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Friday, January 21, 2011

Topsy Turvy

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.

1 comment:

  1. Today, my question of the day is: what did you learn about your public speaking ability from the speech they gave last week, if anything? And when did you learn it?

    This is an anxiety producing event for me as I fear no conversation at all, which leads me to believe they are simply apathetic. That may not be the case at all, but drawing them out and having them feel safe in the process is a challenge.