Reflection 6120-Key Ideas
Through this week’s reading and subsequent (and previous) discussions in class I have been consistently reminded of one key idea: the absolute necessity for compelling curriculum. I know that we covered this in our first meeting; I think we even covered it at the Camp Casey but each week, no matter what the topic, compelling curriculum sneaks in. This week as we evaluated a student teacher observation that Dr. Scheuerman had completed, we explored some of the strengths and opportunities that the student teacher should be aware of. Now, while it is very easy to pick apart someone’s lesson, especially when he or she is not there, it was a little bit hard to constructively criticize knowing this experience is in our not so distant future. However, after a bit of prodding we opened up as a class. The student teacher we all agreed had to cover the material but what he needed to cover and what the kids were interested in were not necessarily the same thing. As questions were asked by the students, a concise answer was given but never explored more deeply. Additionally, the teacher didn’t ask much of the students other than their attention. It seems to me, the opportunity invoking the key idea of compelling curriculum was missed. Even though there is a required standard that each teacher must meet, isn’t there also a requirement of us as teachers to compel our student to go beyond simply learning information and involve them in the learning process?
This notion was echoed as we explored the methods of Comenius. Comenius saw the role of the teacher as, “the servant whose mission is the art of cultivating.” This cultivation is in reference to the minds of the young and our obligation to: compel insight and encourage an eagerness to seek knowledge. This quest for knowledge (as opposed to just content acquisition) with the guidance of the teacher encourages a partnership to aid individual students to grow as they enter society. Comenius saw this being developed through: books of all types, visual aids, a classroom designed that provoked energy, excitement and fun, investigative observations, practical applications to every-day life and fun time activities that include different handicrafts. I really felt like this was a fabulous example of compelling curriculum. That we need to teach students through and in an environment that is appropriate for their learning. Kids need to play, move, touch, explore, apply, fail, and succeed. In this I think Comenium was introducing us to the key idea of compelling curriculum.