Posts tagged ‘teacher as facilitator’

ED Founds Poster

Students are talking but are we listening?

What kind of teacher do I want to be? My teaching philosophy:

The kind that engages my students. How can I do this? Using the technologies my students are already engaging with, on a daily basis, outside my classroom. Bringing it inside my classroom. Directing the technology in education is different from technology directing education. I want to utilise the digital resources that are currently available and learn the new technologies as they unfold. I will learn with my students. And help them to teach themselves. And each other – peer to peer learning. The facilitation of learning rather than information transmission. Not filling an empty vessel but helping them lift off the lid to discover what is waiting inside. Employing social discourses through a variety of mediums – face to face, wikis, blogs, emails, nings, – in order to construct new knowledge that is relevant to the world of a 21st Century learner – a ‘digitalised social constructivist’ pedagogy.

STS Reflection 2

This week I have been reflecting on different pedagogical thinking in relation to forming my own pedagogy. Vygotsky’s Social Constructivist theories appeal greatly – the student can construct their own learning, based upon what they already know and believe, through social discourse. As a teacher , I do not want to simply ‘transmit’  knowledge but facilitate the ‘getting of wisdom’ by helping the student uncover it, identify it and analyse it. I believe that class interaction and discussion are integral to this process.

The notion of Authentic Pedagogy builds upon constructivism to include the student’s ability to retain information beyond mere memory recall but to be truly engaged with that new knowledge. Also, that the student can recognise that not all knowledge is of the same value – some knowledge carries more authority than others – for surely the ability to categorise sources as valuable or less valuable opens up the world of critical analysis to students.

Provocation 2 and 3 are very prevalent this week. Will I be allowed to be the teacher I want to be? To whom am I accountable? There is a great deal of focus on pedagogical knowledge in this unit. More than there is on English content. I can see the value of this – it is an inspirational approach to producing a new generation of teachers focused on a wholistic style of education that caters for all students. Furthermore, studying the Essential Learning Areas of several of our states’ curriculums demonstrates that this is current thinking that encompasses all learning styles, genders, cultural and ethnic origins. It feels like a wonderful new direction. But it concerns me that we are also moving into a political environment that measures the worth of teachers and schools in very basic quantitative measures, that leaves little room for measuring the social, community orientation or even artistic worth of a school. This week I am reflecting on all the stakeholders to whom I am accountable and realising that this is a large group – students, parents, school, community and government.

STS Reflection 1

 

[ This post relate to Kerry Heath’s STS  lecture.] 

Kerry related that her son was experiencing some temporary social isolation at school due to the new school year and changes to the class constituency. This was a result of her son moving from a composite class last year, in which he mainly mixed with elder students, to a single grade class this year. Kerry highlighted how difficult it was  for her son to learn effectively, or even to maintain his attendance in school until these social issues – part of the milieu of curriculum  – were recognised. As teachers, we must understand that the aspects that form the curriculum (teachers, students, subject matter and milieu) have a direct implication for learning. We do not teach in a vacuum, nor do students operate in a singular environment. Comprehension of the multitude of pressures that students face outside our classroom will transform what seems personal to us, but is actually  individual to our students, so we may evolve an individual approach to their learning.

Secondly, and briefly, is the notion that as a teacher, we facilitate learning rather than the traditional model of teacher-centric education. This married well with Meg’s ELPC  lecture, in which she reminded us that with digitization, the “teacher is not the only font of knowledge in a room”. If we can facilitate learning rather than transmitting knowledge at our students, then we have given students the ability to learn in an autonomous manner, that will last many years beyond the scope of our classroom and even our interaction with those students. Seems like a no brainer to me. That is how I want to teach!