By Teach Thought Staff
I recently found this interesting article: Transferring from education to Heotaggi And while supporting everything in it, it made me think about the inevitable dangers of adopting these and other progressive teaching methods.
Going against the grain can often be a lonely experience, and while sound theory and instinct serve as a nice warm blanket against the cold, one can do well with a practical survival guide to help implement new practices. Teachers need to be prepared for the reality of what lies ahead of them in order to help rebuild their classrooms and strengthen their resolve to ultimately maintain the chosen epistemology.
Most progressive learning models, from heutagogy, constructivism to PBL, primarily concern themselves, leaving the learning process and results in the hands of the student as much as possible. But let’s face it, the implementation of this kind of pedagogy is very messy, requires a lot of patience, a degree of realism, and most importantly, a teacher of great skill who can de-school their students to get involved with it.
1. De-schooling Re-tooling means.
When shifting your teaching practice to a style that focuses more on the student and less on the teacher, be prepared to complain harshly to many students (and parents) that you are not teaching them, and inevitably kill the confidence that creates these rude demands. . . This feeling is never strong when your well-qualified students start complaining. At this point it may seem like you are robbing Peter to pay Paul, but to deal with such incidents, make sure you have one. Very good Thoughtful planning and reasoning that your line manager can defend in deciding to investigate their grievances, and more importantly, you can talk to yourself through predictable moments of doubt.
Always remember what constitutes real education, and you’ll be fine.
2. Be realistic.
Having said that, it would be wise for students to start with small doses of new styles, making it easier for them, which can be for many uncomfortable areas. Imagine the facial expressions of most students when you start the unit by saying ‘OK, the results are to be achieved at the end of the unit, but you create the learning design to achieve it’. It’s not just throwing students deep. It is dropping them from the helicopter in the middle of the sea.
You need to determine the place, set the culture for their success: how to do research, how to work collaboratively, how to set growing goals, how to manage time, how to work independently. Remember, by the end of high school, students have had the opportunity to learn under the leadership of a teacher for 11+ years, and as they get older, they have been told thousands of times how important it is to achieve a certain grade, a grade that can happen without strong teacher leadership. Seems in danger.
This mix is exactly what I find myself working on. I always start a unit with a strong teacher-oriented approach, and gradually incorporate many more directed streams towards the end as we approach evaluation. No matter what anyone says, at the end of the unit we have to be realistic: students Willpower Certain teaching outcomes will be tested, and if they are not met, there are many risks for me as a teacher. The overall goal though is to consistently manage the ratio in favor of student-based learning.
3. Patience (in the great mess) is a virtue.
This is where a lot of patience comes from With some groups, it may take longer to become a standard practice You need to remember that achieving success through student-centered learning is by no means an easy feat, and so you have to be patient with yourself when you try to get it right. You have to be especially patient with all this mess.
Disorder can be overwhelming at times, especially with students who are largely disconnected from learning. For them, it may seem like a free ride, there is no chance of doing anything and the obligation to go back to the old strategies and organize such events is strong. In such a situation, guidance and emphasis on a certain path may be the only chance to keep the dream alive. This does not mean, however, that it should be entirely teacher-led. Just because students have reached the end result does not mean that there is only one way to get there.
Sensitive bridging techniques are not compromises, but smart decisions made to stay afloat.
4. No pain, no gain.
If it all sounds pretty scary, that’s because it is. But we should not expect any less, because at the end of the day we are talking about perfecting the teaching models that take a teacher to the top of the game. The number of times I’ve read from Wagon is innumerable, but I always come back, knowing that education is significantly stronger and ridiculously, in the end compulsory exams give better results.
But more than that, I keep coming back because when it works, the feeling that I observe students learn for themselves and take ownership of their experience is a pure joy, and always confirms why I love learning.
Adaptive Image Attribution Flickr user Dan; Innovation often means teaching against grain