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 – 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.

PIDP 3260 – week 5

Hey All,

after a crazy week of spring flu going through our household, a laptop that died on me and a nasty ear infection, I am glad to be sitting here writing again.

Week 5’s blog assignment was on Brookfield’s Chapter 16: understanding students’ resistance to learning.  I spend a lot of time on this topic personally in my classes, as in the last year I have had international classes, high school ACE it classes and regular stream domestic culinary arts students.

Brookfield (2000) touches on the idea of instructor self-reflection as a tool to self-assess effectiveness of courses.  This may only be successfully accomplished by the instructor has a lot of clear, organized outcomes planned for the course or program.

Just as adult learners struggle with the ego of learning (or “being good at” a course), teachers also struggle with the ego of running a successful course or program.  Sometimes, it is important for the instructor to step back and actually allow the students to assess how content is being delivered.  It takes a lot of humility and the ability to sift through emotional responses to find patterns in positive and negative feedback received.

A great online reference I have been using to keep myself mindful of the way learners think is a site called Faculty Focus, which has a lot of great articles.  The linked one here speaks on 6 items that cause resistance in student learning.  I also think this list applies to content delivery for teachers.  Sure, there may be some verbiage that needs changing in the content, but every teacher I know struggles with wondering if they are a good teacher, or struggle with the fear of the unknown at some point in their career.

Overall, I find that the most self-aware instructors make the most compassionate and competent delivery of content because they recognize that all learners and instructors are humans and that the only distinction between the two sides are experience and title


Brookfield, S. D. (2000). The skillful teacher: On technique, trust, and responsiveness in the classroom (3rd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Weimer, Maryellen (2010) Student learning: Six causes of resistance. Retrived from https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/effective-teaching-strategies/student-learning-six-causes-of-resistance/

PIDP 3260: Teaching in Diverse Classrooms

This week, I chose a topic that I have had a lot of recent experience with.  I have found myself teaching international classes for large portions of 2017, and now teaching a high school ACE-IT program with a very diverse student body.  This is one of the topics that I believe the hardest for any instructor to tackle.

Brooksfield writes in Chapter 8 about some tools that may be used to engage diversity in a classroom, but 2 key ones spoke to me

  1. Team teaching (pg. 102): The first line of this section says it all, “One of the most predictable contradictions in American College classrooms in that a solo instructor confronts a classroom full of diverse students.” This touches so clearly on the idea that instructors are individuals as well, with their own diverse backgrounds and ways to learn and teach.  No one teacher will be strong in every style of delivery, or will connect with every ethnic background in their class, so why do we expect the instructors to value diversity if their classes if they are not given the tools to teach diversely (ie: school provides support faculty or instructional aides who are from different social and ethnic background than the home room instructor).
  2.  Mixing Modalities (pg. 105):  I believe everyone has probably been in a class where every lesson was taught via textbook, with readings for homework, and written papers being the main form of assessment.  Logically, we all know that this is not the most effective way to teach.  So now enter a diverse environment with very diverse students…..having a great mix of teaching methods, lesson styles and modalities used, every student is given a fair chance to learn the content.  It is on the instructor to make the content understandable and relevant in multiple ways.

Having spent the majority of the last 12 months teaching very diverse situations, these were two very important lessons I had come to me organically before taking 3260 and reading this text.  I believe the best bet for working in a diverse classroom is asking for help.  None of us are perfect, or know everything about teaching, so it is very important to allow the pride and ego to take a backseat to the best interests of the students.  Teaching is not about the teacher, but about learning.

PIDP 3250: Frank Peng’s “Extroverts and Introverts”

Frank Pang made a great, unique youtube video inclusive teaching strategies for both introverts and extroverts.

This is the first time I have seen a PIDP video with audio that was completely musical, without any dialogue on the topic.  I really enjoyed the flow and movement in the video.  It covered a lot of ground in what felt like a very short time, based on how the topic was presented.  The short, moving sentences never made you feel bogged down in content, and keeps your attention.

I also like that he put a lot of his own images in, including related and non-related ones, to keep everyone fresh and on their toes.

I really agree with his point of using multiple platforms as places to gauge participation here.  It can be very hard to gauge (in teaching Culinary) how “engaged” an introvert is in a practical heavy course, because they don’t draw nearly as much attention as the extroverted kids.  I have started using online resources and forums for this reason, and find Frank hit the nail on the head with that.

If you struggle to create an inclusive learning environment for both introverts and extroverts, watch this video….it has some great strategies!

PIDP 3250: Daniel Smythe’s “Cognitive Organizers” video

Hi PIDP 3250,

I just finished watching Daniel’s video on Cognitive Organizers, and thought he did a very good job of explaining the practice.  I really appreciated his explanation of where/with which students this practice may work best.  He did well in explaining how best practices for Cognitive organizing, and connecting the instructor and student roles to the practice.  He also did well to include group versions of this, where pros and cons are discussed.  I plan to try this one out currently, as I am teaching butchery, which is a very visual part of our program.

Have a peak at his video and let me know what you think!

PIDP 3260: Chapter 2- Core assumptions of Skillful teaching

In reading chapter 2 of ‘The Skillful teacher’ (Brookfield 2015), I appreciated the accountability the chapter places on reflection of teaching style.  While one of the assumptions is “adopting a critically reflective stance toward your practice” (pg 19), this assumption actually applies to the entire chapter. To be able to identify if your students are actually learning, to be aware of how students are experiencing their learning, and to make sure you are treating all college students as adults, no matter the age, you must be able to stand back and reflect on what is actually happening in the classroom.

“Teachers spend so much time preparing for and delivering lessons, that it is easy to see why they often do not spend their valuable time to record their reflections on lessons in journals unless required…” (retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/importance-of-teacher-reflection-8322)

This is a good quote to end on: the reminder that teaching is hard work, and to not get bogged down in the idea that what you have put hours of time, effort and care into may actually not work is hard.  It is not personal, and it may even work with the next group of learners!