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[Teacher-talklearning] workshop #3

From: Randi K <zenway01_at_gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2012 19:33:43 -0500

*Workshop #3 Building on What We Know - Cognitive Processing*

I was struck while viewing this video how our views of teacher roles have
changed. When I entered education as a teacher 18 years ago, the word
“facilitator” was rarely spoken in reference to teacher roles. A generation
before that, when I actually attended high school, teachers lectured and we
listened and we were the “open vessels,” waiting to be filled with the
information. As an administrator, I now encourage teachers to act as
facilitators of student learning; I encourage collaboration and student
learning groups, and I am a big proponent of Socratic seminars and other
methods of student learning collaboratively. It struck me as I viewed this
just how our thinking about the role of teachers among students has
changed. This teacher, who appears extremely effective in her embedded
authentic assessment and her ability to lead students through a process of
self-inquiry, acknowledges that she begins almost all lessons with
questions. She makes a point of saying that the class doesn’t spend the day
solving problems; it spends the day answering questions.

There was a great example of students teaching one another and the teacher
serving as facilitator later in the video, where a high school-age student
modeled expressing data in graphic terms for other students. She brought an
excellent point into this lesson: Students have a tendency to want to
“help” the person at the board, so if the teacher recedes into the role of
asking clarifying and probing questions without offering answers, students
tend to work harder to solve the problems. It takes courage for some high
school students to even stand at the board, let alone risk appearing less
than competent at solving a problem. But when a student takes that risk to
stand at the board and attempt to solve a problem in front of his or her
peers, there is a shared ownership because students identify with that
struggle. The entire process becomes more interactive. I have witnessed
this approach as an effective approach to student learning, and I have seen
it create a separate issue. There are, inevitably, reluctant participants
in an activity such as this. How does a teacher assess their understanding
of the content? Should they be teacher-selected to lead the group?
Voluntary basis, only? If so, and they remain quiet, what ensures
understanding as the lesson progresses?

-- 
Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants
happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do
other creatures.
                                                                *---The
Dalai Lama*
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Received on Mon Mar 26 2012 - 21:30:15 EDT

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