Instructors' Case Study

Select two (unless you really want to do three) of the following cases and provide at least ½ page worth of comments on the problems and the appropriate action to be taken by the Department Head.

Case 1

Linda Micheals has been hired into your department for her first teaching assignment. She is a very young, energetic teacher who truly wants to do a good job in the classroom. Her timetable this semester is one line of ICE and two lines of TTI. She has just come to you one month into the school year as a very frustrated individual. Described below are how she feels the courses are going to date.

The ICE3M course is very textbook driven (Computer Engineering). Lessons are presented and students complete homework most nights. Class time is used for covering new material, working on assignments, and completing homework to reinforce the topics discussed. The students, all university or college bound, are working hard and the entire class time is meaningful. Discipline and attendance are not problems. These students are very self directed and know where they want to be in three years time.

The TTI1O course is entirely different. The two classes are made up of a wide range of students with abilities that are all over the educational map. A number of students, finish the work assigned in class quickly and accurately. A smaller number complete the work as quickly as they can and want to move on. This group fails to follow instructions or complete design challenge reports. Another portion of students keeps plugging along using all their class time and then coming in at lunch to complete work. Still others look like they are working but nothing is turned in. One student in particular has not turned in any work to date (4 assignments are missing and a web page project is due but not completed). Computer games are not permitted during class time.

Her concern is what can you do with the students that are completing their assignments with time remaining in class? What can be done to slow some students down so that they do a quality job on work and not just complete the assignments? What can be done to get others to complete at least a minimum of work? How can a class of these wide abilities be motivated by a common strategy?

Linda is the type of energetic teacher you want to keep teaching grade 9 but if a solution to these problems is not found she will most certainly want to teach only senior grades in the future.

Case 2

Mrs. Smith has just called and voiced a concern about her son's mark. Mike received a mark of 68 in the TDJ 2O course. Mrs. Smith felt this was very low and did not properly reflect the abilities of her son. His test results were much better than the assignments and projects component of his mark. Many assignments were either turned in and the marks not recorded or the assignments completed and just not turned in. Assignments were turned in, marked by the teacher and returned to Mike for safekeeping until all related assignments were complete. Many times Mike just didn't bother turning back in the assignment for a final total mark. She had in her possession a disk, which contained many of the missing assignments.

Mike also was on an Individual Plan asking teachers to work on his organization skills. The plan identified one of his strengths to be computers and asked that extra time be given to complete assignments and projects. Mrs. Smith would like you to review the disk and change Mike's mark based on any additional assignments provided not already included in his mark.

After reviewing the disk you discover not only a number of missing assignments but also many assignments which have not been used for four or five years. It is obvious that the work has been copied. Following further discussion with Mike you learn that he either copied the file from a web page on the net or from a teacher's account. In both cases the original source of information was the teacher's account. You learn in discussions with the teacher that his/her password has not been changed for two years and it is made up of only four(4) letters. You also discover that it is not just Mike that has gained access to the files but a number of individuals. Many students know the teacher's password and it was transferred among students freely.

As the department head, where would you go from here?

Case 3 - Beginning Technology Headship

You are a 10 year teacher at only school and have just been notified June 15 that you have won a competition to be the Head of Technology at another school. Your former school was a suburban high school, predominantly white, middle class and enrollment of 1200. This inner city school has 1500 students, about one third non-white, from both lower middle and upper middle classes. Your technology department has 15 different teachers (including yourself) making up 13 full-time equivalents. There is an assistant head of technology, a man who has been in the school for 8 years and was passed over for the headship, due to a personality conflict with the principal. The retiring head of technology was teaching mostly Communication Tech and you are a Technological Design teacher with no Communication Tech teaching beyond grade 10. Let us assume for this simulation that de-streaming has been postponed in your school for another year and that the school (and especially the technology department) has not progressed significantly in planning for the change.

What would you do a) before September 1 b) during September and c) during your first year in the department and school as a beginning technology head in this new school?

Case 4 - A Pleasant Conflict?

When you’re surveying your department regarding course assignments for next year, two teachers in your department at Professional Park S. S. (enrollment 1400, upper middle class, very academically driven, especially by parents) have expressed strong interest in teaching the first section of CISCO offered in the school. One teacher is a 19 year veteran who has continually participated in professional development opportunities and is adept at using materials gleaned from conferences, periodicals, audio-visual media, and other print materials in the classroom. She is a Communication Tech teacher and has taught mostly Communication Tech, and Integrated Tech grade 9. The other is a 2 year Technological Design teacher who has taught mostly grade 9 Integrated Technology and grade 10 & 11 Technological Design. He has taken some other networking courses and went to several workshops.

You suspect that a successful first run at this course will result in at least one section being offered next year, possibly two sections. Who teaches the CISCO course in September?