Monday, June 24, 2013

Designing Holonomy Article

1. Define holonomy:

Holonomous people are reflective, use their strengths for the greater outcome of the group, and learn and grow from within.

2. How does holonomy agree or disagree with what you have learned or what you have done do far in this program?

During my 3 semesters at St. Mary's University, I believe that a lot of my learning has been holonomous. I have done a lot of reflecting, journaling, and researched topics that will make me become a better teacher.

After looking at the sources of holonomy  in terms of the five states of mind, I believe that they also relate to what I am doing in the St. Mary's program. Flexibility is one state of mind that I think all teachers need to have. Many things can come up quickly, and teachers need to be able to deviate from their lesson plans with ease if need be. I have worked with teachers who are very stuck in their ways and not flexible. It makes it very hard to collaborate and come up with new teaching strategies when people are resistant to change. Craftmanship is another state of mind that I notice myself and other teachers utilizing. Taking ownership and pride in ones work is something I teach my students. I lead by example and take pride in the lessons or activities that I create for my students. I believe that by being a good role model and showing the students how to take ownership in their work, students will more likely slow down and take pride in their assignments.

3. Are any parts of holonomy more important than others? Why or why not?

After reading the article, I believe that all parts of holonomy need to balanced.   Everyone can practice and train to have flexibility, efficacy, consciousness, interdependence, and craftmanship in their profession. Naturally, some things come easier to others and everyone has strengths that they bring to different situations. When working in groups, it is important to acknowledge others strengths and work together in a balanced way. I also believe that if one of these states of mind were missing, or not acknowledged, the dynamics of the group would not be as successful if it were present.

4. Explain each state of mind and how it applies to you as the teacher in your classroom.

Efficacy- Efficacy is using effort to complete tasks. 
In my classroom, I make it known that you need to work for what you want. I have a quote hanging in my room that says, " The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work." I refer to this quote often in my room. My students know that everyone has many, many different talents and some things may come easier to others. Everyone is still working, challenging themselves, to becoming smarter and well rounded citizens.

Flexibility- Being able to adapt and look at a situation from another point of view. 
This past year, I did a few role playing activities with my students while studying the Civil War. When I first started teaching the Civil War unit, my students automatically assumed that if you lived in the South you had slaves and were a bad person. My students also assumed that everyone in the North did not own slaves and they were all white. I quickly identified this as a misconception I needed to change. I did a little research and found 30+ influential people from the North and South. Each student was given one person and they had to "become" that person. The classmates then interviewed each other and learned about different people who made an impact during the Civil War. After participating in this activity, my students were able to look at BOTH sides of the war and see WHY each side was fighting.

Craftmanship- Improving your performance and taking ownership in your work. 
In my classroom, I am very honest with my students. From the very beginning of the year, I tell them that ANYTHING we work on in class could be hung in the hall, displayed in the classroom, or shown to parents at conferences. I tell my class that they should not be embarrassed with their work being displayed if they take their time and are proud of their work. At the beginning of the year, a lot of my boys just wanted to be the first ones done with all of their work. They had to learn the hard way after I hung up some of their poems in the classroom. After they read other classmates poems and saw how much work other students put into the assignment, they immediately felt guilty. A few of the students even asked if they could re-do their assignment and hang it on the wall. This was a life lesson that they learned the hard way. I am hoping they continue to take pride in their work for many years to come.

Consciousness-A conscientious person is aware of their values, behaviors, and their goals. Because they are aware of these things, there is little time wasted and more time achieving their goals. 
As a teacher, I need to be very conscientious in my classroom. I want all of my students to be successful in their studies. All students have different needs. I do a lot of group work and stations for my students needs to be met. Since there are many things going on at once in my room, I need to be aware and "train" my students for different situations. These adjustments and sills take some time to develop. After a few weeks of practice, students are in a routine and able to self monitor their behavior and learning.

Interdependence- Working toward a common goal with a group. 
As I stated above, my students do a lot of work in groups. I state the learning objectives before each lesson. My students know what they need to have accomplished and learned by the time they are done with that group work activity.


  1. I like your flexibility activity! I would agree that this is a misconception (even when they get to 8th grade) that students have an that is a great way to get them to see differently!

  2. The activity is easy to adapt to any grade and subject!

  3. I ike the idea of hanging student work up at any time and getting them to take that pride in their work. I often see my high students rushing through things just to get something done when I know they could've put more detail or time into an assignment.

  4. I think that efficacy is the most important of the four. If you leave your students feeling they make difference, mission accomplished. Also, building efficacy requires the educator to know/model the other 3 extremely well.

    Cool thoughts!