Wednesday, 21 May 2014

"You Never Teach Us Anything"

I had an interesting chat with a student yesterday.  He's yellow, I'm green:

"You never teach us anything."
"By teaching do you mean do it for you?"
"Um, yes?"
"I don't do everything for you because unless you figure it out for yourself, you haven't figured out anything at all."
"... but you never help."
"I don't think that's true, I offer suggestions, and give you a framework to develop ideas in, I've provided you with thousands of dollars of free equipment and access to professional level learning resources.  Have I never helped?"

"Ok, so you've helped, but you don't teach."
"What do you think teaching is?"
"When someone tells you want you should know..."

"Do you think that's what a lesson is?  When someone gives you information?"
"Yeah, isn't it?"

Good question that, isn't a lesson when you tell people what they should know?  Isn't teaching when you do everything for the student so they can be passive receptacles?

That a strong student who has 'figured out' the education system has such a poor view of our profession is worrying.  I wonder how many teachers it took before he saw pedagogy as a fill in the blank exercise.  

I wonder what it will take now to have him take possession of his own learning.  I don't imagine that will happen before post secondary, and when it does it will be a shock.