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robertogreco : bighistoryproject   1

Subverting the System: Student and Teacher as Equals | MindShift
"Not having someone in the role of classroom manager created a vacuum the teenagers initially were reluctant to fill. “At first they didn’t believe it,” Henstrand says. “Then they found it very scary, because they weren’t able to just sit passively and wait for someone to tell them what to do. And they were being asked what they thought; for many, it was the first time they had experienced such respect for their thinking. They were waiting for structure and saying, ‘Tell me what to learn, and I’ll learn that.’”

Henstrand stayed the course and watched them gradually adjust to their new-found freedom. “All humans want autonomy and a say in what they’re doing,” he says. “Some students seem to want more to be told what to do; my feeling is that they’re just uncomfortable with the power of directing their own destiny, and their own learning.”

He adds that this is probably more a function of conditioning than human nature, because “by early spring, they were all fully running with it.” Some stood up and started group discussions, perhaps based on the videos and texts that come with the course; others preferred one-on-one discussions.

“The students create the class,” Henstrand says. “It’s not guided, except by what they’re saying. It’s breaking down all the old paradigms.”

He has carved out a new role for himself, as a dialogue starter. “I introduce questions, but I don’t have answers,” he says. “A different educator will come up with a different approach. We often look for a teaching technique, but the teacher has to find what drives them. It’s about being present with the students, being passionate about the same questions, and working together to learn something and build a narrative.”"
howweteach  subversion  teaching  learning  tcsnmy  tcsnmy8  education  bighistoryproject  criticalthinking  history  socraticmethod  teacherascolleague  2013 
november 2013 by robertogreco

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