05 November 2007

Q&A Core Concepts of Teaching

from Yahoo! Answers:

What are core beliefs that are important to you when you think about teaching?

posted by thmtom

Answer Written by Don Berg, Attitutor:

Teaching is the process of assisting someone else to share in your view of the world, usually a view informed by a particular community that shares certain narrative forms and assumptions about the world. Those communities are often called subjects, disciplines, or fields of study.

Another important core belief is that students do not need teachers, but teachers need students, therefore there is an inherent imbalance of power that a good teacher will NOT attempt to compensate for. A good teacher takes advantage of the fact of the student's position of superior power in the relationship. (This is the core of my fundamental critique of mainstream classroom teaching contexts, they put teachers in a reversed power situation that is fundamentally untenable.) The leverage that a proper teacher has over students for the purposes of getting them to conform to the discipline being taught is the privileged access to the world view the student desires to experience.

Thus, there is, in fact, a balance of power in a proper student/ teacher relationship. The student does not need the teacher except for the fact that the teacher has privileged access to the narrative community that the student wants to join. The student is perfectly capable of going to other teachers or learning to access the narrative community through it's literature directly. This is especially true today through the internet. The advantage of using a real teacher, and especially a really good teacher is that the teacher can enable a student to learn much faster and with purposeful direction that leads to the heart of the field.

It is a tragic mistake that mainstream schooling has positioned teachers as dictatorial behavior managers. It is a tremendous waste of time and energy that could be much more productively directed to real learning and teaching.


My web sites:

My book:
Attitude First: A Leadership Strategy for Educational Success

I adapted this answer for my web site here.

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