Saturday, December 26, 2009

#2 - Set the regulations for the classroom and be sure that the students follow them.

This is post 2 of series on How not to Teach.

In many modern classrooms it is very easy to forget why the class has come together.  The students are there to learn and the teacher is there to help them learn.  When the teacher becomes obsessed with the process of keeping order in the classroom, the students soon forget why they are in school at all.  The classroom becomes a prison.  In a classroom in which development of independent students is paramount, power is infinite because the emphasis is on empowerment of the student to learn.  It is true that order must be kept in the classroom, but not at the sacrifice of student confidence and faith in themselves..  Empowerment is taught through example,  opportunity and practice.

It is the job of teachers to set up an environment where the students feel a part of a community of learners.  Empowerment, group process and a sense of community must be learned and earned over a period of time by the entire class, including the teacher.  Teachers who see themselves embarking on a venture, in which cooperation is the key, will find that they are participating in a growing, changing, classroom community.  The key word here is community, in a community every one participates in the process of day to day living.  No amount of legislation, dictation or regulation will create a community of learners.  Only a good example and a humble teacher can do that.

This idea of sacrificing individual liberty and learning for the order of the classroom, and by extension the society, comes out of the middle ages when an education was received in monastery from monks.  The monks were into practicing austerity, sacrifice and simplicity.  They also recognized that religions tend to fragment with out a heavy dose of guilt and pain to keep everyone in the same line.  They organized there class rooms like churches with pews and pulpit.  These are all concepts that we don’t really need in the 21st century, but these puritan values remain present still in most classrooms.

This is #2 of 12 Ways to Turn a Teacher into a Prison Guard.

1 comment:

SoulSpace said...

I am absolutely in sync with your second point...
keep writing