EDU 6526-Survey of Intstructional Strategies

EDU 6526-Survey of Instructional Strategies
Session 1
How is teaching and learning related?
It seems appropriate that this be the first question posed of us as we start this class when even the authors of the textbook start by questioning the relationship between teaching and learning.

“Every once in a while I think that we should have called the book Models of Learning. Then, I remember that the real teaching is teaching kids how to learn. So I guess the title is all right.” –Marsha Weil to Bruce Joyce, January 1974 (p.3)

I think that one of the big ideas that I took away from the readings this week is that teaching and learning has to have a symbiotic relationship in order to be effective and successful. By this I mean to compare a classroom to a living “being” where we as teachers and the students both play a part in keeping this living “being” alive. We as the teacher must be able to learn and be ever changing. We must possess teaching techniques/tools to better cater to the students’ needs. By observing and evolving with the students in the class and adapting to their needs we become the caretaker of the class as a “being”. The students must learn be open to these techniques/tools and able to learn from them. In essence we, as teachers, are constantly learning from the students and adapting to help this symbiotic relationship grow. The students, then, are in turn doing their part by learning and teaching us what we need to know as we constantly adapt. In the 4 scenarios introduced in the first chapter we see 4 different methods of teaching used on the first day of class. None are better that the other, just different for each individual class/teacher, or symbiotic classroom/teacher relationship. Additionally I took comfort in the fact the even the text for this class says that, “Models of teaching are really just models of learning.” (p.7)

Describe the classroom as a “learning community”?
I think that you could consider the previous question a good example of a classroom as a learning environment however I will explore more. “Education continuously builds on ideas and environments.” Joyce, Weil (p.5) I find this idea that no one way is right to be both daunting and exhilarating. For example if a lesson is effective and the students are really involved as a class we could build upon this momentum. By expanding and pulling from additional resources we are able to more fully develop a lesson or idea. However, on the flip side, if a lesson is crashing a burning and as the teacher we run out of options for recovery… well that is a scary thought. I guess that is why we are taking this class. I think that we as teachers have to learn as many tools/techniques/methods/options, whatever you want to call them, and have them readily available if we are to be successful at teaching. I take comfort that the classroom is seen as a learning community, not only for the student but also for the teacher.

How would you define teaching?
This is my first attempt at this definition and I am sure it will evolve in time as I do but here it goes:
• To create a safe place for knowledge to grow
• To Share in the discovery of knowledge and explore the wonder of learning
• To support the successes and failures of each student individually and the class as a whole
• To start each day with renewed energy and passion

References:
Joyce, B Weil, M., (1996). Models of Teaching (5th Edition). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon

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