Teachers: A Simple (Not Easy) Pedagogy Assessment
I have discussed and promoted the need for educators to reflect deeply on their beliefs, processes, and practices in several of my posts: Where is Reflection in the Learning Process and Teacher Agency: Coming from a Strong Foundation. As another strategy for engaging in this type of self-reflection, I developed these questions to have educators assess their pedagogical principles and instructional preferences:
- Do you want your students to parrot the thoughts of others or want them to develop and express their own original thoughts?
- Do you want students to consume knowledge and content or have them to add content to existing knowledge bases?
- Do you want to give your students the content to be learned or have them learn to search for and locate the content for themselves?
- Do you only teach students only what was or do you also ask to imagine what could be?
- Do you have students copy what is or do you ask them develop and create “new” things?
- Do you tell students what projects to create or give them the permission, time, and resources to create their projects?
- Do you focus on telling students your and other experts’ stories or do you integrate the students’ stories in the classroom?
- Do you view all students are equal or do you see them as unique individuals and help insure that each receives unique instruction? (tricky)
- Do you seek to control the behavior of your students or do you work to teach them the skills to manage and direct their own behaviors?
- Do you want your students only to learn to just listen to you, the teacher, or also to one another, other students, adults, and experts?
- Do you insist that your students be like everyone else or do you insist that they become their own individual “selves”?
This title of this post states “simple but not easy” because to answer the questions is simple. I know that every good teacher would answer these questions in the direction of student-centric education; one that is in the best interests of the student. But implementation is another thing. To implement the non-maintstream alternative is not easy given the accountability systems, one’s own training and background, and mandated school initiatives. It takes a strong, self-directed and courageous educator to do so.