The mess that is teaching

After reading the first few chapters of The Skillful Teacher” (Brookfield, The Skillful Teacher, 2015) I was drawn back to one of the first statements in the book “The truth is teaching is a gloriously messy pursuit in which shock, contradiction, and risk are endemic.”

This really captures my first few moments as a post-secondary instructor. Nothing would have prepared me for the turmoil and chaos that is teaching. My first formative days as an instructor were haphazard and riff with unexpected and unforeseen events, which the quote from Brookfield captures well. Now into my fourth year of teaching, I still find this quote quite accurate for my daily experiences my perceptions of the quote have just changed slightly. I am better prepared for the unexpected and the risks, shocks, and contradictions are more under my control than at the whims of fate but you will never be prepared for everything.

The only way to learn from past mistakes is to reflect on and internalize them.


PIDP 3260

My name is Justin Curran I’m taking coursing through Vancouver Community College as part of the Provincial Instructor Diploma Program. I am a full-time instructor at Camosun College in Victoria, BC. This is my first post as part of the PIDP 3260 – Professional Practice blog assignment.

More information can be found on my About page, as well as additional information is available on School of Instruction Facebook page which is linked on the right-hand sidebar of my blog.

Below are links to some of my PIDP 3260 classmate’s blogs:

Jennifer Barker

Robert Lediet

Janice Graham

Vida Morkunas

Ruth Klann

John Cole



Confirmation Bias

It’s an interesting how predisposed we are as humans to find like-minded people and evidence to support ideas we already hold even if they are preconceived without any factual backing.

Check out this post and video.

Confirmation Bias Really Kills Thinking

Project Based Learning

Here is the link to my digital project on Project Based Learning (a little bit of Learning Inception).

I am familiar with project-based learning both as a Student and an Instructor I have found it gives a much greater breadth and depth to the solidification of skills, concepts, and cross-discipline links.

Project-based learning also is an excellent way to evaluate learners for their ability to self-regulate and self-direct. It can also be insightful for learners to discover what type of interpersonal skills they possess and whether or not they are a leader, director, or follower.  I highly recommend the inclusion of project-based learning as a final or capstone project to any program or degree in which students build upon a foundation of knowledge over the course of months or years. It is also a great way to showcase employable skills to prospective employers.

ps. feel free to use or distribute the infographic if you have any questions feel free to contact me at

Problem-Based Learning

The author was very enthusiastic and engaging with his presentation on problem-Based Learning. The author made many excellent points as to why such a learning process should be used to enhance the education process for students as well as outlined some of the possible caveats that might be encountered.

This model of Problem Based learning is very similar to the model that we employ at Camosun College for the Technology programs where students are required to use troubleshooting, and problem-solving skills in order to complete labs. The end of their program culminates in a final project in which they must come up with a project idea, work in teams of their choosing, perform research, build prototypes, and ultimate troubleshoot their designs in order to have functioning projects by the end of term.

The Power Of Story in Teaching

I really like the idea of using story in teaching this digital Video presentation did a good job of portraying the usage of story as well as the pros and cons of telling stories in order to relate material to students.

I have and will continue to use stories drawn from my own experience to help motivate students to learn as well as to provide a deeper learning connection to the material presented. I often try to relate stories to the students from past experiences so that they can see the usefulness of a particular topic or why they should expend extra effort to fully comprehend the material.


I like the information the author presented on Kahoot but unfortunately, the majority of the visual graphics on the emaze presentation did not show up when watching the presentation.

Somewhat disappointing especially since the author was quite enthusiastic in the presentation.

Post-Test Analysis

The post-test analysis process I can envision having real value for the learners. I would see it best utilized in the early learning phases of a student’s educational journey where it would have the largest impact on their overall academic success.

The author did point out the large potential drawback to this method is the amount of time required in order to properly create the test, solution rubric, as well as providing the necessary in class time for the students to self-evaluate their learning and preparation for the test.

I believe that implementation of this would be successful  and a benefit to learners at any point in their education.

Academic Controversy

I like this concept of having an open debate about a contentious issue in a class. I have personally experienced this and it is an engaging activity that fosters communication among classmates as well as provides an opportunity to witness many viewpoints on a subject.

This infographic on Academic Controversy does an excellent job of laying out the framework for having an academic controversy topic in class as well as outlining what possible drawbacks might be experienced.