Fourth year business student Joshua Tarantola has taken a different approach to his last semester of research as an Outstanding Scholar. Joshua is entering the profession of accounting after graduation, but he is also interested in teaching in the future. With this in mind, he decided to step away from business research and partner with Dr. Dragana Martinovic of the Faculty of Education to work on a project focused on the analysis of mathematics teaching styles in Ontario. "I collect data for this project by searching the Ontario school boards' websites for information about mathematics teaching style innovation-I have to dig for this information-but it is usually barried into the annual reports, strategic decision pages and numeracy cirriculums. I have to use a lot of my own judgement. I input all of this data into Excel for further analysis", Joshua explained. Joshua noted that he has learned a lot about the new technologies being used in the classroom to support various learning styles-gaming, in particular, is becoming very popular. He also expressed his appreciation for this new insight on what teaching entails. "It has helped me understand what children require when they learn and the differences in learning styles among them. It's really opened my eyes to the extent of professional development needed for continuous development in teaching".
When asked what Outstanding Scholars has done for him, Joshua explained the program has provided him with the opportunity to give himself an edge, which is especially important in a competitive job field like education.teaching; and also to develop a relationship with a professor that extends far beyond the classroom. "In this program, I was able to develop a legitimate relationship with professors and now have a network of professional references that has already helped me in the working world. My research professor was contacted as a reference when I got my first co-op job and I think that's a big reason why I was able to land it." Joshua also touched on the importance of leveraging the opportunities available in the undergraduate programs here at the university-"we are only here for a short time, so we should be taking every opportunity available to better our development-and the Outstanding Scholars has allowed me to do just that".