Monthly Archives: October 2014

Diversity at OISE

Wook
by Wook
Master of Education student
Developmental Psychology and Education

After spending almost 2 months at OISE, I finally feel like I fully adjusted to my new environment. Just like when I first moved to Montreal to pursue my Bachelor’s degree, I had no idea what my experience would be like in Toronto. I think the key factor that contributed to my smooth transition was the amazing group of people that I am surrounded by at OISE.

When I attended campus tours and open houses before I made the decision to pursue my Master’s degree at OISE, they all emphasized ‘DIVERSITY’ of their student body. After meeting so many students from different cultural and professional backgrounds, I realized that OISE actually meant it when they said they have a diverse (I mean REALLY diverse) student body. Since I decided to start the program right after my graduation, I only had some experiences in ‘real-world’ setting. Many students at OISE are current Teachers, Social Workers, Executives in public and private sectors, Early Childhood Educators, and the list goes on. This diverse group of students share their work, research and life experiences during class discussions. By having classes with people who have such a rich knowledge from various sectors of education, we get to discuss the most relevant, practical and pressing issues that the professionals are facing in the field of education. Every day I am learning from great professors at OISE as well as from my amazing peers.

 

Are you curious about OISE student experience? Contact me:

Email: oise.ambassador@utoronto.ca

 

How to Prepare for OISE’s Open House

CaitlinThumbnail
by Caitlin
Master of Teaching student

Has it really been a year since I stepped onto OISE’s grounds for the first time? I remember how prepared I thought I was for OISE’s Open House. Let me share with you my tips on how to get the most out of your first experience at OISE.

And remember here are the dates where each program will hold sessions and workshops:

1. Get your bag ready

Before even leaving your house you need to have your bag ready to be absolutely prepared. Firstly, bring a bag! Don’t think you aren’t going to leave OISE empty handed! You will be receiving pamphlets, letters and booklets when you come to the Open House. All the important information you will ever need will be handed out that night. You will also need a pen and a notepad to write down important information you hear. Please bring a (reusable) water bottle so you have no excuse NOT to talk to an OISE ambassador. Although we have an amazing café on campus, you may be hustling from workshop to workshop and a snack seems the best way tie you over. And finally, bring your TTC metro pass or tokens. If you didn’t know already, you can enter OISE from the St. George platform. But to re-enter, for your travel home, you will need to swipe your metro pass or put in a token to enter the revolving doors.

So lets go through your list again?

¤ Bag or backpack

¤ Pen, pencils and notepad

¤ Water bottle and snack

¤ TTC metro pass or tokens

2. Map out your route

Let me be the first to admit it, I got lost to OISE for the Open House. As a Toronto native, I thought I would walk off the subway platform and strut my way to OISE. Little did I know

University of Toronto Ontario Institute for Studies in Education 252 Bloor Street West Toronto, ON M5S 1V6

that my strut would become a 10 minute walk on Bloor with my GPS application on. Please, get off at St. George Station, and not Spadina! And as I have said above, you can enter OISE from the subway platform. Just look for the signs on the platforms to lead you up (Also, this is a huge bonus during the winter and rainy spring days).

And if you are driving down, there are many parking lots around the OISE campus. You can pick which one you wish to park here but please be aware of the Emergency lanes by reading where not to park here.

Lets add these items to your list

¤ Map out route to OISE

¤ If driving, find out best parking lot to park

3. Come with questions

When you attend the Open House, you will soon realize the sense of community and openness OISE is so famous for. We are here to help you make the right decision about your choice in program. In order to do that we recommend you to visit the OISE homepage, read over the admission requirements and come with questions to help better your understanding. And if you don’t have any questions here are some sample questions I asked when I attended the Open House:

♦  What was your undergraduate degree and how did it prepare you for your program?

♦ What is your classes like? How many people are in it? What style of lecture is it?

♦ What is your research topic? How did you become interested in it?

♦ What is the library like? What tools can I use while I am in the program?

♦ Why did you choose OISE?

Alright future OISE Students, I hope that helped you prepare or reiterate things to keep in mind when you attend the Open House. If you have not already, please RSVP here so we know to expect you for the Open House!

I’ll see you there! Don’t be afraid to say “Hi” or comment below if you have any questions!

 

Are you curious about OISE student experience? Contact me:

Email: oise.ambassador@utoronto.ca

 

September Recap from a Master of Teaching Point of View

CaitlinThumbnail
by Caitlin
Master of Teaching student

The weather is getting colder, my Starbucks drinks are getting hotter and my workload went from “I can see you after my class” to “I’ll recap my semester with you during the holidays.” As a self-proclaimed multi-tasker, this month has really tested my time management, priorities and ability to not sweat the small stuff.

In true teacher education format, I will present my 2 stars and a wish on my first month at OISE. If you are not in one of the many teacher education programs at OISE, 2 stars and a wish is an infamous exit strategy to conclude a lesson. Teachers or peers provide constructive, positive feedback to the student about their abilities, competence and performance. This type of assessment is authentic to the student’s abilities and helps them rise to the expectation set for them.

My 2 Stars :

1. My first star about my program is for the support I have received. I have heard from many graduate students that they feel so supported in their program. I even felt like that during my undergraduate program as well. But the support I have been given by my peers and professors here at OISE is on a whole new level. I have never felt more reassured that I am on the right path towards my future. Everyday I reconfirm my affirmation that I want to make a difference in the lives of my students. If you haven’t seen this Ted Talk by Rita Pierson, I will give you 9 minutes to watch this video and then come back to my post. The video is 7:48 long, but you will need that 1:12 to contain your composure and reflect on her enthusiasm.

I frame her as my inspiration as practicum is slowly approaching. I want to empower my students with the right attitudes towards education and development. Also, I want to credit Anne Marie Chudleigh for showing my class this video during our first Child Development Class. If you see her, give her a high five for me. (Bonus points if there is documentation with consent).

2. My second star is for Pepper. I am absolutely lost if I don’t check this application on an hourly basis. Literally, I would be lost with the classroom changes and new events popping up constantly. I love how I can access the site from my phone, laptop or on campus computers. A sub-wish for this site is to have better emoticons, especially coming from a tech crazy human being. Hey Jim Hewitt, I can help you design them if necessary

If you are not familiar with Pepper, because you don’t use it in your program or you haven’t entered yet….Its basically OISE’s own blackboard/portal/education powerhouse. Not to sound elitist, but if you aren’t on Pepper, you are missing out. Also, can we make the phrase “Pepper me” a real thing? I say it on a constant basis since email addresses and phone numbers are too complicated!

My 1 wish:

1. Please don’t tell me that my wish for there to be underground tunnels between the OISE building to all my favorite food sources is unreasonable. It is unreasonable? NOOOO! Okay then, let me think of another wish for the program.

Directly concerning the program, I wish for our next practicums to be released at least a month in advance. (If you are not aware, at exactly 4:01 pm on October 7th, practicum locations were released. This is 20 days before the actual start of practicum). Speaking specifically on behalf of PJ 161 [HEY GUYS!] we would have loved to have more time to prepare ourselves for our first practicum of the program. Preparations included but are not limited to:

  • Material preparations. As a frugal graduate student, I want to shop for the best deals to prepare my teacher tool kit.
  • Mental preparations. I would have liked to engage in a few more meditations allowing me to focus my energy on classroom management and lesson planning.
  • Social preparations. Do I have enough time between my commute to and from the school to text my friends that I am alive and I will see them during the Holidays.
  • Life preparations. I live religiously by my agenda. If it is not mapped out a month in advance, my whole week falls apart. And I know that many of my peers have more family responsibilities than I do. How can they start preparing their families for a new routine and schedule?

But the bright side is that practicum could have been released 1 day before our field experience days. And it is not to say the Practicum Team did not work tirelessly to provide us with practicums. I’m just wishing that my extra mindful meditations will help offset my lack of preparations and make me extra keen on excelling in the classroom.

So that was my first month at OISE in a nutshell. Please check back next month to 1) make sure I am alive before practicum 2) make sure I am alive to blog about my adventures at OISE.

Are you curious about OISE student experience? Contact me:

Email: oise.ambassador@utoronto.ca

All About Wook

Wook
by Wook
Master of Education student
Developmental Psychology and Education

Why did you choose OISE? And, why did you choose the Masters of Education in Developmental Psychology and Education Program?

I chose OISE because it is one of the most recognized institutions in the field of education. Since my undergraduate research project was on the effect of hypermedia learning environment on students, Developmental Psychology and Education was the perfect program for my academic and research interests.

What is your academic and/or personal background?

I recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science from McGill University. Under Dr. Roger Azevedo’s supervision, Senior Canada Research Chair in Metacognition and Advanced Learning Technologies, I worked as a research assistant in his research laboratory at McGill for over a year, and engaged in a variety of research tasks related to several funded laboratory studies in the area of self-regulated learning, emotions and intelligent multi-agent systems. For my research project, I investigated gender differences and the impact of scaffolding on learning with a multi-agent intelligent tutoring system.

Future aspirations

I love coming up with questions and investigating them. Getting that p < .05 is the best feeling in the world! I would definitely like to pursue a doctorate degree in Psychology and continue on with my academic training in research. Ultimately, I would like to become a professor/mentor at an institution with my own team of researchers. I was fortunate enough to have great research supervisors and mentors during my time at McGill. I would love to become a professor who can lead and inspire young minds in the field of research.

If you could give your 16 old self a piece of advice, what would it be?

Well 16-year-old Wook, you are going to take Spanish, French, and Chinese in high school and University. Just choose one of them and perfect it instead of trying to learn all three. If you don’t, you are going to mix up French with Chinese or Spanish with French. Yes, it happens more frequently than you would imagine.

What can you not live without?

Chocolate, cheesecake, lemon meringue pie, and other amazing desserts in the world. I can skip dinner and just eat sweets because love desserts!

All About Caitlin

CaitlinThumbnail
by Caitlin
Master of Teaching student

Hi everyone! My name is Caitlin, but I go by Caitee. I am in the Masters of Teaching program, studying Primary/Junior Education (Which is why my biography mimics the biography everyone wrote in elementary school).

Instead of the good old fashioned tell all, I decided to do a question and answer about my story.

1. Why did you choose OISE? And, why did you choose the Masters of Teaching program?

I chose OISE because it is the only graduate program in Ontario that offers a Masters of Teaching. I heard about OISE and the Masters of Teaching program from a guest speaker in undergrad. I was instantly infatuated with the program and I knew this institution was perfect for me. From that point on, I knew that OISE would be the key to my future success

I remember in Senior Kindergarten, daydreaming what I want to be when I grew up. As I phased out of my daydream, I became aware of my learning environment. I realized how comfortable I was in this classroom, and how amazing my teacher was. And then a peer distracted me, and I went on with my day. But this realization at an early age sparked my passion for education at an early age.

2. What is your academic background?

Making the walls of a classroom come to life with hand print elephants and tigers!

I completed my undergraduate degree at Ryerson University for Early Childhood Studies (ECS). My experience in ECS helped create a foundation for my learning here at OISE. During my time at Ryerson, I completed 4 different practicums at 4 different learning centres. I have experience working at a child care centre, an early learning centre, a kindergarten class. For my final placement I helped develop an arts program in a primary school in Cape Town, South Africa.

 3. What is your favorite children’s book?

Arthur Books

Just a few of the books I read over and over again

I cannot pick a favorite children’s book as I never stopped reading as a child. My favorite children’s book series however is Arthur by Marc Brown. I was an avid lover of the books, TV shows and toys. I would imagine that my family as Arthur’s family. All we were missing was a baby sister and a dog named Pal. Unfortunately my parents discouraged both missing items and stated that our family was perfect as it was.

4. Best Cheap Eat on Campus

Although it is located 10 minutes away from OISE, I have to say that El Furniture Warehouse on Bloor and Brunswick is amazing and so cheap! Everything on their food menu is $5! I literally will have the waiter or waitress line up plates for me. It does get packed as it is a small venue, but if it does, SAVE ME A SEAT! It’s the least you could do as I just revealed my best cheap eat on campus.

5. What advice would you share to potential applicants?

Put your whole heart into your work. It doesn’t matter at what phase you are in; thinking about choosing OISE (which you should be), writing the application (which is a piece of pie) or if you are already a student enrolled into a program. Your whole heart needs to show in your work. The effort you put in will be all worth it in the end. The blessing of being at OISE is the students, professors and staff are behind your back 100%. For the MT program, everyone is in the same boat in terms of workload. We all come together to support one another and seal every class with 2 wishes and a star. (2 wishes and a star is an exit strategy to help provide constructive, positive feedback).

10 points will be awarded to your house if you read my whole bio. (Extra ten points if you are in Gryffindor.) Comment below what house you belong to, or if you have any queries to my bio.