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  Workshop 6: Civic Engagement  
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Workshop 6

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Lesson Plan
Teacher Perspectives
Student Perspectives
Essential Readings
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Teacher Perspectives: Evolution of his teaching strategies

Bill Mittlefehldt: I’m a hands-on learner. I’m a concrete random--that’s a category of learning styles--but I’m a doer and a thinker. In the early ‘80s, I wrote a book about the brain and learning. In the process of doing that, it got me fired up for understanding [the] learner and improving the quality of [the] product, which for me is the source of my educational challenge and my ability to engage you in learning. I’m getting better at evoking that. I don’t think my style has changed much. I think I’m a socially talented person. I have a lot of charm. I have a lot of energy. I can be intimidating. I can be funny. So my character has been a good mix. I love learning. That’s probably one of my highest priorities. The thing that keeps me going is my ability to learn from my students. One thing I can’t stand is a bored student because they’re going to make me feel punitive and vindictive, and it’s going to be bad chemistry. I try and challenge them and engage them in some level of learning where they’re at. To do that, I’ve had to develop some of these structures and processes outside the school because a lot of kids that I’ve seen over 30 years tend to be bored. By enlivening the community side of the equation--to affirm their character--we’ve brought a lot of power into the kids’ lives.


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