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Learning Outcome 7

Investigate learning from a micro-level perspective in support of small group and/or individual student learning.

Throughout the semester, I had the opportunity to support small group learning and individual student learning for each of my mentor teacher's classes. Through this experience, I was able to gain a better understanding of my students' individual learning needs and build more meaningful relationships with them for their growth along their educational journey.

For example, I led a photography lesson on shooting a portrait photograph and created an assignment where they submit various headshots based on techniques and ideas taught from the lesson. During this time, I introduced various photographers that engaged in portrait photographs and had students analyze their meaning, subject matter and possible technical skills that was required to create the portrait photograph. Starting with a class discussion, students had the opportunity to share their opinions and ideas, as well as develop their critical thinking skills regarding how to anaylze a photograph. They were able to share their thoughts first before I added another layer of context for them to think about when analyzing photographs. I also challenged the students to think beyond the traditional portrait photograph of a headshot and brought in artists of diverse backgrounds into the classroom and utilized them to question why their photographs can be considered portraits. Students were able to gain new insights that expanded their understanding of portrait photography beyond the traditional headshot portrait photograph.

After learning new key photography concepts, students partnered up to share cameras so they could help photograph one another to take an aesthetically pleasing and technically accurate portrait. Students had to collaborate with one another to problem solve various ways to shoot and make an interesting portrait photograph. Students were also given the opportunity to photograph with a professional backdrop similar to one a photographer would use in a photoshoot, as well as find areas around school property to complete their assignment. This would later tie into the ideas of proper posing techniques. In small groups/partners, I was able to observe throughout the semester how they worked together with their classmate for their assignments. While majority of students were open to working with one another, others struggled due to various reasons such as camera shyness or they did not get along with their partner. In these moments, my mentor teacher and I had to find ways to problem solve so students work together or find alternative solutions (i.e. switching partners, working with the student directly etc.) On an individual level, I often did check in points with students who were struggling with assignments or technical issues on Photoshop and asked them how they tried to resolve their issues before asking for help. While some students got frustrated, having patience and providing extra support was benefical as we worked together to resolve issues they came across. I also gave students opportunities to take on leadership roles as the photographer by giving them the confidence to direct me as I posed as their model when they needed my assistance.

Below are images that demonstrate this learning outcome. Please click on the images for more details. Images of students are blurred to protect their privacy.


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