“Our vision is more obstructed by what we think we know than by our lack of knowledge.” Kristen Stendahl

Unlearning teaching

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Yes, I have (un)-learned the same as Marshall McCluhen on blog for proximal development. I read my students' work as an interested reader, not just as a teacher giving a nota. Most, but not all, respond in just the same way as Marshall says. They are curious and interested to read my comments. I use symbols like smileys when their writing makes me me smile or a lightbulb when it's given me an idea. I ask them "why" they wrote or did something with genuine curiosity because I know I might find out something I didn't know before.

It doesn't take long (three weeks into the semester) for those ones who come to the classes to understand what I'm doing, which is amazing as they have to unlearn a whole education system they've been through which is about looking for mistakes and what you're doing wrong. As Marshall says:
when you comment on student writing as a reader, the students read your comments because they do not remind them of what they did wrong, or what they should have done, or what they need to do next time. Instead, they see comments that focus on ideas, that recognize the voice of the writer and the effort behind that voice.

The problem is those students who don't come to the class. They never get to find that out. I have piles of work that students never even collect. My comments, their learning in the dustbin!

Categories: Productions, Reflections


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