So my first big assignment for my Royal Roads program is to look at my tacit assumptions about learning.  This should be easy – after all, I’ve been a high school teacher for 13 years.  But how reflective have I been in those years?

The ability to relect on one’s own ideas and theories is tantamount to being a professional.  But it wasn’t until quite recently that I began to take stock of my assumptions, and question them.  The introduction of technology to the education world has allowed me to look at new ways to teaching.  And to do that, it required an inventory of the old ways of teaching.

I’ve learned a lot.  One of the biggest epiphanies was that students need to be engaged critically in the curriculum.  I will admit that I was far more “sage on the stage” in my previous years.  Open wide, students!  Here comes the spoon full of information for you to swallow and regurgitate! The past two years I’ve been doing a lot or reading on critical thinking, and have participated in several conferences hosted by the Critical Thinking Consortium.  It has truly revolutionized the way I teach.

But that doesn’t often make the students happy.  “Can’t you just tell us the answer?” They whine.  My grade 12 academic class reported to me this past semester that the best class I taught was on the Cold War.  I brimmed with pride.  Then I realized that I had been so short on time that I had basically given them a worksheet and helped them fill in the answers. I spoonfed.  And they loved it.

I was disheartened, but not discouraged.  I wear my critical thinking badge with pride.  I recently read a blog posting from Michael Wesch, who argued that teachers should not be doing most of the work in the classroom, and I agree completely.

So on to my assignment.  I think I can use this blog to help frame some ideas that I have for the assignment.  I could write them down on paper, but like most people, I can type much faster…

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