16 January 2010

A Student's Perspective on Teaching

Below is an important distinction for teachers to think about. Steve Miranda is the teacher presenting a quote from one of his former students:

I received a note from a former student who was there when I threw out the traditional curriculum and began integrating more progressive pedagogy. She called it the time when I “stopped teaching”; I didn’t think that was accurate, so I told her so. Here’s her response:

“[A]s a clarification to “stopping teaching,” it was more that you stopped teaching us in the traditional way—here’s info, learn it (aka memorize it for a test and forget it 30 seconds after you put down your pencil and walk out of the room). Next. More info. Learn that. Test. Next. Etc etc. . . , and that you started actually EDUCATING us about the things that interested us, weren’t black and white, didn’t have a concrete answer, and weren’t able to be measured on a test. So I would like to modify my first phrase: you stopped being a person of higher ranking and constantly the one with superior intellect (aka, a traditional teacher), and became a person who was intelligent, open to ideas, and generally a human being who genuinely cared about the students, culture, and environment we are growing up in, versus the scan-tron happy teacher with the ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ stamp.”


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