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‘Six mirrors of the classroom’ with Dr Christine Monikowski

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Dr Christine Monikowski, Professor at the Department of ASL and Interpreting Education at Rochester Institute of Technology/National Technical Institute for the Deaf, presented ‘Six mirrors of the classroom’ at the Victorian Deaf Education Institute on Saturday 11 May 2013. 

Hertz-Lazarowitz’s (1992) work on the “six mirrors of the [k-12] classroom” presented an in-depth look at student behaviours in a complex learning environment. This approach to understanding instruction, communication and learning is an excellent schema for interpreters: classroom organisation, the learning task, teacher’s instruction, teacher’s communication, student’s academic behaviour and student’s social behaviour.

Dr Monikowski’s workshop identified five components of increasing level for each “mirror” and applied this approach to a recent class, analysed participants’ work in that class, and evaluated whether this approach could help account for known challenges.

Discussion focussed on strategies interpreters could use to manage the complexities. 

What powerful, incredibly practical workshops these were!  While both were well grounded in a research and evidence base, Dr Monikowski also discussed her fascinating hands on experience moving from her role as a teacher to interpreter. 

During the workshops, Dr Monikowski explored some of the challenges that educational interpreters face in their roles, as well as these roles’ reality versus expectations. 

Both workshops perfectly complemented the programs VDEI is running in association with ASLIA for ES staff in Victoria. 

This event was a collaboration between the Victorian Deaf Education Institute and the RIDBC Renwick Centre, NSW and was supported by ASLIA Victoria.