PIDP 3100 Assignment 2.3.2: Trends

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“What are some trends in your field?  How are you preparing to address these trends?”

My current field is working as a teacher and counsellor with the developmentally disabled.  I work with people diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Asperger’s Syndrome,  Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD), Down’s Syndrome, and many more conditions that are less well-known.  I collaborate with social workers and/or other care-givers to set tangible and uniquely-tailored goals for each client to be worked on within the community.  Goals range from social skills to behavior management to life skills to communication skills and beyond.  These broad goals become more finely-tuned from general life skills, for example, to specific categories such as hygiene or traffic safety.

Oftentimes, clients will have multiple diagnoses, combining the likes of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) or Tourettes Syndrome, for example, or mental health issues like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or Bipolar Disorder with any of the aforementioned conditions.  This has become progressively more commonplace over the past decade.  Also, the amount of ASD and Asperger’s diagnoses in particular have increased exponentially within the same timeframe.

As an educator of sorts with these individuals stricken with multiple diagnoses, the first and foremost step in preparing to address this trend is to become further educated on these disorders myself.  If, for example, I am preparing to meet a new client with Treacher Collins Syndrome or Floating-Harbor Syndrome (yes, that exists) in addition to ASD or FASD, I had better read up on it and learn what to expect.  That, or run the risk of being significantly unprepared.

Furthermore, the trend of increased ASD and Asperger’s diagnoses being bestowed is not something I can address as a sole individual.  The Canadian government grants $26,000 available per year to families of children under six years of age diagnosed with ASD for services, and $6,000 for those aged six and over.  This applies for adults, as well.  Currently, Asperger’s Syndrome remains officially placed on the Autism Spectrum in Canada, deemed as a sort of “high-functioning Autism” and therefore also qualifying for equal funding.  In the coming year, however, when the fifth volume of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM-5) becomes available in Canada, the funding for Asperger’s will likely become obsolete given that the DSM-5 no longer categorizes Asperger’s with ASD.  (After over a decade since the DSM-4, the updated manual was released in the United States of America in May, 2013 [DSM-5 Development, 2013].)  This is one way the Canadian government is addressing this trend of increased diagnoses.

Moreover, an increase in diagnoses means that more workers are needed to work with the diagnosed individuals.  This is a trending issue that, in my opinion, is not being well-addressed in our country currently; funding cuts are commonplace and program terminations are prevalent.  One way that organizations are dealing with this, however, is shortening contract durations.  One organization I worked for went from one-year contracts with clients to six-month contracts in order to cope with their six-year program waitlist.  While this is far from ideal, it is one way of addressing the current trend in the field.

References:

DSM-5 Development. (2013, November). To the DSM-5 user community. Retrieved from

http://www.dsm5.org/Pages/Default.aspx

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PIDP 3100 Assignment 2.3.1: New Insights

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“What new insights have you gained in terms of the variety of roles that adult educators play?”

In all honesty, I can tend to be quite narrow-minded when it comes to the metanarrative – the big picture.  You can jokingly blame it on my artistic absent-mindedness, or prejudicially blame it on my youth, or stereotypically blame it the male chromosomal makeup in general. Either way, I enrolled in this course with a specific goal in mind.  I enrolled because I want to eventually become a corporate trainer of some sort.  You know, the guy that gets hired by companies to conduct leadership seminars or who trains the new employees hired at their company?  I want to be that guy.  I think I’d be good at it.

However, crediting the precise vision for my own future, I stumbled into a program that prepares students for much more than my minute desired vocation.  Of course, the broad term Adult Education applies to a much greater spectrum of careers than mere corporate training.  Of course!  I just didn’t exactly acknowledge this obvious fact formally in the forefront of my consciousness.

When the looming reality of the vast array of categories under the gargantuan umbrella of Adult Education stomped into clear view, I realized that I have (in some form or another) been doing it in my previous careers already!  Every time I stood up at the front of the church to deliver a sermon on a Sunday morning I was engaging in it.  Every time I taught a class on some religious topic that attracted aged students to attendance it was a reality of my role.  Even every time I sat down with the parent of a developmentally disable client and explained to them what behavioral intervention entails and provided new ideas to help cope with having a child with Autism I was educating an adult to some degree.

This, to me, has been greatly insightful.  It is not merely the university professor or the seminar speaker or the corporate trainer that is an educator of adults.  It is the aerobics fitness teacher and the AA meeting facilitator and the First Aid course instructor and everyone in between.

PIDP 3100 Assignment 2.2: Trends Article

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PIDP 3100 Assignment 2: Trends Article

Hung, J. (2012). Trends of e-learning research from 2000 to 2008: Use of text mining and bibliometrics. British Journal of Educational Technology, 43(1), 5-16.

Summary:

Out of 689 articles gathered electronically from 289 of the most prestigious academic journals, this experiment found interesting trends within the e-learning research findings published between the years 2000 and 2008.  Using text mining, bibliometrics, and content analysis, Hung and his team were able to determine the top subjects, the leading submission countries, and which growing topics require further research and publication spots.

PIDP 3100 Assignment 2.2: Roles Article

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PIDP 3100 Assignment 2: Roles Article

Berge, Z. L. (2008). Changing instructor’s roles in virtual worlds. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 9(4), 407-414.

Summary:

Based off of his previous Instructor’s Roles Model, Berge offers alterations to the four elements of the model with regards to course offered in multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs).  As students’ learning styles change so must instructors’ pedagogical, social, managerial, and technical roles.

My Partner’s Blog

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Arleen’s Blog

I am currently enrolled in VCC’s PID Program wherein I was partnered with the very pleasant Arleen.  As part of one of our assignments, we were to create a blog and post a link to our partner’s blog as well.  So here’s hers!