Friday, January 21, 2011
I want to be a good teacher. I want to use some of the concepts Daniel Pink writes about: Autonomy, Mastery and Meaning, and use contextual and emergent principles of learning. But it seems so easy for me to slip from a teacher that wonders with the students about things, to one who tells them the answer and gives assignments. Maybe these paradigms can exist together, but I am wondering. I have to say that since I have been participating in this learning initiative and hanging out with Linda and Roger, I have had a crisis in my teaching.
In some ways I am a good teacher. I use authentic projects often. I use active learning techniques in the classroom. I establish relationships with students. All of this has helped me get excellent students evaluations. All of this I now question. I don't know what to keep and what to throw out.
Yesterday in class I told my (graduate) students that they were very luck to have me for a teacher. I told them that developmental theories show that many do not make it to the "contextual knowing" (Baxter Magolda) stage of development until they leave school. They are lucky, because I make so many mistakes they know for sure I am not an expert and they must take nothing I say as fact. Luckily, I have a good respectful relationship with them and they laughed.
I guess this is exactly what I asked for....learning things with students, emergent and contextual.