Combining the kitchen with Adult Learning

My name is Tim, I am a chef, as well as an adult educator.  Welcome to My blog.  Here I will discuss the dichotomy between teaching students how to act in a kitchen, while still using contemporary adult learning styles.



PIDP 3250 – Final Blog entry

Well, as we reach week 10 for me in 3250, I have decided to go with a blog post about one of my classmates Blog.  The reason for this is that she does not currently teach, and so it is very interesting for me to read the other side of perception on each weeks topics.

Faye’s Blog has a lot of great thought and content put into it, but specifically for me her post on Promoting Civility in the class.  My current post is at a VCC run program in a high school.  Coming from teaching adult learners to teenagers has been a stretch of my patience at times, especially when it comes to interpersonal conflict and civility in the classroom.

Faye has very seamlessly spoken on previous teaching experience, as well as community experience for her where civility is being “taught.”  I appreciate her candour on the subject and how she speaks on the topic of her communities struggle to maintain civility at times.

Faye posted a great video as well, that I have linked below.  Please take the time to watch and assess if/when you may have had to approach this topic in your life

PIDP 3250: Andrea’s Muddiest Point

While the title to this blog post can be deceiving, Andrea’s Muddiest Point Piktochart was anything but muddy.  She made very clear that muddiest point is ” great way to check in with your students regarding a specific lecture, discussion, assignment or an entire class session.”

Andrea’s Section on how to implement was very clear and well written.  The biggest thing I enjoyed about this chart was how concise and clear the points were.  Some visual learning for me gets bogged down in detail, but Andrea did very well to keep the facts clear, touch on pros and cons, and recognize the process that must be followed.

I have used this tool often in my classes, especially after heavy topics or lectures on things like Butchery or baking, where the content can be intense and hard to retain.

I do find muddiest point must be well directed by the instructor or else the exercise may run a muck, with students choosing the exercise as a sounding board rather than a place to clarify and help the instructor improve.

Here is a video that compliments Andrea’s piktochart and allows for some further information on Muddiest Point exercises

PIDP 3260: My future as an instructor

This entry is an interesting one for me personally.  I am constantly considering what I need to make myself better at the things I do for work…..food related or teaching related.  The food and teaching aspects of my work do not always align, but luckily enough, they do currently.

My next goal after finishing my PIDP courses is to work on my CCC (Certified Chef de Cuisine) accreditation.  This accreditation, along with my PIDP certification, may be used towards a master in Education.  For me, this is a path I would have never expected ten years ago, but it is now the goal I am chasing.

On the food only side, I would like to start spending more time with some of the chef’s I admire in the city, learning more about their styles and what they do to be successful.  Chefs like Robert Belcham or Hamid Salimian keep me very inspired by being down to earth, but capable of so many levels of intricacy and detail at the same time.

I also am balancing currently a business that I run as well, called Ginger Jars which works on lowering food waste on the Sunshine Coast.  I would like to see my goals with this project move forward as well, into building a full food security/waste/compost facility on the Sunshine Coast.

Overall, I think I have done decently at setting achievable goals for myself while still challenging myself enough to do more.  By being able to balance my love for teaching and knowledge with my love for food and the environment, I hope to have all aspects of my life complimenting each other in the long term.

PIDP 3260: Lecturing Creatively

The first thing I think about when I think of lecturing creatively are Ted Talks.  These lectures work through some of the key points raised in Brookfield Chapter 6.

  1. Begin every lecture with a question:  There must be a point to the lecture
  2. End every lecture with a series of questions left unanswered: to maintain interest in the lecture topic past the lecture itself
  3. Deliberately introduce alternative perspectives: to add credibility to what may come across as a biased lecture topic
  4. Introduce periods of assumption hunting: allow the learner/listener to have time to digest and process the information given, and then work on finding other, external ideas that are to do with the same topic.  This encourages students to create their own ideas.

As I have recently watched a specific Ted Talk where these all happen, please watch and with the 4 above mentioned points, and notice how Susan Cain is able to hit all of these points to keep her talk interesting and engaging.  Continue reading “PIDP 3260: Lecturing Creatively”

PIDP 3260: Program Accreditations

Accreditation in college or university level programs is important, in that it creates  standards that maintain consistency in learning and practice.  We most commonly see issues with accreditation come up in health or seniors care, as they are places where unmet standards may lead to serious outcomes.  The Unitversity of Ottawa and McGill university are two very prominent universities who have, in the last decade, had their medical accreditations suspended or cancelled due to issues in teaching.

Some of the issues cited for the University of Ottawa’s Neurosurgery program were

  • Concern the program doesn’t allow residents to take on increasing responsibility in the operating room, due to lack of delegation by faculty.
  • An insufficient number of pediatric cases to satisfy the specialty requirements.
  • Potentially inadequate exposure to “functional neurosurgery,” such as epilepsy.
  • Commitments to patients that prevent residents from attending some components of the educational program.
  • Concerns about faculty engagement in teaching.
  • Resident teaching is not fully assessed.
  • Mid-rotation assessments are not completed for rotations of less than four months.

(retrieved from http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/u-of-o-receives-notice-of-intent-to-withdraw-accreditation-of-neurosurgery-program)

Another major reason to promote accreditation is consistency for employers.  We all know that employers often seek people who have been to “reputable schools.” What this really means is that the employer can feel comfortable in what content has been taught and how it has been delivered.

For Vancouver Community College, our biggest accreditation comes from the Industry Training Authority (ITA BC).  The ITA comes in yearly to accredit the way we assess in Culinary Arts, the program that we use, the tools we use, and even the kitchens and equipment we use.  Without this accreditation, the school would not receive any government funding for domestic students, and the students would be paying 6-8 times more in tuition fees.

Without accreditation, all major trades, healthcare and even humanities programs could be built based on whatever content the instructors and program heads decided upon.  This would lead to inconsistent programs, employees who are more difficult to train and workplaces that would spend increasing amounts of time and money on training staff.

As a teacher, it is extremely important to remember these points when taking on a full time class, as teaching is not about the teacher, but the student, and you want them to come out feeling like their learning was relevant.

PIDP 3250 – Michelle Colley’s Documented Problem Solving Assignment

Good evening all,

Michelle posted a digital project on Documented Problem Solving.  This was done in video format.  I have come to notice a lot of learners are posting videos or animations with music vs. narration, which tends to make me wonder why.  It is nice to have the music, but each time I am left wondering if it will really drill in the same way without narration to follow the text.

As far as content, Michelle hit all of the points here.  She did well to explain that Documented problem solving is a class group lesson, and that the questions that students are given will progressively grow harder and harder.  I actually did one of these in a previous PIDP course and found it very enjoyable as it brought about some fun competition in the class.  This concept requires a lot of student buy in, and actually made me think that this video would be a perfect segue into Documented Problem Solving lessons.

Michelle writes clearly best practices, as well as positives and negatives of this practice, and references clearly and properly in her video.

I think this style works well with a group of professionals, as it can really challenge standard thinking and broaden the ideas of learners.

Have a peak at her video and see if you think this style of lesson would work for your class!

PIDP 3250 – Laura Carr’s Learning Logs presentation

Hi all, this has been a rough illness week in our household, with me ending up with a nasty ear infection that required some hospital time, but finally I am back and ready to rock.

Laura Carr posted her digital project on learning logs recently.  Once I saw her choice, I had to watch, as I remember doing learning logs as an elementary school student, and wanted to see the correlation between adult learning and children.

She did well to explain why learning logs can be useful (to help identify key concepts, to help make personal connections to lessons, and as a way to ask questions). She used examples of private (a journal) and public (a blog) methods of producing learning logs.

At the end of the day, the most simple explanation for the best practices in this is clarity, support, and review.  It must be clear why the learning log is being done, and what the content must be.  This can be done through guiding questions most commonly.

Having done learning logs often in my recent classes (as it is part of our updated Culinary Arts Curriculum), I like the idea of public learning logs being mandatory, whereas private being a choice.  From my experience, many students will skip the personal learning logs, as they find it very difficult to see value in them.  By suggesting private ones, and ways to go about them, you leave the ball in their court and allow the learner to take ownership for their own growth.