33 comments on “A Christmas message! Critical pedagogy and Taoist philosopy

  1. Hi Jeremy

    As you know, I usually turn up very late for these discussions- or not at all. However, you’ve put up Kings College Choir singing ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ -my most favourite Christmas Carol of all time AND Joni Mitchell (did I tell you she has a house just a mile or two away from us here?). So I feel like I just have to contribute.

    My own feeling is that it’s part of the human condition to sometimes want certainties, and at other times want to be made to think. As a teacher, the challenge is to sense when the learner needs to be provoked, and when s/he needs some input or just knowledge. That’s what teaching is about, isn’t it, partly, to get that balance right? And of course it will be different in different situations and for different people at different times.

    I think, because of our training perhaps, and the democratisation of education’ you talk about, that we are sometimes diffident about imparting knowledge. That seems a pity to me. I love it when someone teaches me something I don’t know- just as I love it when someone gets me to think for myself. It seems to me that transmission only stifles when there’s too much of it.

    As for Christmas- well, I’m quite happy with my anomalous position of challenging religious myths on the one hand, and on the other, being able to wish you a very Merry Christmas!

    Sue

    • Hi Sue,

      thanks so much for coming along!

      Yes, I think you have put your finger on it. Sometimes we (our students too)DO like some knowledge rather than a constant questioning. Because that kind of constant questioning is hard work isn’t it!

      But then (this is why Christmas brings it into focus) I feel kind of lazy when i don’t critically analyze stuff (like the sentimentality that overtakes me at this time of year). Or can we over-analyze, or can we….?

      But hey, yes, I guess we do learn to live with contradictions. But no contradiction in wishing you, back, a Happy Christmas!

      Jeremy

  2. I really like this post as it resonates with me on many levels.

    I’ve just written a post, 365 days after my first post, where I compare teaching to Buddhism and my online network to a Sangha.

    I feel like I’m my own worst critic and yet I’m happiest when I’ve done something and I can look back on it and be proud of it. Self reflection is a challenging but rewarding past-time but I too, after a very busy winter term, feel I need a break from it!

    I’ve only recently stumbled across Dogme but it instantly rang true with me and also made me query much of the teaching I’ve done this term.

    I think, as you suggest a balance of presenting language (transmitting knowledge) and sharing learning (provoking the quest) is the key to achieving happy students.

    Culturally alot of my students are not familiar with being asked to explore. They are often more comfortable with a gritty grammar class.

    Ultimately comfort may not be the most important thing. Taking people outside of their comfort zones can help them to transform.

    I hope that I can learn how to practically bring the theory into a class of 12 nationalities and 25 students.

    • Hi Mike,

      wow! You’ve been blogging for a year. Congratulations.

      I certainly believe in moving out of the comfort zone – as a tool for teacher development if nothing else. But comfort is comfortable because, well, it’s so damn comfortable! Our role MAY be to shift people out of their comfort zone, but on the other hand do we always have the right to do that?

      And then I come up against an issue that always fascinates me and it’s this: we don’t actually know what goes on inside a student’s head when they are receiving ‘knowledge’. Might it not be just as creative and life-changing as other experiences provoked by ‘participation’?

      Jeremy

  3. Hi Jeremy,

    As a teacher of almost a completely Chinese faculty of students, I’m often confronted with their expectation for a one true answer, whether it be to a grammar use, lexical appropriateness or any number of other language queries. We have to admit that to a certain degree, their style of memorise = learn has its merits. After all, they got to the level they’re at through this method. What differs that success from success here though is pushing past that superficial understanding of our language to one where they can recognise how it is used in a practical and real sense. I’m not sure I’m articulating myself well, so I’ll stop.

    To bring it back around to your post, I’ll sum up by agreeing that there’s a Yin and Yang to learning (and teaching) and one method has its advantages and successes as does the other. One the converse, they both have their downsides as well.

    Merry Christmas,
    Tyson

    • Hi Tyson,

      thanks so much for coming along!

      ues, that’s it! Rote-learning may take you so far, but if you want to be a successful members of messy democratic argumentative society then critical thinking is a necessity isn’t it? But all of the time?

      Or, if you want to be a successful L2 speaker don’t you need to be able to understand how things work? Well yes – but then again, some people just don’t analyze that much.

      Confusing.

      Yin and Yang. For every downside there is an upside???

      Let’s hope!

      Merry Christmas to you too!

      Jeremy

  4. Pingback: A christmas card for democratic education « Authentic Teaching

  5. Hi Jeremy,

    I wrote such a long comment and diverged to a tone that I was not sure of how adequate it would be to post here, that I chickened out and did it in my own territory where I feel more comfortable. If you have the time, here is the link http://authenticteaching.wordpress.com/2010/12/17/a-christmas-card-for-democratic-education/ Hope you don’t mind me dropping it in here.

    Thanks for writing this post. I’ve been thinking about similar stuff for the whole week, but didn’t know how to channel it through writing, your post came a minute before I was turning the computer off to go to bed – and it made a difference.

    Happy holidays!

    • Hi Willy,

      I am feeling guilty for stopping you going to bed!

      I’m just off to your blog to see what your take on all this is.

      In the meantime I hope you feel comfortable ‘here’ even though it isn’t quite your territory!

      Have a great time in the UK this Christmas.

      Jeremy

      • Maybe I didn’t express myself in the clearest way. This is indeed a comfy place after all🙂. So I’ll reply here in order to ping pong across ‘territories’, which was my ill-chosen word of the day, such a bad word when we’re trying to learn by communicating with and understanding each other, isn’t it?

        So…

        re: Qatar and non-nativeness – Your saying that you were satisfied that 65% of that university’s staff consisted of NNESTs is already doing something. You, Jeremy, have a very influential voice in our field, you have the opportunity to travel wordlwide and tell others the good and the bad. I have by no means suggested that native-speakers should be ashamed of being who they are, just that if they take their profession as one that should be responsive to their own profession’s issues, this is an important issue that maybe needs not more but a different attention.

        re: Summerhill and a set of beliefs that is extreme you asked “should we force it or offer it?” – Offer it. That was the whole point of my text, more options. Let’s suppose I had a child and I wanted her to go to a free-curriculum school, one that if she wanted she didn’t have to attend classes. Where would I find that? And who can affirm that this is bad practice?

        re: Xmas in the UK. Thanks! It’s not gonna be easy, but I’ll get by.

  6. Hi Jeremy,

    I see your point, but worry about that it might come across as sort of either/or…

    Surely you can have both, and within the same cycle?

    I mean, in a task-based approach, there is both the critical thinking and risk-taking, and the knowledge transfer that follows it within the cycle. Some students will get more out of having hypothesized and experimented, while others may cruise through that with less steam/interest but find themselves satisfied when “all (or most) is revealed”.

    And even in other, more blended approaches, I think it is pretty common for good teachers to mix and match the relevant learning styles according to a variety of factors. Sometimes critical thinking and experimentation work very well as a prelude to straight up ‘transfer’, and other times they work just as well following it.

    I guess the biggest risks are things like “these learners come from this country — they MUST have this approach to be fair and respectful to them” and/or “this is a better theory of teaching/learning, and doing anything else is a cop out.”

    One thing that has continually intrigued me, however, is how one-sided things have tended to be from the coursebook perspective. I’m happy to hear about ‘Q’, but we need more options, more chances to promote critical thinking as well as the (industry standard) grammar syllabus with its rule charts and gap fills — for those who think the latter is valid and effective.

    Anyway Jeremy, won’t start up a broken record here, but WILL wish you all the best for Christmas and what I hope is an absolutely sterling New Year!

    (and see you at the Oz conference in January — apparently Gavin Dudeney is covering the travel expenses!)

    http://jasonrenshaw.typepad.com/jason_renshaws_web_log/2010/12/an-elt-conference-you-really-dont-want-to-miss.html
    🙂

    – Jason

    • Hi Jason,

      I am so pleased you came over here to leave a comment.

      The reason I mentioned the Yin and Yang duality embedded within Taoism is precisely because I believe, like you, that we can have both (knowledge and participation/transmission and discovery). It can’t be an either/or situation. It’s when people argue for 100% Yin or 100% Yang that I become uneasy.

      You are absolutely right that we should not assume behaviour by nationality and in that sense I was wrong to suggest that just because someone is Chinese that they should like to learn in a certain way. I certainly didn’t mean to give that impression. But there are different educational traditions and the ‘participation/critical thinking part of it is a very cultural construct, I sometimes feel.

      Oh, and that Australia conference! I reckon it will be one of the big ones…

      Jeremy

      • Quick apology/clarification here, Jeremy. I didn’t mean to imply that you personally had made the issue either/or, nor that your example of Chinese students indicated a presumption about learning styles. I didn’t read your post that way — was just responding to the (very valid) issues you raised.
        🙂

  7. My experience of teaching in Hong Kong was that the kids were fantastically inspired by just being given the chance, the opportunity to question, and to take a little ownership in the classroom. It was hugely liberating for them, perhaps even life-changing for some. Obviously too many questions, with no clear answers just becomes overwhelming, but I think there is a forceful tide of change in many classrooms around the world, as they become more open and democratic and that has to be a good thing, doesn’t it?

    A very Happy Christmas to all x

    “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
    Albert Einstein

    • Hi Antonia,

      I love it when you come and visit this blog!

      You say (and I agree with you – of course) “too many questions, with no clear answers, just becomes overwhelming” and I guess the other side of that coin would be “too many cleat answers with no questions just deadens the soul” or something. We do need both. That conversation about Taoism (a religion/philosophy I do not know enough about) seemed to help me think that the two need to be moderated by contact with (and experience of) the other!!

      Yes, more open and democratic classrooms = a very good thing…mostly?

      A really happy Christmas to you too.

      Jeremy

  8. Jeremy,

    I finally have a river to skate away on! I’m back in Canada and there is snow up to the rafters. But while teaching abroad for years – this song always hit my Canadian chord. That would be my own tension – between my strong belief that governments are fictions (Chomskyian this is too!) and my own identity as a “Canadian” that skates on rivers….

    However, I really have to side on the side of the principle of “uncertainty”. I was reading Postman last night – rereading his thoughts about how education has no cohesive narrative anymore. The gods have been wiped away from the sky. However, he offers his own – the narrative of unceasing questioning/argument. He makes a great case for this being something that can bind the various interests of education together.

    As for TESOL – I think that the old rote paradigm still clings. It has its place and efficacy, this memorization and study hard and remember and “learn”. Still, I’m for the uncertainty of language, for acquisition and throwing oneself into the waters. I think this the proper position of a teacher – to promote this ambiguity tolerance. The students will always lean towards that former, the certainty. Teachers are revolutionaries – even if just by getting students out of their seats and skipping and dancing to acquire language.

    A taoist doesn’t believe in certainty. Or like the Buddha said, “he who knows the buddha, does not know the buddha.”

    David

    • Hi David,

      welcome back (if I can say that from the cold freezy night of Cambridge UK)

      I accept all the idealism of Neil Postman and Freire and everyone – and I don’t want to repeat myself – but there in-and-out tide seems quite a good model to me. Certainty and uncertainty on a permanent kind of pedagogic see-saw? Yin and Yang?

      Uncertainty works of course, so long as it is not de-stabilising…

      Jeremy

  9. Joni’s song is just so beautiful – thank you for the reminder – for me encapsulates the paradox of Christmas and is by far more a favourite for me than most other Xmas songs. Christmas is a time when people want to be together, to share, to believe in peace, to see the good in each other – thing is, its not always like that. For some people its a lonely time and a reminder of loved ones departed or the pain of having noone to share it with or missing someone close or things just not working out the way they should’ve given all the expectations on “the season to be jolly”. Its also a time when families have the highest number of arguments and problems and suicide rates increase dramatically. Quite a contrast to the white picket fence version in most christmas songs. I have never been able to completely switch off from that fact.

    I have spent many an xmas having invited friends round to share my home and food and human company who have no family to go to because I believe that noone should be left out in the literal or metaphorical cold. And I’ve been taken in a few times in my life when I was in need too and was so grateful to friends who said “come round on christmas day” and opened their doors beyond the exclusiveness of family. I have never been under any illusion that Christmas is anything other than a cultural practice which is whipped up by society. Having said that – I think its important not to stand completely outside deeply embedded events in the society you are part of, even if you see them for what they are – because they are more than the sum total of the event itself – in most European contexts this includes Xmas. At the same time I think we all have a “duty” to remember those not involved for religious, cultural or other reasons. It can be a time when people can feel isolated or “different”. My ideal christmases have been spent with really big groups of people – both family and friends – both known and some unknown – eating and spending time together. But then I guess I am drawn to community wherever possible : )

    Its also a holiday and many people in Europe have a well deserved break and on that level thank goodness considering how hard everyone works. Its a shame our social time is so organised for us and then perhaps we’d feel less “forced” into complying with the order to enjoy ourselves on demand!!

    So…..in summary. I think you can enjoy Christmas and still keep your critical faculties switched on in how you relate to those around you. Search out the opportunity to notice those who need more support than usual and give it to them. I think we all deserve to take a well deserved break – and switch off too. I don’t think there is any reason to feel guilty for that.

    I haven’t addressed the critical pedagogy part as for me, thinking about Christmas critically which is what you are doing is why critical pedagogy is so important. It is always with us, always questioning, always looking for ways for things to be better.

    Hope this makes sense

    xx

    Happy holiday!

    • Hello Sara,

      how could I not trust you to put my ramblings into perspective. I did think of you as I was writing it (well it is Christmas and your new son will soon be born – and your critical ELT blog and your column in IATEFL Voices…..), and also the various…well I said that already in the post, didn’t I?

      Yes, of course my post is a kind of personal critical enquiry so I suppose it’s a kind of ‘loop input’ in the sense. But I yearn for certainties too. That’s one side of me. The others side wonders what it would be like to have the absolute certainty of an unchanging belief that is never questioned! Should I envy people with that kind of unshakeable belief or try and provoke them to question it? That’s my question, always.

      As for Christmas, well yes of course it needs questioning: the commercial super-fest, the loneliness and unhappiness and hope and fear of it (when you scratch the surface). But also the beauty of some of it, the whole hope-for-the-future nativity story, the promise of innocence turned to beauty.

      See, I have gone back to nativity, and so i wish you and your future son the best of all possible arrivals!

      ‘We shall not cease fro exploration…’ at least i hope we don’t. But just sometimes a ‘certainty rest’ along the way may help us to recharge our batteries?

      Have a great new year!

      Jeremy

  10. Willy C Cardoso :
    Maybe I didn’t express myself in the clearest way. This is indeed a comfy place after all . So I’ll reply here in order to ping pong across ‘territories’, which was my ill-chosen word of the day, such a bad word when we’re trying to learn by communicating with and understanding each other, isn’t it?
    So…

    Thanks for migrating back over here Willy!

    Territory seems a fine word to talk about our blogs…this is after all ‘my place’ even though I invite people over and hope, of course, that they will come! But I reckon (again I hope) it’s a welcoming environment!

    Yes, we do have a voice – those of us who get invited around to give talks etc. And it IS still true that native-speakerdom seems to prevail, but not always, a fact which came up in a big way some time back when I posted about plenary speakers. I think that fairly soon the ratio of NS plenary speakers to NNSpeakers will shift. I have certainly had more pleasure this year in listening to NNS presenters than anyone else. You are right; people like me have a responsibility.

    Of course we agree, you and I. People should be offered all kinds of education and be able to pick and choose. But a good society will have to ensure that people don’t fall through the cracks. So they invent systems and rules etc

    Can system and individuality co-exist, yin and yang? And if so how?

    (I believe they can, but the how part is less clear to me)

    Jeremy
    re: Qatar and non-nativeness – Your saying that you were satisfied that 65% of that university’s staff consisted of NNESTs is already doing something. You, Jeremy, have a very influential voice in our field, you have the opportunity to travel wordlwide and tell others the good and the bad. I have by no means suggested that native-speakers should be ashamed of being who they are, just that if they take their profession as one that should be responsive to their own profession’s issues, this is an important issue that maybe needs not more but a different attention.
    re: Summerhill and a set of beliefs that is extreme you asked “should we force it or offer it?” – Offer it. That was the whole point of my text, more options. Let’s suppose I had a child and I wanted her to go to a free-curriculum school, one that if she wanted she didn’t have to attend classes. Where would I find that? And who can affirm that this is bad practice?
    re: Xmas in the UK. Thanks! It’s not gonna be easy, but I’ll get by.

    • Thanks Jeremy! Christmas as you so rightly point out is full of the beauty of life and also sometimes its underside. Through our lives most of us have experienced perhaps both sides at different times. I think the two ‘sides’ you describe are exactly what characterises a critical mind. Of course we all long for stability and certainty – and this is in a sense part of our need to “settle” certain aspects of our experience, but at the same time, we accept that change is constant and questioning and provoking discussion is part of moving things forward. Maybe the skill is accepting the two (or more) part of ourselves and helping them to live in harmony (I speak personally now as I too have both feelings about Christmas and many other ‘institutions’). I wnnt to be part of them but also to criticise them and to make them better. In my experience, unshakeable beliefs can be coupled with a closed mind. Perhaps this makes the person’s daily experience easier (less uncertainty) but it is through this uncertainty that we grow, so yes, you are right to question. I am leaving you with a youtube that I recently showed to my students that captures some of these changing mental landscapes – I hope you like it. Although I find it a bit of an individualised and european centred, it made me realise that pursuing the improvement of our life and those around us is as important as it always was!
      Its called “21st centry enlightenment” and is presented in such a dynamic way I just love it!
      Thanks for your good wishes. xx

  11. English Raven :
    Quick apology/clarification here, Jeremy. I didn’t mean to imply that you personally had made the issue either/or, nor that your example of Chinese students indicated a presumption about learning styles. I didn’t read your post that way — was just responding to the (very valid) issues you raised.

    Hey Jason, no problem! I do think we are wrong (I am sometimes wrong) to talk about ‘Asian’ or ‘Chinese’ or (as you know well) Korean students and how they behave. But I have just been grading assignments from teachers, two of whom work in S Korea, and of course they talk about rote learning etc And that DOES lead me to think (perhaps erroneously) that different cultures view learning differently…..

    Who’s right? That’s what fascinates me. I WANT to believe in Willy and David’s view of the world, but something restrains me!

    Jeremy

    • Good point, Jeremy, and it reminds me of my time in South Korea. What ten years of ELT taught me there (if I could be forgiven for nut shells…)

      1. Rote learning can be a powerful learning tool — they’re good at it, so consider the potential to find ways to acknowledge and incorporate it into a broader learning approach;

      2. Exceptions to the standard rules (like rote learning) can be enormously refreshing to learners, if they are introduced… well, nicely, I guess, without necessarily insinuating that everything that has gone before has been wrong or useless;

      3. Learners themselves are pretty good at telling you what they haven’t liked about other approaches, but sometimes their criticisms aren’t completely well-founded (it’s “fashionable”, for example, for a lot of Koreans to lament rote-learning, without being able to pinpoint what’s inherently wrong with it): what and how are just so important…

      4. The smörgasbord approach rarely fails (spectacularly, anyway), and keeps classrooms fresh and exploratory while providing familiar fare for those who don’t feel like making the classroom meal an adventure every single time.

      Anyway, you’ve pointed out these very considerations many times yourself, using more elegant descriptions, so forgive me for potentially throwing your own common sense back to you!
      🙂

      • Thanks Jason,

        I agree with all of those points!

        The only thing about the smörgasbord approach is that we need to reflect on how and why we consume the little bits!

        Jeremy

  12. Hi Jeremy,

    So much has been said here. Lots of food for thought… but here go my two cents. As in so many other comments on blog posts and discussions I’ve been a part of these past months I always feel as if I were repeating myself one too many times. Why should we always have one OR the other, why should we choose one approach and follow it alone? Why should we either follow the coursebook word by word or go unplugged? And finally, why should we either transmit knowledge (LOL! Sorry, but I find the statement alone ludicrous. The mere idea that someone can TRANSMIT knowledge…Who do we think we are?) or foster critical thinking and having the students find/build their own knowledge?

    So, I’ll repeat myself once more here, and say what has been said by Sue, Jason, etc that balance is key, that as teachers we should be able to know which way works best for this or that student, in this or that specific moment on this subject. Am I making any sense? In much the same way (I think we all agree that) students learn in many different ways so should our teaching be. It all reminds me of the debate over completely denying previous methodologies and the benefits they have, the things they still work for. Being open to admit we don’t know it all (and in so many levels) is essential, because in my opinion it also emcompasses being open to admit when something doesn’t work – or stops working.

    Teachers should provide both certainties (or what is currently certain, things can always change!) and uncertainties, present and provoke, teach and be taught. On this particular dicotomy (teach and be taught) I remember a recent discussion I had with Willy on Twitter about how we teachers learn from our students (he had a very interesting outloook on that). I see the Yin and Yang you mentioned very clearly in this – we teach the students, but we also learn from them, with them and their questions. The Yin and Yang are everywhere in life Jeremy, for everything there’s an upside and a downside, sometimes not as obvious or contrasting, but they are there.

    And you asked us if in the google era it still made sense to maintain that some things need to be taught and others built through critical thinking. I think Google or no google, Web 3.0 or paper and pencil, the essence is still human. We may have changed the means through which we learn, but I can’t see the “human element” being taken out of the equation. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we need teachers to learn. I say we learn better with them – and thank god for that!!!

    I think it’s great this time of the year made you reflective – reflection always means development or at least assurance of doing the right thing, of being on the right path. And even better if it made you write this post and make more people reflect not only on critical pedagogy but about the true origin of Christmas and feelings we have or should have.

    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas Jeremy. And a fantastic new year, filled with all you’ve wished for.

    Cecilia

    • Hello Cecilia,

      thank you for your thoughtful comments. I especially liked your suggestions that transmission teaching is a misnomer – that we must be crazy to think that could actually transmit knowledge. That absolutely chimes with my own feeling that what happens inside a student’s brain (whatever the teacher does) is in their control, not ours. That’s why I believe that endlessly focusing on what we get them to do sometimes ignores what they themselves do etc…

      My ‘Google’ reference is all about the fact that teachers used to try and impart knowledge. But now, anyone can go and get the knowledge they need, so they don’t need to have it. Do they?

      Do they?

      Hmm.

      Hope your Christmas and new year is a s good as I hope mine will be!

      Jeremy

  13. Hi Jeremy,

    Thanks for the gift of this beautiful background music to your very pensive post.

    You have managed to mix it all up in your magical cauldron, from critical pedagogy to whether we should put all hard logic aside and believe and seek certainty.

    Does Father Christmas exist? At Christmas, I like to believe he does, though I know he doesn’t really. But that is not, of course, what you are talking about…:-)

    You have provoked some excellent reflection in your readers,too, as you always do.

    I cannot help but feel the shadows of guilt, however, which I sometimes share myself.

    Haven’t we been told that telling ain’t the same as discovering so often that if we tell our learners or our trainees anything, there is a twinge of guilt, a sense of “oh may be I could have done this some other way, rather than tell”…

    Isn’t this what we keep telling our trainee teachers!

    And yet, as others have pointed out, hearing someone explain is sometimes all we need. Telling is sometimes the best shortcut to a long and roundabout journey to discovery of things that don’t seem to merit the time to be expended to discover them!

    Or may be they do even! But a clear explanation clears the air, lifts the weight off one’s chest, while discovering and worrying they haven’t got it right wishing their teacher would offer the comfort of certainty and of being right.

    Striking a balance and knowing when to do it is the hardest thing of all, I think, and that is why if we have any self-awareness, we will keep worrying whether we struck the balance right.

    Have a most amazing Christmas, Jeremy with those you love around you.

    Marisa

    • Hi Marisa,

      thank you for your wonderful comments.

      Yes, yes, I DO think that explanation/lecture/knowledge-sharing has its place. There are times when I WANT to be told things. There are times when I want just to know.

      But of course, I have to be an active learner when I’m being lectured to otherwise transmission teaching is as bad as its always claimed to be!

      Enjoy Father Christmas!

      Have a great holiday!

      See you soon I hope.

      Jeremy

  14. I’m quite sure that much of what I ‘learned’ from my school teachers was entirely seperate from the ‘official’ material/topics we were covering in the syllabus. Stuff that still resonates; interesting anecdotes, jokes, off-hand comments about various things.

    As a teacher now, I see myself in such a position. What I say in the classroom might not sound significant as such, but on the other hand, it might mean just something personal and significant to some of the learners. Stuff they take away and really mull over.
    As such, I’m not afraid to throw in a few comments here and there and say what I think about stuff. Without over-doing it, of course, it makes the classroom a more personal and relaxed place and I hope it invites an atmosphere more conducive to learning.

    I am often older than many of my learners, but sometimes they are older than me. Whatever the case, it is a two-way learning street. We learn things from just listening to each other and sharing our perspectives. All the while trying to empathize – which itself is about just being involved in any real conversation.
    🙂

    • I really like what you say about all those ‘asides’ – the extra stuff etc. That IS what makes some teachers outstanding, I suspect.

      Thanks for coming along by the way!

      Oh, and I totally agree that unless teachers are open to learning from their students then there’s not much point in them being there!

      Jeremy

  15. Hi Jeremy,

    Your argument kept me thinking and am wondering how about sequencing provoking and offering certainties. As a teacher we aim at making our students lifelong and independent learners so why not provoke them at the first place and if they fail or even if they reach some where near then we can offer certainties.

    What say?

    Priyamvada.

  16. Hello

    Actually real learning can only take place when the level of curiosity in students is very high. If we provoke them at the first go then we are in real sense trying to increase their curiosity levels. With all the hit and trials the learners will have thought of the problem profoundly.Then the learners will really make efforts to arrive at the meaning.At that stage even if we offer certainties then also it will be worthwhile and quite different from spoon feeding.

    Priyamvada.

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