Upon learning of the digital learning cadre, I thought that I might get an opportunity to learn more about Canvas and how to use it to support the way I teach. As we have developed a shared vision of what tech integration looks like, I have come to change my thought process a bit.
So, a bit of time travel…Go back many years to see how the culinary instruction looks, and you would see the Chef as the grand repository of all knowledge culinary, and he would share out that knowledge as he saw fit. A curious apprentice who played with a recipe would more likely experience the business end of a wooden spoon than any encouragement to question and explore. Move up to the present, and many schools are still similar – with less yelling and bludgeoning. When students question why something is done, many are told that, “That is the way it is done!”
When we read about effective teaching styles, “stand and deliver” and “teacher-centered” are no longer on the top of the list of methods…in fact they are very nearly on the bottom of the heap. Why do Chefs continue to teach this way? “That is the way it is done!” might be the answer. I am in the infancy of envisioning a new method that moves the Chef from his/her pedestal to the sidelines – cheering their students and coaching them through a process of self-discovery and learning.
Are there things on which we will need to be the authority? Absolutely. I would like to think, though, that if we yield the soapbox to our students and start to guide them into areas that interest them within our subject matter, that their curiosity will bloom anew, and we will become less “boring.”
So here is my vision: restructure content delivery in the Culinary arts to be very student-driven and independent using Canvas as a skeleton around which we can assemble our information and to incorporate more authentic assessments using hands on techniques and technology add-ins. I propose to do this by creating a course structure that groups all of the knowledge and skills into functional areas, and then presents them to the students in a logical progression of challenge.
As I try to mold my ideas into a workable prototype, I am amazed at how versatile some of our resources are, such as envisioning a quiz/survey as a way to get kids to visit a few websites and complete tasks (think the ancient web quest) to thinking about how to get group discussions online to be productive learning tools. Think of the power of a student leaving a class knowing how to use social media for something professional!
So far, my challenge has been similar to all of us – time. It takes time to build original content…or money to buy a resource that someone else has already made. I am learning the tech as I go, and doing a pretty good job so far. I plan to try to launch a discussion based activity this spring to try out the idea. Hopefully, I will have some success and learn something to change for next time!
Today's post comes from Mr. Nick Carther. Nick teaches culinary arts and oversees the Pike Cafe at Pike High School.