problematic or unpredictable, there is a tendency to not be able to make the distinction between “the behavior” and “the condition.”

For example, the emotionally unstable child (or the autistic child) may have an “emotional outburst” or a “temper tantrum” and scatter their basket of crayons/coloring books (whatever) all over the floor by throwing them off the table or desk.

There is a tendency for responsible adults (parents, teachers, teacher aides, caregivers) to “excuse” the behavior because they feel the behavior is is “caused” by “the condition” from which the child is suffering. And it well may be.

And love, care and concern for the child in relation to his/her condition often causes hesitation as to the appropriate response.

Regardless of what the “cause” is though, the child needs some realistic feedback, usually immediately. (Some advocate waiting until the child “cools off” a little and is not so “emotional” and their is merit in this in some cases.) To “excuse” the behavior out of love, care or concern is not usually helpful to the child long-term. Immediate feedback is usually the most helpful to the child long-term.

Almost always, the need is for the child to receive immediate feedback about his/her behavior, irrespective of his/her “condition.”

So in the case of the emotional scattering of crayons, books, toys, whatever, the adult should say to the child authoritatively, “Pick them up and put them back.” If the child is too young and or emotional to respond promptly, the adult takes the child’s hands in his/her own hands, and helps the child pick up the scattered items, much like the operator of a crane might make the machinery “do the right thing” by direct handling of the controls. Or perhaps it is more like a puppet show operator moving the puppets by direct action.

This is the way that the child moves most rapidly and appropriately towards more “responsible behavior” even if the child is not at the moment capable of responding appropriately on his/her own.

Here’s the catch though. The adult has to be calm. No angry yelling and grabbing of the child in anger will do the job. (This is because, obviously, the adult is now out of control and not behaving appropriately and the negative example is no help at all to the child, regardless of how the adult feels about the situation emotionally.)

If the adult calmly and dispassionately takes the child’s hands in his/her own and moves the child’s hands in such a way that the child’s hands grasp the scattered objects one by one, however awkwardly, and restores them to their place, the adult has “won the day,” regardless of how upset the child is.

It is easier (and far quicker) for adult and child to “behave” their way to a new set of behaviors, than it is for them to “discuss” or “believe” or “theorize” their way to a new set of behaviors.

What do you think?

Doc Meek, Fri, Mar 25, 2011, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

“Music opens the channels of learning.” ~ Doc Meek

Rex Lewis-Clack, 13 years old, was born blind. He was born so brain damaged, his Mother, Catheen Lewis, was told he would never talk or walk. There was no hope.
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5 minutes A Musical Savant Shows Talent    by CBS 244,773 views


15 minutes Catching Up With Rex by CBS 88,713 views

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Friday, March 18, 2011. Today I am grateful to know that a child who was labeled severely autistic was found later to respond to music, even though he was super senstive to sounds and would hold his ears when exposed to singing.

Of course every autistic child does not grow up to be a musical genius. That is not the point of this article.

I use music in my private practice (Baroque music, about 60 beats per minute) to help open the channels of learning for children with a large array of learning problems.

Sometimes  the music is simply background music in a classroom that helps almost every child in that classroom to learn more easily and achieve more.

Thanks to those who know, and who have taught us, that music opens the mind and soul!

Doc Meek, Fri, Mar 18, 2011, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

P.S. Here’s the book about Rex Lewis-Clack by his mother Cathleen Lewis:

Product Details
Rex: A Mother, Her Autistic Child, and the Music that Transformed Their Lives
– Hardcover (Oct. 28, 2008) byCathleen Lewis

P.S.S. Somebody told me that it is the “Ides of March” today. I know the reference is to Shakespeare and I do not know the full import of the phrase.

Can anybody “out there” give us some more information on the “Ides of March?”

Contact Doc Meek

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